The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Other Sports

June 5, 2014

Newberry a Hall of Famer — again

Peterstown native will be honored at North-South Football Classic later this month

Steve Newberry’s first experience with the West Virginia North-South Football Classic included a torn iris and just one play on the field. His participation this year should include much more pleasant memories as the Peterstown native will be introduced along with former George Washington football coach Steve Edwards Sr., as one of the newest members of the West Virginia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame, bringing the total to 34 former coaches and athletes honored since 2008.

“It was a big honor and a big surprise when I received the phone call a few weeks ago,” said Newberry, who now owns and operates Newberry Ford in Pearisburg, Va., just miles from Peterstown.

A standout for the Pirates in multiple sports before going on to a Hall of Fame career as a defensive back at West Virginia University, Newberry played for the South squad in the North-South game in 1980, but the week didn’t go quite as planned.

During a practice early in the week, Bluefield’s Charles Hunt was running the football when Newberry stepped up for a tackle. Hunt’s stiff-arm ended with a finger in Newberry’s eye, and although his eye was open, Newberry saw nothing.

“It was pretty scary,” he admitted.

After a trip to the hospital, Newberry’s sight eventually returned, but he soon learned he had a torn iris. He spent the remainder of the week watching from the sidelines. He dressed for the game but only got in for one play as a punter, where he punted “one of the two footballs” he was seeing in the fourth quarter.

Despite the injury, Newberry said he looks back fondly on the experience.

“The best memories are the friendships I made,” he said. “I got to meet a lot of the guys I’d heard about and read about but hadn’t seen. I got to meet some of my future WVU teammates. I roomed with Bill Legg (Poca) and I met Jeff Deem (Williamstown). I met a lot of guys and really made some good friendships.”

Newberry next stepped onto the field for the North-South game as an assistant coach in 2000, serving under Don Jackson, whom Newberry served as an assistant at James Monroe High School.

“I thoroughly enjoyed that,” he said of his stint as a coach. “The tough thing was getting the team assembled. There are so many nominations and a lot of players you had heard of but hadn’t seen. It was really tough.”

His coaching duties weren’t. Newberry coached the South secondary, which included Princeton’s Tyrone Gilliard, who went on to play at Pitt, Woodrow Wilson’s Michael Harvey, Michael Hill of Riverside and other highly skilled defensive backs.

“You’d just turn them loose and they could cover,” he said. “I didn’t have to spend much time teaching. But it was a good, solid week.”

That was Newberry’s only experience on the sideline for the game, but he’s been back to a few since to watch what he believes is a special game.

“Each side has the feeling that they want to prove their brand of football is better than what people think,” he said. “I think it’s an honor to be selected and represent a school and a community. There’s a sense of pride from both sides, and its a special feeling to team up with some of those guys you’ve played against.”

Newberry will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony at West Virginia State University on June 21, a week after his daughter, Kelly, who played volleyball at Concord, gets married. He’ll be introduced later that night before the game, which kicks off at 7 p.m.

“It’s going to be neat,” said Newberry, who coached football at Peterstown and James Monroe for 22 years before giving it up this past fall to help his son, Nick, coach the Maverick baseball team. “I haven’t been to the game for a while. I’m excited to see some of those players I’ve heard about.”

One that particularly interests WVU’s all-time interceptions leader is Greenbrier West quarterback Malik Boatwright, whom he faced on the baseball field this spring.

“He’s small, but he really moves well,” said Newberry. “He’s going to be fun to watch.”

— E-mail: chuffman

@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

1
Text Only
Other Sports
  • RH 080114saints1.jpg Intensity reaches new level at Saints training camp

    Following their first day off from training camp on Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints reported to their new $30 million practice facility at The Greenbrier Thursday full of energy and with an edge that hadn’t been seen through the first five practices.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Orleans practices bring back memories for Haas

    Bob Haas stood back away from the field Thursday, watching the action at the New Orleans Saints Greenbrier training camp intently but avoiding getting too close.

    August 1, 2014

  • West Virginia beats Danville Dans 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners may have their backs against the wall, but they aren’t throwing in the towel yet.

    July 31, 2014

  • Passions are high for the Big Four

    When it comes to the English Premier League, there are clubs and there are kings. 

     

    July 31, 2014

  • YMCA fall soccer registration underway
    Fall is just around the corner and registration is now open for youth soccer at the YMCA of Southern West Virginia.
     

    July 31, 2014

  • UBB memorial race Saturday in Princeton

    Princeton Speedway will host the 4th Annual Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial Race Saturday at 7 p.m. 

    July 31, 2014

  • Johnnie Ferri tourney set this weekend

    The 12th annual Johnnie Ferri Softball Tournament will be held Saturday, Aug. 2 and Sunday, Aug. 3 at Collins Park.

    July 31, 2014

  • bush Bush making Saints look good

    For his first four seasons, Rafael Bush was simply looking to land on a roster — any roster.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Practice, not temps, heats up for Saints
    The temperatures may have only been in the low 70s Tuesday afternoon at the Saints new practice facility at The Greenbrier, but now a third of the way into the 15 practices, it’s clear that the heat has turned up with playing time and positions on the line.

    July 30, 2014

  • Bowles has a support system
    Colin Bowles, the 14-year-old little brother of Corey, is coming into his own as a successful athlete. The younger Bowles competed last week at the U.S. Junior Amateur in The Woodlands, Texas, making the cut before bowing out in match play. Right there beside Colin, as he has been his entire life, was older brother Corey,

    July 30, 2014

Saints Training Camp

AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide