Zweifel has eye-catching statistics at Dubuque
Michael Zweifel doesn’t keep count of his catches playing wide receiver for the University of Dubuque football team, but the receptions have added up to an impressive career.
Zweifel, a Whitewater High School graduate, became the NCAA’s all-time leader in any division for career receptions Saturday in the Spartans’ 45-0 victory over Luther College.
With 15 catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns, Zweifel, a senior, finished the day with 440 career catches. Zweifel made his record-setting catch on his first grab, and his 12th of the game of the game, in the second half, passing Westminster (Mo.) College’s Scott Pingel’s mark of 436 set in 1999.
Dubuque’s victory carried more weight with Zweifel than the record.
“Our team wanted the win,” said Zweifel, who said he didn’t know how many catches he had in the first half. “The record will mean more to me later as I look back on what I’ve done. We still have a conference title to play for.’’
Dubuque faces Coe University this Saturday for a least a share of its first Iowa Conference title in 31 years. The Spartans have eight starters from Wisconsin, including 1,000-yard rusher senior Justin Spaulding of Milton and junior tight end Miles Hookstead of Whitewater.
Zweifel, whose father Stan is Dubuque’s coach, has made 117 catches for 1,665 yards and 22 touchdowns this season.
“Mike’s record is a reflection on how the team is doing,” said Stan Zweifel. “He is working hard at his craft, and it’s taken preparation in the offseason.
“He is as dedicated an athlete as I have ever coached,” Zweifel added. “Mike walked around with me at UW-Whitewater when I coached there. He was kind of like a gym rat.’’
Not only has Zweifel put in the work to become a prolific receiver, he excels in class, holding a 3.9 GPA in secondary education.
Zweifel was named last week as one of 16 finalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy. The award recognizes the best football scholar-athlete in the country, with each finalist receiving an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.