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Samander receives NJCAA honors

SUMMIT – Another honor has come the way of Southwest defensive lineman Josh Samander. Just a day after being named the MACJC’s Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against East Central on October 18, Samander received the same award from the NJCAA.

JOSH SAMANDER

JOSH SAMANDER

Samander (6′ 2″, 240), a freshman from Brandon and graduate of Jackson Prep, recorded 17 total tackles (three for loss, one sack) and recovered two fumbles (returning one 22 yards for a touchdown) as the Bears capped a successful Homecoming with a 38-14 win over the Warriors.

“That means a lot (to me),” said Samander of the national award, “especially with me being a freshman. I’m very excited.”

Samander said his fellow linemen played a huge role in his performance in the game. “Omar (Bryant) was right there. He had a great game (Bryant finished with 20 total tackles); Kevin Alce, Terrien Steele, the whole d-line; we played great. I’m really proud of them. We all played hard, we didn’t take plays off and that’s what it’s all about. We had a lot of fun and I’m glad we got the win.”

Bears head coach Tucker Peavey said Samander has “got one speed and it’s full. No matter what you’re doing he goes full speed, he doesn’t hold anything back. I think that the effort that he gives is probably his biggest asset and the way that he tries to do everything full speed and tries to finish every play. He’s becoming a good football player, but it’s because of his attitude and his effort and the way that he goes about his work.”

Peavey said he hopes Samander’s award means a lot to the other players on the team. “I think all of them realize that it takes the whole unit out there to make something go and there were plays that Josh had and some of the stats that he had that were the result of what other people did. And, I’m sure there are things that he did that helped other guys make plays. So, hopefully it’s a source of pride for (the other players) and they realize that when the unit does well there are individuals that get the accolades for it.”