Tag Archives: football

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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Haley Brown Celebrates in the PoolAngel Mason

MAKING A SPLASH: Angel Mason, at right, takes over a Berry athletic program that has had much to celebrate in recent years. Highlights in 2018-19 include a return trip to the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving National Championships for senior Haley Brown (seen above in this photo by student Leigh Hadaway).

A former college athlete with 14 years of experience as a coach, administrator and NCAA Division III advocate has been chosen to lead Berry’s high-performing athletic department. Angel Mason will officially begin her service as director of athletics June 1, concluding a successful national search.

“Building on her experience as a player and coach, Angel has established a strong national reputation through administrative positions at top colleges across the country and in her leadership work with the NCAA,” President Steve Briggs said. “She is well-poised to help our program flourish.”

Mason currently serves as senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Pomona-Pitzer in California. At Berry, she will provide leadership for a program that has enjoyed tremendous success in the Southern Athletic Association and NCAA Division III. In 2017-18, Viking athletes won eight SAA team titles and qualified for nationals in 10 different sports. This academic year has produced additional SAA team championships in volleyball and football, six individual SAA crowns in swimming, seven conference wins in track and field, and national qualifiers in five sports (with more possible).

“I am excited to join a team of professionals that are focused on serving students first,” Mason said. “There is a bright future ahead for Vikings athletics, and I am honored to have the opportunity to grow with the athletic and greater campus community.”

Click here to learn more about Berry’s new director of athletics.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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This buzzer-beating 3-pointer by senior Myles Moore lifted the Berry men’s basketball team to its sixth win in seven games to start the 2018-19 season. Commentary on the shot is provided by student Noah Syverson.

Another remarkable fall for Berry athletics is now giving way to a promising winter thanks to a blistering start in men’s basketball under first-year coach Mitch Cole. In opening the season 6-1 – Berry’s best start in men’s basketball since joining NCAA Division III – Cole’s Vikings are building on the momentum created by Southern Athletic Association championships and national tournament appearances in volleyball and football, winning seasons in men’s and women’s soccer, and a pair of national qualifiers in women’s cross country.

Berry volleyball once again had the home fans roaring, finishing with a sparkling 26-4 record highlighted by a second straight sweep of the SAA regular-season and tournament crowns. Leading the way was junior Carson VanCampen, who made history as the first Berry volleyball player to be named a first-team All-American. Emily Hancock and Laura Beier joined her as honorable-mention All-Americans, while Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) was regional Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Berry players celebrate the courage of teammate Justus Edwards.

Berry players celebrate the courage of injured teammate Justus Edwards. Photo by student Leigh Hadaway.

In football, Berry continued its dominance of the SAA by winning its third straight conference championship. The Vikings finished 10-2 overall, including a perfect 6-0 record at Valhalla. The team now sports a 21-1 record in four seasons on the Williams Field turf, including two national playoff wins. Players this year drew strength from the courage shown by sophomore Justus Edwards after suffering a severe injury in September. Read more.

Women’s cross country also enjoyed a banner fall, advancing two runners to nationals. Junior Abby Carroll qualified for the second consecutive year, while Meredith Herman made her first appearance. Their subsequent placements at nationals were the best by Berry in the NCAA era. They also extended their team’s streak of sending at least one runner to nationals in each of the last three seasons.

Visit berryvikings.com for complete coverage of all Berry athletics.

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Friends Reunite at College Reunion Brunch.

Friends from the class of 1978 reunite during the college reunion brunch, held this year at the WinShape HUB on the mountain campus.

What do class reunions, carnival rides, cupcakes, football and soaring voices have in common? All were indispensable ingredients adding flavor to Mountain Day 2018!

Thousands of alumni, students, parents, faculty/staff and friends took this year’s theme of “Better Together” to heart by packing the world’s largest campus for the 104th edition of Berry’s one-of-a-kind homecoming celebration. Those who couldn’t make it back in person joined in the fun via social media thanks to a new tradition rooted in Mountain Day’s origins as a birthday celebration for Martha Berry herself.

