They fooled him last year. He knew it was coming this time.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Blue Springs senior Dalvin Warmack was announced Tuesday morning as the Thomas A. Simone Award winner for the second straight year, an honor reserved for the top high school football player in the Kansas City area.
He’s the first two-time winner in the award’s 31-year history.
“I get to know what Archie Griffin feels like,” said Warmack, referring to college football’s only two-time Heisman Trophy winner.
Warmack received the Simone Award during a ceremony Tuesday morning in front of his classmates at Blue Springs High School. It was intended to be a surprise — as it is every year — but unlike the 30 previous winners, Warmack had the advantage of going through the process once before.
So when family and coaches tried to trick Warmack into thinking they were headed to a ceremony at Gardner Edgerton High School to honor finalist Traevohn Wrench, it fell flat.
“They tried to fool me into thinking we were leaving, but when I heard there was an assembly, I knew,” said Warmack, who has committed to Kansas State. “I wasn’t falling for it again.”
Warmack ran for 2,223 yards and 29 touchdowns this season and also caught three scores. The Wildcats won the Missouri Class 6 state championship for the second consecutive season.
“I knew what kind of team we had, so I was more focused on winning state again than winning (the Simone),” Warmack said. “But as the season started winding down, that’s when I started thinking, ‘Man, I hope I get it.’ ”
It’s been especially meaningful for Warmack, who first learned of the prize when he was a seventh-grade football player for the Necco Raiders. The team was coached by Thomas Simone’s brother, Charlie, who often told his players the story of tragically losing his brother in 1983. Warmack wore a No. 73 patch on his jersey, the number Thomas wore for the same youth football program.
“This means a lot to me,” Warmack said. “Just being able to represent what ‘73’ stands for, that really hits home.”
The Simone Award is voted on by coaches and select members of the media. Warmack won in a landslide, a member of the Simone committee said. Other finalists were Wrench, a senior tailback; Kearney senior running back Brock Broughton; and Lee’s Summit junior quarterback Drew Lock.
Chiefs quarterback and Missouri product Chase Daniel served as the guest speaker for the annual ceremony.
“I appreciate all you’re doing,” Daniel told Warmack. “But I think you chose the wrong school.”
The hourlong presentation Tuesday also included the announcement of other awards.
Shawnee Mission West senior Andre Maloney won the Nathan Stiles Inspiration Award. Maloney died on Oct. 4 after suffering a stroke on the football field the previous night. His family accepted the award on his behalf Tuesday.