State College’s Nick Feffer and Laura Guay received the Centre Daily Times’ James H. Snyder Awards on Tuesday night.
The award is given in memory of Snyder, a former CDT sports editor who was killed in an automobile accident in December 1957. It recognizes male and female letterwinners who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and good citizenship in the community.
“I have been following the recipients of the Snyder Award all four years of high school, and I’ve always been so impressed by their accomplishments,” Guay said. “It’s really nice to be recognized in this way and associated with this group of people, especially this year. There were so many worthy candidates for the award, but I’m very honored.”
Guay played on the State College tennis team all four years of high school. After playing on the junior varsity as a freshman and ranking lower on varsity as a sophomore, she played No. 2 singles as a junior.
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“I found that even sometimes when I won matches that I didn’t play well, I wasn’t as proud of myself as when I lost matches when I played really hard,” Guay said. “So that was a great lesson that I learned from that.”
She tried to share that lesson with her teammates when she was a co-captain her senior year.
Guay put her tennis skills to use volunteering in the community, helping at the Special Olympics in addition teaching tennis lessons.
She also was involved with Key Club, Model UN and taught Sunday school at her church.
Guay continued to learn how to balance her activities and studies in her final year at State College, where she earned a 4.64 GPA to finish in the top 10 percent of her class, while also tutoring at middle school student.
“It was definitely difficult,” said Guay, who is set to attend Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College. “It really helped me reevaluate how I spent my time working and I changed a few things. It’s definitely a learning process, and it’s always going to be changing.”
Feffer will be heading to Dartmouth, where he’ll continue his running career.
At State College, Feffer helped the Little Lions capture the 2016 team state title and contributed to the state-title winning 3,200-meter relay team that season. He won the District 6 individual championship in cross country this past fall before finishing 11th at the PIAA Cross Country Championships.
At the PIAA Championships for track and field this spring, Feffer contributed to a second-place finish in the 3,200 relay and took sixth in the 800. He also served as a captain for the cross country and track and field teams.
Feffer said his favorite memory was winning the state title in the 3,200 relay last spring.
“It was really an incredible experience to win a state gold,” said Feffer, who was also involved in Future Business Leaders of America. “I don’t know if there’s anything that could compare to all that.”
In the classroom, Feffer finished with a 4.5 GPA and developed an interest in biology. After college, he said he plans to go to medical school.
He said he knows State College has prepared him well for his future, and he’s honored to win the Snyder Award.
“It was just incredibly humbling,” Feffer said. “I could see the pride on my parents’ faces, and I’m just really proud to have received that award because I know that all my academic work and my athletic career, it’s all paid off.”