UW-Whitewater's Schebler earns top Division II-III kicking honor
The Warhawks' four-time All-America selection is the inaugural recipient of the Fred Mitchell Award, which honors the nation's top place-kicker in NCAA Division II and III
The award is named after a former Wittenberg University kicker and longtime Chicago Tribune sports columnist.
"Jeff is extremely deserving of the award and fits the criteria of accomplishments on and off the field as a student/athlete,'' said Whitewater's Lance Leipold, who was named national Coach of the Year earlier this week. "His accomplishments speak for themselves.''
Schebler, who just helped Whitewater's 15-0 team win the Division III national championship, is the all-time kick scoring leader for all divisions of the NCAA. The senior from Davenport, Iowa, finished his career with 470 points, surpassing the NCAA record of 433, set by Art Carmody at the University of Louisville in 2004-07.
As a four-time unanimous All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection, Schebler also holds nine UW-Whitewater records and six WIAC marks. In addition to receiving All-America honors after each season, he was a finalist this year for the Gagliardi Trophy, which goes to the outstanding player in Division III.
"It was honor to even be nominated for the Mitchell Award and then be selected," Schebler said. "This truly is a team accomplishment. The offense, defense and everyone on special teams helped me win this award.''
Meanwhile, Schebler helped the Warhawks win four of their five straight WIAC championships and qualify for the Division III national title game four times. In addition to this year, Whitewater won the Stagg Bowl in 2007 and was runner-up to Mount Union (Ohio) twice in his career.
Along with football, Schebler is on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team, a visitor at the Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped in Janesville, and a Kohl's Kicking Camp counselor and coach.
Earlier this week, Schebler joined Whitewater sophomore running back Levell Coppage and Warhawk junior offensive lineman Matt Weber in making the first team in the D3football.com All-America selections. The organization also honored Leipold as the nation's top Division III coach.
In completing his third year as the Warhawks' head coach, Leipold just directed Whitewater to its first perfect season since 1950. He is 42-3 overall with the Warhawks, including two national titles.
Coppage, voted the Most Outstanding Player in the Stagg Bowl, rushed for 2,107 yards this season, giving him a 142-yard average per game that ranked fourth in Division III. He set WIAC records in scoring 35 touchdowns this season and boosting his career total to 55.
Along with the honors for Leipold, Schebler, Coppage and Weber, Whitewater has placed junior linebacker Kyle Supianoski and senior defensive back Troney Shumpert on the Dd3football.com second and third teams, respectively. Senior center Garth Coats, an Evansville High graduate, and senior quarterback Jeff Donovan of the Warhawks have received honorable mention.
Weber and Coats were the bulwarks in the line that led the way for the Warhawks to average 5.7 yards per rushing play.
Supianoski led Whitewater with 58 tackles (32 solo). He also had 3.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, two interceptions and three passes broken up.
Shumpert, named to two All-America teams last year, was second on the team to Supianoski in tackles with 54.5. The Warhawk defense ranked among the top 10 in the Division III in yards allowed and points given up.