Rack up another one for Bubba Starling.
The Gardner Edgerton High School senior was awarded the Thomas A. Simone Memorial Award – an award that recognizes the best football player in the Kansas City metro area – in a surprise ceremony at GEHS on Dec. 7.
As quarterback of the GEHS Trailblazers, Starling rushed more than 2,400 yards and completed 40 of 93 passes. The standout has verbally committed to play football and baseball at the University of Nebraska next year, however, pundits say he could be a first-round pick in Major League Baseball.
During the ceremony, which included Kansas City Chiefs players Matt Cassell and Thomas Jones, GEHS football coach Marvin Diener called Starling “a true star.”
“You are the most explosive, dynamic competitive person that I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach,” Diener told a packed house which included local television and radio stations Tuesday morning.
Starling was one of two GEHS players recognized during the awards event. Lucas Powell, center for the GEHS team, was named, along with Starling, to the first All-Simone Team. Powell was also a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, an award for the best lineman or linebacker in the metro. Evan Boehm, Lee’s Summit, took that honor, however.
Spring Hill senior Nathan Stiles was also honored during the event. A moment of silence was held for the popular football player and homecoming king from Spring Hill High School who died from a subdural hematoma during the final game of the Bronco’s season in October.
The Simone Foundation donated $1,000 to Ron Stiles, Nathan’s father, for the Nathan Project.
For more information about the Nathan Project, which distributes Bibles to teens, search for “The Nathan Project” on Facebook.