Ed Thomas Mr. Football Award
West Lyon’s Brandon Snyder receives 2013 Ed Thomas Mr. Football Award
Brandon Snyder of West Lyon High School is the recipient of the 2013 Ed Thomas Mr. Football Award presented by the Iowa Newspaper Association. Snyder was presented the award Friday, April 25 during an awards ceremony at the school.
The Ed Thomas Mr. Football Award was created in 2010; it is presented annually, recognizing a high school football player who has demonstrated excellent performance on the football field and exemplary character in all aspects of life.
The award memorializes long-time Aplington-Parkersburg teacher and football coach Ed Thomas who was tragically killed in 2009. Thomas had coached more than three decades of Aplington-Parkersburg Falcon football and won two state titles and 292 games. He is credited with having coached four current NFL players, the most per capita of any high school in the nation. He was also instrumental in rallying the town of Parkersburg into rebuilding its football field after a devastating 2008 tornado.
Thomas stressed character above all else to his athletes and students and prioritized the three main areas of his life as faith, family and football. In fact, he was quoted as saying, “If all I have taught you is how to block and tackle, then I have failed you as a coach.”
Snyder, a senior with a 4.0 GPA, directed West Lyon to a 14-0 state championship campaign as a quarterback, safety and kicker. He will be a preferred walk-on for the University of Iowa football team while double majoring in education and biology. He is the son of Tim and Sheri Snyder of Larchwood.
Throughout his high school career he has participated in football, basketball, golf, baseball and track. He is president of his school’s National Honor Society chapter and serves on the student council. He has also spent time mentoring elementary students and coaching youth golf and flag football and is active in his church through youth group and as a Kid’s Club mentor.
Other candidates for the 2013 award were John Swisher, Dowling Catholic; Trent Solsma, Bishop Heelan; Cole Neary, Kuemper Catholic; Riley Dixon, Iowa City Regina; and Jake Hogan, Don Bosco. These five players, along with Snyder, were nominated by virtue of being captains of their respective classes through INA All-State football team selection voting. Nominees completed an application and took part in a face-to-face interview with members of the Iowa Newspaper Association’s All-State Committee.
Members of the INA’s All-State Committee met to select the award winner. Those on the selection committee were: Adam Wilson, Des Moines Register; Dan Voigt, Emmetsburg Democrat; John Jensen, Grundy Center Register; Scott Spurgeon, Bloomfield Democrat; Lori Wiser, Ocheyedan Press-Melvin News; and Perry Bell, Pella Chronicle. Aaron Thomas and Todd Thomas, Ed Thomas’s sons, also served on the selection committee.
The Iowa Newspaper Association is a group of the 300 daily and weekly newspapers across the state, working together to make a positive difference and improve the quality of life in Iowa. Through the INA’s All-State program, Iowa sports writers annually choose the state’s best high school athletes to be members of the elite INA All-State teams in football, girls basketball, boys basketball and baseball.
2010 - Connor Bravard, Dowling Catholic
2011 - John Sievert, St. Ansgar High School
2012 - Andrew Wellik, Emmetsburg
For additional information on the INA All-State program, click here.