The Watch List for the Fred Mitchell Award was announced today and includes 44 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, III, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) collegiate placekickers. The individuals were nominated by their colleges for excellence on the football field and in the community. University of Sioux Falls kicker Braden Wieking was one of 11 DII student-athletes named to the 2012 watch list. He was also a finalist in 2010 and 2011.
The Award’s Selection Committee Chairman Chris Kearney said, “These place-kickers are terrific on the football field and off the field representing their schools, their football teams, their conferences, their communities, their families and themselves. We look forward to following their accomplishments during the next few months.”
A senior this fall, Wieking was second (53 pts) on the squad in scoring in 2011, when he converted 8 of 12 FG’s and 29 of 32 PAT’s. Last season he led the Cougars with a game-high 13 points against Black Hills State, converting three of three FG attempts including a season-high 37 yard FG. Wieking also demonstrated consistency from the tee where he averaged 60 yards on 50 kickoffs in last fall. He enters 2012 season with 309 points ranking 2nd in school history among kickers and 7th overall. He has also been USF’s nomination for the AFCA Allstate Good Hands Team. Wieking is a Sioux Falls Fellowship of Christian Athletes volunteer and Group Huddle Leader on campus. He is also an active Habitat for Humanity and Vacation Bible School volunteer.
Fred Mitchell said, “It is a pleasure to include these fine young men on the Watch List for this Award. We are delighted to recognize them based on outstanding performance in the community and expectations going into the 2012 college football season. It is also a thrill to see so many familiar names on the Watch List, including 22 place-kickers that were finalists for the Award last season.”
The breakdown of the 44 place-kickers is as follows:
· Collegiate Division – 16 FCS, 11 Division II, 14 Division III, 0 NAIA and 3 NJCAA
· State – the place-kickers play at schools located in 25 different states, five play at schools in Pennsylvania
· Year – 23 Seniors, 14 Juniors, 7 Sophomores
· Fred Mitchell Award Finalists in 2011 that are on the 2012 Watch List - 22
For a complete watch list including player biographies, please see the PDF attached.
About the Fred Mitchell Award
The annual Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award (also known as the Fred Mitchell Award, www.fredmitchellaward.com) is provided to the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker among more than 750 FCS, Division II, III, NAIA and NJCAA football teams. The Award is named for Fred Mitchell, the record-setting place-kicker, Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Famer, author, philanthropist and Chicago Tribune sports columnist. The recipient of the Fred Mitchell Award will be chosen based on excellence on the football field and in the community. The Award’s Watch List is released in August, top performers are recognized monthly during the college football season, and the winner (who is not required to be on the Watch List) is announced in mid-December. The school of the Award winner receives scholarship funds and the Fred Mitchell Award trophy will be presented in February 2013 at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.
A blue-ribbon Selection Committee (listed at www.fredmitchellaward.com) evaluates place-kickers that are nominated by their schools. Members of the Pro and/or College Football Hall of Fame on the Selection Committee include Tom Beck, Kevin Butler, Paul Hornung, Marv Levy, Steve McMichael, Don Pierson and Gale Sayers. Former football players and others that are active in their communities are also on the Selection Committee including Carl Allegretti, Sean Gothier, Teddy Greenstein, Michael Husted, Dan Jiggetts, Rick Kolaczewski, Connie Kowal, Greg Loberg, Tom Lynch, Carol Monroe, Jeff Michalczyk, Mark Murphy, Rob Perry, Jeff Schebler, Caroline Schrenker, Jay Sebben, Bob Thomas, Wolfe Tone, Todd Wilkins, Gary Zauner and Rob Zvonar. There are 10 former college or NFL place-kickers on the Selection Committee, including Schebler (the inaugural Fred Mitchell Award recipient in 2009 and the highest-scoring place-kicker in NCAA history at any level) and Lynch (two-time recipient of the Award and the kicker on the 2011 NAIA National Champion Saint Xavier University Cougars).
Courtesy: Dennis Gamble, USF