Highlights included the Mountain Day Olympics – Friendship and Morgan/Deerfield claimed victory, for those keeping score at home – a glorious fall picnic and the Grand March of Students. Adding to the fun was the return of Mountain Day football, which drew a record crowd of more than 4,600 to Valhalla for another win by Berry’s nationally-ranked Vikings, and the annual Marthapalooza carnival. Campus visitors also got to enjoy two home volleyball matches (both wins!) and daily performances of Neil Simon’s Rumors by Berry’s student theatre company.

Sydney Adams (18C) and Lauren Richardson (18C) shared this Mountain Day selfie from Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. "Cupcake for Martha" during Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Sydney Adams (18C), left, and Lauren Richardson (18C) shared this Mountain Day selfie from Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Reunion events included a brunch at the WinShape HUB, a pregame tailgate for the “milestone” classes of 1978, 1993 and 2008, and an inspiring 60th anniversary concert by the Berry Singers at Ford Auditorium. There were also alumni games for returning student-athletes and special events honoring beloved faculty members, past and present.

New this year was “Cupcakes for Martha,” a tasty way to toast Martha’s birthday. Alumni and friends made short work of the 1,000 free cupcakes available on campus, while those checking in from the road were more than happy to provide their own sweet treats while sharing selfies from as far away as London and Munich. Search #cupcakesformartha on Instagram and Facebook to view some of the photos.

We’re grateful to everyone who took part in this year’s celebration, as well as Mountain Day sponsor Plainville Brick Company and other community partners for their role in helping to make the event a success. If you missed out, don’t worry – we’re already making plans for Mountain Day 2019!

Related: Photo gallery; Berry Singers concert coverage (with audio); choir photos; reunion photos

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Mountain Day BannerThere’s no denying that the very best Berry experiences are those that bring us together. That’s certainly true of Mountain Day! From the Mountain Day Olympics to the Grand March to the gifts of pennies students drop in the basket at the foot of Lavender Mountain, everything about this grand Berry tradition revolves around our powerful sense of togetherness.

Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the things we have planned for this year’s celebration, which is just a few weeks away. Visit berry.edu/mountainday for a complete schedule (be sure to note special dedications honoring legendary faculty members Dr. Ouida Word Dickey (50C) and the late Dr. Peter Lawler).

As you make your plans, we hope you’ll symbolically join our students in the Mountain Day tradition of giving – it is Martha’s birthday, after all – by supporting crowdfunding projects and other special initiatives. Watch for more information as the event date draws closer.

Reunion BrunchClass Reunions and Related Activities

High School/Academy Reunion Brunch (10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Hill Dining Hall): Classes of 1973, 1978 and 1983. Registration is $15 for individuals, $25 for couples and $5 for children 6 to 16; cost covers brunch, Mountain Day T-shirt and admission to Saturday night football game. Coffee will be served at 9:30, brunch at 10:30. Register.

College Reunion Brunch (10:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, WinShape Hub): Classes of 19731978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008. Registration details are same as above. Register.

Berry football team takes field at Valhalla. 2013C Reunion (Noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Schroeder’s Deli on Broad St.): Dutch treat; couple and individual price packages available for Mountain Day T-shirts and football tickets. Register.

Milestone Class Reunion Tailgate (3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Dickey Field adjacent to Valhalla stadium) and Football Game (6 p.m. kickoff vs. Sewanee): Mountain Day football is back! While all alumni are invited to the game, members of our milestone reunion classes (1978, 1993 and 2008) also have the option of attending a free pregame tailgate. Game tickets can be obtained by registering for reunion events above or purchased separately for $6 apiece at berrygameday.com. A huge crowd is expected, so get your tickets early! RSVP.

Other Notable Events

Mountain Day Golf Scramble (Noon, Friday, Oct. 5, Stonebridge Golf Club): Registration is $95 per person. Contact Brian Farrer (02C) at 706-238-5904 for details. Register.

Carl Tallent

Carl Tallent (01C)

Berry College Theatre Company Presents Neil Simons’ Rumors (showtimes all three days at Sisters Theatre): Features scenic designs by Carl Tallent (01C). Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and $6 for students. Call 706-236-2263 or visit berry.edu/bctc-tickets.

