Tag Archives: intercollegiate athletics


Brad Bohannon (98C) is the new head baseball coach at the University of Alabama. The former Berry standout, who batted .335 in two seasons for the Vikings, has distinguished himself as an NCAA Division I assistant, most recently at Auburn University. In 2015, he was named National Assistant Coach of the Year by Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association for his work at the University of Kentucky. More on Bohannon.Also in the news is Stephen Gaylor (14C), another Berry baseball alumnus who is now playing for the Class AAA Gwinnett Braves, just one step short of the major leagues. Gaylor, Berry’s all-time leader in stolen bases, is one of 32 former Vikings to compete professionally dating back to the 1960s. More on Gaylor.

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Berry Trivia PhotoWow! Last month’s trivia question – asking readers to identify the Berry alumnus now “getting his kicks” with the Atlanta United professional soccer team – produced one of the closest results in our history, with Alyssa Nobles (12C) beating Sarah Huffman (12C) by a scant two minutes in tweeting the correct response of Mark Bloom (10C).

The subject of this month’s question (pictured at left) will be honored in July as the 2017 recipient of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s E. Burr Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award, one of six Distinguished Service Awards presented by the international organization each year. Earn a shout-out in our next issue by being the first to tweet the name of this 1961 Berry high school alumnus who recently completed his 40th year as a college president. Be sure to include the hashtag #berrycollegetrivia.

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Sydney Weaver (17C)

Sydney Weaver (17C)

Genesis Leggett throws the shot put

Freshman Genesis Leggett throws the shot put for Berry during the SAA championships at Valhalla.

Sydney Weaver (17C) made history this spring as the first Berry student-athlete to compete in the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championships, finishing seventh overall. The first-team All-American has taken her last swing for Berry, but she’ll continue to serve the program as a graduate assistant.

Weaver’s success was one of many athletic highlights for Berry this spring. Others included a No. 5 national finish and All-America recognition for men’s golfer Ryan Elmore (17C); national equestrian crowns for sophomores Allie Robertson and Emily Lambert; Berry’s first All-American in men’s lacrosse; two conference championships for Southern Athletic Association Women’s Field Athlete of the Year Genesis Leggett; and numerous regional and national honors for Berry’s record-breaking softball team.

Berry facilities were also on display, with Valhalla hosting Georgia High School Association state championships and the SAA track and field championships, the newly-christened Kay Williams Field hosting an NCAA Division III softball regional, and the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College welcoming the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference championships.

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

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Berry Softball Player on "The Price is Right"The hits just keep coming for Berry softball, even on days off. Sitting in the studio audience of The Price is Right during a spring-break trip to California, players and coaches were thrilled to hear one of their own – sophomore Kayla Sangrey – exhorted to “Come on down!” Even better, Sangrey eventually won her way on stage alongside host Drew Carey.

Sangrey’s brush with game-show fame is one highlight among many for the Vikings, who earlier this season made history by earning Berry’s first No. 1 national ranking as a member of NCAA Division III. Fresh off a third straight sweep of the Southern Athletic Association’s regular-season and tournament crowns, the team is now taking aim at what could be Berry’s first-ever NCAA championship.

Visit www.berryvikings.com to follow their progress and that of other Berry student-athletes pursuing championship dreams.

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Williams Field Dedication

From left, softball coach Cori Thiermann, Dean of Students Debbie Heida, Board of Trustees Chair Barry Griswell (71C) and President Steve Briggs join Kay and Bob (62H) Williams at the official ribbon-cutting for Kay Williams Field.

Four straight wins over top-ranked opponents, a milestone 200th victory for head coach Cori Thiermann and a field dedication honoring one of their biggest fans highlighted a program-best 13-0 start for Berry’s softball Vikings.

The Feb. 18 dedication of Kay Williams Field coincided with a doubleheader sweep of arch-rival Emory University. A pregame ceremony honored Kay Williams’ longtime support of Berry’s student-athletes and the institution as a whole. Husband Bob Williams (62H) joined her for the dedication, along with Board of Trustees Chair Barry Griswell (71C) and other Berry leaders.

The wins over Emory – coming on the heels of a similarly impressive sweep of Texas Lutheran – propelled Berry to a top-5 national ranking. In less than a month of action, three members of the team – Brittany Tuttle, Sarah Moore and Marie Collop – have earned National Player of the Week honors from either Fastpitch News or the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

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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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Viking ChargeSingle-game tickets for the 2016 football season are now available online for alumni and friends wishing to join in the fun as coach Tony Kunczewski’s Vikings – ranked No. 21 in NCAA Division III by Lindy’s magazine – work to build on their 7-3 finish in 2015.

