Simone Finalists announced

By PrepsKC staff
Posted: November 30, 2017 - 9:30 AM

Watch the announcement of the four finalists in all five Simone Award categories live tonight at 7 p.m. here and on the PrepsKC YouTube channel. You can acces that channel by clicking PrepsKC YouTube Channel or watch below. 

Join Dave Stewart and PrepsKC's Dion Clisso as they announce the finalists for the Taylor, Bell, Buchanan, Fontana and Simone Awards live from Arrowhead Stadium. The show will also feature the announcement of the All-Simone Team along with other honors.

The finalists for the 35th Annual Thomas A. Simone Memorial Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding football player in the Kansas City metropolitan area, are:

Ronnie Bell, Sr. WR, Park Hill – The Suburban Gold Offensive Player of the Year caught 89 passes for 1,605 yards and 21 touchdowns. Helped Park Hill to an appearance in the Missouri Class 6 semifinals.

Phillip Brooks, Sr. RB, Lee’s Summit West – 1st-Team Suburban Gold running back ran for 1,666 yards and 21 touchdowns. Also caught 24 passes for 556 yards and eight scores. Has FBS offers from Navy and Air Force.

Graham Mertz, Jr. QB, Blue Valley North – Completed 269 of 434 passes for 3,684 yards, 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Led the Mustangs to the school’s first ever state title. Committed to Wisconsin.

John Raybourn, Sr. QB, Staley – Accounted for 4,271 total yards with 43 passing and 12 rushing touchdowns. Led Staley to the school’s second state title. Was Suburban White Offensive Player of the Year.  

The 26th Annual Buck Buchanan Memorial Award will be given to the best lineman/linebacker in Missouri’s and

Kansas’ top two classes (MO 5-6, KS 5A-6A). The finalists are:

Nick Allen, Sr. LB, Blue Valley Southwest – 151 tackles, 97 solo, 21 tackles for loss in just nine games. EKL’s Defensive Player of the Year and two-time member of the first-team all-conference.

Daniel Carson, Sr. DL, William Chrisman – The Suburban White Defensive Player of the Year had 73 tackles, 49 solo, 17 TFL, six sacks and two defensive TDs. 20+ major CFB offers including OU, Texas, Ohio St., Miami.

Daniel Parker, Sr. OL/DL, Blue Springs – Two-time Buchanan finalist. Suburban Gold Defensive Player of the Year and 1st-Team OL and DL. 78 T, 16.5 sacks. Chose MU out of multiple major college football offers.

Brighton Ramirez, Sr. LB, Park Hill – Finished with 142 total tackles, 83 solo, 7 sacks and 36 tackles for loss, a MSHSAA single-season record. Was a first-team all-Suburban Gold selection.

The 19th Annual Frank Fontana Award will be given to the most outstanding small class (MO 1-4, KS 1A-4A) football player in the metro. The finalists are:

Diego Bernard, Sr. QB/DB, St. Joe Lafayette – Threw for 2,148 yards and 24 touchdowns and added 1,095 and eight scores on 144 rushing attempts. Had 25 tackles, five interceptions and two defensive touchdowns as a CB.

Tanner Clarkson, Sr. QB, Platte County – Suburban Blue Offensive Player of the Year. 3,390 passing yards and 38 TDs. Topped 300 yards in five games, all against +.500 teams. Season-high 437 vs Kearney.

Carter Putz, Sr. QB, Bishop Miege – Set new Kansas records with 9,336 career passing yards and 124 TDs. 2,844 yards and 38 TDs this year for 13-0 4-A champs. EKL OPOY, two-time Fontana finalist. 37-2 as a starter.

Amaun Ryan, Sr. QB, Center – Was a Fontana finalist, WCC POY and 2nd Tm All State last year. Threw for 2,378 yards and 28 TDs with just three interceptions this year. Ran for another 419 and seven TDs.

The 18th Annual Bobby Bell Award will be given to the best lineman/linebacker in Missouri’s and Kansas’ smallest four classes (MO 1-4, KS 1A-4A). The finalists are:

Dylan Downing, Jr. LB, Bishop Miege – Led state champion Stags with 142 tackles, 92 solo, and 14 TFL. Also had two picks, three fumble recoveries and three forced, plus two blocked punts. 1st-Team EKL.

Marshall Kellner, Sr. OL, De Soto– Two-time all conference performer and 2016 Honorable Mention All-State. Recorded 89 pancake blocks and did not allow a sack or QB hurry.

Nick Kruse, Sr. OL/DL, Harrisonville – Totaled 98 tackles, 44 solo, with 21 tackles for loss and six sacks. Forced three fumbles and recovered two. 1st-Team All-MRVC-W OL and DL, 2nd-Team All-State last year.

Michael Smith, Sr. DL, Platte County – Suburban Blue Defensive Player of the Year. 17.5 sacks was best among Bell finalists. Also had 62 total tackles, 24 solo, 11 TFL, two forced fumbes and 20 QB Hurries.

