the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fred Mitchell Award 2015 Watch List, part 1

The annual Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award 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 late July, 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 2016. 

The breakdown of the 41 place-kickers on this years’ watch list is as follows: 
  • Collegiate Division – 12 FCS, 11 Division II, 12 Division III, 5 NAIA and 1 NJCAA 
  • State – the place-kickers play at schools located in 26 different states
  • Year – 16 Seniors, 18 Juniors, 7 Sophomores 
  • • Fred Mitchell Award 2014 nominees that are on the 2015 Watch List - 22
In alphabetical order, following is the first third of the 2015 Fred Mitchell Award Watch List: 

MICHAEL BARON Bentley University (MA) – Division II 
Senior from Medfield, MA….2nd on the team in scoring with 70 points from 11 of 16 FG’s and 37 of 38 PAT’s…led the Northeast-10 in FG’s and 3rd in FG %....11 FG’s were the 3rd most in school history…enters 2015 season ranked 2nd in school history with 20 career FG’s…volunteered at IMEC in North Andover, MA to provide equipment, tools and supplies needed to advance the medical, agricultural and educational services in developing countries 

MILES BERGNER University of South Dakota - FCS 
Junior from Longmont, CO….led the team in scoring with 67 points from 16 of 17 FG’s and 19 of 21 PAT’s…set school records by making 16 consecutive FG’s to start the 2014 season and 18 in a row dating back to the season before….averaged 54 yards on 49 kickoffs… volunteered his last three summers to help coach his former high school football team including early morning workouts …performed community service throughout training camp with his teammates …annual community outreach volunteer including helping residents impacted by the June 3 tornado near his hometown 

JONAH BOWMAN Colgate University (New York) – FCS 
Junior from Wyomissing, PA….led the Raiders in scoring with 69 points from 14 of 16 FG’s and 27 of 28 PAT’s… First Team All-Patriot League…earned the team’s Mark Rakowski Special Teams Award….scored 7 points including game-winning 23-yard FG with 3 seconds left in the game in 31-30 win over Princeton on October 11….set school record with 14 FG’s made in a season….set school record with 9 consecutive FG’s made in a season until missing at Yale on October 18….averaged 57 yards on 54 kickoffs….member of Colgate Chapter of Uplifting Athletes which helps raise money toward a cure for Ependymoma, a rare type of brain cancer ... team hosted Colin Hayward, 7, and his family for the second year in a row…. helped team raise more than $20,000 over the last two years ... participates in the team's annual Lift for Life each spring that also raises money for Ependymoma….coaching volunteer for Lauren’s First-and-Goal Camp, a not-for-profit honoring Lauren Loose, a 17-year old pediatric brain tumor survivor…delivered Meals on Wheels to Berks County home-bound residents…attended local Adopt-a-Classroom activities including interacting with students and helping organize activities to foster teamwork and self-esteem 

MITCH BREDBERG Ferris State University (Michigan) – Division II 
Sophomore from Ada, MI….2nd on the team in scoring with 87 points from 6 of 10 FG’s, 67 of 74 PAT’s and one 2-point conversion….scored 9 points in 34-19 win over then-#6 Ohio Dominican including two key second half FG’s in top-10 showdown….made key late first half FG to stretch lead in 37-3 road victory at then-#13 unbeaten Michigan Tech….earned USA Football Special Teams Player of the Week recognition …team won the GLIAC Championship and appeared in the NCAA Playoffs….freshman move-in volunteer….reads to local elementary school students … active in various team and community service initiatives 

ANDREW BREES University of Minnesota Duluth – Division II 
Senior from Greendale, WI….3rd on the Bulldogs in scoring with 83 points from 11 of 17 FG’s, 46 of 50 PAT’s and two 2-point conversion…. 2014 First Team All-NSIC….scored 13 points in 43-30 win over Northern State on October 18….averaged 57 yards on 77 kickoffs….volunteered at Courage Center Duluth the past two winters, working with people with disabilities ... volunteers at annual Duluth Lions Club Pancake Day, the ALS Blizzard Tour and various UMD sports clinics….volunteers in UMD’s Bulldogs Not Bullies program in Duluth area elementary schools…United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County volunteer 

BRAD CORNISH Sacramento State University (California) – FCS 
Senior from Santee, CA….2nd on the Hornets scoring with 98 points on 14 of 17 FG’s and 56 of 59 PAT’s…. First Team All-Big Sky…tied school record with 14 FG’s in a season and set school record with 56 PAT’s in a season….98 points is the most by a kicker in school history and 5th most for any player….earned FCS and Big Sky Player of the Week honors after making a school record 5 FG’s and 3 PAT’s against Weber State including a 48-yard FG which is tied for 10th longest in school history….made 3 solo tackles on kickoff coverage…averaged 64 yards on 42 kickoffs…participated in team activities in the community including helping feed the homeless and working with youth at clinics 

