Open menu

Kapella Honored as NCCAA Wheeler Award Recipient; Kapella & Pierce Named NCCAA Scholar Athletes

May 09, 2020

Head shot of Kyle Kapella
Kyle Kapella - Wheeler Award Recipient & Scholar Athlete

Pierce head shot
Garret Pierce - NCCAA Scholar Athlete

Congratulations go out to Bobcat senior high jumper Kyle Kapella, who has been named by the NCCAA in Greenville, S.C. as the 2020 Wheeler Award recipient for men’s track and field.


Kapella has had success at previous NCCAA Men’s Track & Field National Championships and was hoping to compete at the 2020 event before it was cancelled due to COVID-19. At the 2018 NCCAA Championship, Kapella earned All-American status in the high jump as he reached 1.98m for a second-place finish. His personal high jump record of 2.00m was achieved at the 2019 Harding Invitational.


The senior from Hollister, Missouri has been an exceptional leader for the Bobcats' track program and on campus. Kapella pursues excellence in all he does, and he challenges his teammates and coaches to do the same. Team awards he has received include Most Improved Athlete, Top Performing Athlete, and the Bobcat Award which is the top award for the team, given to the athlete that best represents the program in the classroom, in competition, and in the community.


Off the track, Kapella is very active in serving the community. Community service events and programs he has participated in include Operation Christmas Child, Night to Shine, Veterans Day (Honor Guard), Point Lookout Fire Department (Senior Firefighter & Color Guard), and Honor Flight of the Ozarks (Guardian). Kapella also served on an educational mission trip to Belize in 2019. In the classroom, Kapella holds a strong GPA in biology and has earned academic honors of Athletic Director Honor Roll, Dean’s List, and NCCAA Scholar-Athlete.


The recipient of the Wheeler Award must be a junior or senior member of an NCCAA institution, who is in good academic standing, possesses a vital Christian testimony both on and off the course, exhibits outstanding leadership qualities, including Christian service activities, and is highly skilled in track and field.


“Kyle is an amazing young man, who is always willing to serve others,” said Head Coach McKenzie Larkin. “He’s a servant-leader and has greatly influenced his teammates throughout his time at College of the Ozarks.”


Scholar Athletes were also recognized by the NCCAA this week,  Track and field members Garrett Pierce and Kyle Kapella each were recognized for holding a 3.4 or greater GPA.  We applaud these young men for their dedication in the classroom, as well as in their sport!