Falcon soars to the top again
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
In a summer filled with quarterback camps, 7-on-7 and all-star games the Blue Valley King of the Trenches Lineman Challenge always stands out.
This year more than 100 linemen from 12 schools came to Blue Valley to see who would be the top big man in the city. For the second straight year Olathe South’s Braden Smith took home the individual title and for the third straight year Lee’s Summit West won the team championship.
The challenge was made up of nine events: bench press, sled push, pro agility, medicine ball throw, obstacle course, sled pull, 40-yard scoop and run, pursuit and the tire flip. Each player is scored individually and the top five team scores in each event are added together to award the team trophy.
Smith won last year’s event as a sophomore and defended his title this year finishing with 227 points. Lee’s Summit West’s Jamone Boyd finished second with 222, Blue Valley West’s Davis Clark was third with 221, Grandview’s Karl Evans was fourth with 214, and Blue Valley’s Clay Rhodes was fifth with 213.
Lee’s Summit West finished with 1024 to win the team title followed by Blue Valley with 1021, Olathe South with 1002, Blue Valley West with 997, Grandview with 994, Richmond with 921, Blue Valley Southwest with 908, Blue Valley North with 900, DeSoto with 894 and St. James Academy with 879.
Smith’s second win is impressive because 14 contestants finished with more than 200 points in a very deep field. The junior said it was great to be able to win the King of the Trenches for a second straight year.
“After winning it last year you had to defend your title,” Smith said. “You know people are coming after you a little so you have to pick it up a little more.”
Boyd was right behind Smith and helped lead Lee’s Summit West to another title. The Titans have been one of the top programs in the Metro the last eight years and a lot of that success was built on the strength of strong line play on both sides of the ball.
“It’s real fun, I just wish I could have done a little more and win,” Boyd said. “It’s all right. I wish I could come back next year but I am about to be a senior. It was real nice, I enjoyed it. This is our third year winning in a row. I liked the challenge and it was fun.”
Third place finisher Davis Clark earned his second straight top five finish and said it was fun to be able to compete with his fellow lineman.
“I think this is really fun and it just gives us bigger guys a chance to compete and show off what we can actually do since we don’t get a lot of recognition on the field,” Clark said. “I think it is really fun.”
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