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Hill of Beane: Shepherd back finalist again for MVP award

November 19, 1999|By BOB PARASILITI

Hill of Beane: Shepherd back finalist again for MVP award

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Damian Beane is back in a strange, but familiar position again.

Once again, the Shepherd College tailback is on the threshold of greatness. And once again, his work is done, though. And once again, the invitation through the doorway to immortality is entirely out of his hands.

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Beane became a repeat selection to the field of eight national finalists for the Harlon Hill Award, NCAA's Division II version of the Heisman Trophy signifying the nation's top college football player, on Thursday.

Beane did all his campaigning on the field. His fate now lies in the hands of voting committee of 146 division sports information directors to decide the 14th annual award.

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"You look at what he's done ... he's been so consistent," Shepherd coach Monte Cater said. "Outside the league, inside the league and against all the tough competition, Damian has done it all for us."

For his reward, Beane earned his third nomination for the award and his second straight trip to the final eight. Beane, a senior from Baltimore, finished his regular-season career as the second leading rusher in Division II history with 6,346 yards. His total is second to only Emporia State's Brian Shay, last year's Harlon Hill winner.

Beane, who finished fourth in last year's balloting, scored 58 touchdowns in 38 regular season games and tied the NCAA all-division record with 34 100-yard games while becoming only the fourth player in division history to surpass 1,000 yards in all four years of his collegiate career.

He led the Rams to a 9-1 record, a third West Virginia Conference title and a second straight berth in the Division II playoffs by rushing for 1,623 yards - sixth best in the nation - and 13 touchdowns on 289 carries.

He earned his second straight WVC Offensive Player of the Year honor earlier this week.

"It has been a pleasure to watch Damian for the last four seasons," Cater said. "He has been a great ambassador for our program and for the league. I can't imagine anyone that has impacted the record books in the way that Damian has."

Beane and McGaffey are joined in the final eight by American International tailback Kavin Gailliard, Presbyterian College quarterback Todd Cunningham, Virginia State receiver Damon Thompson, South Dakota State running back Josh Ranek, Northeastern (Okla.) State tailback Carlton Booe and Nebraska-Kearney quarterback Justin Coleman.

The winner of the award will be named on Dec. 10 at the Division II Football Hall of Fame Banquet on Dec. 10 in Florence, Ala., the night before the Division II Championship Game.

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