Glendale enters Friday’s playoff football game against Ozark 10-0, and that’s a big reason why the Falcons won three of the four annual awards given by the Springfield Quarterback Club.
Wide receiver Luke Montgomery took home the Bill Wainwright All-City MVP Award, which is presented each year to the Springfield senior football player deemed to be the most valuable to his team. Montgomery has 78 receptions for 1,648 yards and 25 touchdowns.
“I don’t think I probably would have gotten the award if it wasn’t for the success of the team,” Montgomery said.
In three years, Montgomery has 282 receptions for 4,535 yards and 61 touchdowns. He was a running back at the time coach Mike Mauk arrived at Glendale and installed a five-wide receiver offense.
“I’ll never forget getting to watch him the first time out on the field trying to learn some of our routes, and it was like, we’ve got a long way to go,” Mauk said.
Montgomery, an all-state selection in 2015, laughed at the memory of learning route running.
“It was horrible. I didn’t know how to run a route or catch a ball,” Montgomery said. “It was bad.”
Mauk had some nice words for Montgomery at Monday’s Springfield Quarterback Club luncheon at the Elks Lodge.
“(Montgomery) really worked hard. I can’t tell you how much of a commitment I’ve asked of these guys to try to help bring our football program to where we’d be competitive with some of the better teams in our conference,” Mauk said.
Mauk was named the 2016 winner of the Wayne Reed Memorial Coach of the Year Award.
“It was really good to see Coach Mauk win. I think that means a lot to the team, people recognizing him, because we really believe in him and everything he’s done,” Montgomery said.
The awards continued for the Falcons, with Kyle Doran taking home the All-City Lineman of the Year Award. Doran is a middle linebacker, but the voting media members who determine the awards bent the rules to recognize Doran for making 207 total tackles in 10 games.
“When I first came to Glendale, (Doran) was one of the guys who stepped up as a leader. Every morning, Kyle was there, every time we work out Kyle was there,” Mauk said. “He’s somebody we want all of our players to emulate and be like.”
The All-City Back of the Year Award went to Kickapoo’s Chris Lawson, a three-year starter for Kickapoo with 121 completions on 189 pass attempts, 1,742 passing yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Lawson also had 751 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Kickapoo went 9-2 and ended the season Friday with a loss to Rockhurst in the Class 6 playoffs.
“(Lawson) is a tremendous leader, very cerebral,” Kickapoo coach Kurt Thompson said. “He is a tremendous young man, very, very deserving.”
Glendale (10-0) hosts Ozark (8-2) Friday night at 7 p.m. in the News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors. Montgomery said he had just begun to watch film on Ozark’ defense on Sunday.
“They’re big and they have a really good defense, so it should be a good game,” Montgomery said of Ozark.