Adepoju Adebawore - North Kansas City
PJ has a 3.59 GPA in the classroom and finished all of his course work in seven semesters. He is one of the most accomplished players in the Metro. He earned the North Kansas City Football Program Hornet Heisman Award for the player who displays high character, academic success and a productive career as a player on the field. He was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award given to the top Lineman or Linebacker in the Kansas City Metro. PJ was also first team All-Conference and All Simone Team. North Kansas City Activities Director David Garrison said of PJ: “Adepoju exemplified what it meant to be a scholar athlete. He was a leader on both the football field and in the classroom, and he took pride in everything he did…As a high school educator we want all students to reach their potential both academically and athletically. It has been an honor to have Adepoju Adebawore at North Kansas City High School and we are excited to see his growth in the coming years.” PJ is attending the Oklahoma and is playing football.
Jake Allen - Grain Valley
Jake has a 4.338 GPA and scored a 21 on his ACT. He is currently 10th in his class. Jake was the defensive MVP for the Eagles and the conference defensive player of the year and was a member of the KMZU Dream Team. Jake is a member of the Missouri National Guard, the National Honor Society, Missouri Boys State and the FBLA. Jake is also a member of the Israel Gathering Church. Grain Valley Principal Dr. Jeremy Plowman highly recommended Jake for this scholarship: “Jake Allen has always been a student of high character. He is never loud but is respected as a leader by his peers, teachers and coaches…He took a number of Advanced Placement and other Honors classes to prepare him for college. This year he took a big step towards his future career by taking the Health Services Program at the Career and Technology Center at Fort Osage.” Jake will attend the University of Central Missouri.
Jackson Baehr - North Kansas City
Jackson has a 3.92 GPA and scored a 26 on the ACT. He is currently ranked 14th in his class. Jackson was first team All-Conference and Academic All-State his senior year. He has also participated in basketball, powerlifting and track during his high school career and was All-State in track his junior year. Jackson has earned three academic letters and is a member of the student council. North Kansas City Principal Dr. Drew White said of Jackson: “He has set himself apart as an exemplary student with unlimited potential. His potential is a combination of his tireless work ethic and willingness to push himself both academically and in his extra-curricular activities. Jackson is enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at Northtown which is one of the most challenging diploma options offered. His commitment to rigor and excellence in the classroom will serve him well as he navigates and changes our world.” Jackson will attend William Jewell, Missouri S&T or Middleburg.
Dylan Birge- Olathe West
Dylan has a 4.13 GPA and scored 22 on the ACT. He was a two-time lineman of the year for the owls, was first team All-Conference, Buck Buchanan semifinalist, selected to the Kansas Shrine Bowl and a member of three different Kansas All-State teams. Dylan has also participated in basketball, track and baseball where he was All-Conference and All-State as a junior. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and FCA. Dylan’s Head Coach TJ O’Neill said of him: “Dylan has been a model teammate, a great leader and one of the most physical football players I have had the opportunity to coach. In addition to his performance on the field and his preparation and attention to detail, he has set a standard and expectation for our entire team. Most of our offensive success over the past three seasons has been produced right behind Dylan Birge.” Dylan will attend and play football at the University of South Dakota.
Finn Burritt - St. James Academy
Finn has a 3.8 GPA and scored a 24 on the ACT. He finished his senior year earning the most improved offensive player award and was named to several Kansas All-State teams. Finn has also participated in basketball and track all four years in high school and organized and led the Thunder’s youth football camp. St. James coach Tom Radke said of Finn: “Finn is truly a great young man. I do not say that about all of the student athletes I have taught or coached. He demonstrates an admirable example of high scholarship in the classroom. He is well-respected by his peers for setting high standards and meeting the goals he sets for himself. More importantly, his genuine kindness and positive attitude make him a joy to have on our team.” Finn will attend Kansas State.
Levi Cooley - Basehor-Linwood
Levi has a 3.67 GPA and scored a 30 on the ACT. He was a two time offensive lineman of the year for the Bobcats, a three-time All-Conference member and a two-time All-State honoree. He also participates in track and powerlifting. Levi is a member of the Gold Honor Roll and a member of the National Honor Society. Basehor-Linwood Principal Dave Hickerson said of Levi: “Levi is highly respected by his peers, teachers and coaches. Levi is respectful of everyone he comes in contact with. I see him almost every day around the building and he is always doing the right thing, is friendly, kind and courteous. He has been a joy to get to know as a new principal in the building.” Levi will attend Emporia State and play football.
