Whitney Pyle, a senior at K-State this past year, and Nate Boyer, who graduated this May but still has a year of eligibility remaining at Texas were the recipients of this year’s Big 12 Sportspersons of the Year award.
In making the announcement, Big 12 officials said, “Pyle has been an active participant and leader in student and team-led service initiatives throughout her four-year career at K-State. This past academic year alone, she served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and was a member of the Adopt-A-Family subcommittee that was responsible for organizing and implementing SAAC’s project to fulfill the Christman wish list for 14 underprivileged individuals.
Pyle also helped raise close to $11,000 in donations and 5,000 pounds of food as part of the “Cats for Cans” service project.
Boyer, 29, walked on at Texas without ever having played organized football. He started as a defensive back, but through a lot of hard work worked his way up on the depth chart and eventually ended up as a long snapper on place kicks. He earned a Bronze Star as a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces in the Middle East and received the Armed Services Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America. Boyer also received the 2012 Disney Spirit Award at ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Awards Show last fall.
A California native, Boyer also is an excellent student ademically: He has a 4.0 grade average and is an All-Big 12 Academic First Team selection.
Boyer’s teammates affectionately refer to him by the nicknames “Army” and “America.” Among his most cherished duties during thye Texas football games is to carry the American flag onto the field before each home game.
The Sportsperson of the Year Awards were first presented in 2000-01. The awards annually honor the male and female student athletes who displayed an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship and/or community service during the academis year. The Big 12 Sportsperson Award winners also are eligible for the NCAA Sportsmanship Award.
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