Another first for Fort Osage

Dion Clisso/PrepsKC

By PrepsKC staff
Posted: December 8, 2015 - 4:27 PM

Skylar Thompson continued the string of firsts for Fort Osage this football season as he was named as the winner of the 33rd Thomas A. Simone award Tuesday morning at Fort Osage High School.

The senior quarterback led the Indians to their first-ever state championship just a little over a week ago and is now the first Fort Osage player to win the Simone Award given annually to the top football player in the Kansas City Metro.

He was selected the winner from the group of finalists that included Blue Springs South’s Adam Cofield, Mill Valley’s Christian Jegen and Belton’s Zach Willis.

Thompson was the only junior finalist for the Simone Award last year. He entered this season as the favorite to win Kansas City’s top individual high school football honor and did not disappoint. He capped a remarkable career by leading Fort Osage to the school’s first state football title with a record-breaking performance. He threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 202 and three more scores – a championship game record 455 total yards – as the Indians rolled to a 63-28 win over Chaminade.

Thompson finished 2015 with 2,127 yards and 25 touchdowns while throwing just three interceptions. He added nearly 1,100 yards and 21 scores on the ground. A three-year starter after getting some playing time as a freshman behind 2012 Simone finalist Steven McBee, Thompson finished with over 6,200 career passing yards and 71 touchdowns.

The accolades are rolling in for Thompson as, in addition to the Simone Award, he has been named Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year and the Missouri Coaches Class 5 Offensive Player of the Year. He is one of the top-ranked dual threat quarterback recruits in the country and committed to Kansas State last spring. Fort Osage has had Simone, Buchanan and Taylor Award finalists but had never had a winner until now.

The winner of the 17th Annual Frank Fontana Award, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kanas City and given to the most outstanding small class (MO 1-4, KS 1A4A) football player in the metro, was Kobe Hardin of Odessa.  The three other finalists for the Fontana Award were Jabril Cox of Raytown South, Dawson Downing of Bishop Miege and Logan Hinck of Kearney.

In his first year playing high school football, Hardin burst onto the metro scene and set an Odessa school record with nearly 2,700 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns. He started the pre-season as the scout-team running back but after working his way into the starting line-up, Hardin ran for more than 200 yards in eight different games. He led the Bulldogs (13-2) all the way to the state championship game, the program’s deepest playoff run since winning it all in 1994. Hardin is the first player from Odessa to win any of the five Simone Awards.

The winner of the 24th Annual Buck Buchanan Memorial Award, presented by the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors and given to the best lineman/linebacker in Missouri’s and Kansas’ top two classes (MO 5-6, KS 5A6A), was Amani Bledsoe of Lawrence.  The three other finalists for the Buchanan Award were Adam Cofield of Blue Springs South, Chester Graves of Park Hill and Sima Thomas of Fort Osage.


Bledsoe was a force on both sides of the trenches, earning First-Team All-Sunflower League honors on the offensive and defensive lines. He also received the league’s Andre Maloney Most Valuable Player award. He tallied 82 tackles and eight sacks as a dynamic defensive end and had 42 pancake blocks as an offensive tackle.  Bledsoe was a consensus Kansas Top 11 and First-Team All-State pick.

The top college recruit in Kansas, according to Rivals, Bledsoe has over 50 FBS offers including from his top six choices of Baylor, Kansas, NC State, Oklahoma, Oregon and UCLA. He is the fourth Lawrence player to take home the Buchanan Award but the first since 1995 when there were two winners, one from each side of the state line.

The winner of the 16th Annual Bobby Bell Award, presented by Great Western Bank and given to the best lineman/linebacker in Missouri’s and Kansas’ smallest four classes (MO 1-4, KS 1A-4A), was Cale Garrett of Kearney.  The three other finalists for the Bell Award were Jase Hollingsworth of Odessa, Brock Hughes of O’Hara and Kaelin Key of Bishop Miege.

Garrett was also a finalist for the Bell Award last year. He finished a standout four-year varsity career with 538 total tackles, including 160 this season for the state champion Bulldogs. Garrett was named last weekend as the Missouri Football Coaches Class 4 Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. He recorded 8.5 tackles in Kearney’s thrilling 17-14 victory over five-time defending champion Webb City in the state title game.

Garrett has committed to play football next year for the Naval Academy. He is the first Bell Award winner for Kearney since Joe Windsor won it in 2009. Brock Christopher, the only other Bell winner from Kearney, was the first to win it twice in 2003-04.

The winner of the 9th Annual Otis Taylor Award, presented by C&C Produce and given to the best tight end/wide receiver in the metro area, was Christian Jegen of Mill Valley.  The three other finalists for the Taylor Award were Jafar Armstrong of Bishop Miege, Briley Moore-McKinney of Blue Springs South and Isaiah Simmons of Olathe North.

Jegen, also a Simone Award finalist, proved to be one of the top athletes in the metro in 2015. He caught 66 passes for 1,288 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was a major threat on the ground as well, rushing 112 times for 805 yards and 14 touchdowns. A varsity player since his freshman year, Jegen recorded over 2,500 career receiving yards and 1,400 rushing yards, scoring 55 total touchdowns.

He has been a first or second-team all-conference performer on offense and defense since his sophomore year with four total first-team designations. Jegen not only led Mill Valley to the school’s first state championship in any sport, he is the first player from the Jaguars to win any of the five Simone Awards.

The Simone Awards were voted on by the member head coaches of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association (GKCFCA) and a 12-member media committee.

The 5th Annual Nathan Stiles Inspiration Award, honoring the memory of the Spring Hill standout football player who died in 2010 after collapsing on the field, was Larry Leggio and John Mesh of the Kansas City Fire Department. Both men were killed in the line of duty in October.

The Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Kansas Coach of the Year was Joel Applebee of Mill Valley.  The Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Missouri Coach of the Year was Ryan Schartz of Fort Osage.

The Gordon Docking Media Award, honoring outstanding achievement in high school football reporting, was presented to Karen Kornacki of KMBC Channel 9.