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College Football: Andrew Nielsen named NSAA Special Teams Player of the Week for Valley City

by | Oct 31, 2023 | Cover Story, Football

Andrew Nielsen

Whoever said kickers aren’t football players hasn’t met Andrew Nielsen.

The Valley City State University freshman out of Chugiak High was steady and strong for the Vikings in windy, freezing conditions as he converted a field goal and three extra points in last weekend’s 24-7 road win over Mayville State in North Dakota.

His effort was noticed by the NAIA’s North Star Athletic Association, which picked him as its Special Teams Player of the Week.

Nielsen’s field goal of 31 yards came in the first quarter matched his college career long as he split the uprights in 28-degree weather. He also extended his PAT streak to 19.

Valley City State (6-2) improved to 5-1 in the NSAA and will face first-place and nationally ranked Dickinson State (7-1) on Saturday.

Nielsen is another great boot man in a long line out of Chugiak, which has turned into the kicking capital of Alaska.

In addition to Nielsen, other elite kickers from Chugiak over the years have included Kyle Schierholt, Nathan Oliver, Bryan Maley and Josh Rolston.

A Mustangs’ kicker has held the state’s high school record since 2007, starting with Oliver’s 49-yarder and continuing with Maley’s 53-yarder in 2010 and Rolston’s current benchmark of 56 yards in 2020.

Many of these guys excelled in college as well.

Maley’s 45-yard field goal at Wagner in 2013 is the third-longest by an Alaska kicker at the NCAA level, while Schierholt’s 44-yarder at Humboldt State in 2007 and Rolston’s 44-yarder at Central Michigan in 2022 are tied for fourth.

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Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

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