Scholar athletes honored by the GKCFCA

Jeff Stead/PrepsKC

By PrepsKC staff
Posted: March 7, 2018 - 10:00 AM



The Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association awarded its 22 $1,000 scholarships Sunday night in a ceremony at McCarthy Chevrolet in Olathe.

 

Again this season 11 players from Kansas and 11 from Missouri received the scholarships courtesy of The McCarthy Auto Group.  In addition to the 22 scholarships awarded to players the 12th Man Scholarship was awarded for the second straight year.

 

This year’s ceremony was a huge success as the scholarship winners, their families, coaches and friends were able to see them honored for their achievements in the classroom and on the field.

 

The event was highlighted by key not speaker Andy Heck. The Kansas City Chiefs offensive line coach shared with the group some of the things he learned while playing professionally and in college at Notre Dame under Lou Holtz.

 

The McCarthy Auto Group has provided the funds for the 22 scholarships for the last 11 years.

Ryan Bach-Piper

Ryan has a 4.2182 GPA, scored 32 on the ACT, and is seventh in his class of 142. He was named first team all Kaw Valley League as a junior, second team all-league as a senior and was honorable mention on the Wichita Eagle All-State team as a linebacker as a senior. He has also participated in baseball and weightlifting at Piper. Ryan has been a member of the Principal’s Honor Roll, student council and the Key Club. He is also a member of the National Honor Society, the Junior League of Johnson and Wyandotte County, and a volunteer for the Piper Optimist Youth Sports Club. His Principal John Nguyen said of Ryan – “I have been continually impressed with the maturity, ambition, and discipline he has shown in accomplishing his goals in many facets of his life, most notably in the areas of academics, extracurricular involvement, and service.” He plans to attend Kansas State as a student where he will pursue industrial engineering.

Jack Burns-Bishop Miege

Jack has a 4.41 GPA, scored a 31 on the ACT, and is currently ranked 14th in his class of 165. This past season Burns was named first team All-EKL, first team All-Metro, and first team All-State helping lead the Stags to their fourth straight Kansas Class 4A-I state championship. In all four years of high school Jack has earned the Academic Excellence Award and been on the First Honor Roll. He has also been a member of the National Honor Society. Jack is a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church. Bishop Miege Head Football Coach Jon Holmes said of Jack – “During his career at Miege Jack demonstrated excellence both on the field and in the classroom. On the field Jack was voted team captain and was the leader of our team. He is respected by his peers and his leadership is evident every time we were at a practice or a game.” Jack will attend Cornell University where he will play football and major in Applied Economics and Management.

 

Gabe Casmus-Leavenworth

Gabe has a 5.0 GPA and a 30 on his ACT. This past season he was named second team All-Sunflower League and first team on the Kansas Coaches All State Team. Gabe is a member of the National Honor Society, the Pioneer Football Leadership Council and is a JROTC platoon leader. He is also a member of the wrestling and power lifting teams. Outside of the classroom Gabe has attended the West Point Summer Leadership Experience, The Naval Academy Summer Seminar, the Boston Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders, the National Student Leadership Conference, and is a Kansas Horizon Scholar. His Head Football Coach Mark Littrell said of Gabe – “Gabe Casmus was one of our best leaders that we have had on our football team in the 5 years that I have been the head coach.  Gabe is a great leader on the football field, in the classroom, and in the weight room.” Gabe will attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University or possibly West Point.

 

Kobe Cummings-Platte County

Kobe has a 3.83 GPA and scored a 26 on his ACT. On the football field he was All-Conference, All- District, All-State Media and Coaches, and was a member of the Coaches Academic All-State team. He also plays baseball and basketball and was selected a team captain in all three of his sports. Kobe is also a member of the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, Pirate Athletic Leadership Team, Platte County High School Peer Helper, a member of the Pirates R.O.C.K. Character Council, and the 3D Leadership team. Platte County Head Football Coach Bill Utz said of Kobe – “Kobe not only excels in athletics, but is an excellent student. He ranks high academically and athletically among his peers. He is well-respected and looked to for leadership and guidance.” Kobe will attend and play football at Missouri Western.

 

Hunter Gray-Kearney

Hunter has a 3.97 GPA, scored 27 on the ACT, and is ranked 22nd in his class of 264. In his senior year he earned first team All-Conference and second team All-District honors for the Bulldogs. While in high school he has also participated in wrestling and track and was first team All-Conference and second team All-District in track. Hunter has earned the Principal’s Honor Roll, is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and a member of his church’s youth group. Hunter’s Principal David Schwarzenbach had this to say about him - “Hunter is a stellar athlete and a terrific academic student, but most importantly he is an awesome person with incredible moral character. Hunter’s leadership qualities are impeccable. He has made his school, his family, and his community proud.” Hunter plans to attend Benedictine University and walk on the football team.

