Pulkinen named to Fred Mitchell Award “Watch List”
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Pulkinen named to Fred Mitchell Award “Watch List”

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University junior kicker Zach Pulkinen (Minot, N.D.) has been placed on the “Watch List” for the Fred Mitchell Award that recognizes collegiate place kickers for their excellence on the football field and in the community.

The “Watch List” includes place kickers from more than 750 eligible colleges. Pulkinen was one of 44 collegiate place kickers on the list and one of just 11 from NCAA Division II.

The Award’s Selection Committee Chairman Chris Kearney said, “These place kickers are terrific on the football field and off the field representing their schools, their football teams, their conferences, their communities, their families and themselves. We look forward to following their accomplishments during the next few months.”

Fred Mitchell said, “It is a pleasure to include these fine young men on the Watch List for this Award. We are delighted to recognize them based on outstanding performance in the community and expectations going into the 2012 college football season.”

Pulkinen assumed field goal and extra point kicking duties, while continuing kickoff responsibilities in 2011. He played in 10 games and totaled 3,476 yards in 54 kickoffs to average 64.4 yards per kick and posted 12 touchbacks with zero kicks out of bounds (all career-highs). He was 6-for-11 in field goal attempts for a 54.5 percentage with a long of 38 yards. In extra point attempts, Pulkinen went 33-for-36 (91.7%) to rank ninth in the NSIC. He recorded 51 points (4.6 points per game) to rank third on the team and was fourth on the team in special teams tackles with six.

He had a banner game at Upper Iowa Oct. 1. Pulkinen posted nine kickoffs for 571 yards (63.4 yards per kick) and a touchback off the tee, while racking up 12 points on a perfect 6-for-6 performance on extra points and a 2-for-2 mark in field goals with a 34- and 22-yarder.

Pulkinen participated in the Spring Clean-Up effort of Bemidji area parks and volunteers at Ducks Unlimited, Twice But Nice second hand store and the animal shelter in Bemidji. He also participated in the cleanup efforts following the flood in his hometown of Minot, N.D. in the summer of 2011.

The Beavers open the slate on the 2012 season at home with Upper Iowa University Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. - the only home night game on the schedule.

The 2011 Beavers were ranked in the national poll on three different occasions in 2011 and finished the campaign with an 8-3 overall record and a 7-3 mark in the NSIC to finish in a three-way tie for fourth in the league standings. The eight-win season marked the eighth time in program history the team had reached eight wins in a season and the sixth time under head coach Jeff Tesch. The Beaver offense finished the season averaging 26.8 points per game, while the ‘Gang Green’ defense was one of the best in the conference allowing just 16.0 points per contest to rank No. 7 in the nation at the end of the regular season.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).