For the third year in a row, a Kickapoo football player took home top honor from the Springfield Quarterback Club.
The club’s media members selected running back Malachi Stout for the Bill Wainwright MVP Award, given annually to the Springfield player deemed most valuable to his team.
Stout was selected for the award amongst seniors from seven different high school football teams. He received the trophy Monday at the Springfield Quarterback Club’s annual awards banquet.
“I was glad to even be invited to this meeting,” Stout said. “It’s a great honor, but I can’t really say I deserved (MVP) above other guys. I think there are a lot of other guys in this room that could have just as easily got that award.”
Chiefs coach Kurt Thompson praised Stout for being humble and for deflecting the attention he receives to his teammates.
“He understands how important all 10 of his players that are on the field with him are,” Thompson said.
In 10 games, Stout rushed 184 times for 1,213 yards and 28 touchdowns. He made 12 receptions for 220 yards and four receiving touchdowns. Stout also returns kicks and punts, and has two special teams touchdowns on the season.
Stout is now Kickapoo’s career record holder in rushing touchdowns with 45.
Thompson received the Wayne Reed Memorial Coach of the Year Award, it is his fourth time to earn the honor.
Now in his second stint at Kickapoo, Thompson commended his players and former Chiefs coach Joel Wells, who left Kickapoo in the offseason to accept a coaching job at Harrison, Arkansas.
“Joel was coaching here before us and did a fantastic job preparing these guys and preparing our football team, and I’ve come in to the right place at the right time,” Thompson said. “Good players make good coaches, that’s why we’re 10-0.”
Kickapoo center Jess Emerson shared the quarterback club’s Lineman of the Year award with Hillcrest guard Garrett McGuire.
Stout kept up his trend of crediting the Chiefs offensive line with kind words for the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Emerson.
“Mentally, you’re not going to find any better. There’s not many guys you could see that could take a lineman 100 pounds heavier and dominate them the whole game,” Stout said of Emerson.
McGuire is regarded as one of the best linemen to ever play for the Hornets.
“I could go on and on about Garrett,” Hillcrest coach John Beckham said. “I’ve been coaching football a long time. I’ve been fortunate to coach some really good football players and some really good athletes. I’ve coached better athletes, but I’ve never coached a better football player than Garrett.”
Parkview running back Anthony Riley won the Back of the Year Award. Riley has carried the ball 321 times for 1,901 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2015.
Vikings coach Anthony Hays honored Riley by reading a letter that an official wrote after working a Parkview game in which Riley scored six touchdowns. The official commended Riley for exemplary sportsmanship.
“If ever an athlete had a stage to showboat, No. 32 had his opportunities. Instead, he handled himself with the utmost class and represented his school and his team with the utmost poise that is to be commended,” the official wrote.
Riley holds Parkview’s career rushing touchdowns record with 57.