TOPEKA, Kan. – The KSHSAA Student Advisory Team has selected Jayson Duncan and the Santa Fe Trail football team, for the 2019 KSHSAA Spirit of Sport Award and Chad Reed and the Shawnee Mission North Marching Band, for the Heart of the Arts Award.
Spirit of Sport
Santa Fe Trail High School played Jefferson West High School in the final game of district football play on October 25, 2019. At the end of the football game, Coach Jayson Duncan and the Santa Fe Trail High School football team gave Cameron Homewood an opportunity of a lifetime.
Cameron Homewood is a freshman student at Jefferson West that has down syndrome. He is a sports fanatic and loves the Jefferson West Tiger Football Team. He attends practice regularly and has been involved with the team since the beginning of the season. You can catch Cameron dressed out in his practice gear waiting on the sideline for his chance to get in a play at the end of every practice.
Jefferson West High School had regained possession of the football with 20 seconds remaining in the game. Coach Duncan and the Santa Fe Trail Football Team allowed Cameron to get in the game and score his first career touchdown for the Jefferson West Tigers as time expired. The following is a link to a brief video clip of Cameron scoring:
This kind gesture of sportsmanship gave Cameron an opportunity to play in an actual game and a memory that will last a lifetime not only for Cameron but his entire family including his Tiger football family. The nomination came from Jefferson West High School.
Heart of the Arts
Chad Reed, Band Director and Rebecca Fillingham, Associate Band Director have set high expectations for members of the Shawnee Mission North Band to give back to the community through various service projects including but not limited to: Select members of the band perform at local nursing homes and elementary schools; and senior level students instruct and mentor elementary and middle school band students. With this service-oriented mindset, it’s no surprise that Reed and the marching band walked to a neighbor’s home this fall and played a rendition of Happy Birthday to her. Blanche Williams lives near the school and said seeing the band during the recent homecoming parade caused her to send a note, which also contained a special request.
“I sent them a letter saying it was beautiful and wonderful,” she said. “I told them if they wanted to do it again, they should do it on October 28th, which was my 85th birthday.”
The letter caught the eye of longtime band director, Chad Reed, and he saw a special opportunity. “We had just wrapped everything up for marching band and for our festivals and football games,” he said. “We had a moment in time we could pay it forward a little bit and make someone’s birthday nicer and more special. I said, ‘Go for it.’” The following is a link to a brief video clip and news article covering this story: https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/shawnee-mission-north-marching-band-surprises-woman-on-85th-birthday
The selection of the two awards will be recognized at an event of their choosing. Both nominations will now move on to a selection of nominees of NFHS Section 5.