Pitt State junior Levi Wyrick was selected for the Ken B. Award which names him the Male Student-Athlete of the Year on Monday, June 3 at the MIAA Awards Celebration. The football player and track and field competitor juggles sports as well as keeping up with his schoolwork. Wyrick is a physical education major and has a 4.0 GPA.
At the celebration, Wyrick said he took notice of all the other accomplished athletes all around him.
“… It is a pretty big honor because when I went down there… to Kansas City, I went downstairs and realized how big of an honor it is because you have all of the hall of fame (athletes) sitting beside you and just really great athletes beside you,” Wyrick said. “You realize how big of an accomplishment it is when you are there. So that was the coolest part about the whole thing I think.”
Participating in two demanding sports and maintaining a 4.0 GPA is hard, but Wyrick has succeeded.
“Sometimes you have to get up a little bit earlier than you and get to bed a lot later than you want,” Wyrick said. “(There are) a lot of long days in the semester especially in the spring because you have football in the mornings and track in the afternoons and then you have to do school work so just trying to time manage that out… That is the secret formula, I guess, is just making sure it gets done and time management…”
Wyrick said he was honored to have been selected for the award but was surprised that he had been selected.
“I was pretty surprised (when I found out I won),” Wyrick said. “I thought one of the guys beside me was going to win actually because he is very smart and he has a lot of cool things he had done too so when they announced my name I was really, really surprised actually.”
Track and field coach Russ Jewett said he is proud of Wyrick for all of his accomplishments as an athlete.
“Well, it is an awfully prestigious award,” Jewett said. “It honors an outstanding student (and an) outstanding athlete… But there is a third aspect in terms of service… Who else could represent (our) school better than Levi Wyrick? Nobody could… To see that the rest of the conference voted for him, more so than anyone else, that is really an honor to work with a guy like that. A lot of credit goes to, athletically especially, Coach Brian Mantooth who has done a wonderful job helping Levi Wyrick balancing football and track… But we are just awfully proud of Levi. (He is an) Elite 90 Award winner, which is really cool, and now this the prestigious Ken B. Jones Award. It just makes you look good as a coach and your program look good so (we are) really proud of Levi and all the distinction (that) he brings to Pitt State.”