 

Brody Flaming-Mill Valley

Brody has a 3.65 GPA, a 22 on his ACT, and ranks 109 in his class. He finished his senior year as a first team All-State quarterback and honorable mention in the EKL. He also plays basketball for the Jaguars. He is also a member of his church’s youth group and is a member of the football leadership group. Mill Valley Head Football Coach Joel Applebee had this to say about Brody – “He is an excellent student/athlete who is looked up to as a leader. Brody displays a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition on the field and in the classroom.” Brody is considering Northwest Missouri, Pittsburg State and Missouri Western for college and may walk on to play football.

 

Jared Flood-St. Thomas Aquinas

Jared has a 3.6 GPA and a 24 on his ACT. He finished his senior year of football with first team honors in the EKL, Kansas City Star, All-Simone Team and four different Kansas All-State teams. Jared also has played baseball for the Saints. Off the field he has been a student ambassador, participated in the Marillal Suicide Prevention and Awareness, and is a member of the St. Paul Catholic Church. St. Thomas Aquinas Principal Craig Moss said this of Jared – “Jared is a young man who often marches to the beat of his own drum. He is widely liked by his peers because he shows respect for all. He is a quiet leader both on and off the field and he is a hard worker. He has exhibited that he has grit. Jared will use his college education to make a difference.” Jared is considering Missouri Western, Pittsburg State, or Emporia State to continue his education and football career.

 

Damon Frost Jr.-Blue Springs South

Damon has a 4.083 GPA, scored a 29 on the ACT, and is ranked 48th in a class of 477. He was named a football team captain his senior year and earned All-District and All-Conference honors to go along with being named the Tyler Tyrian and Mr. Jaguar Award winner. He also runs track and plays basketball where he was named a captain this year. Off the field he has been on the honor roll all four years, is a member of the National Honor Society, Youth Advisory Council, student council and was named District Student of the Month. Blue Springs South Head Football Coach Jon Oyler had this to say about Damon – “DJ has the unique and distinct ability to carry himself with great confidence while maintaining a level of humility, which is rare and admirable for an athlete of his caliber. He is also honest and dependable, two qualities that make him a great leader in the classroom and on the playing field.” Damon will attend and play football at the Air Force Academy.

 

Andrew Hipp-St. Pius X

Andrew has a 4.286 GPA, scored a 30 on the ACT, and is ranked 13th in his class. His senior year he earned All District and honorable mention All-Conference honors along with being named Mr. Warrior. He has also played varsity basketball all four years. Off the field Andrew has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll, A Honor Roll and is a member of the National Honor Society. He has also been heavily involved in student government serving as the student council treasurer for two years, junior class president and student council president. Warriors’ Head Football Coach Rick Byers said this about Andrew – “He has proven himself to be a very hard worker and a person of strong character. He is always willing to do what is necessary to make his teammates and the program successful.” Andrew will attend West Point where he plans on trying out for football.

 

Kalvin Hudson-St. Joseph LeBlond

Kalvin has a 4.375 GPA, scored 28 on the ACT, and is ranked second in his class. He was named All-District, All-Conference and Academic All-State his senior year. Kalvin also won his team’s Don Tabor Award and Academic Award. He also competes in track where he is All-State in the javelin. Off the field he has been on the High Honor Roll all four years, is a member of the National Honor Society and on the varsity Math Team. He is a member of St. Francis Xavier Parrish. LeBlond Head Football Coach Tony Dudik speaks highly of Kalvin – “Kalvin is a goal setter who has maximized his high school opportunities; and he understands the desire, dedication, determination, and self-discipline that are necessary to be successful. He will accomplish whatever goals he sets for himself because he attacks everything he does with a sincere passion.” Kalvin will attend Rockhurst University in the fall.

 

Yakini-Kasimu-The Pembroke Hill School

Yakini has a 3.2 GPA and scored a 23 on the ACT. He was an All-District and 810 Varsity All-Metro selection his senior year. Yakini was a team captain for the Raiders was named to the All-Iron Man team and earned the Kevin Emory Award. He also participates in track where is was also selected as a team captain. Off the field he is a member of the French Club, International Club, Garden Club, Jazz Band, Jazz Orchestra, and Concert Band. Yakini was also KCP&L Community MVP nominee. Pembroke Hill Upper School Principal William Hill had this to say about Yakini – “I believe the character and leadership Yakini Kasimu has displayed in the classroom, on the football field, and as a member of our community make him a worthy candidate for this prestigious award. He is a strong student with a real desire to lead by example.” Yakini will attend and play football at Washburn in the fall.

