Dec. 12, 2019 ~ Olathe North High School junior Arland Bruce IV was named the 2019 recipient of the Thomas A. Simone Memorial Award, given to the outstanding high school football player in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The award is selected by a vote of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association (GKCFCA), head coaches in the Kansas City area and selected media members.
Bruce led the Olathe North team to a 2019 runner-up finish in the Kansas 6A class.
“We are very proud of Arland. He has represented his school, his classmates, his family and his community extremely well,” Olathe North Principal Jason Herman said. “He is a hard worker, but humble. He is the kind of kid that is going to give credit for this award to everyone else except himself. We are so proud that this award is coming back to Olathe North and Arland is the perfect representative for our school. Congrats ABIV, enjoy the moment.”
“We are very excited for Arland to have been awarded the Simone,” Olathe North head football coach Chris McCartney said. “Arland is a very tough and hardworking young man. He takes on challenges with extreme passion and never accepts failure. For the Simone to come back to our school is not only rewarding for him but also for our football program, the school and the Olathe North community. Arland is a great representative for what we all believe in: hard work and perseverance.”
As Olathe North has a rich history of outstanding football teams and players, Bruce became the seventh Eagle to win this award, which is the most student-athletes awarded for any school. Bruce’s father, Arland Bruce III, won the award in 1995, followed by Josh Brewer (1997), Darren Sproles (2000), Maurice Mack (2001), Jim Bouknight (2002) and James Franklin (2009).