Stepp, Zimmerman honorees at annual football banquet
Friday, January 28, 2005 | by by, Ryan Gross, Newberry Sports Information

NEWBERRY, S.C. – In one last hurrah in honor of the most memorable season in recent memory, the Newberry College football team got together for their annual team banquet Friday night in Eleazer Arena.  Food was served, backs were slapped, and players, coaches, alumni and the like swapped their favorite stories from this past football season.

The annual football banquet is where the Newberry football team hands out its team postseason awards.  The awards are voted on entirely by players, with no input from the coaches or support staff.

“I have always done these team awards this way,” explained head coach Zak Willis.  “In some years past, I haven’t always agreed with the decisions.  This year, the team was right on.”

Newberry’s “Dynamic Duo”, otherwise known as quarterback Josh Stepp (Pelion, S.C.) and wide receiver Tymere Zimmerman (Bennettsville, S.C.), shared the award for team Most Valuable Player. 

On the offensive side, Zimmerman also was voted MVP of the wide receiving corps.  Zimmerman caught a team-high 73 passes for 977 yards.  The MVP of the offensive line was none other than junior Chase Bentley (Pickens, S.C.).  Offensive line coach Mac Bryan was quick to point out that Bentley played in 703 snaps this season, never missing a blocking assignment.  MVP of the offensive backs went to running back DeShon Rodell.

From the defensive side of the ball, defensive back Jonathan Lyles (Camden, S.C.) was the MVP of the defensive backfield.  Lyles finished the season with a South Atlantic Conference-high eight interceptions, and was invited to the Whataburger Cactus Bowl. 

Voted MVP of the defensive line was Tony Ransom (Marion, S.C.).  Ransom had a team-high 10.5 QB sacks in 2004.  MVP of the linebacking corps was Terrance Leverett (Ware Shoals, S.C.), who lead the team in tackles for the second consecutive season.

The special teams MVP award went to senior punter Jeff Williams (Pelion, S.C.).  Williams was named second team All-SAC in 2004, and played under Willis at Pikeville College.