Port Allegany Reporter Argus
June 30, 2011
In the three decades since the Olean Times Herald sports department began recognizing the best scholar-athletes in the Big 30 area, just three Port Allegany High School students were among the 65 young men and women who had achieved that elite honor.
Make that four.
Topping a stellar field of candidates with his performance in the classroom, on the football and soccer fields, and in the community, Ken Kysor was named the 2011 male recipient of the Bob Davies-Lou Foy Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award, joining Scott Klein (1983), Michelle DeMott (1992), and Brian Stavisky, who shared the award in 1999, as the only Gators in the exclusive Davies-Foy club. Smethport’s Felicia Alfieri was the 2011 female winner, becoming the fifth Hubber to be recognized.
“I knew that Brian Stavisky had been one of the recipients, but I wasn’t quite sure on the details that surround the award. I did know it was very prestigious for academics as well as athletics,” Kysor said. “I’m really honored to receive this award, considering that Stavisky got it. That speaks for itself. He’s a tremendous athlete and a great guy. Just to have the same award that recognized him is a great honor.”
Shortly after Times Herald sports writer Bob Davies died suddenly in 1980, longtime Salamanca athletic director and Section VI president Lou Foy suggested creating an award in his memory. Big 30-area schools were asked to select their most outstanding graduating senior who had participated in at least two varsity sports and two extracurricular activities, had a high academic standing, and expressed a desire to pursue higher education. Coudersport’s Joe Bliss won the first Bob Davies Award in 1981. Following Foy’s death, the award was renamed to honor both men, and separate male and female divisions were established in 1983.
This year, recommendations for 25 male and 24 female applicants were submitted to a committee of non-Big 30-aligned school administrators headed by Jud Foy, Lou’s son and the principal at Cassadaga Valley Central School.
“The quality of the people nominated was fantastic,” Times Herald sports editor Chuck Pollock said. “Every one of them had sterling credentials.”
But when the committee examined the applications, Kysor’s lengthy list of achievements proved too tough to beat.
A league all-star in both soccer and football as a senior, he earned a spot on the Pennsylvania Sports Writers’ Class A All-State First Team and was named the D9Sports.com Special Teams Player of the Year after converting 37-of-45 extra points and 6-of-9 field goals during the Gators’ run to the District 9 championship game. Equally proficient in the classroom, the National Honor Society president’s 3.988 average ranked second among the 88-member Class of 2011.
If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Kysor also participated in band and chorus throughout his high school career, was a member of the Gators’ undefeated track and field team for three years, completed his Eagle Scout project, and still found time to volunteer in the community.
“Ken has been a very dedicated student-athlete at Port Allegany High School. Both in the classroom and in his athletic endeavors, Ken has been highly motivated, intelligent, academically sound, and personable. Ken has the standards that the Davies-Foy Committee has set for your award. I think Ken has some qualities that are not often found in young men his age. Ken is an Eagle Scout, an active EMT for the Port Allegany Ambulance Service, and assists with the local Meals on Wheels program. These, I believe, separate him from other nominees,” superintendent Tony Flint wrote in his letter of recommendation.
“I take care and pleasure in assuring you that your Committee could find few examples of the integrity, academics, athletics, music, and volunteerism demonstrated by Mr. Ken Kysor. Ken is an outstanding young man and an outstanding person.
“I recommend Ken Kysor without reservation and hope you give him your highest consideration.”
Recruited to play football by St. Francis University, Kysor will major in chemistry and continue his kicking career at the Division I (FCS) school. A berth at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine will be waiting for him when he graduates, with anesthesiology or emergency medicine among his potential fields of study.
“I’ve got my next eight years planned out,” he said.
Alfieri’s résumé was also impressive, matching Kysor’s average and class rank and including a lengthy list of extracurricular activities. She played four years of varsity volleyball, earning a second-team North Tier League All-Star nod her senior year, and participated in track for three years.
The letter of recommendation submitted by Smethport principal Robert Miller noted, “Felicia is an outstanding student, definitely a young woman leader, and one of the best I have known. She is dedicated, enthusiastic, motivated, caring, and open-minded. She is taking the most demanding curriculum Smethport High School offers and is currently second in her class with a GPA of 3.988 and a projected final GPA of 4.1.
“How to share with you the Felicia I have come to know in this short recommendation is difficult. Felicia is a gifted individual and is well rounded. She affords herself opportunities that enlighten and stretch her. I am thinking of two in particular. She raised the funds to participate in the Stanford University EPGY program for three weeks in London. She successfully completed a college course in British Literature and Writing. She stretches herself academically. Philanthropically, Felicia shows a deep concern for our world. She is combining her efforts with students from other schools to raise funds this year to build a water filtration system for a village in a third-world country.
“She is a leader at Smethport High School and brings energy and light into all her efforts. She is President of the Peer Helpers, a member of the National Honor Society, Show Choir, Concert Band, Marching Band, and Jazz Band. She represented Smethport High School at Regional and District Choir Festivals and the Intermediate Unit 9 Band Festival. She is co-captain of the volleyball team and a member of the track team. She was a member of the Chain Reaction Contraption team that took third place in state competition and a member of the Envirothon team who also advanced to state competition. She participates in the Model UN Program and the Mock Trial Program.”
The letter concluded, “It is for all the reasons mentioned here that I enthusiastically recommend her for the Bob Davies-Lou Foy Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award.”
Alfieri, who is also active in her church, plays community soccer, and holds a job, plans to attend Carnegie Mellon University in the fall. While undecided on a major, she expressed interest in choosing a career which would utilize her writing and communication skills.
Kysor and Alfieri received their awards during a luncheon at the St. Bonaventure Clubhouse earlier this week.