Tag Archives: Athletics

Dylan Beasley Pitches for Nationals Affiliate
Elijah HirshIt’s not uncommon for college athletes to dream of a career in the professional ranks, but few ever get the opportunity to pursue that path. Count Dylan Beasley and Elijah Hirsh (19C) among that select group.

Just weeks after the completion of his junior season at Berry, Beasley (above) became the first Viking in the NCAA era selected in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft. Taken in the 32nd round by the Washington Nationals, the son of longtime Berry baseball coach David Beasley got his first taste of professional baseball with the Nationals’ rookie affiliate in the Gulf Coast League but quickly earned promotion to the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League. Notably, he was the only junior in all of Division III taken in the draft. Read more.

Hirsh (right) has signed a two-year professional basketball contract with Elitzur Kiryat Ata. The club competes in Liga Leumit, one of the top Israeli basketball leagues and a member of FIBA Europe, a zone within the International Basketball Federation. Earlier this year, Hirsh capped his history-making Berry career as the 2019 Southern Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, averaging 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in leading the Vikings to a 19-7 record, an NCAA program best.

While Beasley and Hirsh pursue professional success, their fellow Vikings are gearing up for another exciting year of Berry athletics. Fall semester is already off to a strong start, with preseason national rankings in volleyball, football and men’s golf. Visit berryvikings.com for complete coverage.

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James Childre

Photo courtesy of www.berryacademy.com.

Not long ago, we were pleased to share the story of an impressive group of Berry Academy alumni celebrating the golden anniversary of their championship basketball season. Now an effort is underway to recognize the achievements of the many men and women who excelled as high school athletes during that special era in Berry history.

The new Berry High School/Academy Athletic Hall of Fame is meant to honor alumni who achieved at a high level and gained notable recognition in an official school-recognized sport; received a varsity letter or the equivalent; and demonstrated the highest levels of integrity, character and sportsmanship. Nominations may be submitted electronically or by mail to Berry College Athletic Department, Hall of Fame Selection Committee, P.O. Box 495015, Mount Berry, Ga., 30149. The deadline for consideration is Oct. 6.

If you’re not familiar with Berry’s proud heritage in high school athletics, click here to learn more.

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Jeff RogersA busy spring for Berry’s student-athletes ended with two individual conference championships in men’s track, regular-season titles in men’s lacrosse and women’s softball, and a sixth-place national finish in hunt seat equestrian competition. Also making headlines was men’s basketball, which welcomed a new coach in Jeff Rogers (pictured), who comes to Berry after posting a four-year record of 77-34 at Kentucky’s Thomas More College.

Standouts for Berry included junior Ryan James, who raced to victory in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the Southern Athletic Association track and field championships. Also excelling were student-athletes competing in men’s lacrosse and women’s softball; both teams set new benchmarks for wins, men’s lacrosse with 13 and women’s softball with 29. The 13-5 finish in men’s lacrosse represented the third-best one-year improvement among 208 teams competing in NCAA Division III in 2013. Women’s tennis and men’s golf added a pair of second-place finishes in SAA tournament play. Success by the various teams resulted in numerous individual awards. Click the link for each sport to read more.

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Berry Championship RingsChampionship rings were in abundant supply at a spring reunion celebrating the long and storied history of Berry  women’s soccer.

Alumnae – including many former All-Americans – traveled from as far away as Oklahoma, Texas, Long Island and Minnesota  for the gathering. They were joined by two former coaches who helped establish Berry’s championship pedigree, Ray Leone and Becky Burleigh. Ray, now the head coach at Harvard University, led the Berry program to its first national championship in 1987. Becky succeeded him in 1989 and claimed two more titles, in 1990 and 1993, before beginning her highly successful tenure as head coach at the University of Florida.

The reunion afforded alumnae the opportunity to scrimmage against current Lady Vikings. They also got to relive some of their greatest moments (watch video). The event was spearheaded by current head coach Lorenzo Canalis, keeper of Berry’s championship legacy with a program-best 250 wins in 18 seasons, and former player Alyson Simpson Slade (97C).

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