 

Caleb Krell-Grain Valley

Caleb has a 4.0634 GPA, scored a 29 on his ACT, and is ranked 27th in a class of 323. This past season he was the Eagles’ offensive MVP, earned first team All-Conference, second team All-District and academic All-Conference for the third time. Caleb also participates in track where he earned academic All-Conference the last two seasons. Off the field he has also earned a Missouri Board of Governors scholarship from Missouri State and is a member of the First Valley Campus church. Grain Valley Head Football Coach David Allie said Caleb is definitely deserving of this honor – “Whether it is on the football field, in church, or in the classroom, Caleb is looked up to as a role model by his peers. These achievements could not be accomplished without a superior work ethic. It is inspiring that, in today’s society, he chooses to lead by effort and example.” Caleb will be attending Missouri State in the fall.

 

Jackson Likens-Blue Valley

Jackson has a 3.43 GPA and a 30 on his ACT. His senior year he earned first team All-EKL honors and was named first team All-State. He led Kansas in field goals, extra point percentage, scoring, and kickoffs. Off the field he is a member of the principal’s honor roll, been a youth basketball camp counselor, worked the Tiger football camp, and was a youth coach with Blue Valley Rec and Heartland Soccer. Jackson has also volunteered at the Church of the Resurrection. Blue Valley Head Football Coach Allen Terrell had this to say about Jackson – “All of Jackson’s athletic success was accomplished while carrying a 3.4 grade point average in advanced and upper-level courses. He was an excellent example of what we expect out of our student-athletes here at Blue Valley High School.” Jackson will attend Northwest Missouri State to continue his football and academic career.

 

Michael Marquez-Grain Valley

Michael has a 4.095 GPA, scored a 28 on his ACT, and is ranked 22nd in his class. This past season he was named honorable mention Examiner All-Area, academic All-Conference, and All State for the third straight year. He also participates in track where he earned All-Conference, All District, and Academic All-Conference last season. He is also a member of St. John LaLande Catholic Church. Grain Valley Principal Dr. Jeremy Plowman said this about Michael – “Michael Marquez is a leader in the classroom and on the football field. He has a charisma that draws people to him. Michael is also a competitor who takes great pride in excelling.” He is undecided on where he will go to school.

 

Braden McCanles-Rockhurst

Braden has a 4.367 GPA and a 35 on the ACT. His senior year he was named first team All-District, second team All-State, a member of the All-Simone team, and a Simone Award semifinalist. He is also a member of the Rugby team. Off the field he has been on the First Honors every semester of high school a member of the National Honor Society, won the Villanova Book Scholar Award, was a National History Day state champion and national finalist, is a member of the math team, and bass-fishing club. Rockhurst Principal Gregory Harkness had this to say about Braden – “It is a pleasure to work with him; it is an even greater pleasure to know him. He enriches the lives of those who are fortunate to know him. Braden McCanles is most deserving of an award to honor his exceptional academic performance and his talent as a student athlete.” Brady will attend either Carnegie Mellon, Yale or SMU to continue his academic and athletic pursuits.

 

Landon Montgomery-Raytown South

Landon has a 3.7 GPA, scored a 25 on his ACT, and is ranked 27th in his class. This past season he was named Honorable Mention All-Conference and named to the Missouri Football Coaches Association Hands Team. Landon was also named Academic All-State the last two seasons. He also participates in track. Off the field Landon is a member of the National Honor Society, Superintendent’s Council and is an Eagle Scout. Raytown South Head Football Coach Nick Adkins said of Landon – “Landon Montgomery has been a highly productive and very involved student and ambassador of Raytown South High School. I think Landon is one of the best young men that I have been around in my tenure in education. He is going to be successful and make every organization he is involved in better.” Landon will continue his education and play football at Truman State.

 

Jack Petz-St. James Academy

Jack has a 4.0 GPA and has scored a 25 on the ACT. This past season he was first team All-EKL, first team All-State, and earned the Son of Thunder MVP award. Jack is also a member of the diving team where he finished seventh in state as a sophomore and third the last two years. Off the field he is a member of the National Honor Society and attends Prince of Peace Catholic Church. St. James Principal Dr. Shane Rapp said of Jack – “He is someone who challenges himself to be his best, as demonstrated by the fact that he is taking three college-level Advanced Placement courses this year. Though he had football, college recruiting and the rest of the social and personal aspects of life to deal with as a senior, he decided to continue pushing himself to be the best he can be in the classroom.” Jack will attend and play football at Emporia State.

