Leo’s disappointing football record (3-6, 21-1) did not diminish opposing coaches’ opinion of Tobias Sample—they recognized the versatile senior as winner of the Lawless Award as Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Red Division Player of the Year.
Sample was truly an all-purpose performer for the Lions, seeing action at running back, quarterback and defensive back. He emerged as one of the most dangerous kick returners in the entire conference, and even handled his team’s kickoff duties.
If the Lawless Award is intended to recognize the division’s best player, Sample has the bona fides: He gained more than 700 yards on 113 carries as a running back, scoring four touchdowns. He threw two touchdown passes and caught one and brought two kickoffs and two punts back for scores, adding two two-point conversions.
As a defensive back, there were at least four occasions when he ran down an opponent from behind and tackled him short of the goal line when the ball carrier appeared to have clear sailing to a touchdown.
An honor student and a member of the National Honor Society, Tobias ranks within the top five of the senior class academically and should have ample opportunity to continue his athletic career in college. He qualified for four events in the state track meet as a junior—two sprints and two sprint relays—and hopes to compete in football and track in college.
“Tobias is the embodiment of a true student-athlete,” Leo President Dan McGrath said. “The Lawless Award is well-earned recognition. We’re very proud of him.”
Senior lineman Dorion Owens, senior linebacker Jordan Anderson, junior linebacker Trenton Guilford, junior running back Jalen Johnson, sophomore wide receiver Rayion Davidson and sophomore quarterback James E’Akels joined Tobias on the All-Red Division first team.
Quarterback Aamir Holmes, son of Leo Coach Michael Holmes, was Leo’s last Lawless Award winner for football, in 2016. Guard Fred Cleveland won a basketball Lawless in 2018.