category: Campus News

Carson-Newman’s Byron Bell Named to National “Good Works Team”

Carson-Newman’s Byron Bell Named to National “Good Works Team”

by Mark Brown, C-N News Office

Carson-Newman senior defensive end Byron Bell has been named to the 2011 AFCA Good Works Team, Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association announced this week.

The insurance giant and the coaches’ organization are celebrating the 20th year of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® by recognizing students who play football and are dedicated to making an impact off the field through community service. Fans and supporters can vote to select Bell as the honorary captain of the Good Works Team®  at Good Works Team Contest.

“These 22 student-athletes have been honored with one of the sport’s most prestigious community service awards for their dedication to improving the lives of others, in addition to maintaining good academic standing,” said Allstate and the AFCA in promotional materials. The Good Works Team® is comprised of 11 players selected from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and NAIA and 11 from the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division 1-A).

A two-time team captain from Knoxville’s West High School, Byron started an outreach program designed to provide assistance for citizens who need help with physical labor. The senior defensive end also generously volunteered his time as a summer counselor at Kids Across America and traveled on mission trips to Israel and South Africa where he educated young people and worked at an orphanage.

“Byron is significant,” said Eagles Head Coach Ken Sparks. “He is out there winning people for the Lord; (he) understands what is important and pours his heart into it.”

On the field, Bell has the Eagles off to a 2-1 start. He recorded two sacks in C-N’s 56-7 win over Fayetteville State on Sept. 8 and is a preseason All-South Atlantic Conference selection at defensive end. Last season, the 6-1, 230-pound Bell started 10 games for the Eagles. He recorded 42 tackles, including 10 for a loss, and 6.5 sacks for a unit that ranked second in the South Atlantic Conference in scoring defense and rushing defense.

Those around him say Bell’s size belies his ability.

“Byron’s attitude is what allows him to be so effective as a football player,” said Mike Clowney, C-N defensive coordinator. “When he came in he was a linebacker, (and) we moved him to defensive end. He’s not big enough, he’s not fast enough, but he does all the little things that give him the chance to be successful as a football player.”

Bell has excelled on the field for the Eagles, but it has been his work on campus and in the community that has transcended the gridiron. The double major in religion (with an emphasis in leadership and Christian ethics) and business administration has a 3.1 GPA is an active participant in the C-N community as well as back home in Knoxville. The president of the C-N’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes for two years, he also developed and implemented C-N Compassion to help area residents who need physical labor to accomplish tasks around home.

“He’s a great person; just an all-around good guy you can count on,” noted Clowney. “On the field and in the community to do whatever needs to be done.”

A tutor who helps fellow students, he has assisted on campus beautification programs, and participated in a 2009 team project designed to help ready Cocke County schools for the year. His service has included presenting Thanksgiving meals to families in need, volunteering with Luke 14 Banquet, a local carnival for special needs children and speaking in schools during bullying prevention programs.

His head coach maintains that Bell’s college years are a foretaste of the future.

“Byron’s one of those guys that will make a difference in this world,” championed Sparks. “He’s a great leader for this football team, and is a great leader in life.”


2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®

Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A)

Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown

Robert Griffin Jr. QB Baylor Copperas Cove, Texas

Chris Potter Jr. WR Boise State Westlake Village, Calif.

Brian Lockridge Sr. RB Colorado Trabuco Canyon, Calif.

Aron White Sr. TE Georgia Columbia, Mo.

Jacob Lewellen Jr. DL Kentucky Louisville, Ky.

Jared Crick Sr. DL Nebraska Cozed, Neb.

Alexander Netter Sr. OL Northwestern Rohnert Park, Calif.

Dayne Crist Sr. QB Notre Dame Canoga Park, Calif.

Matt Barkley Jr. QB Southern California Newport Beach, Calif.

Wayne Tribue Sr. OL Temple York, Pa.

Emmanuel Acho Sr. LB Texas Dallas, Texas

FCS (I-AA), Divisions II, III, and NAIA

Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown

Byron Bell Sr. DL Carson-Newman Knoxville, Tenn.

Cory Nikkel Sr. TE Central (Iowa) Pella, Iowa

Jacob Heppner Sr. DB Central Methodist Mansfield, Mo.

Stoy Hall Sr. LB Drake Omaha, Neb.

David Melms Jr. DB Macalester Wauwatosa, Wis.

Kellen Cox Sr. WR Missouri Southern State Mount Vernon, Mo.

Colby Rohde Sr. TE Morningside Wathena, Kan.

Justin Belotti Sr. DB North Dakota Kenosha, Wis.

Yaser Elqutub Sr. LB Northwestern State Katy, Texas

Matt Greenhalgh Jr. OL Rhode Island Chepachet, R.I.

Ricky McClain Jr. DL SUNY Maritime Wantagh, N.Y.

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