CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The final regular-season home game is always dedicated to the seniors of the football team. However, one senior wants to turn the attention to tornado victims.
UNI’s placekicker Tyler Sievertsen is asking football fans to help his family and their neighbors in Washington, Ill., after an EF-4 destroyed the town last weekend by donating new toys in time for the holiday gift-giving season.
One resident was killed and about 120 others were injured in the town of about 15,000. Reports say 400 homes were damaged when winds reached an estimated 170-190 miles per hour.
Sievertsen was touched by a photo of his cousin’s child, who found his favorite toy in the rubble, which gave him the idea for a toy drive. The family also was fortunate to be reunited with their dog thanks to social media efforts.
A group of football players have pledged their support to help Sievertsen personally deliver the items to Illinois.
SAAC, a student-athlete organization aimed at giving back to the community, will help collect the donations at the UNI football game from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Student-athletes will be on hand at the north end of the UNI-Dome concourse to collect donations near the University Book & Supply store.
Sievertsen is a senior placekicker from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He currently holds the record for the most consecutive PATs. He is 110 for 110. He leads the Panthers in scoring with 93 points from 21 of 27 field goals and 30 of 30 point after attempts. He was a 2012 Fred Mitchell Award Finalist and recorded a 50-yard field goal Oct. 5, 2013. He scored 14 points Oct. 26, 2013, to and tie his career-high with four field goals. He converted all four PAT’s against South Dakota Oct. 19 to break the school record of 101 consecutive PAT’s. He is seventh all-time at UNI in scoring, with 257 points and averages 61.6 yards on 60 kickoffs. Sievertsen is a Just Read program volunteer designed to connect UNI student-athletes with elementary school students. He also volunteers with Special Olympics and is a Kickers in the Midwest mentor. He is also high school football camp volunteer and a Salvation Army bell ringer.