STEVE CRENSHAW Hendrix College (Arkansas) – Division III 
Junior from Texarkana, AR….2nd on the team scoring with 73 points on 12 of 15 FG’s and 37 of 40 PAT’s…. Southern Athletic Association Special Teams Player of the Year…First Team All-Conference… National Team of the Week on October 14, 2014….led Conference in kicking points, FG’s, FG % and PAT’s…3rd overall in scoring in the Conference…set Conference record with 4 FG’s against Washington University on October 11….averaged 51 yards on 58 kickoffs….organized serving and cleanup for Amazing Grace CafĂ©….Harvest Fest volunteer 

JOSH DEPP Georgetown College (Kentucky) – NAIA 
Junior from Springboro, OH….2nd on the team in scoring with 58 points from 4 of 5 FG’s and 46 of 48 PAT’s….scored 9 points in 27-10 win over Faulkner on October 4…averaged 50 yards on 64 kickoffs 

JONATHAN GONZALES Portland State University (Oregon) – FCS 
Junior from Apple Valley, CA….led the team in scoring with 84 points from 17 of 24 FG’s and 33 of 33 PAT’s….Second Team All-Big Sky Conference….17 FG’s made led the Big Sky, ranked 9th in FCS and 4th in school history….only full-time kicker in school history to make all PAT’s in a season….53-yard FG against UC Davis tied for the 2nd longest in school history….made 8 straight FG’s and 15 of 17 in one span with both misses from 56 yards 

PAUL GRAHAM Wayne State University (Michigan) – Division II 
Sophomore from Commerce Township, MI….2nd on the team in scoring with 84 points from 14 of 15 FG’s and 42 of 43 PAT’s….Second Team All-GLIAC….scored 12 points in 33-30 loss against Northern Michigan on October 18 including season-long 47-yard FG….made his first 42 PAT’s before a low snap on the final PAT of the season….packaged food at Gleaners Food Bank which is the largest not-for-profit organization providing food for hungry neighbors in Detroit and surrounding cities ... served as a coach in the NFL Play 60 Youth Camp that was held at Wayne State ... tutored fellow student-athletes in English during study table….participated in multiple Warrior Wednesdays where student-athletes distribute breakfast to fellow students and instructors as they arrive on campus…volunteered at the Keith Williams Camp Courageous youth camp 

ALEX HALLWACHS Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri) – Division III 
Senior from Chagrin Falls, OH.….led the team in scoring with 72 points from 15 of 21 FG’s and 27 of 29 PAT’s….tied school record with 15 FG’s in a season….51-yard FG against Centre on September 27 is career high and 2nd longest in school history….tied school record going 8 of 8 in PAT’s in 59-19 win against Hendrix on October 11….4-time recipient of UAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week honors….averaged 54 yards on 47 kickoffs….Koaches 4 Kids volunteer…President of the Mortar Board Honor Society….volunteered for 8 weeks to help young children in the inner city develop leadership, self-motivation and teamwork skills through soccer 

SETH HIDDINK University of Central Oklahoma - Division II 
Junior from Wylie, TX.….tied for 1st on the team in scoring with 78 points from 13 of 21 FG’s and 39 of 39 PAT’s….enters the season having made 49 straight PAT’s which is tied for the longest streak in school history….150 career points is 36 points shy of breaking into the school’s all-time top 10….Honorable Mention All-MIAA….MIAA Special Teams Player of the Week after scoring 12 points in 26-7 win at Fort Hays State….volunteers at Reason to Believe Therapeutic Riding Center in Guthrie, OK which is an inner-city youth program that helps children learn trust, responsibility, patience and confidence by learning how to care for a ride a horse….Oakridge Equine Hospital volunteer helping with radiology, exams, surgery preparation and barn duties…volunteered at five mission trips in Guatemala before college 

CONNER HOLLABAUGH West Texas A&M University - Division II 
Junior from Amarillo, TX….2nd on the team in scoring with 99 points from 17 of 19 FG’s and 48 of 50 PAT’s…Second Team Daktronics All-America and Honorable Mention after entering the season as a walk-on….First Team All-Region and Second Team All-Conference…went 17 of 19 in FG’s in his first year as the primary kicker replacing Fred Mitchell Award Winner Sergio Castillo…made career-long 55-yard FG against Texas A&M-Kingsville on October 25 earning LSC Special Teams Player of the Week accolades…recorded three made FG’s twice this season and scored a career-high 16 points against McMurry on November 8 with 3 FG’s and 7 of 7 PATs…made his final 33 PATs and final 6 FG’s…ranked 5th nationally in FG %....averaged 61 yards on 78 kickoffs….participated in Adopt a Highway with the football team for highway cleanup…worked numerous track meets helping with the discus in charting results…reads to elementary school children….talked to schools for FCA’s Field of Faith in Amarillo 

TYLER HUNT Guilford College (North Carolina) - Division III
Senior from Gibsonville, NC... led the team scoring with 73 points from 7 of 11 FG’s and 52 of 52 PAT’s …First Team All-ODAC as kicker and punter….2015 Division III Preseason All-American by The Sporting News…set school record by making all 52 PAT’s….3rd in the Conference in FG’s per game and FG % and 4th with 7.3 points per game…averaged 60 yards on kickoffs…participates in local Peanut Butter Ministry spending about three hours per week during the offseason making and delivering sandwiches to the needy….works with kickers and punters in central North Carolina at free clinics…volunteer in school’s Freshman Move-In Day and other team volunteer projects

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