ast night we had our football banquet for the Indiana Generals at the Crowne Plaza near the Indianapolis Airport. It was great to see everyone together again since we haven’t been together as a team since the 51-14 domination of the Battle Creek Blaze. The night started off with a break down of the season then moved quickly to highlight film ( I will have it posted soon). I am going to go over some of the awards that were handed out.
One of the best things that came out of last night was the fact that Josh Terhune is coming back next season to coach for another season! Things definitely look like they are lining up for another run at the I.F.L championship again next year.
I am going to start with the defensive awards. The Indiana Generals defense was the best defense in the league, only allowing 43 points in league play. They are the heartbeat of the team and the attitude that this team needed this year.
The first award that was handed out was Special Teams Player of the year. The award went to Dustin O’Neal. If this guy would have played on the kick-off team all year, with as much as we kick the ball off, due to the amount of points we score, he would have easily led the team in tackles. He is one of the fastest guys on the team that has a little “crazy” in him, which makes him a perfect fit for this award!
Linebacker of the year went to Bobby Asbery. One of the best athletes on the team that played middle linebacker. Seeing him cover ground from sideline to sideline is like watching a corner run sprints. This guy has a nose for the ball and when he gets to you its fast and hard!
Defensive lineman of the year went to Ryan Harris. At 6’6″ 360 pounds it was almost impossible for any team to run up the middle. Arguably the best DL in the league, once this guy got a hold of you, it was impossible to get away! I could not mention Harris and leave out his interception that he returned for a touchdown! Try tackling that guy!
The biggest award of the night for the defense went to Monsanto Love A.K.A “June”. June plays safety and again probably the best safety in the league, unless you ask Gary Cooper! It was amazing to me to see teams in the league throw his way. On the other hand, if you threw the ball it was impossible to throw it away from him. June was able to be in what seemed to be more than one place at a time. With 25 interceptions on the year and 3 of those coming in the championship game there is no doubt why this guy won the MVP of the team award.
Now on to the offense. We have already covered that the defense as being the heartbeat of the Indiana Generals. This might be the case, but the Indiana General offense was the most prolific scoring offense in the league. Scoring 327 points in 8 games, opposing defenses came into every game biting off more than they could chew.
Anchoring the best offense in the league was the best offensive line in the league. Winning Offensive Lineman of the year was Matt Childress. A very intelligent veteran of the game and protecting the outside with his 6’4″ 320 frame, Matt was the leader of the OL. However, if you ask Matt, he will tell you that there is no one person that is more important than the other on that line.
Wide Receiver of the year award went to Antawan Mack. Catching everything that came near him and racking up over 1000 yards receiving on a very talented, if not the most talented WR squad in the league. Mack the leader of the WRs that included so many talented players like DeJuan “ochocinco” Self, Jimmy Adams,Casey Pierce,Chris Spencer, and Kyle Ragan (I know I missed some). Just watch one game, or even one series and it’s easy to see why this guy was the best!
Two of the most talented, but different running backs, to play are Bobby Burton and Darren Douthit. Bobby the bruising, most punishing back I have ever seen, was the only 1000+ rusher on the team. Nicknamed Bobby “truck stick” Burton was given to him because it was impossible to hit him and not end up on your back. Darren the speedy, 0-100 in one step, back was the guy that gave us a different look (not that this guy couldn’t put you on your back and I know this from experience! I still owe you!). Darren is the hardest running, running back I have seen play and is the type of player that leads by example….On the field!
The top award on offense went to the QB of the team….Jeremy Hebbeln. With just under 4000 yards passing and 46 touchdowns, Jeremy is by far the best player on the team and the league. It wasn’t his ability to throw the ball that was the most impressive, it was his ability to read the defense and know exactly where they were going to be, before they did. A true leader on the team and just a great guy overall. Make sure you check out the Ben Davis Giants and you will see Jeremy on the sidelines coaching!
Overall, there is something to be said about winning an award on a team that has 50+ guys and the best in Minor League Football. What is funny though, most of the role players on this team could start for any team in the league. What makes this team so great is not just the starters on the team, but the guys who come to practice every week and work hard just to be ready to contribute when the time comes. These guys are the players that deserve the awards!
We are just a group of guys that came from different backgrounds to become a family. This might not mean much to most but to us this is our NFL and we are having fun!