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Derby Player of the Month – Samuel Same – Presented by Madrocks Grill

By Joanna Chadwick

While most of the attention of football fans is on senior running back Dylan Edwards, who has made his verbal commitment to Notre Dame and the high-powered Derby offense, 6-foot-6 defensive end Samuel Same looks to spearhead another one of those ball-hawking, hard-nosed Panther defenses of the past. 

Despite losing in the 2021 Class 6A state championship game, the work started right away for Derby — as usual the Panthers have reloaded once again. 

Same, the 12th ranked player in Kansas, a three-star recruit on rivals.com and an Iowa State commit, said he doesn’t play for rankings, only for rings. 

“I have never really worried about rankings and stars anyway, so now that I am committed, all that goes out of the window anyway,” Same said. “Especially once you reach college and you get to tap into a whole other level of development and growth.” 

After his commitment to Iowa State, the future Cyclone had his mind perfectly clear and set his last goal on winning state again. 

“I just want to win state and have a memorable time doing so. I am excited to be able to take the field with my high school teammates one last time and we hope to end on a great note,” Same said. 

The Panthers have all the tools to do so, but what makes them so special is their work off the field. 

Being involved in the community has been a staple for the Panthers and has been one of the many things that propel deep title runs. The team gives to the community and in return, they give their all to them on Friday nights. 

Same knows how much the town of Derby rides with the Panthers, so every week the team goes out and embodies their love. 

It is deeper than the community love, though. Same plays for his family and the sacrifices that they have made for him to be successful in America. 

Same, who was born in France, has dealt with trials and tribulations but prides himself on the tough times of the past. 

“On Fridays my main motivation is my family,” he said. “They have sacrificed a lot for me to get to this position, so when I get to go out and perform, I want to do my very best to be great for myself and them.”

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