May 14, 2020 2:42 AM

MWSU's Rouse, Tauchen named finalists for MIAA Fall Student-Athlete of the Year

Posted May 14, 2020 2:42 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two Missouri Western student-athletes were named finalists for MIAA Fall Student-Athlete of the Year awards as announced by the association on Wednesday.

Griffon football's Shawn Rouse was one of five finalists for the MIAA Fall Male Student-Athlete of the Year while Griffon volleyball's Ali Tauchen was one of five finalists for the female award. The awards are the association's highest honor in 2019-20 for student-athletes in their respective seasons.

Missouri Western joined Pittsburg State as the only two MIAA members to have both female and male finalists for the fall season. The winners of the Fall Student-Athlete of the Year award will be announced on Thursday, May 21. Winners of the Winter Student-Athlete of the Year award will be announced on Friday, May 22.

The 2019-2020 Student-Athlete of the Year awards are given in lieu of the annual Ken B. Jones award due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The MIAA's COVID-19 Task Force recommended an award that properly recognizes the top student-athletes from the fall and winter but not limit the spring sport student-athletes who were unable to finish their seasons and collect accolades for a fair and competitive resume.

A 15-member committee comprised of one administrator from each MIAA institution and the conference office ranked each candidate based on excellence in three categories: Athletic Achievement in that academic year, Career Academic Achievements, and Community/Campus Service during the Academic Year. A nominee must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average through the previous full semester term through February 1 of the academic year of nomination at the certifying member institution.

2019 Female Fall Student-Athlete of the Year Finalists
Allysa Gann - Central Missouri, Soccer
Dominique Lipari - Central Oklahoma, Volleyball
Ali Tauchen - Missouri Western, Volleyball
Julianne Jackson - Nebraska Kearney, Volleyball
Piper Misse - Pittsburg State, Cross Country

2019 Male Fall Student-Athlete of the Year Finalists
Jace McDown - Emporia State, Football
Mortiz Walther - Fort Hays State, Soccer
Shawn Rouse - Missouri Western, Football
Ryan Dodd - Pittsburg State, Football
Kyle Hinton - Washburn, Football

2019 Female Winter Student-Athlete of the Year Finalists
Morgan Fleming - Central Missouri, Basketball
Kacey Kennett - Fort Hays State, Basketball
Elena Bisotto - Missouri Southern, Indoor Track & Field
Tiara Schmidt - Nebraska Kearney, Indoor Track & Field
Haven Lander - Pittsburg State, Indoor Track & Field

2019 Male Winter Student-Athlete of the Year Finalists
Brandon Ball - Fort Hays State, Wrestling
Kizan David - Lincoln, Indoor Track & Field
Cam Martin - Missouri Southern, Basketball
Matt Malcom - Nebraska Kearney, Wrestling
Levi Wyrick - Pittsburg State, Wrestling

--- MWSU Athletics ---

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May 14, 2020 2:42 AM
Sunflower Chapter of National Football Foundation renamed  in honor of Bill Snyder

Leader. Educator. Coach.

The impact Bill Snyder has had on the game of football and the student-athletes who participate in it has been considerable and commendable. And, in recognition of those contributions, the Kansas state chapter of the National Football Foundation (NFF) has been renamed the Coach Bill Snyder Family/ Sunflower Chapter.

“Throughout his life, Coach Snyder has developed winners on and off the field,” long-time Chapter President Gerry McGuire said. “The chapter board of directors strongly believes naming the chapter in his honor is a collective ‘thank you’ on behalf of all those associated with the game; and it provides a platform to communicate his important message to our youth.”

Snyder has been integrally involved in chapter activities from its ince​ption, McGuire said. That includes serving as a banquet speaker, providing guidance to the chapter, and helping to garner resources to support chapter activities.

“It is truly a fitting tribute to Bill Snyder’s Hall of Fame legacy to have his name on the NFF Chapter in Kansas,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “A dedicated and tireless worker, Coach Snyder made a huge impact at all levels of the game, and he cared and built one of the college football’s premier programs from scratch and the bottom up. It’s great that his name and accomplishments are now forever connected to the chapter, which will inspire future coaches and players to follow in his footsteps of excellence for years to come.”

Snyder, who spent a portion of his childhood in Salina, turned around a struggling Kansas State football program, leading it to 19 bowl games during his tenure from 1989-2005; 2009-18. He had a 215-117-1 career record with conferen​ce titles in 2003 and 2012. The football stadium at Kansas State is named in his honor (Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium) and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

“I am honored to have my family’s name associated with the Kansas chapter of the National Football Foundation,” Snyder said. “The game of football provides a wonderful vehicle to develop life skills for our youth. I look forward to helping to serve the NFF’s mission to the benefit of others. The state of Kansas and its people have a special place in my heart.”

Each year, a limited number of Kansas high school seniors are selected as NFF Scholars and recognized at a banquet. One of the recipients is honored with a scholarship, while additional awards are presented to high school coaches, officials and special contributors. More than 300 high school football players from the state of Kansas have been honored by the chapter since its inception in 1991. ​ The Chapter Board of Directors decided that​ this year’s banquet, which was to be the 27th since the chapter was formed, will not be conducted due to social distancing guidelines presented by the State of Kansas. McGuire said the honorees would be announced in the upcoming weeks. About the National Football Foundation Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, the National Football Foundation (NFF) is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people.

About the NFF Chapter Network The NFF Chapter Network, spread across 120 outposts in 47 states, serves as the pulse of a nationwide effort to encourage leadership, sportsmanship and academic excellence among America’s young football players. The first meeting to discuss the formation of chapters was held by the Cincinnati Club in 1954, and today more than 12,000 passionate members carry on the legacy of the early pioneers, which is simply to ​Build Leaders Through Football ​ . Collectively, they host more than 300 events each year, reaching more than 500,000 football players at 5,000 high schools.

About the NFF Chapter Network The state of Kansas signed its NFF chapter charter in 1991 as the Jayhawk Chapter. It later transitioned to the Sunflower Chapter. It’s mission is to recognize outstanding high school seniors who excel on the gridiron, in the classroom and as leaders in their schools and communities. Dillon’s Food Stores, which maintains a large presence in the state of Kansas, sponsors the chapter awards program and banquet.

--- NFF Press Release ---