After being named Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Special Teams 'Player of the Week' Tuesday afternoon, the honors continued to pour in for sophomore kicker/punter Taiten Winkel as he was named National Junior College Athletic Association Special Teams "Player of the Week."
Winkel, the sophomore kicker/punter from Halstead, KS picked up his first national 'Player of the Week' honor on Wednesday afternoon after being recognized for his punting efforts last Saturday in Butler's 23-13 loss.
"He kept us in the game with his punting on Saturday," said head coach Tim Schaffner. "He has a big-time leg and it is great to know that when needed, we can flip the field to put our defense in a good position to be successful."
Winkel chalked up the third longest punt this season in the NJCAA with a booming 76-yard punt into a cool cross wind that would roll all the way down to the Reivers 11-yard line in the third quarter of Saturday's game. Winkle finished the day with five total punts for an average of 67.2 yards per punt. He had three long punts that were downed inside the Reivers 20-yard line, one at the four and twice at the eleven. Winkel also had three kickoffs with an average of 59 yards per kickoff.
Winkel has 41 punts on the season with an average of 39.4 yards per punt. He has pinned 12 of those inside the opponents 20-yard line, had nine punts fair caught and only one punt has gone into the endzone for a touchback. 76-yards is his longest of the season with other long punts of 74-yards, and 56-yards twice.
This is Winkel's first NJCAA 'Player of the Week' recognition, the first Grizzly football player to earn this honor this season and the third Grizzly overall joining women's soccer player Lexi Winkle and cross country stand out Michelle Sanchez all claiming NJCAA honors this year.