Tag Archives: basketball

Berry Volleyball Celebration

WORTH A VIEW: It’s been another exciting fall for Berry athletics, punctuated by national rankings in volleyball and football. Fans can enjoy enhanced live-streams of both sports thanks to a new partnership between Viking Fusion and the college’s sports information office.

Students gain valuable experience while producing sports programming for alumni and other fans.

Students gain valuable experience producing sports programming for alumni and other fans. Photo by student Andrea Hill.

Do you love Berry sports but simply can’t make it back for events as often as you’d like? Not to worry! Thanks to a new partnership between the college’s sports information office and Viking Fusion, you can now enjoy a premium viewing experience from the comfort of your favorite easy chair.

Most Berry home events are already live-streamed, but the new collaboration is delivering what organizers describe as an “ESPN3-quality broadcast” with multiple camera angles, interviews and other enhanced features.

All home football games and conference volleyball matches are already available in the new format, with women’s and men’s basketball following in early November and softball next spring.

“No other school in our league is doing anything like this,” said Blake Childers (15C), director of sports information and promotions. “We’re excited to be the first ones who are able to bring the viewers a broadcast like this.”

Steven Hames, Viking Fusion adviser, said plans for the collaboration were set in motion by the acquisition of a new piece of equipment called a JVC switcher.

“With this switcher, we are now able to provide replays and do even more enhanced graphics and things that we were not able to do before,” he said. “That adds a whole lot to the viewing experience.”

In addition to providing greater visibility for Berry’s student-athletes and an improved viewing experience for alumni and other fans of Viking athletics, the partnership also provides valuable work opportunities for students in sports communication and other majors.

Go to berryvikings.com to view these free productions.

By student writer Cassie LaJeunesse

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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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SAA trophies won by Berry teams in 2017-18

Berry softball seniors

From left, softball seniors Kassie Howard, Brittany Tuttle, Kylie Aiken and Elisabeth Federici show off the eight SAA championship trophies (four regular season, four tournament) won in their four years at Berry.

Eight – that’s the number of conference championships won by Berry teams in 2017-18, a new high for the program in NCAA Division III. The number is even more impressive when you add the 10 individual titles won by student-athletes in women’s golf, swimming and diving, and track and field. It has been a spectacular year by any measure, with national qualifiers in 10 different sports: football, volleyball, cross country, men’s basketball, women’s swimming and diving, women’s track and field (indoor and outdoor), softball, women’s golf, and equestrian.

It would take a year’s worth of Alumni Accents to list all of the highlights produced by Berry student-athletes since our last issue, but we do want to give a virtual “high-five” to the softball team, which won its first NCAA regional championship en route to a sparkling 39-6 finish.

Kudos are also due women’s golf, which earned a top-10 finish in its NCAA national tournament debut, and equestrian, which posted five individual top-10 finishes at western nationals. In addition, Alainna Chretien (18C) capped a stellar track and field career by qualifying for NCAA outdoor nationals – a first for Berry – shattering the school record at 1,500 meters in the process.

Not to be forgotten is the SAA regular-season championship won by Berry’s baseball team, another first in the NCAA era. The Vikings came tantalizingly close to a national tournament bid of their own before closing the season with a 29-13 record.

Visit berryvikings.com for complete coverage of all Berry athletics, including the many individual accolades claimed by Berry student-athletes this spring.

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Men's Basketball Team Celebrates Championship

Above: Members of the Berry men’s basketball team celebrate at midcourt after winning the Southern Athletic Association tournament championship. The Vikings became the first No. 8 seed in SAA history to accomplish the feat.

Genesis Leggett Qualifies for Indoor Nationals

Sophomore Genesis Leggett made history in March as Berry’s first NCAA qualifier in track and field. She competed in the weight throw at indoor nationals.

Basketball, equestrian, swimming and diving, track and field, softball, and golf – regardless of the sport, Berry student-athletes can’t get enough of national competition this semester, and more is yet to come!

