Let me read something to you:
“. . . I went on to play ball at my high school and I traveled all over the country with my summer teams. While both of these experiences were great, neither could compare to the place where I had grown up playing ball with everybody who knew me. . . The ball fields at NYO were truly a place where I grew up, I even met my first girlfriend there, and it was a tough place to leave. . . (My NYO) friends are people that I no longer see constantly, yet I seem to still hold a strong bond with. . . The mention of NYO brings back fond memories that I wish more children could have. A place where individuals are still cared for and there is a family atmosphere that is good for children. . . NYO is not just a place to play ball, it is a community meeting place where lifelong friends have been made, young boys have grown into men, and athletic skills have been honed. . . .”
Excerpts from “The Ball Fields”
Written by Kyle Burnat
English 114a, Yale University
October 16, 2001
Kyle, and his older brother Lawson, were both long time NYO participants in baseball, football and basketball from the age of 6 all the way up. Kyle was the kind of kid everybody knew and liked - very personable and fiercely competitive. Kyle moved on to playing sports at Woodward where he excelled at baseball and football. Both Lawson and Kyle dedicated themselves to their teams and their personal development as athletes and students like few others who have come through NYO. Both moved on to play college baseball, Kyle as a pitcher at Yale and Lawson at Wofford College and the University of New Mexico, before graduating from Georgia. In January 2003, all of NYO was saddened by the tragic automobile accident in Connecticut which took the lives of Kyle Burnat and three of his Yale classmates.
Many of us still involved at NYO knew Kyle during his days at NYO (and afterwards), and remember how he truly understood what the NYO experience was about. In that light, the NYO baseball committee established the Kyle Burnat Award, which is given on a yearly basis to the 12 year old in the baseball program who, throughout his many years at NYO, most embodies the "NYO experience" - the ability to appreciate your teammates and the special and fleeting moments of playing baseball as a kid, finding a love for the game and discovering a level of dedication to the task at hand that can later be applied in life. The recipient is not necessarily the player with the most talent, but someone who has gotten the most out of those talents over a short lifetime here at NYO while recognizing the importance of team, camaraderie, sportsmanship, leadership and citizenship.
The 2021 Kyle Burnat Award Winner is William "Stiney" Stinespring.