Examples of Al Christopher's Berry-inspired woodturnings.

Examples of Al Christopher’s Berry-inspired woodturnings.

From Tree to Treasure (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum): Don’t miss this exhibit showcasing the woodturning artistry of Al Christopher (61c). Admission is free.

Alumni Choir Concert (2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7, Ford Auditorium): Alumni under the direction of guest conductors Ross Magoulas (FFS) and Harry Musselwhite (FFS) will lift their voices in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Berry Singers, founded by Magoulas in 1958. A reunion lunch will be held at noon ($30 registration; $15 for each additional participant). Contact Dr. Paul Neal for more information. Register for lunch.

Special thanks to Plainville Brick Company for providing support for this year’s Mountain Day celebration. These longtime friends of Berry provided bricks for several campus buildings, so it’s only fitting that they now step forward as Mountain Day’s first community sponsor.

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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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Volleyball CelebrationBerry players and fans celebrate the Vikings’ stunning come-from-behind victory over Covenant College in the second round of the NCAA Division III Atlanta Regional. Photo courtesy of Jack Lewis.

Football Celebration

Senior Antonio White Jr. hoists the SAA championship trophy as Berry celebrates a perfect 10-0 regular season. Photo by student photographer Matt McConnell.

Historic success in volleyball and football provided a spectacular climax to fall semester for Berry’s intercollegiate athletics program. Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) and Tony Kunczewski each earned conference and regional Coach-of-the-Year recognition after leading their respective teams to Southern Athletic Association championships and NCAA Division III national playoff appearances.

Powered by the All-American trio of Hannah Kate Thompson, Carson VanCampen and Emily Hancock, the volleyball Vikings finished a perfect 14-0 in conference play – a first in SAA history – dominated the SAA tournament and advanced to an NCAA Division III regional final, another program first. Their final win total (30) represents a new high for Berry volleyball in the NCAA era.

The football team also claimed perfection in conference play, led by two-time All-American and 2017 D3football.com National Defensive Player of the Year Mamadou Soumahoro and many other All-Conference and All-Region performers. The Vikings defeated Huntingdon College in the first round of the national playoffs before a hard-fought loss to Division III power St. Thomas of Minnesota capped an 11-1 finish, the best in Berry history.

The softball Vikings also swept the SAA last spring, winning regular-season and postseason titles, giving Berry three unbeaten conference champions in 2017.

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Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late into the fourth quarter of Berry's home opener against LaGrange.Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of Berry’s home opener against LaGrange. The Vikings won the game 28-14, part of a 14-game winning streak dating back to last October.

Berry volleyball players celebrate their first-ever win over Emory University.

Hannah Billiard (15) and her Berry teammates celebrate during their first-ever win over Emory University.

To say it’s been a splendid fall for Berry’s volleyball and football teams would be something of an understatement. Both have earned national rankings and kindled championship dreams by dominating their peers in the Southern Athletic Association.

The volleyball team made history Oct. 22 as the first SAA program to finish the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record in conference play. Next up is the SAA tournament, to be held Nov. 3-5 in the friendly confines of the Cage Center. A victory in that event will guarantee the Vikings and coach Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) a trip to nationals. SAA tournament website.

The football team has enjoyed similar success, soaring to a best-ever 9-0 start that includes a 7-0 mark in conference play. The Vikings have clinched a share of their second consecutive SAA championship and can win the title outright with a home victory over Trinity (Texas) on Nov. 11. Regardless of the outcome of that game, coach Tony Kunczewski’s team has already assured itself of a first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III national playoffs. Complete coverage.

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As a student juggling football practice, theatre rehearsals and work in HackBerry Lab, Alec Leeseberg (17C) appreciated the pick-me-up provided by a good cup of coffee. It should come as no surprise then that one of the budding entrepreneur’s early inventions was HoloBrew, a “smart” appliance meant to provide the perfect cup every time.

Leeseberg discovered his passion for designing new electronics through Berry’s innovative creative technologies major. Working and studying in HackBerry Lab, he gained valuable skills in computer programming and 3-D printing that helped unlock his first invention, HoloView, which projected holograms using a smartphone. That product became the centerpiece of an entrepreneurship project and ultimately the basis for his own company.

Those experiences taught him the basics of managing a business and paved the way for subsequent inventions like HoloBrew. They also helped him catch the eye of GoFire, a Colorado-based startup he now serves as technology project manager, and the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he will pursue a master’s degree in creative technology and design.

Leeseberg hopes his work at GoFire and in Colorado’s BTU lab will offer a jolt to his own career prospects more powerful than any double-shot of caffeine, allowing him to take full advantage of the foundation Berry provided.

“Berry and the creative technologies major prepared me for working in this field more than any other program could,” he praised. “It gave me a set of skills and a unique perspective that I find valuable every day.”

Hear more about Leeseberg’s Berry experience in the accompanying admissions video produced while he was a student.

By student writer Katherine Edmonds

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Mamadou Soumahoro returns a fumble for a touchdown against the University of Chicago.

Mamadou Soumahoro returns a fumble for a touchdown against the University of Chicago in this photo by Russell Maddrey (17C).

Berry’s 2017 football season is beginning just as last year’s ended, with individual recognition for outstanding achievement. Linebacker Mamadou Soumahoro has been tapped as a Preseason All-American by D3football.com, while another rising senior, Michael Wenclawiak, is among 146 national nominees for the American Football Coaches Association’s Good Works Team, which honors those who dedicate themselves to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others.

The Vikings, defending Southern Athletic Association champions, begin their fifth season of competition Sept. 2 at Maryville hoping to build on last year’s 9-1 finish. The home schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Sept. 9
LaGrange College
6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16
Rhodes College
6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Centre College
6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 14
Hendrix College
2 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 11
Trinity University
2 p.m.

Ticket information: Alumni wishing to purchase $6 single-game tickets online may do so at www.berrygameday.com. Free tickets for students, faculty and staff will be available for pickup at the Krannert Center Information Desk the week preceding each home game. Students are eligible for one free ticket per game; faculty/staff receive two. Up to two additional tickets may be purchased at the time of pickup for $5 apiece.

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Conference championships in football and women’s cross country highlighted another successful fall for Berry’s student-athletes.

The football team posted a best-ever 9-1 record in its fourth season of competition, closing with a five-game winning streak to share the Southern Athletic Association crown with Washington University in St. Louis. Highlights for Berry included road wins over SAA rivals Hendrix and Centre and a perfect 5-0 record at Valhalla. Also notable was a thrilling 22-19 overtime win over Millsaps made possible by a play you simply have to see to believe. Click the video and you’ll know why it was named d3football.com National Play of the Week.

In women’s cross country, senior captain Danielle Patterson paced Berry to first place in the SAA meet and sixth in the NCAA Division III regional (held in the Clara Bowl). Her time of 22:32.30 in the latter race qualified her for NCAA nationals, a first for Berry.

Fittingly, both of Berry’s SAA-winning coaches, Tony Kunczewski and Paul Deaton (91C), earned conference Coach-of-the-Year recognition. Student-athletes in a number of sports also claimed individual honors this fall. Visit www.berryvikings.com for complete coverage.

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The Berry football team is making news on and off the field as it chases a conference championship in only its fourth year of existence. Players in the spotlight include receiver Trey Ciresi, who was featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after helping propel the Vikings to the best start in their history, and fellow senior Chris Lilly, whose one-handed touchdown catch against LaGrange (see video) has been nominated for GEICO National Play of the Year. The team also earned a preseason shout-out from Atlanta NBC affiliate 11 Alive News for having three sets of brothers on the roster.

The Vikings carry a 6-1 overall record into their final three regular-season games. Win all three, and the team has an opportunity to claim its first Southern Athletic Association championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III national playoffs. Two of those games will be played at Valhalla, where Berry is 3-0 this season and 7-1 since the stadium opened in 2015. Visit www.berrygameday.com for schedule and ticket information.

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