Newberry Holds Football Banquet
Saturday, January 27, 2007 | by Newell, Stepp take home most valuable defensive and offensive honors

NEWBERRY, S.C. - The 2006 Newberry College football team was honored on Saturday evening at their annual banquet.  The Indians enjoyed the most successful season in school history, finishing with a record of 11-2 and capturing their first-ever South Atlantic Conference championship.

For the award portion of the program, linebacker Will Newell and quarterback Josh Stepp were voted on by the team as the defensive and offensive most valuable players.

Newell was a major reason the Indians led the SAC in total defense in 2006.  The sophomore led the team and the SAC in tackles with 133 and was a First Team All-SAC selection.  He was also named to the All Southeast Region Second Team by Daktronics and the All Southeast Region Second Team by D2football.com.  The Irmo, S.C. native also took home most valuable inside linebacker honors on the evening.

Stepp wrapped up his career at Newberry by becoming the most prolific passer in Indian football history.  Stepp holds every single-season and career passing mark in Newberry history.  In 2006, the Pelion S.C. native threw for 2,593 yards and 28 touchdowns.  He was named the SAC’s Offensive Player of the Year and earned All Southeast Region Second Team honors by Daktronics and D2football.com.  Stepp was also one of 24 players to be nominated for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which goes to best Division II football player every season.

Tymere Zimmerman took home the most valuable wide receiver trophy on the evening.  The Bennettsville, S.C. native leaves as the sole leader in every single-season and career receiving mark.  In 2006, he led Newberry with 62 receptions for 695 yards and 12 touchdowns.  He earned his third-straight All-SAC First Team accolade and also leaves as the SAC career leader in career receptions (250) and touchdown receptions (40).

The most valuable offensive back award went to junior Alex Haynes.  Haynes led the Newberry rushing attack and the SAC in rushing yards with 1,007.  His rushing yards was the eighth-highest in a single-season at Newberry.  The Summerville, S.C. native earned First Team All-SAC honors and was named to the All-Southeast Region First and Second Teams by D2football.com and Daktronics.

Heath Benedict took home the most valuable offensive lineman award on the evening.  The junior had over 100 knockdown and pancake blocks on the season as was named to the All-SAC First Team.  Benedict was also the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given annually to the top blocker in the SAC.  The Greer, S.C. native took home several postseason honors, including being named to the Associated Press’ First Little All-American Team.

Jonathan Breaux was named the most valuable defensive lineman on the evening.  The junior was the leader on the interior for the Indians in 2006, recording 26 tackles.  The Ladson, S.C. native was named to the All-SAC Second Team in 2006.

The most valuable outside linebacker award went to Stewart Good.  The red-shirt sophomore finished the 2006 season fourth on the team in tackles with 48.  He also contributed 4.5 tackles-for-loss and had one interception on the season. 

Free safety Derrell Mills was named the most valuable defensive back on the evening.  The sophomore finished the season third on the team in tackles with 64.  He also led the Indians and the SAC in interceptions with six.  The Gray Court, S.C. native was named to the All-SAC First Team along with being named to the All Southeast Region First Team by D2football.com.  Mill also earned a spot on the All Southeast Region Second Team by Daktronics in 2006.

The most valuable special teams award went to freshman wide receiver Kelton Tindal.  Tindal was instrumental not only as a kick returner, but as punt and kick blocker as well.  The Sumter, S.C. native was second on the team in kickoff return yards with 169 while blocking four kicks on the season.  Tindal also saw time at wideout, finishing with fourth on the team n receptions with 26 and third in reception yards with 432.