They tried to fool Skylar Thompson. He just knew better.
Fort Osage football coach Ryan Schartz took his senior quarterback out to breakfast Tuesday morning, a couple of hours before the 33rd annual Thomas A. Simone Awards. After the meal, Schartz attempted to convince Thompson they were driving to the site of the winning player.
And then he turned the car around.
“I knew something was up when my dad took my phone away from me this morning,” Thompson said. “When Coach Schartz stopped the car, I figured I had won and we were going back (to Fort Osage).”
A ceremony awaited there — complete with the Fort Osage High School student body and band. Thompson was named the winner of the Simone Award, designated for the top high school football player in the Kansas City area, after he guided the Indians to the Missouri Class 5 championship last month, their first state title in program history.
Thompson, a Kansas State signee, scored seven touchdowns in the 63-28 win against Chaminade in the state championship. That capped a season in which the dual-threat quarterback passed for 2,128 yards and 25 touchdowns and ran for 1,099 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Blue Springs South senior Adam Cofield, Mill Valley senior Christian Jegen and Belton senior Zach Willis were also finalists.
A year ago, Thompson was the only junior named as one of the four finalists, but Lee’s Summit quarterback Drew Lock — now at Missouri — won the award.
“I saw how cool that was for Drew, and it kind of motivated me to come back and win it this year,” Thompson said. “I thought about what that would be like, just like I thought about what winning a state championship would be like. It was everything I imagined.”
Thompson plans to graduate from Fort Osage at the conclusion of the semester before beginning classes at Kansas State next month.
He was one of several local players honored during Tuesday’s ceremony.
Odessa senior tailback Kobe Hardin won the Frank Fontana Award as the top small-class player. In his first year of high school football, Hardin rushed for 33 touchdowns for the Bulldogs, who reached the Missouri Class 3 state championship game.
Lawrence senior Amani Bledsoe won the Buck Buchanan Award for the area’s best lineman or linebacker. Bledsoe, the top-ranked recruit in Kansas, started on the offensive and defensive line and recorded 82 tackles and eight sacks this season. He has not yet picked his college destination.
Kearney senior Cale Garrett received the Bobby Bell Award, honoring the best small-class lineman or linebacker. He had 160 tackles for the Missouri Class 4 state-champion Bulldogs and will attend Navy.
Jegen won the Otis Taylor Award as the top wide receiver in the Kansas City area. He caught 66 passes for 1,288 yards and 16 touchdowns to lead Mill Valley to its first state championship.
Southwest senior running back Howard Rice received the Interscholastic League offensive player of the year honor, and East senior defensive back Xanthanus Pierro was named the Interscholastic League defensive player of the year.
Mill Valley coach Joel Applebee and Fort Osage coach Ryan Schartz were recognized as the coaches of the year.