SM East, Miege, SM North players clean up in Elite 81 metro football awards

SM East's Kyle Ball put pressure on opposing defenses all season long.
SM East’s Kyle Ball put pressure on opposing defenses all season long.

Northeast Johnson County had a big night at the Elite 81 Awards.

On Thursday, announced the winners of the awards recognizing the top high school football players in the metro region, and seven NEJC players and one coach earned the distinguished honors:

Jafar Armstrong, Bishop Miege – Jordy Nelson Award (Top Kansas Small Class Wide Receiver): Armstrong, a favorite target for quarter back Ryan Willis, had five games in which he caught for more than 100 yards — and he’s just a sophomore.

Kyle Ball, SM East — Ryan Lilja Award (Top Kansas Big Class Linemen): Ball notched 112 tackles and 10 sacks for the Lancers, dominating the offenses he faced and helping the Lancers keep opponents’ point totals low. He has been named the Sunflower League’s Andre Maloney MVP by Sunflower League coaches.

Dawson Downing, Bishop Miege — John Riggins Award (Top Kansas Small Class Running Back): Downing never had a game in 2014 where he scored less than two touchdowns, and ran for more than 130 yard in nine games. He finished the year with 31 touchdowns for the Stags.

Wyatt Edmisten, SM East — Gale Sayers Award (Top Kansas Big Class Running Back): Edmisten became just the ninth player in Sunflower League history to finish a season with more than 30 touchdowns — and he’s just a junior. His three touchdowns in the 6A final game were the key to the Lancers’ win.

Gunnar Englund, SM East — Bubba Starling Award (Top Kansas Big Class Quarterback): Englund’s steady hand at the helm of SM East’s offense helped propel the Lancers to a 13-0 season in which SM East set records for total points scored and margin-of-victory. His only loss as the SM East starter came in 2013’s state title game against Derby.

Ryan Willis, Bishop Miege — Brian Shay Award (Small Class Offensive Player of the Year) and Lynn Dickey Award (Top Kansas Small Class Quarterback): Willis, a KU commit, put up huge numbers over his two seasons starting for Miege, finishing with nearly 6,000 passing yards and 65 touchdowns.

Nick Perez, SM North — Kerry Meier Award (Top Kansas Big Class Wide Receiver): Perez had 949 receiving yards, nearly 400 more than the closest wide receiver in the Sunflower League. Perez finished his career with SM North with 1,792 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns.

Jon Holmes shared the Larry Wilcox Award for the Top Kansas Small Class Coach of the Year with Piper’s Chris Brindle.