September 27, 2016 | Updated: January 29, 2019

By Heather Crabill

Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) has officially announced its statewide Athletes and Coach of the Year for 2016. Among the five recipients, Kylie Tyson (Canyon), has been named the Female Athlete of the Year for the 15-21 age range. 

Tyson, a Panhandle-area SOTX athlete, will be formally recognized at an awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 14 in Bryan/College Station during the 2016 SOTX Fall Classic competition. 

Brendan West (Pasadena) was named the Male Athlete of the Year for the same age group, while Kyle Eddlemon (Missouri City) and Julia Kilgore (Wichita Falls) was named Male and Female Athlete of the Year for the 22+ group, respectively. Clara Edwards (Monahans) was tabbed SOTX’s Coach of the Year.

“Kylie gives it her all when in a competition,” said Tamie Armstrong, a SOTX volunteer. “Her conduct is exactly what Special Olympics is all about, making sure everybody has fun and enjoys the competition. Special Olympics has given her the confidence to try new things and has improved her ability to handle challenging situations.” 

Tyson became involved with SOTX in 2003 and has  been very active since participating. Over the years, she has participated in Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball and Bowling. SOTX has helped her make many new friends and she has become a mentor and positive reinforcement for some of the younger athletes. Earlier this year, Tyson was named the Panhandle area’s Female Athlete of the Year. She also had the opportunity to participate in the Penn Relays in Philadelphia as part of the 4X100 meter women’s unified relay team. 

“Kylie is always positive and gives a hundred percent in all competitions,” said Mitch Tybroski, SOTX Panhandle area director. “There has yet been a time where Kylie has not had a smile on her face while participating in any of the games.” 

Outside of SOTX, Tyson works at Amarillo Applied Behavioral Analysis as support staff where she works hands on with students and helps answering phones. She is also in the process of writing a science fiction novel, and enjoys cooking, going to church and spending time with friends and family.