SAAC Hosts Powercat Choice Awards

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MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State celebrated another outstanding athletics year on Wednesday night as student-athletes from each of the school's 16 varsity sports converged for the sixth annual Mark A. Chapman Powercat Choice Awards.

The ceremony resembles the ESPY Awards and includes all team and individual highlights from the past year both on the field and in the classroom.  All the performance-related awards were voted on by members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).  The voting was based on the accomplishments of sporting teams from Spring 2014 to Winter 2015.

Top team honors on the night went to the 2014 football team and women's track and field squad. The football team won nine games and played in the Valero Alamo Bowl, while the women's track and field squad finished second at this year's Big 12 Indoor Championships and was ranked among the nation's Top 10 for a majority of the season.

Curry Sexton's one-handed touchdown grab against Texas Tech won Showstopping Moment of the Year honors, while head coach Cliff Rovelto of track and field won Coach of the Year honors from the student-athletes.

Women's golf captured the Wildcat Cup on the night for its excellence in the five core areas of student-athlete well-being: academics, athletics, career, personal and service.

Tyler Lockett (football) took Male Athlete of the Year honors for the second straight year following a season that saw him earn Consensus All-America honors and become K-State's all-time leading wide receiver. Lockett was selected by Seattle in the third round of last week's NFL Draft, extending the Wildcats' current draft streak to a Big 12-leading 22 straight years. Akela Jones of track and field won Female Athlete of the Year after winning the Big 12 Indoor long jump title and also nabbing multiple All-America honors.

Sexton, a second team Academic All-America selection, was crowned Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, while Meggie Murray of women's rowing, a CRCA Scholar-Athlete Award recipient, took home top female scholar honors. Tia' Gamble (track and field) was named Best Female Athlete in a Supporting Role, while Sexton (football) took honors as the Top Male Athlete in a Supporting Role.

In addition, Matthew McCrane (football) and A'Keyla Mitchell (women's track and field) were named the male and female Newcomers of the Year.

The recipient of the Most Inspirational Award was Will Geary of the football team, while B.J. Finney of the football team earned the Purple Pride Award, which is given to the student-athlete who demonstrates the most school spirit.  

Joslyn Barnes (track and field) and Cody Whitehair (football) were this year's recipients of the Bob and Lila Snell Award of Excellence and Effort, recognizing the outstanding male and female student-athletes who improved their academic standing through sustained effort and commitment to learning.

Chris Campbell (track and field) was honored with the Gina Sylvester Memorial Award.  The award recognizes an arts and sciences student who has progressed toward graduation and used the advising system to overcome challenges.

Morgan Burns (football) was the recipient of the Veryl and Fern Switzer Campus Leadership Award.  The award recognizes a student-athlete who is involved in student organizations and multicultural affairs, demonstrates leadership on a team and on campus, and is active in community service. Dillon Wilson (football) and Kali Retzler (equestrian) were also honored with the Outstanding Service to the Community awards.

Two student-athletes were awarded the Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes a senior letterwinner with the highest cumulative grade-point average in undergraduate work, as Erika Schiller (track and field) and Beth DeMars (rowing) both were honored.

The athletics department has had another outstanding academic year in 2014-15. A total of five student-athletes were Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award winners, while 269 were named to the Fall 2014 Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll, the most since 2008.

2014-15 Mark A. Chapman Powercat Choice Awards

Athletic Award Winners
Male Newcomer of the Year -- Matthew McCrane, football
Female Newcomer of the Year -- A'Keyla Mitchell, track and field
Best Supporting Male Athlete of the Year -- Curry Sexton, football
Best Supporting Female Athlete of the Year -- Tia' Gamble, track and field
Purple Pride Award -- B.J. Finney, football
Most Inspirational Award -- Will Geary, football
Outstanding Service to the Community -- Dillon Wilson, football
Outstanding Service to the Community -- Kali Retzler, equestrian
Men's Team of the Year - Football
Women's Team of the Year --Track and Field
Coach of the Year -- Cliff Rovelto, track and field
Showstopping Moment of the Year -- Curry Sexton's one-handed TD catch
Female Athlete of the Year -- Akela Jones, track and field
Male Athlete of the Year -- Tyler Lockett, football
Academic Award Winners
Scholastic Achievement Award -- Erika Schiller (track and field); Beth DeMars (rowing)
Bob & Lila Snell Academic Award for Excellence & Effort -- Joslyn Barnes (track and field)
Bob & Lila Snell Academic Award for Excellence & Effort -- Cody Whitehair (football)
Gina Sylvester Memorial Award -- Chris Campbell (track and field)
Veryl & Fern Switzer Campus Leadership Award -- Morgan Burns (football)
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year -- Curry Sexton (football)
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year --  Meggie Murray (rowing)
Wildcat Cup Trophy Winner
Women's Golf