Saltes a semifinalist for Wuerffel Trophy
Teton Saltes, a University of New Mexico junior offensive lineman, has been named one of nine semifinalists for the Wuerffel Trophy, which is awarded to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
The formal announcement of the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy recipient is scheduled to be made on Dec. 10 at the National Football Foundation’s festivities in New York City.
Saltes, a political science and Native American studies major who graduated from Valley High School, is a member of the Lakota tribe in South Dakota. He remains involved with impactful work in his communities in New Mexico and South Dakota.
In South Dakota, Saltes works with the Oglala Sioux Tribe Sweetgrass Project, which works in suicide awareness and suicide prevention. As a peer mentor, he works the suicide prevention hotline and speaks on suicide awareness and prevention at schools on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and other Indian reservations within South Dakota.
Saltes, through his volunteer work with Oglala Lakota Schools, has also talked to children at schools about the struggles they face in life on the reservation and on bullying.
He is also actively involved in his community through the BEAR (Be Excited About Reading) program. The program also conducts winter coats and clothing drives that Saltes supports and assists.
He helps collect food for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation’s food bank, in addition to other various volunteer work.
Saltes is among the semifinalists that include Derrick Brown (Auburn), Koby Quansah (Duke), Blake Ferguson (LSU), Braden Mann (Texas A&M), Isaiah Sanders (Air Force), Rodrigo Blankenship (Georgia), Sam Ehlinger (Texas) and Jon Wassink (Western Michigan).
Shelley up for award
Andrew Shelley, a University of New Mexico sophomore place-kicker, was one of a record 83 players nominated from Division I FBS schools from across the country for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy.
The trophy is given to the most outstanding football player who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field. Each nominee must have begun his first season of participation with a FBS football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department. Past winners include Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and Oklahoma wide receiver Baker Mayfield.
Shelley, an Eldorado graduate, was a walk-on his first season and then was awarded a scholarship during his freshman campaign in 2018. His 53-yard field goal last year was the longest road field goal by a freshman in UNM history.
He leads UNM in scoring this season with 53 points, going 10-for-13 on field goals and 23-for-25 on extra-point kicks. He has a long of 52 yards this season, and he hit from 49 and 48 yards in a win over New Mexico State.
The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in conjunction with Springdale Rotary Club, will host an awards ceremony on Dec. 9 in Springdale, Arkansas, to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2019 winner.
Shelley is among three other former Lobos, Zack Rogers, Jake Rothschiller and Aaron Overacker, who were nominees for the award in recent years.