NEWBERRY, S.C. - Newberry College kicker Britt Blackmon has been named to the 2009 Fred Mitchell Award Watch List, it was announced today. The Watch List for the Fred Mitchell Award includes 18 Division II and III collegiate place-kickers that were nominated by their colleges for excellence on the football field and in the community.
Blackmon, a junior from Kershaw, S.C., is one of only 18 kickers from approximately 150 Division II and 240 Division III colleges and universities named to the first annual watch list. 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.
Blackmon had the South Atlantic Conference's highest field goal percentage in 2008, connecting on 8-of-12 attempts (66.7%). His 45 total points ranked second on the team and fourth among SAC kickers. He made 21-of-25 extra point attempts in his sophomore season and was named the SAC Special Teams Player of the Week on October 20, 2008, after scoring a career-high eight points in the win over Wingate.
Off the field, Blackmon is very active in the community and on campus. At Newberry College, Blackmon is a member of the Future Educators Association, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Physical Education Majors Club. In the summer, Blackmon has been a Vacation Bible School instructor at Ridge Baptist Church in East Springs, S.C. He has also served as a volunteer firefighter for the Flat Creek Volunteer Fire Department since July 2003, a period of over six years. He was actually inducted into the department a week before he received his drivers' license. After one more class, Blackmon will be promoted to lieutenant. Blackmon is also a member of the Fort Hill Masonic Lodge No. 316.
A blue-ribbon Selection Committee will evaluate place-kickers that are nominated by Division II and III schools. There are nine members of the Pro and/or College Football Hall of Fame on the Selection Committee including Tom Beck, George Blanda, Kevin Butler, Lou Holtz, Paul Hornung, Marv Levy, Steve McMichael, Don Pierson and Gale Sayers. Several former football players that are active in their communities are also on the Selection Committee including Carl Allegretti, Sean Gothier, Jeff Michalczyk, Mark Murphy, Rob Perry, Bob Thomas, Todd Wilkins and Rob Zvonar. There are eight former college or NFL place-kickers on the Selection Committee.
“These place-kickers are a very impressive group on and off the football field," selection committee chairman Chris Kearney said. "They admirably represent their schools, their football teams, their communities, their families and themselves.”
The Watch List includes place-kickers from schools in 16 states, with three place-kickers playing in Ohio.
“The diversity of these fine young men is terrific and it is a pleasure to include them on the Watch List for this Award," Fred Mitchell said. "Division II and III place-kickers seldom receive national recognition, and we are delighted to recognize them based on outstanding performance in the community and expectations going into the 2009 college football season.”
The school of the Award winner will receive scholarship funds and the Fred Mitchell Award trophy will be presented on February 22, 2010 at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall. Further details about the Awards Ceremony are at www.nffchicagoawards.eventbrite.com.
For more information on the award, and biographical information on all of the watch list players, please visit www.FredMitchellAward.com.
2009 FRED MITCHELL AWARD
|Alex Beard||Quincy University (Ill.)|
|BRITT BLACKMON||NEWBERRY COLLEGE|
|Jackson Damron||California Lutheran University|
|Tom Foos||Defiance College (Ohio)|
|Andrew Foote||Lewis and Clark College (Ore.)|
|Russell Gliadon||St. John's University (Minn.)|
|Jesse Hawkins||Heidelberg University (Ohio)|
|Nick Hope||Wayne State College (Neb.)|
|Brock Jolly||Southwest Baptist University (Mo.)|
|Peter Nilson||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (N.Y.)|
|Thomas Parrott||Northern State University (S.D.)|
|Kevin Quackenbush||St. Joseph's College (Ind.)|
|Elliot Rausa||Coe College (Iowa)|
|Taylor Russolino||Millsaps College (Miss.)|
|Jeff Schebler||University of Wisconsin-Whitewater|
|Josh Stripling||LaGrange College (Ga.)|
|Jonathan Thompson||Bluffton University (Ohio)|
|Juan Velasco||Texas A&M University-Commerce|