 

Carter Putz-Bishop Miege

Carter has a 4.1 GPA, scored a 28 on the ACT, and is ranked 39th in his class. He finished his career as one of the most decorated quarterbacks in Kansas history. Carter is a three-time state champion, two-time Gatorade Kansas Player of the Year, the Kansas Player of the Year in all classes in 2017, the all-time leader in yards and touchdowns, and was the first ever Kansas winner of the Frank Fontana Award. He is also an All-State baseball player who has started since he was a freshman. Off the field he has been on the honor roll all through high school, earned the Academic Excellence Award twice, and is a member of the National Honor Society. Bishop Miege President Randy Salisbury said of Carter – “We ask our students, and especially our athletes, to be respectful and humble, and Carter is a genuine role model who reflects this behavior.” Carter will attend Notre Dame where he will play baseball.

 

Dakota Schmidt-Platte County

Dakota has a 4.26 GPA, scored a 30 on the ACT, and ranks in the top 10 percent of his class. He earned first team All-Conference, All-District, All-State and Academic All-State his senior year. Dakota also won the Team Leadership and Teammate Awards. He also participated in wrestling finishing fifth in 2017 and fourth in 2018, and track where he holds the school record in the javelin. Dakota was also selected as a captain in both wrestling and football. Off the field he is a member of the National Honor Society, earned an academic letter, and is on the Athletic Leadership Team. Dakota is also a member of Young Life and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Pirates Head Football Coach Bill Utz said of Dakota – “The success Dakota has obtained is not by accident. He has listened, watched, and learned from the role models around him. He has a great deal of structure and has been able to implement teachings from his parents and educators into his own life.” Dakota is undecided on his college choice.

 

Will Swanson-St. Thomas Aquinas

Will has a 4.429 GPA and a 28 on his ACT. He finished his senior year with second team All-EKL and Honorable Mention All-State in leading Aquinas to its second-ever state title game. He has also played basketball and baseball where he was first team All-EKL and first team All-State as a junior. Off the field Will has been a member of the Principal’s Honor Roll all through high school, a member of the National Honor society, Key Club, Senior Ambassador, and a peer monitor. Aquinas President Dr. William P. Ford said – “Will is a leader in every sense of the word. He was captain of our football team. He is well respected as a leader and young man by his peers and our faculty alike. He possesses the unique ability to relate to his peers and adults in many and varied settings. He is just a great young person to be around.” Will is deciding between William Penn, Wayne State, and the Air Force Academy for his college choice.

 

Zach White-Basehor-Linwood

Zach has a 3.85 GPA, scored a 28 on the ACT, and is ranked 17th in his class. He finished his senior year with second team All-Conference and first team Coaches All-State honors. Zach also participated in basketball and track. Off the field he is a member of the National Honor Society and won two academic letters. Zach is also a member of Gracepoint Nazarene Church, Young Life, and is a senior leader for the Wyldlife middle school youth program. Bobcats’ Head Football Coach Rod Staullbaumer said of Zach – “Zach is an extremely motivated, hardworking, and coachable athlete. He is a great role model for our program and a great representative of Basehor-Linwood High School and Bobcat Football.” Zach will attend and play football at William Jewell.

 

Seth Zegunis-Olathe Northwest

Seth has a 3.68 GPA and scored a 22 on the ACT. Last season he was second team All-Sunflower League and earned All-State honors as well. He has also participated in wrestling and track. Off the field he was named an NAIA Champion of Character his junior year and is a member of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Former Ravens Coach Chip Sherman said of Seth – “Seth is a very talented young man and he has tremendous leadership qualities. He is the type of young man who puts his personal glory behind the success of the total team. He is also a major contributor to our entire school. He has a positive attitude and always has a smile on his face.” Seth will attend Northwest Missouri and play football.

 

12th Man Award-John McCarthy

John McCarthy was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1951. He graduated from Cathedral Latin High School and subsequently attended Kansas State University. The McCarthy Auto Group has been successfully operating franchised dealerships in Kansas City since 1981. In that time, it has consistently been a leader in volume, customer service, and profitability. Key to its success is a commitment to the communities in which it serves. The McCarthy Auto Group participates in local city governments, sits on boards of country clubs and local charities, hosts chamber of commerce events, actively fundraises for community events, and provides leadership on statewide automobile industry committees. McCarthy’s commitment has been shown in his support for the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Scholar Athlete Program. The program used to honor 22 athletes with only two each receiving $1,000 scholarships. Eleven years ago, McCarthy stepped in and funded 22 $1,000 scholarships every year since. His support of the GKCFCA, football, and high school sports in general can be seen all over the Metro.