Believe it or not, we're midway through the Missouri high school football season. Six weeks ago, everybody was dishing out predictions and opinions on which teams and players would shine this year. Now, it's time to see who's lived up to the hype with the ESPNHS Missouri midseason football awards.
Player of the Year: Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest WR
Talk about a no-brainer. In the season opener on ESPNU, the nation's No. 3 recruit showed the country how insane his skills are by catching 18 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Call his competition inferior? I call you crazy. Despite seeing double and sometimes triple coverage, Green-Beckham has piled up 60 catches for 1,023 yards and 10 touchdowns. What's more, the Hornets are winning, sitting at 5-1 after going 7-5 in each of the last two seasons.
Offensive MVP: Mike McHugh, Kirkwood WR
There's was little doubt that McHugh was talented — he had 11 touchdowns last year and is committed to Northwestern. But the senior wideout has put up some serious numbers so far this season. In a win against Hazelwood Central, Kirkwood tallied 214 receiving yards, three scores and a pick-6; then a week later against Parkway North, he caught five passes for 209 yards. During the Pioneers' 5-0 start, he's racked up 523 yards and nine touchdowns on just 15 catches for an average of 34.9 yards per catch.
Defensive MVP: Michael Rose, Rockhurst LB
Rose is the anchor of a defense that returned eight starters from last year's Class 6 champions. And though the Hawklets' D started out a bit slow (relatively), Rose has helped them find their groove of late. In a 16-3 win against Blue Springs South, Rose had eight tackles (two for loss) and two pass break-ups. Since then, the top-ranked Hawklets have allowed just 20 total points in three games.
Breakout Player: Dalton Demos, Christian Brothers College QB and Jordan Walker, Rockhurst RB (tie)
It was impossible to choose between these two, so I went with both. Walker got things started by running for a school-record 400 yards in the season opener. Through three games, the Hawklets senior had 817 yards and eight touchdowns, but a leg injury has kept him out of the last two games. That's where Demos comes in. The CBC senior has thrown for 1,474 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions for an offense that is putting up nearly 50 points per game. Most importantly, both players have led their teams to 6-0 records and the top two rankings in the state.
Breakout Team: Jefferson City
It figured to be an average year for Jefferson City, what with Kody Walker, the school's all-time leading rusher, gone off to college. But behind the power running of Devon Moore (771 yards and 12 touchdowns), the Jays are off to their best start in eight years. Against a solid slate of opponents, the Jays have outscored the competition, 257-50. Just how legit the Jays are will be tested this Friday when they host No. 1 Rockhurst.
Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.