Birkholz Earns National Recognition|
October 29, 1998
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Texas Tech sophomore kicker Chris Birkholz was named as one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award honoring the nation's top college place-kicker, it was announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Committee today.
Birkholz, a walk-on from Temple, Texas, replace injured starter Jaret Greaser (Amarillo, Texas) in the first half of the North Texas contest on Sept. 12 at Texas Stadium. He is 9-of-11 on the season with his only misses being from 41 (at Iowa State) and 49 (Oklahoma State) yards. Both kicks were into stiff winds and fell short of the crossbar. Birkholz has not missed a field goal to the left or right this season. He is also 19-of-19 on PATs this season and is the team's second-leading scorer.
A walk-on in 1996, Birkholz did not play high school football until his senior season at Temple High School. That season he earned first-team all-state honors in Class 5A by the Texas Sportswriters Association. He played soccer as a prep and was a first-team all-region selection. Birkholz made 12 of 14 field goal attempts in high school and made 44-of-45 on PATs.
The Lou Groza Award, now in its seventh year, honors the top NCAA Division IA Place Kicker. A national panel of voters made up of media representation, NFL kickers, conference officials and previous award winners determines the award recipient. The voters will narrow down the top 20 semifinalists to the three finalists - which will then be sent back out to the voters to determine the winner.
The winner of the award will be announced at the 1998 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Banquet and Auction on Dec. 8, 1998 at the Sheraton West Palm Beach Hotel. For additional information on the event contact the Palm Beach County Sports Commission at 561-233-1015.
Top 20 Semifinalists
Jeremy Aldrich, Colorado; Chris Birkholz, Texas Tech; Robert Bironas, Auburn; Ricky Bishop, UTEP; Brad Bohn, Utah State; Matthew Burdick, Wake Forest; Jose Cortez, Oregon State
Matt Davenport, Wisconsin; Travis Dorsch, Purdue; Derek Franz, Colorado State; Brian Gowins, Northwestern; Martin Gramatica, Kansas State; Sebastian Janikowski, Florida State; Chris Kaylakie, TCU; Sims Lenhardt, Duke; Andy Payne, Indiana; Brand Selent, Western Michigan; Nathan Villegas, Oregon; Ryan White, Memphis