Samuel Curtis – Leavenworth
Samuel has a 4.3 GPA, scored a 24 on the ACT and is ranked fifth in his class. He has earned All-Conference honors, was a captain for Leavenworth and earned the Heart of a Pioneer award. Samuel also participated in powerlifting and track. He is a member of the honor roll, won the Xerox Award for innovation in information technology, is a student mentor, is a student ambassador and is a member of the Technology Student Association. Leavenworth coach Sean Sachen said of Samuel: “Samuel is a great person who possesses great morals and values. He is always positive and willing to attack the day’s tasks with energy and focus. Sam pays attention to detail.” Samuel will attend Wichita State and study engineering.
Joel Deppe - Blue Valley Northwest
Joel has a 4.35 GPA and scored a 30 on the ACT. He earned All-Conference and All-State honors and also participates in wrestling. Joel has earned two academic letters and is a member of the Principal’s honor roll. He is a member of the Nation Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and Science National Honor Society. Joel has achieved all of this while working two jobs. Blue Valley Northwest Principal Dr. David Sharp said of Joel: “Joel is a student of high character who demonstrates consistency each day. He is a student leader in our school serves his community by volunteering at Hilltop in the early childhood program, assists youth at football camps and devotes time to civic responsibilities through his honor societies…He is a credit to himself, his family, Blue Valley Northwest High School and the Blue Valley School District.” Joel will attend the University of Kansas and study human biology.
Xander Hall - Lee’s Summit
Xander has a 4.25 GPA and scored a 29 on the ACT. He was named All-Conference twice and was a captain for the Tigers his senior year. Xander has also participated in track where he was All-Conference twice as a pole vaulter. He has been named Academic All-State in football twice, had the highest GPA on the football team, is in FCA and is a member of the National Honor Society. Lee’s Summit coach Eric Thomas said of Xander: “Over the past four years there has not been one occasion where I questioned in any way Xander’s character and citizenship. I would say the opposite. Xander has been the perfect role model for young kids in our program…Xander is a great leader in our building and does everything above the line…Xander is respected for his hard work and great attitude and would be there for any of his teammates to help wherever he can.” Xander will attend Missouri S&T and play football.
Hayden Jay - Mill Valley
Hayden has a 4.0 GPA and scored a 30 on the ACT. He was All-Conference and All-State leading the Jaguars to their third and fourth straight state championships. Hayden was a team captain and a Simone Award semifinalist. He has also participated in basketball and track. Hayden has earned four academic letters, been on the A honor roll all four years, is a member of the National Honor society and the Jaguar Leadership Corps. Mill Valley coach Joel Applebee said of Hayden: “I’ve had the pleasure of coaching and teaching Hayden the past four years at Mill Valley High School. He is an excellent student/athlete who is looked up to as a leader. Hayden displays a high degree of integrity, responsibility and ambition on the field and in the classroom.” Hayden will attend Northwest Missouri State University and play football.
Max Keller - Olathe Northwest
Max has a 4.306 GPA and scored a 24 on the ACT. He earned All-Conference and All-State honors while helping the Owls to the best season in school history. Max has also participated in wrestling and track. He has been on the honor roll all four years, earned academic honors from the math, science, social studies and English departments and is a member of the National Honor Society. Olathe Northwest coach Lorne Clark said of Max: “Max is the type of young man who puts his personal success behind the success of the total team. He has a positive attitude and always has a smile on his face. The most impressive thing about Max is his quality of character. He treats everyone with respect and as an equal.” Max plans to study exercise science or kinesiology.
Pablo Montoya-Valdez - Bishop Miege
Pablo has a 4.22 GPA and scored a 23 on the ACT. He was All-Conference and earned the Leader of the Year Award for the state champion Stags. Pablo also participated in wrestling and was a manager for the lacrosse team. He was a member of the National Honor Society, First All Honors, is involved in campus ministry and a student body executive. Bishop Miege Principal Maureen Engen said of Pablo: “Pablo is frequently chosen as a model student for his younger classmates and was chosen by our student advancement team to be an ambassador for our shadow programs. He was chosen by our administration team to speak at a freshmen gathering where he spoke about how to build a culture of acceptance and care for one another. The younger students at Bishop Miege look up to Pablo as a spirited, loving individual.” He will attend Benedictine and play football.