The 10th Annual Otis Taylor Award will be given to the top tight end/wide receiver in the metro area. The finalists are: Ronnie Bell, Sr. WR, Park Hill – Posted the top receiving yards numbers in the metro and among the best ever in Missouri. Also a Simone Award finalist. Missouri State basketball commit.

Dominic Gicinto, Sr. WR, Raytown – Had 85 receptions for 1,341 yards and 10 TDs. Added a rushing touchdown and three special-teams scores, including two 99-yard kick returns. Unanimous First-Team Sub Red.  

Jackson Heath, Sr. TE, Blue Valley Northwest – First-Team All-EKL. Posted 880 receiving yards on 61 catches and six touchdowns in just nine games. Added 156 yards and a score on the ground.  

Logan Talley, Jr. WR, Mill Valley – Finished with 91 receptions for 1,254 yards and 11 touchdowns for the 5-A Semifinalist Jaguars. Posted at least 100 receiving yards in six different games. 

2017 All-Simone Team

The 8th Annual All-Simone Team recognizes the best players in the Kansas City metro area at every position.  

The 2017 All-Simone Team was unveiled Tuesday, November 28 at Arrowhead Stadium and the team members will be recognized again during the Simone Awards ceremony.  Each will receive a patch for their letterman jacket.  

*Asterisks note two-time All-Simone Team honorees.


Quarterback – Tanner Clarkson, Senior, Platte County

Quarterback – Dante Jackson, Senior, Lawrence

Quarterback – Billy Maples, Senior, Park Hill

Quarterback – Graham Mertz, Junior, Blue Valley North

Quarterback – Carter Putz, Senior, Bishop Miege*

Quarterback – John Raybourn, Senior, Staley

Quarterback – Amaun Ryan, Senior, Center*

Quarterback – Javion Shelby, Senior, KC Central

Running Back – Dalton Bock, Senior, Tonganoxie

Running Back – Milton Braasch, Senior, SM East

Running Back – Phillip Brooks, Senior, Lee’s Summit West

Running Back – Jax Dineen, Junior, Lawrence Free State

Running Back – Robert Rawie, Senior, Liberty*

Running Back – Ivan Webb, Senior, Schlagle

Running Back – Jeremiah Wilson, Senior, Center

Wide Receiver – Ronnie Bell, Senior, Park Hill

Wide Receiver – JD Benbow, Senior, Staley

Wide Receiver – Dominic Gicinto, Senior, Raytown

Wide Receiver – Jackson Heath, Senior, Blue Valley Northwest

Wide Receiver – Logan Talley, Junior, Mill Valley

Tight End – Zach Elam, Senior, Staley

Offensive Lineman – Ben Becker, Senior, Park Hill South*

Offensive Lineman – Jack Burns, Senior, Bishop Miege

Offensive Lineman – Sidney Gates, Senior, Center

Offensive Lineman – Joseph Glaser, Senior, Rockhurst

Offensive Lineman – Marshall Kellner, Senior, De Soto

Offensive Lineman – TJ Kennedy, Senior, Lee’s Summit

Offensive Lineman – Bobby Lawrence, Senior, St. Joe Central

Offensive Lineman – Joe Michalski, Junior, St. Thomas Aquinas

Offensive Lineman – Conrad Rowley, Junior, Blue Springs



Defensive Lineman – Daniel Carson, Senior, William Chrisman*

Defensive Lineman – Javier Derritt, Junior, St. Thomas Aquinas

Defensive Lineman – Nick Kruse, Senior, Harrisonville

Defensive Lineman – Tyler Miller, Senior, Staley

Defensive Lineman – Daniel Parker, Senior, Blue Springs*

Defensive Lineman – Spencer Roe, Senior, Lawrence Free State

Defensive Lineman – Michael Smith, Senior, Platte County

Defensive Lineman – Brayden Swope, Senior, Liberty

Linebacker – Nick Allen, Senior, Blue Valley Southwest

Linebacker – McCauley Bowers, Senior, Richmond

Linebacker – Dylan Downing, Junior, Bishop Miege

Linebacker – Mason Middleton, Senior, Fort Osage

Linebacker – Brighton Ramirez, Senior, Park Hill

Linebacker – Dominic Raybourn, Senior, Staley

Defensive Back – Diego Bernard, Senior, St. Joseph Lafayette

Defensive Back – Joseph Barnes, Senior, Liberty

Defensive Back – Ekow Boye-Doe, Senior, Lawrence

Defensive Back – Devin Haney, Senior, Park Hill

Defensive Back – Mario Goodrich, Senior, Lee’s Summit West*

Defensive Back – Kinser Madison, Senior, Lafayette County

Defensive Back – DreShaun Sanders, Senior, KC Central

Defensive Back – Jared Flood, Senior, St. Thomas Aquinas