TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Indiana State sophomore kicker Tanner Fritschle (Washington, Ind./Washington HS) has been recognized by The Fred Mitchell Award for his outstanding performance on the field during the month of September as well as his contributions to the Wabash Valley through the Sycamore football program. Fritschle is one of 31 kickers honored nationally today (Oct. 2) by the award committee.
In the month of September, Fritchle ranked second on the team in scoring with 38 points by virtue of hitting 8-of-9 field goals and was a perfect 14-of-14 on PAT's. He made a career-long 45-yard field goal in the season opener at Indiana and converted a field goal to end the first half in the Sycamores' first four games. Also the team's kickoff specialist, Fritsche is averaging 64 yards on 23 kickoffs with 11 touchbacks and none out of bounds. Fritschle is a key member of the Sycamore Football Community Service efforts.
Fritschle joins eight other FCS kickers as well as nine from NCAA Division II, 10 from Division III plus two more from NAIA and 1 from the junior college ranks in being honored. He is one of just seven underclassmen to be honored as 24-of-31 honorees are seniors or juniors. Adam Keller of North Dakota State, Tyler Sievertsen of Northern Iowa as well as Pat Smith of Western Illinois accompany Fritschle on the honored list as representatives of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
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 each 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 on February 18, 2013 at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall (details for this event are at www.nffchicagoawards.eventbrite.com).
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).