the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fred Mitchell Award 2015 Watch List, part 2

A blue-ribbon Selection Committee evaluates place-kickers that are nominated by their schools for the annual Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award. 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, Sergio Castillo, Sean Gothier, Teddy Greenstein, Randy Helt, Michael Husted, Dan Jiggetts, Rick Kolaczewski, Connie Kowal, Greg Loberg, Tom Lynch, Carol Monroe, Jeff Michalczyk, Mark Murphy, Patrick Murray, Tom Obarski, Rob Perry, Michael Ritchey, Jeff Schebler, Caroline Schrenker, Bob Thomas, Wolfe Tone, Todd Wilkins, Gary Zauner and Rob Zvonar. There are 14 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), Lynch (two-time recipient of the Award and the kicker on the 2011 NAIA National Champion Saint Xavier University Cougars), Murray (Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker whose 25 FG’s in 2012 were just one shy of the all-time FCS record set by Nevada’s Tony Zendejas), Castillo (the first Division II kicker to win the Award and who made 62 of 79 career field goals and 251 of 255 extra points) and Obarski (Cincinnati Bengals kicker with a record-setting career at Concordia – St. Paul including 44 career field goals).

In alphabetical order, following is the second third of the 2015 Fred Mitchell Award Watch List:

REED JAMES Southwest Mississippi Community College - NJCAA 
Sophomore from Madison, MS … led the team scoring with 44 points from 6 of 10 FG’s and 26 of 26 PAT’s …scored 10 points in 52-10 win over Coahoma Community College on October 9….averaged 60 yards on 19 kickoffs…volunteer mentor to two elementary school students in Bridges of Madison County Big Brother Big Sister program….Madison Chamber of Commerce Junior Ambassador assisting area businesses and volunteering during city events…church youth group volunteer including participation in local missions…volunteered to give kicking lessons to youth in the Madison area to share his passion for kicking….volunteered to work with youth on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to share his passion for baseball 

ALEXI JOHNSON Saint John’s University (Minnesota) – Division III 
Junior from Shakopee, MN….2nd on the team in scoring with 74 points from 10 of 11 FG’s and 44 of 46 PAT’s….led the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in points among kickers (74) and FG % (91%)… 2014 First Team All-MIAC selection…made 43 consecutive PAT's going back to last season, including 38 straight in 2014, before two were blocked in blizzard conditions at St. Olaf Nov. 15 (regular-season finale)...averaged 51 yards on 67 kickoffs….enters the 2015 season fourth in school history with 21 career FG’s and is tied for 10th with 66 PAT’s, all in just two seasons…is in the process of raising money for various service-learning projects that he will participate in while he studies abroad in South Africa during Spring 2016…Feed My Starving Children volunteer both years in college…volunteer trainer and coach for Shakopee Soccer Association (U13, U10 and other levels)…volunteer kicking coach with Special Teams Football Academy throughout various camps…“Vote YES” campaign volunteer to help secure a referendum to build a new high school for the Shakopee school district where he went to school 

MICHAEL KELLEY Illinois Wesleyan University – Division III 
Senior from Carbondale, IL … 2nd on the team scoring with 41 points from 4 of 10 FG’s and 27 of 28 PAT’s …ranks 3rd in school history in PAT’s made (102) and FG’s made (18)….tied for 8th in career points (158)….helps high school students in his hometown with weight training and teaching kicking…part of football team annual preseason recreation event with special needs children and annual team walk to raise money for the local Alzheimer’s Association 

SHANE KELLY Mount St. Joseph University (Ohio) – Division III 
Senior from Cincinnati, OH…led the team in scoring with 76 points from 10 of 13 FG’s and 46 of 50 PAT’s…scored 9 points in 53-28 win over Hanover on October 11 including season-high 48-yard FG…averaged 55 yards on 58 kickoffs,… licensed at home provider for children and adults with special needs….adaptive ski instructor at Perfect North Slopes during the winter… completed his fourth annual campout for 25 Forest Hills School District high school and incoming high school special needs students, including recruiting and coordinating 12 student peers to create a one-on-one outdoors and overnight camping experience….serves on a non-profit Board for a charter school created for kids with special needs 

NATHAN KNUFFMAN Western Illinois University - FCS 
Junior from Coatsburg, IL…led the team in scoring with 69 points from 11 of 12 FG’s and 36 of 37 PAT’s…enters 2015 season ranked 8th in school history in career FG’s (14), 9th in PAT’s (66) and tied for 7th in kick scoring (108)….helped team participate in campus cleanup, Rocky’s Reach program with local elementary school students and Be the Match bone marrow registry program 

AVERY LLEWELLYN Colorado School of Mines – Division II 
Senior from Durango, CO….led the team in scoring with 112 points from 20 of 29 FG’s and 52 of 55 PAT’s…. 2014 First Team All National Football Foundation Colorado Chapter and Second Team All-RMAC….scored 14 points in 44-37 win over Western New Mexico on October 11….averaged 63 yards on 83 kickoffs….Project Merry Christmas volunteer in Durango where he worked with Durango Fire Department to deliver gifts to local families 