In the last week alone, Berry has locked up NCAA Division III national tournament invitations – and conference championships – in softball and women’s golf.  The baseball team can join them by winning this weekend’s SAA championship series in the friendly confines of Bowdoin Field. The men’s 4×100 relay team may also get a crack at nationals after blazing to victory at the SAA track and field championships.

Earlier this semester, senior Haley Brown earned honorable mention All-America recognition as one of four national qualifiers from the women’s swimming and diving team. Sophomore Genesis Leggett, meanwhile, became the first Berry track athlete, male or female, to compete nationally in the NCAA era, qualifying for indoor nationals in the weight throw. Not to be outdone, six members of the equestrian team have punched their tickets to nationals in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.

Fittingly, all of this success got started with a bit of madness – February Madness, in this case – courtesy of the men’s basketball team. After finishing eighth in the regular season, the Vikings made history with three wins in three days to claim Berry’s first conference championship in men’s basketball since 1992. Read more about their magical run in this oral history by student Noah Syverson.

Follow the action in all sports at www.berryvikings.com.

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Berry Academy Basketball TeamMembers of the 1964-65 Berry Academy Falcons basketball team returned to campus in December to commemorate the golden anniversary of one of the greatest seasons in Berry history.

Fifty years ago, these men dominated their competition as one of the most formidable high school basketball teams in Georgia. Thriving under the strict leadership of head coach Jerry Shelton (58C), the Falcons soared to a 30-5 record that included a 17-game winning streak to start the season, a four-game sweep of the Rome News-Tribune Invitational Basketball Tournament (now called the Holiday Festival), and a seven-overtime win over Cartersville that propelled them into the state tournament for a second consecutive season.

Five decades later, the bonds of brotherhood that made them such a powerful unit were still evident as team members, fellow alumni and friends gathered for a reunion luncheon in the Berry Alumni Center. Later, the Falcons took the court together once more to be honored before a packed house at Berry’s own Cage Center during halftime of the final game of the 2014 Holiday Festival tournament.

Jerry SheltonThe players were effusive in their praise of Shelton, a standout athlete during his college days at Berry who went on to a distinguished career as an educator and administrator, eventually serving as director of the basketball tournament he’d won as a coach at Berry Academy. They also remembered his late wife, Joyce (63C), the team’s “greatest, most loyal” cheerleader.

With obvious respect and good humor, they painted a picture of a man meticulous in nature, rigorous in his training methods and creative in his coaching. Jerry Chastain (65A), for example, recalled a practice in which Shelton armed defenders with tennis racquets to help his shooters prepare for a particularly tall opponent.

“He made us winners,” declared team captain Tom Butler (65A). “He taught us that we were worthwhile and powerful, to shoot beyond what we thought were our limits, that we were somebody because we were men of Berry. And because of this, we found out who we really, truly could become.”

Bill McWhorter (65A, 69C) added, “Through [Shelton’s] guidance and with a student body that supported a team that loved to play basketball and loved each other, we were able to make the Berry schools proud, not just the high school but the college as well. It’s an honor for me to say that I’m a graduate from Berry Academy, and I was a member of the greatest team ever.”

The reunion was spearheaded by Bob Williams (62H) and his wife, Kay.

More on the 1964-65 Berry Academy Falcons.

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Charlie Hood

Photo by Laura Moon, Marietta Daily Journal

For 37 years, Charlie Hood (69C) was the face of boys basketball at Marietta (Ga.) High School, coaching the Blue Devils to 715 victories, 20 state tournament appearances and two state championships. Recently, Marietta recognized his achievements by naming its basketball court in his honor. Among those on hand for the Nov. 17 ceremony was former NBA standout Dale Ellis, one of the 60-plus Marietta players who went on to play college basketball during Charlie’s tenure.

“It is truly a great honor,” the retired coach told the Marietta Daily Journal. “The floor might say ‘Charlie Hood,’ but there are a lot of players and coaches who were responsible for that.”

Before making history at Marietta, Charlie was a basketball standout at Berry, helping the Vikings post a 23-8 record his senior year. More.

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