In 1964, The Kansas City Star began selecting an All-Metro football team, spotlighting the top high school football players in the Kansas City area. Through the 1971 season, four players were designated as “backs” and specific positions were not labeled. Beginning with the 1972 squad, the first team included a quarterback. Here is a list of All-Metro first-team quarterbacks since 1972, with a reminder of six who were game changers and dazzled fans on Friday nights.
The Kansas City Star
• 2012: Brad Strauss, Lawrence
• 2011: Trent Hosick, Staley
• 2010: Bubba Starling, Gardner Edgerton (above)
The Trailblazers' all-time leading rusher, he ran for 2,417 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior. Starling, who now plays center field in the Royals' farm system, was famous for jaw-dropping long gallops, flashing his uncommon strength and speed. If he hadn't been drafted No. 5 overall in baseball's 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Starling would be poised to emerged as a star dual-threat quarterback at Nebraska.
• 2009: Koby Chadick, Blue Valley Northwest
• 2008: Nathan Scheelhaase, Rockhurst
He became the first junior to win the Thomas A. Simone Award in 2007, an honor reserved for the most outstanding football player in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Scheelhaase was a dual-threat quarterback with speed to burn — he passed for 3,587 yards and rushed for 1,781 more over his junior and senior seasons, totaling 67 touchdowns. Rockhurst won the state title in 2007. Scheelhaase will be a senior at Illinois this fall, where he has scored 44 touchdowns over the previous three seasons.
• 2007: Sean Ransburg, Harrisonville
• 2006: Zach Rampy, Blue Valley
• 2005: Josh Freeman, Grandview (above)
A pocket passer in his high school days, Freeman threw for 2,622 yards and 33 touchdowns during his senior season before being named the winner of the Thomas A. Simone award. As a senior, Freeman was ranked by Rivals as the fourth-best pro-style quarterback in the country. After originally committing to Nebraska, Freeman went on to play college football at Kansas State. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Freeman with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He has thrown 76 career touchdowns in the NFL.
• 2004: Dustin Moomau, Olathe North
• 2003: Stinson Dean, Blue Springs
• 2002: Scott Carroll, Liberty
• 2001: Justin Whitworth, Blue Springs
• 2000: Brandon Gutshall, Platte County
• 1999: Travis Jackson: Olathe South
• 1998: T.J. Mandl, Rockhurst
• 1997: Josh Brewer, Olathe North
• 1996: Kyle Sharp, Oak Park
• 1995: Sam Scott, Blue Valley
• 1994: Jon Luetkemeyer, Blue Springs South
• 1993: Matt Ament, Oak Park
• 1991-1992: Nate Minnis, Blue Springs
After Blue Springs quarterbacks Jeff Handy and Jeff Moreland were selected to the The Star's All-Metro first team in 1989 and 1990, respectively, Minnis received the honor the next two seasons. He remains the last player to be selected to the first team in back-to-back years. Minnis led Blue Springs to the first state championship in school history in 1992, when he set a championship-game record with 353 passing yards in a 39-35 win against Parkway Central. He threw for 3,026 yards and rushed for 520 in his senior year.
• 1990: Jeff Moreland, Blue Springs
• 1989: Jeff Handy, Blue Springs
• 1988: Derrick Hart, Schlagle
• 1987: Jim Doriac, Rockhurst
• 1986: Paul Watson, Park Hill
Noted for his consistency, Watson threw for more than 5,000 yards and tallied 52 touchdowns over his high school career. He played at Kansas State during 1988-91. He led the Big 8 Conference in passing in 1991, when he threw for 2,312 yards. Bill Snyder took over as the Kansas State coach in 1989, with Watson serving as his first quarterback. The Wildcats were winless in Watson's freshman season and won seven games his senior year.
• 1985: Craig Phillips, Lee's Summit
• 1984: Shawn Long, Grandview
• 1983: Jeff Kelso, Park Hill
• 1982: Brad White, Lee's Summit
• 1981: Brian Knorr, SM Northwest
• 1980: Chris Erickson, Park Hill
• 1979: Joe Heeney, SM West
• 1978: Chuck Miller, Truman
• 1977: Greg Dolence, Raytown
• 1976: Jay Jeffrey, SM West
• 1974-1975: Mark McIntosh, Raytown South
A two-time all-state selection, McIntosh is scheduled to be inducted into the Raytown South High School hall of fame in October. He signed a letter of intent in February 1976 to play both football and baseball at Missouri, but his career abruptly ended only a few weeks later when he suffered head and upper body injuries during a high school basketball game. McIntosh never played competitive sports again. He currently has a sports talk radio show based out of Denver.
• 1973: Mark Capra, St. Pius X
• 1972: Rusa Brownrigg, William Chrisman