Extra Points: Brian Spano 11/24
By Brian Spano PrepsKC Staff Writer
Offensive player of the year awards in football are usually reserved for the “skill positions.” You may see a quarterback who had an outstanding year throwing the ball all over the lot. Or, it could be that speed-demon running back that has rushed for several thousand yards and just as many touchdowns to match. Maybe it’s the wide receiver who has sucked in all those passes from the quarterback and scores every time he touches the ball.
But an offensive lineman winning such an award? Yep.
Evan Boehm, junior left tackle for the Lee’s Summit West Titans just won the Offensive Player of the Year for the Suburban Middle Six Conference. I’ll say it again: Evan Boehm, an offensive lineman, just won his conference’s Offensive Player of the Year award, and it was a unanimous decision by all of the other coaches.
“I’ve never heard of an offensive lineman winning an award like that,” said Titans offensive line coach Chris Barrows who nominated Evan for the honor. “We just looked at the conference and looked at who was the best offensive player, and it was a pretty easy decision that Evan was it. And again, it’s not something that’s common for an offensive lineman to win, but he’s so deserving because he’s such a dominant player. All of the other coaches in the conference were quick to recognize that as soon as we put his name up, they all just jumped right on it.”
When Evan was told by his father and coach Royce Boehm about the honor, he was in disbelief.
“When my dad came home the other day, I asked him about it the awards, and he told me that I’d have to wait until tomorrow before he told me, so he kept me on the edge of my chair,” Evan said. “He finally told me that I got First Team All Conference on offense. I was excited about that. He then told me that (Titan defensive lineman) Ben Poeschl was First Team All Conference and co-Defensive Player of the Year.
“So I asked him who won on offense. He kind of hesitated, looked down and looked back up and said, ‘you got it.’ At first I was like what? An offensive lineman? I was kind of in shock.”
There’s a reason the 6-4, 300 pound lineman, who is projected as a guard at the next level, is being recruited by several Division I schools for his ability.
The reaction from team was very supportive of Evan’s accomplishment, but when they first found out, they had the same question.
“When they first found out they were like offensive lineman? I said, ‘I don’t know guys,’” Evan said with a laugh.
Evan has been one of the anchors on the Titans offensive line since he was a freshman. It took a little coaxing from Barrows to get Royce to agree on letting Evan play, and even start, as a freshman.
“I’ve known Evan since he was three or four years old and have been friends with the family for a long, long time,” Barrows said. “He’s always been a big kid for his age, and at the same time, he’s always been extremely athletic. My philosophy has always been to put the best guys that we have out there, and it was clear his freshman year, he was one of our best guys. It took a little of convincing with Royce because there’s that element that he’s the coach’s son, but once everyone saw him play, I think that ended that discussion real quick.”
Evan attributes his success to the teachings of Barrows as well as participation in other sports.
“Playing soccer helped with my footwork,” he said. “Wrestling helped with my balance. My seventh grade coach got me introduced to football and showing me how to do things the proper way. I attended West games my eighth grade year and sat next to Coach Barrows, and I saw what he did. Everything he’s taught, I’ve gone with and tried to do it 100 percent.”
As amazing as it was for Evan to win such an award and to be recognized by his peers, there is still a bigger prize that he cherishes.
“What I love about Evan is that it’s not about the awards, it’s about him wanting to put a ring on his finger,” Royce said of Evan’s desire and goals. “That’s what we preach, that’s all we preach. Take care of family. If you take care of family, all of these other honors will come.”
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