May 1, 2012
This feature appeared in the Tuesday edition of the K-State Sports Extra
By Mark Janssen
The final days of the 2011-12 Kansas State academic/athletic year have arrived with the athletic department’s Student Advisory Athletic Council hard at work putting the final touches on the year.
Yesterday, that meant the hosting of the Career Cat Development Luncheon that took place in the east-side suites of Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
“We encouraged all of our juniors and seniors to attend who had gone through our workshops during the school year,” said Kristin Waller, K-State’s life skills coordinator. “Our students have had the opportunity to go through workshops in resume building, dining etiquette, what not to wear and how to dress for success, and going through mock interview questions.”
Monday, K-State invited employers from a variety of business areas that were matched with student-athletes in different majors.
“After our luncheon, our student-athletes had the opportunity for 1-on-1 interviews,” said Waller. “They could ask employers how, and why, they went into a particular business, and have those same employers asked questions and interviewed our student-athletes that could lead to jobs next year, or the year after that.”
Waller indicated that 49 business men and women from throughout Kansas were included in the program.
“It’s been interesting because last year we had more interest in business, marketing and accounting, while this year the popular areas were pre-vet and criminology,” said Waller.
The program was started by football coach Bill Snyder in the early-1990s and has been continued through K-State’s life skills program.
POWERCAT CHOICE AWARDS: The 3rd Annual Powercat Choice Awards will take place on Thursday in Bramlage Coliseum. The program is designed to recognize the top student-athletes from the 2011 spring season and 2012 fall and winter seasons.
“This is all about recognizing achievement in the classroom and in athletic competition, but also includes community service,” said Waller. “In the past it was only about academics, but when (athletics director) John Currie got here he wanted athletic achievement to be included, which makes for a bigger and more exciting evening.”
In the past, only members of SAAC voted on the 12 awards that range from top newcomers, best supporting athletes, most inspirational, top showstopping moment, coach of the year, athletes of the year and teams of the year.
“Last year, we opened the voting to all of our student-athletes and about half of them took part,” said Waller. “We’ll be doing the same thing this year.”
It’s an evening where student-athletes will dress up in suits and sun dresses and arrive to Purple Carpet treatment.
While your vote may not count, what would your ballot look like?
MALE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Jared King, baseball; Tyler Lockett, football; Kyle Wait, pole vault.
FEMALE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Tasha Dickey, basketball; Kuulei Kaballis, volleyball; Petra Niedermayerova, tennis
BEST SUPPORTING MALE ATHLETE: James Allen, baseball; Cory Boulanger, track and field; Brian Hertzog, football
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE ATHLETE: JuliAnne Chisholm, basketball; Ashley Kelican, volleyball; Sydney Messick, cross country
PURPLE PRIDE: Victory Ojeleye, basketball; Whitney Pyle, golf; Hanna Wiltfong, rowing
SHOWSTOPPING MOMENT OF THE YEAR: Equestrian wins over O-State; football tops Texas A&M in four overtimes; volleyball wins over No. 2 Nebraska in NCAA Tournament
MOST INSPIRATIONAL WILDCAT: Brandy Brown, basketball; Jacquelyn Leffler, track; Kathleen Ludwig, volleyball
MEN’S TEAM OF THE YEAR: Men’s basketball; football; track and field
WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE YEAR: Equestrian; tennis; volleyball
COACH OF THE YEAR: Bill Snyder, football; Suzie Fritz, volleyball; Cliff Rovelto, track and field
MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Collin Klein, football; Erik Kynard, track and field; Rodney McGruder, basketball
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Jalana Childs, basketball; Ryann Krais, track and field; Kaitlynn Pelger, volleyball
SPECIAL DAY FOR SPECIAL OLYMPIANS: Earlier this month, K-State staged its annual day for Special Olympians that attracted 110 boys and girls/men and women from Wichita, to McPherson, to Junction City, to Frankfort, to Topeka, to Manhattan.
“I think it’s the most we ever had,” said Waller. “They went through 10 different sports stations with our athletes and just had a wonderful time.”
Tutored by Wildcat athletes, the Olympians learned how to putt and chip from the golf teams, run through an obstacle course with the rowers, spike a ball over a net with the volleyball team and worked on passing and dribbling with basketball.
“Football was fun to watch because our guys would get them in a three-point stance, hike the ball, jump over a barrio and tackle a dummy that had a football on top of it,” said Waller. “They’d jump on the ball like they were recovering a fumble and then run it into the endzone and do a touchdown dance. It was funny to watch our guys demonstrate how it should be done.”
WRAPPING UP THE YEAR: The final SAAC sponsored event this year will be the annual tailgate beyond the left field fence of Tointon Family Stadium.
That will take place Friday prior to the start of K-State’s three-game series with Nebraska-Omaha.
“It’s just a low-maintenance wrap-up for everyone to get together for a final time before finals to see friends and have a good time,” said Waller.