Having the opportunity to play football at the college level is one not many players get.
And aside from just getting the opportunity, Wayne State University kicker Stefan Terleckyj is doing something with it, as he was honored in both September and October by the Fred Mitchell Award organization, which recognizes place-kickers for excellence on and off the football field.
Terleckyj, who is a graduate of Warren Mott, was one of 26 kickers to receive the accolade in September, with 35 being recognized in October.
According to a release by Wayne State University, the Fred Mitchell Award is given to the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker among more than 750 FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA football teams. The award is named for Fred Mitchell, a place-kicker and Hall of Famer at Wittenberg University. Mitchell was also a sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
Terleckyj, who is in his senior season at Wayne State, was a finalist for the award in 2012, and this is his third consecutive season of being on the “watch list” for it.
Terleckyj expressed appreciation for the consideration he has been given.
“It’s a great honor,” he said. “It’s (a) very prestigious award. Even just getting mentioned for it is reward enough. It (would) be great to win it, but even if I don’t, I’m just glad I’m mentioned for it.”
Terleckyj owns WSU records for points by a kicker, field goals made, field goal percentage, point-after tries (PATs), kicking points in a season and consecutive PATs made. He also shares the school record for longest field goal (51 yards).
Aside from “great” family support and coaches helping him to be a “good person first,” Terleckyj has given some thought as to what some keys have been to come as far as he has.
“For me, it’s figuring out what works for me to be able to perform on the field,” he said. “Taking the preparation that whole week, figuring out a routine and being able to repeat good results over a long period of time.”
Terleckyj has had some memorable moments during his time at Wayne State, including being part of a squad that made it all the way to the Division II national championship game in 2011 (Pittsburg State defeated Wayne State 35-21). And aside from having some enjoyable experiences, Terleckyj has also learned a few things along the way.
“Enjoy what you do, and do it to the fullest extent that you can,” he said. “Try and give an honest effort and see what happens.”
Although Terleckyj is majoring in psychology at Wayne State, it is still unclear as to what the future holds after college. He has not ruled out any potential options to play at the professional level, but he realizes there will be life after football.
“I’m welcoming being able to be a regular student, finally, and have reasonable time to finish homework and study,” he said. “With the way my season is going, I think I have a legitimate shot at making it to the next level. As of right now, I’m thinking of giving it a shot. Regardless, I still plan on finishing school.”
The recipient of The Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award will be announced in mid-December.
Details are provided at www.fredmitchellaward.com.