Top Basehor athlete given academic honor
To Brandon Leppke, attention is a love-hate situation.
And the Basehor-Linwood High School senior has been receiving a lot of it during his final year in USD 458.
At this month’s Basehor-Linwood Board of Education meeting, high school principal Sherry Reeves announced to the board members that Leppke was the recipient of a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship Award. Because of his superior Preliminary SAT score, Leppke was one of several students across the country to be selected for the honor.
“We are so proud of Brandon,” Reeves said.
When Leppke was notified he had been chosen for the scholarship, he said he was happy, as well as taken aback.
“It felt pretty good,” Leppke said. “I found out sometime in the spring, and I was pretty surprised.”
In addition to his stellar academic performance, Leppke has been turning heads with his skills in the sports arena.
He rewrote the BLHS football record books during his four-year career as the varsity starting quarterback. As a senior, he guided the Bobcats to an 8-2 record, a Kaw Valley League championship, a district championship and a third straight Class 4A state playoff appearance. He also set school records with 1,632 yards rushing and 1,391 yards passing as a senior.
Those on-the-field feats earned Leppke a spot as one of four finalists for the Fontana Award, which goes to the top small-class player in the Kansas City metro area. He also was named to the All-State team by the Topeka Capital-Journal.
As an outsider, it may seem like Leppke has had his hands full trying to maintain a balance between schoolwork and athletics. But Leppke sees it differently.
“It’s just something I’ve been doing,” he said. “I just always made sure to do my homework after practice. It’s not that hard, just something you’ve got to do.”
As for spending time in the limelight, Leppke says numerous other students at Basehor-Linwood deserve to be there, too, sharing the credit.
“Especially with sports, it’s a team thing,” Leppke said. “It’s not just me out there, it’s everybody. We all work hard.”