Winners of the 2014-15 'Sports Extrys' | Part 1
The past 10 months have been filled with excitement for K-State Athletics. From new faces to new facilities, team victories to numerous individuals topping school record charts, it's been a year to remember.
I've been fortunate enough to have attended and written about each and every one of these moments, so the following 'Sports Extrys' list is my personal opinion of the 2014-15 best, but we encourage you to create your own and let us know who/what makes the cut on your "Best of 2014-15" list!
The Top Five Best Moments of 2014-15:
5. Groundbreaking of K-State Women's Soccer Competition/Football Practice Fields
On Saturday, May 10, K-State Athletics broke ground for the future home of K-State women's soccer. The new soccer fields, located just south of Tointon Family Stadium, are planned to be completed by the summer of 2016 before the K-State women's soccer team competes in its debut season that fall.
4. Lockett Drafted in Third Round by Seahawks
On May 1, K-State wide receiver Tyler Lockett was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Seahawks insisted on getting Lockett as they traded up 26 spots by surrendering fourth-, fifth- and sixth-round picks to the Washington Redskins.
3. Groundbreaking of the Vanier Football Complex
At halftime of K-State' Sunflower Showdown against Kansas on Nov. 29, K-State Athletics broke ground on the new Vanier Football Complex project at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The ceremonial turning of dirt featured President Kirk Schulz, Athletics Director John Currie and special guests to the program.
2. Tex Winter Drive Unveiled
On January 24, K-State honored legendary men's basketball head coach Tex Winter with the unveiling of Tex Winter Drive. Located just off Kimball Avenue at Gate 7, the location and visibility of the new sign is a location many will pass and see daily. Every time this generation of Wildcat basketball players drives to practice, they will be reminded of a coach who paved the way for them.
1. Bill Snyder Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame
The architect of the greatest turnaround in college football history, Bill Snyder was announced on January 10 as just the fourth person in the history of college football to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame while still an active coach.
Top Five Best Team Victories of 2014-15:
5. Women's Basketball Tops KU Three Times
The K-State women's basketball team defeated the Kansas Jayhawks not once... not twice... but three times during the 2014-15 season. The first was a 58-52 victory on January 11, in Bramlage Coliseum, then a 55-48 victory in Allen Fieldhouse on February 25, and finally in the first round of the 2015 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Dallas, Texas, with a 57-49 win on March 6.
4. Rowing Earns Gold Medal Sweep at SIRAs
K-State Women's Rowing put in an epic performance at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championship Regatta on April 19, racking up five gold medals and one bronze. Competing on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the Wildcats completed the women's collegiate gold medal sweep at the regatta for the first time in program history.
3. Men's Basketball Upsets KU
Before an excited, energetic crowd in Bramlage Coliseum, K-State upset then-No. 8 Kansas, 70-63, in one of their best performances of the 2014-15 season. It marked the first time in more than 30 years K-State defeated KU in back-to-back home games as the Wildcats also topped Kansas at home during the 2013-14 season.
2. Baseball Wins Series, Upsets No. 3 TCU
The K-State baseball team completed a series win against No. 3 TCU by defeating the Horned Frogs, 6-2, in the finale on April 12, in Tointon Family Stadium. The series triumph was the Wildcats' first against a top-five team since 2009 when they won two of three at No. 2 Texas.
1. Football Holds Off No. 11 Oklahoma in Norman
Despite being out-gained by nearly 150 total yards, No. 14 Kansas State took advantage of several mistakes by No. 11 Oklahoma to pull off a nail-biting, 31-30, victory on October 18, before a sold-out crowd at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The win gave the Wildcats back-to-back wins in Norman for the first time since 1994 and 1997.
Rookie of the Year:
Women: A'Keyla Mitchell, track and field
Mitchell, a freshman sprinter from West Oso High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, has broken four school records in her first year with the Wildcats and earned All-America status earlier this year at the NCAA Indoor Championships. In just a short amount of time, this 19-year-old has already become one of the greatest track and field runners in K-State history. She has broken K-State's 60-meter, 200-meter, 100-meter and 4x400 records and is currently representing K-State this weekend at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin, Texas.
Men: Matt McCrane, football
In his redshirt freshman year with the Wildcats, McCrane, a native of Brownwood, Texas, turned heads nationally as he went 18-of-19 in field goals to lead the nation in field-goal percentage at 94.7-percent. He also went 41-of-42 in extra points to give him 95 total points in 2014, the most by a Wildcat freshman in school history as he broke K-State legend Martin Gramatica's record of 66 points. For his poise on the field, McCrane not only earned Freshman All-America honors from USA Today, Sports Illustrated and Phil Steele, SI also named him an Honorable Mention All-American.
K-State's Matthew McCrane kicks a field goal against UCLA during the Valero Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on January 2, 2015. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
Stay tuned for tomorrow's K-State Sports Extra as the 'Sports Extrys' winners of the Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and Male and Female Athletes of the Year will be unveiled!