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CHICAGO, Ill. - Southwest Baptist University and former Aledo Bearcat kicker Andrew Kocurek has been nominated for the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Placekicker Award. Kocurek is one of 32 kickers in NCAA Football Championship Series (formerly called Division II, III, and NAIA) football to be nominated for the award.
Kocurek, a freshman from Aledo, TX and the starting kicker on Aledo's 2009 state championship team, is one of just two freshman to be nominated for the award, and is the lone nominee from the state of Missouri. Kocurek has 30 points on the year from a pair of field goals and 24 out of 26 extra points. Against William Jewell, Kocurek made a 47-yard field goal, the longest by a Bearcat since 2003.
Off the field, Kocurek has participated in SBU football's "Big Cat Little Cat" program, where SBU players visit local elementary schools to visit the kids and assist teachers in their daily lessons. Kocurek has also spent time volunteering at local nursing homes, visiting with the elderly.
The Fred Mitchell Award is named for 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 school of the Award winner receives scholarship funds, and the Fred Mitchell Award trophy will be presented on February 21, 2010, at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.