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Mr. West Virginia



There is a constant debate among Mountaineer fans on who is the best defensive football player in the school’s history. That debate usually leads to side chatter or even polls on all time teams and positions. Every fan has their own favorite player, team or moment.

There is a name, to my surprise that I rarely hear. Without a media guide or the use of the internet can you honestly name the player who holds the record for career interceptions at West Virginia University?

Most may guess Aaron Beasley, Mike Logan, Adam Jones and so-on. Although all those were great defensive players at WVU, none hold the record, in fact the record was set 35 years ago and still stands.

Beasley came the closest to the record before falling one interception short.

The man who has holds the record is a West Virginia native. In Coach Nehlen’s book, “Tales From the West Virginia Sideline,” Coach is quoted as saying his man is Mr. West Virginia.

Steve Newberry is the career leader and hails from Peterstown, West Virginia where he was all-state in football, basketball and baseball.

Coach Nehlen is also quoted as saying Newberry is the finest defensive back he ever coached, however this man continues to be left off lists and polls alike as being one of the best to wear the Old Gold and Blue.

Newberry was introduced into the WV Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. He finished his playing career with 20 interceptions and over 190 tackles. After graduation he was signed as undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys however decided to stay in Peterstown.

He has continued to give back to WVU as a member of the WVU Wheels Club as well as giving back to the youth of West Virginia as a high school coach. He patrolled the sidelines as a Defensive Back coach for Peterstown High School and onto James Monroe High School upon consolidation back in 1994.

Newberry can now be found helping his son Nick with the James Monroe High School Baseball team, who is making a return trip to states this year. He has provided many a young man from Monroe County with valuable insight about playing the Defensive Back position as well as how to be a successful young man.

The next time a debate comes up about all-time greats at WVU remember #28 and what he has meant to the blue and gold and to the entire state of West Virginia.

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