Tickets may be purchased for $6 apiece (including $1 online surcharge) at www.BerryGameDay.com and picked up at the will-call window on game day; no tickets will be mailed. Online purchases must be made by noon Wednesday of the week preceding each game. If you miss this cutoff or prefer to purchase your tickets in person, visit the Krannert Center Information Desk between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, or stop by the stadium ticket booth on game day. Interest is high, so get your tickets early!

This year’s home schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Sept. 3
Maryville College, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 24
Sewanee: University of the South, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 8
University of Chicago, Noon

Saturday, Oct. 29
Millsaps College, 1 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
Birmingham-Southern College, 3 p.m.

Last year’s inaugural season at Valhalla was a winner for the team and the fans, producing a 4-1 record on the Williams Field turf and average attendance of more than 3,000 per game (ranking Berry in the top 12 percent nationally for NCAA Division III).

Note to campus community: Free tickets for students and faculty/staff are available 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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Kassie HowardA trio of Berry student-athletes found themselves ranked among the very best in NCAA Division III after dominating seasons in softball and men’s golf.

Sophomore pitcher Kassie Howard (pictured) won acclaim as Berry’s first softball All-American and was one of 10 finalists for National Player of the Year after leading her team to a program-best 39-8 record and a second straight trip to nationals.

Two Berry golfers – senior Tommy McCloskey and junior Ryan Elmore – were Jack Nicklaus Award semifinalists after helping their team qualify for nationals for the third consecutive year. McCloskey also earned All-America Scholar recognition with his 3.49 GPA. He graduated in May with a degree in finance.

Photo by student Russell Maddrey

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Audrey Morgan

Audrey Morgan

Todd Brooks

Todd Brooks

The visionary donor who helped spur development of the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program and the administrator who has led Berry’s athletic program during a period of tremendous growth have been granted honorary membership in the Berry Alumni Association. Audrey Morgan and Todd Brooks join an impressive list that includes former college presidents, beloved faculty members and other close Berry friends.

Morgan has committed more than $7.5 million to programs and facilities benefiting Berry students, including $1 million in matching funds to encourage support for a new campus theatre. She is a member of the Board of Visitors and a recipient of Berry’s honorary doctorate.

Brooks, meanwhile, has served two stints as athletic director, helping guide Berry’s transition to NCAA Division III and the Southern Athletic Association and assisting in the planning process for the Cage Center and Valhalla.

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Equestrian Champions

Berry riders (from left) AnnaLee Cooley, Emily Lambert, Elizabeth Poczobut, Sarah Cooper and Allie Robertson.

The Berry equestrian team is closing in on “dynasty” status after claiming its second national championship in a row – and third in five years – at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association’s Western Nationals. Berry also competed nationally in softball and men’s golf this spring, with the softball team finishing with the best record in its history, 39-8, and hosting an NCAA Division III regional for the first time.

This year’s equestrian title was shared with St. Andrews University after the two teams finished the four-day competition tied with 19 total points. Five other teams finished within four points of the leaders, including Ohio State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Oregon State University.

“Winning the national championship for the third time in five years is such an honor,” said Berry coach Margaret Knight. “I’m so proud of my team this year and how hard everyone worked to defend the title. We are truly blessed!”

Four riders scored points for Berry in the team competition: sophomore AnnaLee Cooley (first, Advanced Western Horsemanship), freshman Sarah Cooper (second, Novice Western Horsemanship), junior Elizabeth Poczobut (second, Open Western Horsemanship) and freshman Allie Robertson (fifth, Intermediate Western Horsemanship). Poczobut also competed in Open Reining, finishing eighth, while freshman Emily Lambert matched that placement in Beginner Western Horsemanship.

Individually, Poczobut claimed a No. 5 national finish in the High Point Western Rider competition, while Berry’s lone hunt-seat competitor – senior Mallory Hammer – was ninth in Open Equitation on the Flat.

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

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David BeasleyDavid Beasley’s impressive ability to prepare student-athletes for success on the baseball field and in life has earned him induction into the Rome-Floyd Sports Hall of Fame. A quick glance at Beasley’s accomplishments tells the story:

  • 563 wins (and counting), first all-time among Berry coaches
  • 98 percent graduation rate among his players
  • 14 All-Americans
  • 9 Academic All-Americans
  • 22 future pros including Collin McHugh (09c), the first Berry player to reach the Major Leagues.
  • 48 former players who are now coaches, including six at the college level and 42 in the high school ranks

This spring, Beasley’s Vikings are well on their way to their 16th winning season in his 19 years as head coach. Click here to follow their progress.

 

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