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December 6, 2011LEE'S SUMMIT -- Usually, the work of offensive linemen goes unnoticed.
Lee's Summit West's Evan Boehm became the first offensive lineman to win the Thomas A. Simone Memorial Award, which is presented to the "football player most representative of excellence on the football field" according to the Simone-Fontana Foundation.
"Getting this award means so much," Boehm said.
"You don't hear about that a lot (a linemen winning the award), but finally an athlete won it," Boehm continued, laughing at his own joke.
"I'm very blessed. My highlight video may not have been as cool as everyone else's, but I'm very blessed and honored."
Boehm played left tackle for the Titans, leading them to a state title in 2010 and a semifinal berth in 2011. The Titans lost to Staley in a four-overtime shoot-out against Staley in November. Boehm also has a state championship in wrestling and in the shotput for track and field.
Boehm was able to share the moment with his father and football coach, Royce Boehm. The elder Boehm gave a speech to honor his son, and barely started before he broke down. His son walked up behind him, wrapped his left arm around his dad, and helped him continue.
"I mean, it's unbelievable," Evan Boehm said. "There's not words to describe the feelings right now, what's going on. I'm very blessed to be a part of all this.
"There will not be a doubt in my mind that we'll never forget this moment.
The award is voted on by football coaches and a select group of media members in the Kansas City area. Beginning in 1931 as the Dr. D.M. Nigro award, and the award began to honor Thomas A. Simone in 1983, named after a 12-year old who was killed in an automobile accident. Simone's parents re-instated the award in their son's honor after a seven-year hiatus.
Past winners include current Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, Tampa Bay Bucaneer quarterback Josh Freeman and former Missouri tight end Chase Coffman. Seven Simone Award winners also saw time in the NFL, and one (Jeff Kelso) was drafted by the California Angels of the MLB.
Boehm was also named the Buck Buchanan Award winner as the best big school lineman or linebacker. He becomes the first player ever to win that award twice in his high school career.
Now, Boehm is turning his attention to recruiting. Recently, the long-time Missouri commit re-opened his recruitment and visited Auburn. Boehm said he's visiting Missouri this weekend, but does not have any more official visits scheduled at this point.
"It was a decision that had to be made," Boehm said of re-opening his recruitment. "It was real tough, but I'm glad I did it."
Boehm mentioned Nebraska and Michigan as two other schools he may visit.