By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
If you needed any indication of how good the Piper Pirates football team was this year, all you had to do was show up at last weekend's KCK Preps Football/Fall Awards Ceremony.
Eight different Piper Pirates were awarded trophies for their efforts this season, as they led the Pirates to the school's first ever regional and sectional championships.
Piper head coach Chris Brindle took home his second consecutive KCK Preps Coach of the Year Award, while sophomore linebacker Colton Beebe claimed the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Turner quarterback Paul Berry won the Offensive Player of the Year award.
Notes and thoughts on the ceremony:
- Selecting Brindle as Coach of the Year was a no-brainer. Any time you can lead a school to territory where it's never been, you deserve an award. Brindle has built a solid program over the past two years and Piper is one of the hottest football programs in the entire metro area because of him. KCK football teams have no business making final fours at any class. Piper did - and the job Brindle performed this year was excellent.
- I also want to give a bit of a shout-out to Washington Wildcats head coach Bryan Salsgiver, who would have been my selection if Piper did not advance deep into the playoffs. Washington only won three games, but they were the youngest team in KCK and earned some pride back for the Wildcats football program this season. Salsgiver did an under the radar job this year and I think the Wildcats program is back on track.
- The Defensive Player of the Year award was the toughest for me. With all due respect to last year's nominees, this year's three finalists would have won the award last year. Beebe, Piper teammate Keaton Cofield and Schlagle's Trevon Wallace all deserved the award. My choice was Cofield due to his on the field performance and vocal leadership, but Beebe and Wallace were also very good choices. Beebe will continue to improve his game over the next two seasons.
- Ben Johnson will be a steal for the Kansas Jayhawks. There's a lot of talk about all of these great junior college recruits coming in, but my friends in Lawrence should not over look Ben Johnson. Johnson will be a flat out stud if he remains healthy. He won three awards over the weekend and was the only player in the entire Kaw Valley League to earn all-league honors in three separate positions. I'm a Missouri Tigers fan, but since we're in the SEC, part of me will hope for KU to do well because of Johnson. He, along with his father, are great individuals and Basehor will miss him more than they'll know. I will certainly miss covering him.
- A big thank you to the parents and athletes who came out. A Saturday morning in December is not always the best of days to come out. But with the exception of one athlete, we had perfect attendance. Again, thank you to the parents for that.
- If you're looking for a prediction on a player who could step up and win a "player of the year" award, let me throw-out two names - Wyandotte's Antonio Moore and Schlagle's Derrick Gibbs. Moore is a stud in both the return game and on offense. If Wyandotte involves him more (no pun intended) in the offense at both running back and wide receiver, he could pile up some yardage and touchdowns to be considered a nominee. He has amazing speed and the way he trucked over some defenders this season was amazing. The Moore Express will be enjoyable to watch in the coming years. With Gibbs, he was an underrated part of a Schlagle defense that was probably the best in USD 500 this season. No KCK player has had more sacks over the past two years than him. I expect Gibbs to take that next step up next season. Of course, with both Berry and Beebe coming back, they'll be eager to defend their crowns.
Below are the full teams:
Offensive Player of the Year: Paul Berry (Turner)
Defensive Player of the Year: Colton Beebe (Piper)
Coach of the Year: Chris Brindle (Piper)
QB - Dimonic Roden-McKinzy (Wyandotte)
QB - Paul Berry (Turner)
RB - J'Veyon Browning (Schlagle)
RB - Matt McDonald (Piper)
RB - Drew Potter (Basehor-Linwood)
FB - Marvin Bowens (Washington)
WR - Lloyd Stanfield (Washington)
WR - Jowell Daniels (Sumner)
TE/WR - Ben Johnson (Basehor-Linwood)
OL - Andrew Lillich (Basehor-Linwood)
OL - Brannen Murphy (Piper)
OL - Sam Worthy (Turner)
OL - Louis Holiman (Wyandotte)
OL - TJ Wallace (Schlagle)
OL - Kyle Dumler (Bonner Springs)
All KCK Preps Team Defense:
DB - Keaton Cofield (Piper)
DB - Dalton Hays (Piper)
DB - Kwasi Vann (Wyandotte)
DB - Dimonic Roden-McKinzy (Wyandotte)
DB - Bryan Barnhart (Bishop Ward)
LB - Trevon Wallace (Schlagle)
LB - Blake Martin (Piper)
LB - Colton Beebe (Piper)
LB - Shawn Bryant (Bonner Springs)
LB - Jake Phillips (Basehor-Linwood)
DL - Demetris Abernathy (Wyandotte)
DL - Tyler Howell (Bonner Springs)
DL - Derrick Gibbs (Schlagle)
DL - TJ Wallace (Schlagle)
DL - Ben Johnson (Basehor-Linwood)
All KCK Preps Special Teams:
K - Jose Mejia (Piper)
P - Andrew Schneider (Ward)
PR - Antonio Moore (Wyandotte)
KR - Paul Jones (Piper)