JOHN LUNSFORD Liberty University (Virginia) – FCS 
Senior from Fort Myers, FL….led the team in scoring with 100 points from 19 of 24 FG’s and 43 of 44 PAT’s…. 2015 STATS FCS Preseason First Team All-America … 2014 Big South Special Teams Player of the Year (first player in program history) … 2014 VaSID First Team All-State … two-time Big South All-Conference selection (2014 and 2012) … 2014 Sports Network First Team All-America … 2014 Fabulous Fifty FCA First Team All-America … finished the 2014 season with the three longest FG’s in the country recorded by an FCS kicker (60 yards against Richmond, 57 yards against Bryant and 56 yards against James Madison) … 5th in FCS in kicking points per game with 8.3 … set a program record with 94 consecutive extra points, a streak that spanned the 2012, 2013 and 2014 season (ended on a missed extra point against Charleston Southern) … sent Liberty’s game into OT against Richmond with a 60-yard FG as time expired … the 60-yard field set a new Liberty and Big South record … volunteers in various Liberty community service endeavors including Keep it Moving with Character campaign, Bass Elementary Career Day, Liberty University Volleyball A Thon, Winter Luau, Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat and Give a Dollar Campaign 

ABDUL MAHDI Saint Xavier University (Illinois) - NAIA 
Sophomore from Chicago, IL….led the Cougars in scoring with 94 points from 13 of 19 FG’s and 55 of 63 PAT’s…. named to the 2014 Mid-States Football Association (MFSA) Midwest League 2nd team as a freshman….twice named MFSA Midwest League Special Teams Player of the Week….scored 17 points in 53-26 win over then-#24 St. Francis (Indiana) on October 11 including making all 4 FG’s…. scored 8 points by making all 5 PAT’s and his only FG attempt in 38-35 first round playoff win over then-#17 Campbellsville (Kentucky) on November 22….scored 6 points in 48-46 win over then-#11 William Penn on October 25….scored 7 points in 19-14 upset win over then-#15 (in Division II) Indianapolis on September 13….averaged 55 yards on 93 kickoffs….volunteered to help paint his high school alma mater in Chicago, Bogan High School….spent a day volunteering to clean-up Marquette Park, the largest park on the Southwest side of Chicago with 323 acres….annual Candy Days volunteer in Chicago with football teammates to raise more than $4,500 for Misericordia 

RYAN McCRUM Southeast Missouri State University – FCS 
Junior from St. Charles, MO….led the team in scoring with 94 points from 18 of 23 FG’s and 40 of 41 PAT’s….set school record with 18 FG’s in a season….led Ohio Valley Conference in FG’s and kick scoring….named Conference Specialist of the Week on September 14….scored 8 points in 28-21 win over nationally-ranked Tennessee State on October 4 including career-long 55-yard FG….made 50+ yard FG’s in first three games in October…made 51-yard FG to force a 2nd OT at Murray State on October 11….made 42 consecutive PAT’s before missing last PAT of the season….averaged 62 yards on 67 kickoffs….actively involved in local Pink Up Cape Breast Cancer Awareness initiative….assists Southeast’s counseling services to help raise awareness and sexual assault prevention 

WES MEDEIROS Norwich University (Vermont) – Division III 
Junior from Gilford, NH….led the team in scoring with 55 points from 11 of 14 FG’s and 22 of 22 PAT’s….set school record with 22 PAT’s made in a season….Eastern College Football Conference Special Teams Player of the Week twice during the season…Second Team All-Conference in each of his first two seasons…First Sergeant in the Norwich University Corps of Cadets and a Navy ROTC scholarship recipient….local church volunteer at Gilford Got Lunch program which packs and delivers lunches to families in need….received church’s volunteer Family of the Week honors…volunteers at schools in his hometown 

ADAM MEIROSE Concordia University (Nebraska) – NAIA 
Senior from Lincoln, NE….led the team in scoring with 58 points from 6 of 8 FG’s and 40 of 42 PAT’s….named First Team All-Great Plains Athletic Conference in 2014 and Second Team All-Conference in 2013….broke his own single-season school record with 40 PAT’s made….15 of 21 in career FG’s and 71 of 75 career PAT’s…Cornhusker State Games medical volunteer…North American Martyrs Church volunteer…volunteers at Seward Memorial Hospital in physical therapy and at Crete Physical Therapy…Habitat for Humanity volunteer in Lincoln…campus blood drive volunteer 

MICHAEL METTER Linfield College (Oregon) – Division III 
Junior from Portland, OR….led the team in scoring with 108 points from 13 of 19 FG’s and 69 of 71 PAT’s….team reached the NCAA semifinals with a 12-2 record….NWC Special Teams Player of the Week after making all six PAT’s against Puget Sound….has played offensive tackle, defensive end, kicker and punter….named the team’s MVP and Special Teams Player of the Year…Linfield Mentoring Program volunteer….elementary school volunteer supervisor…volunteer assistant in the annual Linfield Luau stage production 

ALEX NOBOA Brevard College (North Carolina) – Division II 
Senior from Deltona, FL….3rd on the team in scoring with 63 points from 7 of 8 FG’s and 42 of 43 PAT’s…Second Team All-South Atlantic Conference…transferred prior to last season from Chowan University….set school NCAA-era (since 2008) single-season records for PAT’s made, PAT’s attempted, PAT % and FG %....named SAC Special Teams Player of the Week in the final week of the season after making all 9 PAT’s and a 23-yard FG, setting school record with 12 kicking points in a game…holds school NCAA-era records for career FG % and PAT %....volunteers at assisted living facility in the city of Brevard….campus Student Life Center volunteer…new inductee in Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society with service projects 

RYAN O’HARA Widener University (Pennsylvania) – Division III 
Senior from Royersford, PA….led the team in scoring with 77 points from 8 of 12 FG’s and 53 of 61 PAT’s…Honorable Mention All-Middle Atlantic Conference….made the go-ahead 32-yard FG with 10 seconds left to give Widener a 36-35 win over Muhlenberg on November 22 in the first round of the playoffs….53 PAT’s ranks 2nd highest in school history….named Special Teams Player of the Week after game against Lebanon Valley on September 13….averaged 57 yards on 85 kickoffs

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