Berry Football Makes History
A standing-room only crowd jammed Barron Stadium on Saturday to witness history being made as Berry opened its first-ever football season with a game against the Scots of Maryville College (Tennessee). An enthusiastic crowd of students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and community members supported the team with a rousing show of exuberance that included face paint, pom pom waving and plenty of blue and silver attire.
Although the Vikings failed to score and ultimately lost 37-0, the crowd remained through the final play and joined with the team to close the evening by singing the school alma mater.
Halftime festivities featured the Model High School Marching Band and Berry's own new drum-line, which provided an impressive inaugural performance to the cheering crowd.
Speaking to reporters, Coach Tony Kunczewski described Saturday's crowd. "Words can't even explain. I was stunned…I couldn't have written a better script in terms of atmosphere," he said.
The energy in the stadium was electric, largely due to the massive turnout. Current students, proud alumni, and onlookers from the greater Rome area made up the standing-room-only crowd of approximately 6,700.
"Hopefully our guys took it all in. I can't say enough about the people at Berry and the folks of Rome," Kunczewski said. "I told them not to take this for granted. It was an awesome environment. It was a great experience."
Senior Mary Chambers, of Athens, Ga., was still happy to watch the first Berry football game even with the loss.
"It's not about the numbers on the board, but supporting your fellow students on the field," Chambers said. "Football has brought Berry together, and our chant "We All Row" shows that - whether we are competing on the field, performing in the drum line, or cheering on from the stands."
Kevin Christmas, a freshman from Gainesville Ga., plays running back for the Vikings.
"It was an awesome feeling knowing that each and every play was making Berry College history," he said. "We saw some good things and saw what needed to be improved in order to get better each week."
The football game wrapped up an incredibly busy weekend at Berry that included a student involvement fair, a pep rally that honored all Berry athletics, a concert performance by Good Old War, and First-Year Service day.
Student Public Relations Supervisor Hayden Sloan contributed to this story. Photos by Public Relations Student Photographers Lauren Neumann and Mary Claire Stewart