This past season, Will Schneider set the Kansas high school record for career passing yards. Now, the Shawnee Mission North quarterback has another accolade he can add to his already impressive resume.
The Get Busy Livin’ Foundation, along with Kpreps.com, announced that Schneider has been named the 2016 Dylan Meier-Get Busy Livin’ Player of the Year.
“I was ecstatic,” Schneider said of when he received the call from former NFL players Kerry Meier and Shad Meier to tell him the news. “I was overcome with joy. When Coach (Ben) Bartlett told me he was nominating me for the award and I learned more about Dylan, I thought it was pretty neat. It was something I really wanted.”
The annual award, which is in conjunction with the Get Busy Livin’ Foundation, is in honor of Dylan Meier, a former All-State quarterback at Pittsburg High School and starter at Kansas State University who died during a hiking accident in 2010 at the age of 26. The award goes out to one Kansas high school senior who not only has shown excellence on the field but also has demonstrated the values that Dylan embodied and Get Busy Livin’ strives to promote: adventure, fitness, curiosity and a daily zest for life experiences.
“I got to see all the things he did like rock climbing and skydiving,” Schneider said. “As I learned more about the Get Busy Livin’ philosophy, I realized it’s something I’d like to think I can embody.”
A four-year starter at quarterback, Schneider finished his high school career with a state-record 8,901 yards. As a senior, he threw for 3,035 yards with 31 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He was a finalist for the Simone Award, which recognizes the Kansas City Metro’s top player, and he is committed to play football at NCAA Division II William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.
The career passing record is something Schneider said he and his father made as a goal when he entered high school.
“When I was a freshman, my dad and I looked at the record books and looked to see if there was anything I could strive for,” he said. “I always set goals for myself. Whether it’s trying to reach a new max in weight lifting or in football, I try to push myself all the time. Since I was starting as a freshman, it was something we thought I could do. I got it in the last game of my senior year. I worked so hard, and it paid off.”
Schneider also is a member of the student council and the school’s theater department. In both groups, he participates in various charity and youth-focused activities throughout the school year. He also helps coach his younger brother’s youth football team.
The other finalists for the award were Mill Valley’s Joel Donn, Osborne’s Cullen Grabast, Pittsburg’s Elijah Harris, KC Turner’s Jordan Martin, Fredonia’s Isaac McPherson and Frontenac’s Brandon Mlekus.
Players from each classification were originally selected as candidates based on exceptional on-field performance. 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 seven finalists. Each finalist answered a series of questions. From the questions, the Meier family and the GBL Foundation Board selected a winner.
Past winners were Rossville’s Tucker Horak, Bishop Carroll’s Denzel Goolsby, Shawnee Mission West’s Austin Chambers, Lawrence’s Brad Strauss and Madison’s Kole Schankie.
In addition to the award, the GBL Foundation distributes several scholarships surrounding Dylan’s hometown of Pittsburg. The seventh annual Get Busy Livin’ Dylan Meier 5-kilometer run will be April 29 at Hutchinson Field in Pittsburg. For more information about the foundation and the event, go to getbusylivin.org.
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, sports camp sponsorships, student travel abroad scholarships, community service needs and other activities that inspire and build character.