By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Alec Bevis (men’s soccer) and Whitney Randall (women’s basketball) of Fort Hays State University were selected as finalists for the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association’s Ken B. Jones Award, presented by Summit Pointe Financial Group, announced Tuesday (May 24) by the league office. The annual award recognizes the conference’s male and female student-athletes of the year.
The Ken B. Jones Award has seen a two-year absence since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the format for this honor. In 2019-20, the conference instead recognized both a male and female fall student-athlete of the year and winter student-athlete of the year. The spring season that year was cut short due to the pandemic and spring student-athletes did not have an opportunity to build a resume of accomplishments for the annual Ken B. Jones Award. In 2020-21, fall student-athletes did not have an opportunity to compete, so the conference honored winter and spring student-athletes of the year. This will be the first time since 2018-19 that the format returns to an award given to just one male and female student-athlete for all seasons. Randall was the MIAA Women’s Winter Student-Athlete of the Year in 2020-21.
The winners will be announced at the 2021-22 MIAA Awards Celebration presented by Husch Blackwell on Monday, June 6 at the Little Theatre inside historic Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City. Fort Hays State is one of two schools with two finalists this year, with Nebraska-Kearney also sending a pair of athletes to the Awards Celebration.
Fort Hays State has now had 15 Ken B. Jones Award finalists since joining the MIAA in 2006-07. Three Tigers have earned the conference’s top honor, including Ryan Stanley (2020-21 spring), Randall (2020-21 winter) and Kate Lehman (2014-15). FHSU has had at least one finalist every year since 2014-15.
A 13-member panel of athletics directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors – including a representative from each member institution – select the finalists. Each nominee is judged in three areas, including 2021-22 athletic accomplishments, career academic accomplishments, and 2021-22 campus/community service.
Bevis, native of Wichita, Kan., joins four other men’s finalists, which includes Kizan David (LU, track & field), Jace McDown (ESU, football), Blake Freeman (NSU, baseball) and Matt Malcom (UNK, wrestling).
Bevis concluded a highly decorated soccer career in 2021, helping Fort Hays State to the national quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. It was the ninth-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the FHSU men, which is the longest active streak in the nation in NCAA Division II. Bevis was a huge part of FHSU sustaining their success in 2021 as the GAC/MIAA Defender of the Year, an All-America Third Team selection by the D2CCA, and a CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team selection. He was one of only 15 men’s soccer student-athletes in NCAA Division II named to the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America Team.
Bevis was one of the top players in the conference and region throughout his career as a Tiger. He was a three-time All-GAC/MIAA selection, a two-time D2CCA and United Soccer Coaches All-Region selection, and a two-time All-GAC/MIAA Tournament selection. He was the GAC/MIAA Freshman of the Year in 2019. He helped the Tigers to a record of 32-14-5 during his time on the field.
Bevis was a member of the FHSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for much of his career as a Tiger, helping organize and execute multiple events including Tiger Field Day. He volunteered at the Hays Night to Shine, a prom-like event for individuals with mental/physical disabilities. He also participated in the FHSU SGA Big Event, a day of service projects around Hays, by cleaning up city parks. Finally, Bevis served as a peer mentor within the FHSU Honors College and was on the Honors Society Development Committee.
Randall, an Alva, Okla. native, is one of five women’s finalists alongside Ashlan Burton (UCM, track & field), Taryn Kedzior (UCO, soccer), Faith Rottinghaus (WU, volleyball) and Maddie Squiers (UNK, volleyball).
The three-year starter earned third-team All-MIAA honors in 2021-22, her second-straight all-conference honor after picking up first-team status the previous season. Randall was the 2022 MIAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player after leading the Tigers to the championship by averaging 15 points per game in Kansas City.
She helped the Tigers to their third regular season MIAA title while leading the team to the top seed in the NCAA DII Central Regional for the third time over the last four seasons. After helping the team to 30 wins this season, Randall has now been on two of the four 30-win teams in program history. She averaged 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game in her final season as a Tiger while wrapping up her career ranked ninth on the all-time scoring list with 1,396 points.
Randall also earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors for the second year in a row in 2021-22, picking up second team status after being named to the third team in 2020-21. She maintained a perfect 4.00 GPA throughout her five years at Fort Hays State, graduating with a degree in Health and Human Performance in December 2021 before starting a graduate program in sports administration this spring.
Off the court, Randall has volunteered at numerous educational events for local elementary students. She served as a camp counselor at Fall Creek Christian Camp in Oklahoma, volunteered at a weekend retreat with her home church of First Baptist of Alva and has traveled to three international mission trips in the Dominican Republic, Canada and Haiti.
2021-22 Ken B. Jones Award Female Finalists
Ashlan Burton – Track & Field – Central Missouri
Taryn Kedzior – Soccer – Central Oklahoma
Whitney Randall – Basketball – Fort Hays State
Faith Rottinghaus – Volleyball – Washburn
Maddie Squiers – Volleyball – Nebraska Kearney
2021-22 Ken B. Jones Award Male Finalists
Alex Bevis – Soccer – Fort Hays State
Kizan David – Track & Field – Lincoln
Jace McDown – Football – Emporia State
Blake Freeman – Baseball – Northeastern State
Matt Malcom – Wrestling – Nebraska Kearney
Fort Hays State Nominees for Ken B. Jones Award
2021-22 – Whitney Randall (Basketball), Alec Bevis (Soccer)
2020-21 Spring – Mattie Rossi (Track & Field), *Ryan Stanley (Track & Field)*
2020-21 Winter – *Whitney Randall (Basketball)*, Jared Vitztum (Basketball)
2019-20 Winter – Kacey Kennett (Basketball), Brandon Ball (Wrestling)
2019-20 Fall – Darby Hirsch (Soccer), Moritz Walther (Soccer)
2018-19 – Tatyana Legette (Basketball), Brandon Ball (Wrestling)
2017-18 – Kelly Wycoff (Track & Field), Doyin Jibowu (Football)
2016-17 – Crystal Whitten (Volleyball), Jon Inman (Wrestling)
2015-16 – Beth Bohuslavsky (Basketball), Jon Inman (Wrestling)
2014-15 – Kate Lehman (Basketball), Jesse Trent (Football)
2013-14 – Katelyn Edwards (Basketball), Carson Konrade (Basketball)
2012-13 – Maddie Holub (Softball), Alex Hendee (Cross Country/Track & Field)
2011-12 – Crista Bechard (Basketball), Alex Whitehill (Football)
2010-11 – Darcie Schmitz (Track & Field), Alex Whitehill (Football)
2009-10 – Darcie Schmitz (Track & Field)
2008-09 – Hallie McMillen (Softball), Eric Gilliland (Baseball)
Bold indicates Award winner
Italics indicates Award finalist
NOTE: there were no awards in the Spring of 2020 and Fall of 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic