Award for outstanding place-kicking recognizes Stag kicker Aven

Matthew Aven (photo by John Valenzuela)
Matthew Aven (photo by John Valenzuela)

CHICAGO, Ill. – The recognition keeps rolling in for kicker Matthew Aven of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps football team. On Oct. 29, organizers of the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award announced that Aven is among the candidates on the "watch list" to win the award which is scheduled to be announced in mid-December.

The 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 Fred Mitchell Award recognized 35 place-kickers from across all levels of college football for their excellence on the football field and in the community during the month of October. 

The month of October saw Aven kick the game-winning field goal in CMS' 49-46, five overtime win at Whittier on Saturday, Oct. 26. In the game before that, Aven hit a 62-yard field goal against Cal Lutheran which set a school and conference record in addition to tying the NCAA Division III record set in 1976. He leads the team in scoring this season and has connected on 8-of-12 field goals. In the team's season-opener in September against Lewis & Clark, Aven also kicked a game-winning field goal in overtime.

The annual Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award (also known as the Fred Mitchell 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 is 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 each February at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.

A blue-ribbon Selection Committee (listed at 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, Chris Kearney, Rick Kolaczewski, Connie Kowal, Greg Loberg, Tom Lynch, Patrick Murray, Carol Monroe, Jeff Michalczyk, Mark Murphy, Rob Perry, Michael Ritchey, Jeff Schebler, Caroline Schrenker, Jay Sebben, Bob Thomas, Wolfe Tone, Todd Wilkins, Gary Zauner and Rob Zvonar.  There are 11 former college or NFL place-kickers on the Selection Committee, including Jeff Schebler (the inaugural Fred Mitchell Award recipient in 2009 and the highest-scoring place-kicker in NCAA history at any level), Tom Lynch (two-time recipient of the Award and the kicker on the 2011 NAIA National Champion Saint Xavier University Cougars) and Patrick Murray (2012 Fred Mitchell Award recipient and record-setting kicker from Fordham University where his 25 field goals was just one shy of the FCS record).

Full Press Release from Fred Mitchell Award

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