As an all-state center for Henry Clay's football team, Sullivan "Sully" Simpson graded out at 90 percent or better on his blocking assignments three years in a row.
Simpson was even more accomplished in the classroom. A 4.0 student, he will graduate from Henry Clay next week having made all A's through high school.
Simpson's athletic and academic achievements won him Henry Clay's Mr. Blue Devil Award from the school's coaches, and the Faculty Cup from the teachers.
It was no surprise that Simpson also earned the Lexington Rotary Club's 30th annual Tommy Bell Award, which goes to Lexington's outstanding high school student-athlete.
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Simpson was honored at the Rotary Club's luncheon on Thursday. "I know it's a big honor," Simpson said this week. "It took a lot of hard work and a lot of great people behind me.
"I couldn't have done it without all the great teachers and coaches and my family, my dad and mom especially."
Simpson, a 6-foot-3, 280-pounder who will be a football walk-on at the University of Kentucky, played for his father, Sam Simpson, at Henry Clay.
"People ask me if it was hard playing for my dad. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I loved the way he pushed me. It was a special time the last four years."
Simpson grew up in Henry Clay's football program. He was on the sidelines with his mom, Sheri, before he was a toddler. He went on to be a water boy and ball boy, and watched in awe as his older brothers Salin and Samuel played for the Blue Devils.
"He's been part of Henry Clay his whole life," Sam Simpson said, "so it's meant the world to him."
Sam Simpson said he's proud of his son's "rare and unique ability to maintain focus on his academics" while also excelling at athletics.
"I give his teachers a lot of credit. They saw a spark in him and challenged him. It's a great feeling for a teacher when a student has that passion and desire to learn."
Simpson is the 10th Henry Clay student-athlete to win the Tommy Bell Award.