Sullivan, Wilson Earn ASC Community Service Award
RICHARDSON, Texas – Dedication to service within their campus and local communities was recognized by the American Southwest Conference Directors of Athletics, who selected Reagan Sullivan and Brynn Wilson of McMurry as the 2020-21 Community Service Athlete of the Year recipients.
The ASC Community Service Award is presented for the 11th time this year. It honors a male and female student-athlete who best displays leadership and action in fostering community service on their campus and the local community. Each ASC member institution has the opportunity to nominate student-athletes to the conference-wide ballot.
Sullivan, a junior football player from Fort Worth, Texas, was the War Hawks’ team captain and a two-year starter at tight end. In addition, he helped the Salvation Army Kettlebell Drive, volunteered moving furniture, and helped the Abilene Youth Sports Association set up for their annual Youth Sports Convention. Sullivan also was selected as McMurry’s Coach Neel Lemond Heart of a War Hawk winner, as voted on by the school’s coaches and staff as someone who exemplifies servant leadership and spiritual qualities. He was also named to the ASC Outstanding Sportsman Team of the Year for football.
“Reagan Sullivan is everything you hope to see in a scholar-athlete, fully representing all that our football program, athletic department, and the ASC stands for,” said McMurry football coach Jordan Neal. “A natural servant-leader, a relentless worker, and a model citizen, Reagan is very deserving of this recognition, and the War Hawk Family is very proud of him.”
Wilson, a senior from Denton, Texas, completed 76 hours of community service this past season, including volunteering with the youth group at The Well, writing and mailing cards to struggling and grieving community members, and working at the Stick Horses and Capes clay shoot. Wilson also was selected as McMurry’s Coach Neel Lemond Heart of a War Hawk winner, as voted on by the school’s coaches and staff as someone who exemplifies servant leadership and spiritual qualities. In addition, she was the ASC volleyball West Division Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year.
“Her kind heart and caring demeanor radiate from her ever-present smile,” said McMurry volleyball coach Cammie Petree. “She is active in her church, in our McMurry and tri-college FCA huddles, and she served on the FCA college leadership team. Brynn loves to lead by serving other people and serving as the team’s mom.’ She offers encouragement however she can and never hesitates to reach out to help someone in need.
“We are so proud of Brynn and Reagan for receiving this important honor, but we are not surprised,” said McMurry Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Sam Ferguson. “They have both made a name for themselves on our campus for their servant leadership. They also play for coaches who are committed to our service core value. While serving our Developing Champions for Life mission, we strive for the importance of adding value to our community. Brynn and Reagan have proven time and time again that they were built for others. We’re excited to see them honored for their service to others.”
2020-21 ASC Community Service Award Nominees
Biographical information provided by each student-athlete sports information director
KJ KELLEY Football Jr. East Texas Baptist
KJ Kelley helped with three different items this year during the pandemic for East Texas Baptist. He volunteered as a mentor for Discipleship Now or D-Now on two separate weekends at churches in the area, helped with FCA on campus, the ETBU Football Team Community Service Clean Up at the Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center he also participated. Kelley was an All-ASC First Team selection this spring and made the D3football.com “Team of the Month” in February. He tied an ASC record for two interceptions for touchdowns against Belhaven and led the ASC in passes defended (7) and interceptions (3). Kelley is the nominee for ETBU for the ASC Football Distinguished Scholar-Athlete award and is a two-time Academic All-Conference selection. Kelley also helped with Operation Christmas Child on campus.
WILLIAM SERRANO Cross Country Gr. Sul Ross State
William Serrano graduated in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and is currently studying for a Master of Education to become a mathematics teacher. The 2021 Sul Ross Man of the Year has served the university and the local community through Sully Productions, cross country, band, Math Club with multiple terms served as president, Student Service Fees Committee, and Disciplinary Committee in addition to serving as an RA.
AMANDA ACUNA Soccer Jr. Sul Ross State
Amanda Acuna has a 4.0-grade point average, works full time at Government Employees Credit Union, and has logged 500+ hours of community service as a coach and volunteer for Sereno FC youth programs, summer volunteer assistant at Eastwood High School (presumably girls’ soccer). Acuna was majoring in Biology and was an All-ASC Honorable Mention.
NIKKI GIL Softball Sr. East Texas Baptist
Nikki Gil has been a servant-leader for ETBU since she stepped foot on campus. Even though the pandemic, she found ways to volunteer in the community and make people feel better. She was a pen pal as part of the softball program outreach. Another service project that Gil did during the pandemic was a service-learning internship volunteering at the Marshall Junior High School. She was allowed to go into the school to work with at-risk youth as a case manager assistant helping with 190 hours over the two semesters. Over her time at ETBU, she has poured herself into the community. Gil has helped with two Operation Christmas Child events and ETBU softball youth clinics. When it comes to helping with local charity runs, from 2017-19, she ran and helped with the Marshall, Texas Hero Run and then volunteered at the Austin, Texas Turkey Trot in 2019. As a counselor and conference volunteer at Shoreline Church Camp, Gil also helped Beyond The Shore in 2019 while being a youth leader in 2018. All four years at ETBU, she was an FCA member and leader and a volunteer at Trinity Episcopal Elementary school reading to children. Leading the softball team as their spiritual leader for 2019-20, she volunteered at the Salvation Army for two years. Gil was also an All-ASC Second Team selection.