NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College football team celebrated a successful 2008 season with its annual awards banquet in Eleazer Arena Saturday night.
Individual awards were given out, as well as recognition of the senior class. The Class of 2009 finished their career as the winningest senior class in the history of Newberry football with a 31-12 record over the past four years, which includes two South Atlantic Conference Championships.
The seniors recognized included Elvin Bussey, Jonathan Dailey, Marchent Faustin, Brett Gault, Stewart Good, David Harris, Isaac Johnson, Derrell Mills, Will Newell, Chris Reed, Andrew Slenski, Devin Smalls, Brenton Walters and Michael Ward.
David Pressley, a sophomore from Anderson, S.C., was honored with the Most Valuable Wide Receiver award. Pressley caught 32 passes for 457 yards and four touchdowns. Gerald Legree, a junior from St. Helena Island, S.C., earned the Most Valuable Offensive Back with his season performance of 94 carries for 480 yards and three touchdowns.
Earning the honor for Most Valuable Offensive Lineman was Marchent Faustin, a senior from Summerville, S.C. Faustin, who started in all ten games this season, also earned First Team All-SAC Honors for the second time in his career and was named to the DAKTRONICS All-Super Region 2 Second Team.
David Harris, a senior from Ninety Six, S.C., earned the Most Valuable Defensive Lineman award. Harris started in eight games this season and recorded 34 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks. His 45-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the third quarter against Brevard in the final game of the season secured a share of the South Atlantic Conference title for Newberry.
The Most Valuable Inside Linebacker award went to Mike Grase, a senior from Rock Hill, S.C., for the second straight year. Grase finished the season with 42 tackles, the fourth most on the team. 6.5 of those tackles were for negative yardage. The Most Valuable Outside Linebacker award went to Devon Smalls, a senior from Charleston, S.C. Smalls was second on the team in tackles with 60, which includes 36 solo tackles. Smalls also had one interception, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
Kamaal McIlwain took home two awards on the night with the Most Valuable Defensive Back and Most Valuable Specials Teams player. McIlwain, a sophomore from Fort Mill, S.C., had three interceptions on the year to go along with two fumble recoveries. His 60-yard fumble recovery against no. 15 Wingate in the third quarter extended Newberry's lead to 19-7. McIlwain also blocked two extra points on the season. McIlwain was a First Team All-SAC selection as well as a Second Team DAKTRONICS All-Super Region 2 Member.
Taking home the Most Valuable Offensive Player Award was Kelton Tindal, a junior wide receiver from Sumter, S.C. Tindal finished the season with 39 receptions for a staggering 745 yards and six touchdowns. His 19.1 average per reception lead the team as did his six receiving touchdowns. He was also named to the First Team All-SAC and the Second Team DAKTRONICS All-Super Region 2 Member.
Winning the Most Valuable Defensive Player was Will Newell, a senior linebacker from Irmo, S.C. Newell led the team in tackles with 91, which includes six tackles for a loss and two sacks. Newell also had one interception and two forced fumbles. Newell garnered several postseason awards which include AFCA All-American Team, First Team All-SAC, SAC Defensive Player of the Year, DAKTRONICS All-Super Region 2 Second Team, South Carolina All-State Team and Honorable Mention All-American by D2Football.com. Newell is only the third player in Newberry College history to earn AFCA All-American honors, and the first in 11 years.
Matt Holmes, a sophomore from Johnston, S.C., was awarded the Most Improved Award. Holmes, an offensive lineman, started in all ten games this season after only starting in one game as a freshman. Receiving the Hustle Award was Stewart Good, a senior linebacker from Rock Hill, S.C. Good started in all ten games this season and recorded 37 tackles and four tackles for a loss.
The final award of the night was the Coaches Award, which was given to Brenton Walters, Tyler Carter and Jody Clamp. Walters, a senior tight end from Kershaw, S.C., started in two games this season and played in all ten. Team managers, Carter and Clamp, also recived a Coaches Award for their dedication and commitments to the team over the years.