Chiefs Surprise High Schoolers at the Simone Awards Finalists Ceremony

Posted Nov 30, 2017

Kareem Hunt and Reggie Ragland made a surprise appearance at the Simone Awards Finalists Announcement on Tuesday night

Kansas City Chiefs’ running back Kareem Hunt and linebacker Reggie Ragland may have reached the pinnacle of their profession, but they were just a couple of high school kids eager to show what they could do not too long ago.

Both players were mindful of that on Tuesday, as the duo surprised dozens of high school athletes at the Thomas A. Simone Awards Finalists Announcement in the Hall of Honor at Arrowhead Stadium.

“I remember a few years ago when I was up for Mr. Football and stuff like that, and it’s a big deal to these high school kids,” Hunt said. “It’s cool to be in the position that they’re in and I wish they all could win - I’m really happy for them.”

This season marks the 35th Annual Simone Memorial Award, which is given each year to the most outstanding football player in the Kansas City metro. In addition to the Simone Award, there are several other accolades recognizing various positions, including ones named for Chiefs’ Hall of Famers Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan and Otis Taylor.

Tuesday’s ceremony narrowed the field down to four finalists for each award, with the winners being named on Dec. 5 at the high school of the Simone Award recipient.

“Football breeds community to me,” said Chiefs Hall of Famer Gary Spani, who spoke at the ceremony. “You want communities that are strong, vibrant and always communicating, and these are the kind of things that create that community.”

It was the type of event that both Hunt and Ragland are more than familiar with.

“I was in their shoes,” Ragland said. “It was cool just to see them because there’s a lot of raw talent there, and it’s all about what you’re going to do with the opportunities that you get.”

And because of that shared experience, it provided a chance for both players to give some advice on how the high school athletes should tackle the next stage of their lives.

“I wish I had someone telling me certain things growing up on what I should and shouldn’t do,” Ragland said. “I told them it’s all about the work you put in. It doesn’t matter where you go, it’s all about what you’re going to do once you get there.”

Hunt echoed that same mentality.

“I just told them that no matter where you go, you have an opportunity,” Hunt explained. “I went to a D-1 school, Toledo, and it wasn’t the biggest school, but I always just trusted in the process, played hard and believed in myself. It doesn’t matter where you go, you’ll get an opportunity if you shine.”

The finalists for the Simone Award are wide receiver Ronnie Bell (Park Hill), running back Phillip Brooks (Lee’s Summit West), quarterback Graham Mertz (Blue Valley North) and quarterback John Raybourn (Staley).  

To learn more about the Awards and the other athletes that were recognized, visit this link

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