Chambers named Dylan Meier Player of the Year

Photos in artwork courtesy of Katie Dougherty
By: Mark Schremmer for Kpreps.com
Mar 28, 2014

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Shawnee Mission West offensive lineman Austin Chambers has been selected as the recipient of the third annual Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Player of the Year Award, the GBL Foundation and Kpreps.com announced.

The annual award, named in honor of the former standout quarterback at Kansas State University and Pittsburg High School who died in a hiking accident in April 2010 at the age of 26, goes to a Kansas high school senior who combines excellence on the football field with community involvement, integrity and a commitment to the Get Busy Livin’ principles. Previous winners were Madison’s Kole Schankie and Lawrence High School’s Brad Strauss.
 
Dylan’s younger brother, Kerry Meier, will present the award to Chambers during an assembly at Shawnee Mission West High School on April 11. Kerry Meier was a standout quarterback at Pittsburg High School and went on to play wide receiver for the Kansas Jayhawks and the Atlanta Falcons.
 
In addition to the award, the GBL is planning its fourth annual Dylan Meier 5-kilometer run in Pittsburg, Kan. The run and one-mile walk will be Saturday, April 26 at Hutchinson Field in Pittsburg. For more information, go to getbusylivin.org.
 
The annual award is made possible by Mytown Media and Kpreps.com. As part of the award, Mytown Media will make a donation of $1,000 on behalf of Chambers to the Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Foundation. The GBL also will honor Chambers by providing an $800 scholarship, as well as a $200 donation to the charity of his choice in the GBL spirit of “paying it forward.”
 
Chambers, a Brigham Young University commit, was a team captain for the Vikings as a junior and senior. He is a two-time All-State honoree and a two-time all-conference selection. Chambers helped Shawnee Mission West to a 12-1 record and a Class 6A state championship in 2012.
 
“Austin is a guy who exudes the qualities of Dylan,” Kerry Meier said. “He desires to reach into the depths of people, understands the importance of challenges and working hard to overcome them and has a passion for enjoying the true subtleties of life. The Get Busy Livin’ Foundation is proud to find people like Austin and reward him for his accomplishments, on and off the field.”
 
Chambers will be delaying his college career at BYU for two years to fulfill his mission trip. Chambers has been an Eagle Scout, a student body and student council officer and a church youth group leader. He has been a volunteer for Just Say No, City of Lenexa Clean-up, Harvesters, City Union Mission, Little Viking football and basketball and Operation Breakthrough.
 
“Athletic honors are important to me, but being recognized as a great person like Dylan makes this very special,” Chambers said. “How I live off the field is something I take very seriously … I try to help the people around me and live by Dylan’s model.”
 
A number of players from each classification were originally selected as candidates based on exception on-field performance. Fan nominations also were gathered through Kpreps.com. Coaches were then solicited for information about the players’ character, school performance, community involvement and hobbies.
 
From those submissions, the GBL Foundation narrowed the group to six finalists. Each of the finalists’ answered a series of questions. From the questions, the Meier family and the GBL Foundation board selected Chambers as the winner.
 
Other finalists included Derby linebacker Jose Delgado, Bishop Miege linebacker Brad Ivey, Silver Lake quarterback Dailin Kruger, Hiawatha defensive lineman Peyton Newell and Leavenworth running back Jason Randall.
 
The following is a quick summary of the finalists:
 
JOSE DELGADO – LB, Derby
The Butler Community College recruit received Top 11 honors from the state’s media and coaches. He also earned All-State, all-metro and all-conference accolades. He was Class 6A’s Defensive Player of the Year and the power lifter of the year. Delgado helped the Panthers to a 6A state championship in 2013. Off the field, Delgado has been involved in student council, peer reading, Special Olympics, Operation Holiday and his youth group.
 
BRAD IVEY – LB, Bishop Miege
The Southeast Missouri State commit started all four years for the Stags. Ivey earned Top 11 honors from The Topeka Capital-Journal and The Wichita Eagle his senior season and was a three-time All-State and all-league performer. He was the Eastern Kansas League’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Ivey recorded more than 120 tackles in each of the past three seasons to finish as the school’s all-time leading tackler. He has been an active member of the Campus Ministry Team. He also has been a coach at youth football camps and has been active in his parish and the Organized Team service project.
 
DAILIN KRUGER – QB, Silver Lake
The three-year starting quarterback led the Eagles to a Class 3A state championship in 2013. Kruger was a Top 11, All-State and all-league performer as a senior. He also has been an All-State outfielder for Silver Lake’s baseball team. Off the field, Kruger has been an active member of his church and its youth group. He helps with Sunday school, babysits for church families on Sunday evenings, helps with fundraisers for community members with cancer and assisted the youth football team. He’s been an officer in the FFA, a Powder Puff coach, and he went on a mission trip to Nicaragua this past summer.
 
PEYTON NEWELL – DL, Hiawatha
The University of Nebraska recruit earned Top 11, All-State and all-league honors. Newell broke school records for career tackles (257), career tackles for loss (105), career sacks (33), tackles for loss in a season (37), sacks in a season (12) and sacks in a game (4). Newell honors his mother’s passing by being a promoter and chief fundraiser for the Missy Newell Memorial Fund. The organization raises funds for breast cancer research and post-operative living for breast cancer survivors. He also is a volunteer for food collection and distribution in the area, and he helps with the local historical society.
 
JASON RANDALL – RB, Leavenworth
Randall has been an All-State and all-league performer for Leavenworth, rushing for 1,370 yards his senior season. He also was a team captain and earned the Mr. Football Award. He’s also participated in basketball, baseball and track and field. He was a state medalist in powerlifting.He has served as a coach for the Special Olympics, as well as for youth football. Randall has volunteered his time doing yardwork and household chores for spouses of deployed soldiers. He also took part in the team’s Hire A Player fundraiser, doing yard work and shoveling snow for elderly people in the community. He helped with an Easter Egg Hunt for soldiers and their families at Fort Leavenworth.
 
ABOUT DYLAN MEIER & THE GET BUSY LIVIN’ FOUNDATION
 
Dylan Meier, a 2002 graduate of Pittsburg High School, was a two-time All-State quarterback for the Purple Dragons. He continued his football career at Kansas State University and started 11 games from 2004-06 as the Wildcats’ signal caller.
 
On April 19, 2010, Meier died at the age of 26 in an accident while hiking with family in Arkansas.
 
In addition to his time in Kansas, Dylan played professional football in Germany and Italy, served as a bodyguard for Italian fashion models, worked in a vineyard overseas, ran with the bulls in Spain and went skydiving in the Alps. His next plans included coaching football in Europe, teaching English in Korea and possibly a return to Kansas State as a graduate assistant.
 
“He had a real zest for life,” Merle Clark, Dylan’s high school coach and family friend said days after the accident. “He lived a lot in his 26 years.”
 
That zest for life is the basis of the Get Busy Livin’ Foundation that was established in Dylan’s honor. The mission is to provide support for individuals and groups that embody the values that Dylan pursued: adventure, fitness, curiosity, generosity and a daily zest for life experiences.
 
The GBL Foundation is determined to break down the boundaries that keep people from living life to the fullest, whether those boundaries are social, economic or imaginary.
 
GBL uses donations to promote these values in the following ways: student/athletic scholarships, sport camp sponsorships, student travel abroad scholarships, community service needs and other activities that inspire and build character.
 
For more information, please visit http://getbusylivin.org.

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Austin Chambers, Get Busy Livin, GBL Player of the Year, Dylan Meier