Eythen Moore - Eudora
Eythen has a 4.0 and scored a 23 on the ACT. He was named All-Conference and All-State and earned the Lineman of the Year for the Cardinals. Eythen also plays baseball. He has been on the honor roll all four years, a member of the student council, Cardinal Corp, football leadership team and the Volunteer of the Year for the football team. Eythen has also worked with the Community Park Association helping to plan and organize the annual Eudora Community Festival. Eudora Principal Ron Abel said of Eythen: “Eythen is a committed student and has shown himself to be creative, hardworking and trustworthy when accepting important roles within our building and working with our building staff and students to make Eudora High a great place to learn.” Eythen will attend St. Mary’s College and play football.
Kole Murphy - Belton
Kole has a 4.185 GPA and scored a 32 on the ACT. He was named All-District and All-Conference, earned the Football Strength and Conditioning Award and was a part of the football leadership council. Kole also played baseball and participated in the marching band. He has earned three academic letters, been named student of the month, was Academic All-State and is a member of the National Honor Society. Belton coach Todd Vaughn said of Kole: “At the end of each year we give out an award for the player who consistently works the hardest in the weight room. Kole has been the recipient of this award the last two years. The reason why Kole has such a bright future is because he attacks all aspects of his life with the same work ethic, discipline and pride. He is so strong academically and he also works really hard at what is really his first love which is playing baseball.” Kole will attend Avila University and play baseball.
Jaylen Nevins - Raymore-Peculiar
Jaylen has a 4.39 GPA and scored a 29 on the ACT. He was All-District, All-Conference and was named his team’s Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Skill Player of the Year. Jaylen has also participated in wrestling and track. He is the vice president of the National Honor Society, is a Student Leadership Team Captain, attended the Missouri Leadership Seminar and was named Academic All-State. Raymore-Peculiar coach Sean Martin said of Jaylen: “Jaylen is an exemplary student with high standards for himself and those around him. Jaylen has strong values and demonstrates his values in his everyday life. Jaylen is a person who does what is right more so than what is popular. He has been taught integrity and lives by that value daily.” Jaylen will attend Missouri S&T and study nuclear engineering and play football.
John Niesen - St. James Academy
John has a 4.36 GPA and scored a 31 on the ACT. He was All-Conference and All-State. John was the Thunder’s offensive MVP and a team captain. He also participates in basketball and track where he has been a two-time state champ as a member of the 4 X 400 meter relay. John is a member of the National Honor Society and earned a math scholarship for St. James. St. James Principal Dr. Shane Rapp said of John: “Mr. Niesen has had tremendous success academically while taking a very challenging load. He has maintained a grade average above 97 percent while taking four advance placement level classes in the last two years as well as a variety of honors’ level classes the years prior to that. This is quite a feat, particularly for someone who has been a three-sport varsity athlete and one of our highest elected student leaders as a senior.” John will attend Northwest Missouri State University and play football.
Cash Parker - Blue Springs South
Cash has a 4.265 GPA and scored a 32 on the ACT. He earned All-District, All-Conference and All Examiner his senior year. Cash was also the Jaguars team MVP and finished in the top three in every passing category at Blue Springs South. He is a four-time member of the Principal’s honor roll, two-time Academic All-State, is a member of DECA and the National Honor Society. Blue Springs South Principal Ryan Gettings said of Cash: “I have had the pleasure of knowing Cash Parker as an administrator at Blue Springs South High School for the last four years. Cash is one of the best students and people I have come in contact within my professional career. He is filled with integrity and has consistently demonstrated an intense desire to accomplish his goals.” Cash will attend Morningside University and play football.
Joshua Peek - St. Joseph Benton
Joshua has a 4.0 GPA, scored a 33 on the ACT and is No. 1 in his class. He was All City and All-District and earned the Most Improved Player award for the Cardinals. Joshua also participated in wrestling and golf. He has earned three football academic achievement awards, was Academic All-State, is the senior class vice-president and a member of the National Honor Society. Joshua’s coach Kevin Keeton said of him: “I have seen Josh consistently and authentically lead others around him in a way that brings out their best. Whether it is his church youth group, student council, a college class, or an athletic team, Josh is one of those young men who adds value to the group or organization.” Joshua will attend the University of Missouri and study electrical engineering.
Carter Salzman - Platte County
Carter has a 4.29 GPA and scored a 28 on the ACT. He has been named All-Conference and All-District, earned the Team Work Ethic award along with three varsity letters. Carter has also participated in track and powerlifting. He is a member of DECA, Young Life and has been a two-time Academic All-State. Platte County coach Bill Utz said of Carter: “Carter not only excels in athletics but is an excellent student. He ranks high academically and socially among his peers. He is well respected and is looked to for leadership and guidance and has the ability to be his own person. He is involved in many time-consuming organizations and maintains a drive for excellence in a very challenging class schedule.” Carter will attend Arkansas State and play football.
Brett Sawaya - Blue Valley Southwest
Brett has a 4.3 GPA and scored a 26 on the ACT. He was All-Conference, won the Team First award, was selected to the Kansas Shrine Bowl and a team captain for the Timberwolves. Brett has also participated in basketball and lacrosse. He has been on the Principal’s honor roll all four years, was named the English department Student of the Year, is a member of the Business Professionals of America, National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Southwest coach Anthony Orrick said of Brett: “Brett participated in my classroom and was a part of our football program for four years during which time I witnessed his tremendous growth and development. This development came not only in the area of achievement and leadership as a member of our football team but in maturity and character as well. Brett was selected as a team captain his senior year and became a model for all future captains.” Brett will attend Brigham Young University majoring in business or engineering.
Javon Smith - Liberty North
Javon has a 3.942 GPA. He was selected All-Conference and earned the Iron Eagle award. Javon also participated in basketball and track. He is a member of the Black Student Association, has earned an Eagle Academic Award for all four years, Academic All-State and is a member of the National Honor Society. Liberty North coach Andy Lierman said of Javon: “Javon is truly one of the best teammates I’ve coached. It is not unusual for him to stay after practice and mentor younger teammates, give teammates rides and act as a liaison between players and coaches when necessary. He treats the sophomore backup the same way he treats the best player on the team.” Javon will attend West Point and play football.
Dirac Tsafack – Center
Dirac has a 3.85 GPA and scored a 23 on the ACT. He was All-Conference, All-State and won the Bobby Bell Award as the best small school lineman/linebacker in the Kansas City Metro. Dirac has also participated in wrestling and track. He was named Academic All-Conference and Academic All-State all four years of high school. His coach Bryan DeLong said of Dirac: “It is what Dirac does away from the playing field that holds as much value for our program. Our young players see someone they look up to serve as a true leader both in the classroom and on the playing field.” Dirac will attend Missouri S&T and play football.
Sam Van Dyne - Liberty North
Sam has a 4.0 GPA, scored a 31 on the ACT and ranks 1st in his class. He is All-District, All-Conference, All-State, a two-time Simone Award finalist and member of the All-Simone team. Sam has also participated in basketball and track. He has participated in the Education Internship Program, Educators Rising, named Academic All-State and has read to elementary students. Liberty North Principal Dr. Lee Allen said of Sam: “Sam has been a role model for elementary students and a mentor for underclassmen. He has been a leader both on and off the field of play and leans into challenges. His work ethic helps him to overcome adversity with a poise and confidence that is rarely seen in high school students.” Sam will attend Washburn and play football.
Joseph Vick - Center
Joseph has a 3.76 GPA and is 26th in his class. He was All-Conference, All-State and a Frank Fontana Award finalist. Joseph played basketball where he was All-Conference. He was Academic All-Conference and All-State, worked on Hive TV and is a member of the National Honor Society. Joseph’s coach Bryan DeLong said of him: “From the first day I interacted with Joseph it was very obvious from the beginning there was something different about him that set him apart from the other students…The first being his outstanding work ethic that has brought him much success both in the classroom and on the athletic playing field…The second is his ability to be a true leader for others.” Joseph will attend Missouri Southern and play football.
Austin Tomandl - Mill Valley, 12th Man Award
Austin was a manager for the Mill Valley football program. Austin has a tremendous work ethic and love for the game of football. His older brother, Jacob, was also a manager in the program. Austin and Jacob are two of the all-time biggest Jaguar football fans. Austin also participates in various sports of the Special Olympics: basketball, track and field, bowling, softball, swimming and volleyball. In 2022, Austin competed in the USA National Special Olympic volleyball games and will represent Kansas at the Special Olympic World Games in Berlin the summer of 2023. Mill Valley coach Joel Applebee said of Austin: “Austin’s passion for sports and love for Mill Valley were on display each and every day he took the field for our program as a manager. We will miss Austin next fall, but we know he is going to go on and achieve great things in the future.”