Footballs' historic season comes to a close
Chris Ferguson, Campus Carrier Asst. Sports Editor
This past weekend, the Vikings wrapped up an accomplished season that will go down in both conference and school history. The men fell to the University of St. Thomas, who were ranked 4th in the nation when they played Berry. The Vikings were ranked 18th in the nation and were considered the underdog in this matchup.
The Vikings just fell short of victory in a 29-13 loss against the Tommies. Looking back on the season, the loss does not reflect the great success the Vikings have seen throughout the year.
Both individuals and the team as a whole have received the most accolades in the program’s short history. From the program’s start in 2013 to this year’s team, the Vikings have turned a struggling season yielding 0 wins into a perfect 10-0 record in conference.
This success stemmed from the hard-working coaching staff who led the team to multiple victories. It did not come as a surprise to the team or the conference when Head Coach Tony Kunczewski was named the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) coach of the year.
Just as Kunczewski was recognized by the conference, many of Berry’s players received impressive SAA accolades as well.
Not only did senior Mamadou Soumahoro receive First Team All-Conference recognition, but he was also named the SAA defensive player of the year. Along with Soumahoro, seniors Tristin Cline, Tyler Bertolini and Austin Haight, followed by juniors Nick McGee, Kevin Grier and sophomores Mason Kinsey, Trey Gregory and Brandon Palmer, all received First Team All-Conference recognition. Seniors Trey Ciresi and Johnathan Fischer, followed by sophomores Jacob Collins and Jacob Bishop all received Second Team All-Conference recognition. Finally, seniors Justin Akin, Antonio White, Michael Wenclawiak, Austin Lowe and Jackson Putnam, followed by juniors Slade Dale, Bryson Lamboy and sophomore David Haithcock all received All-Conference Honorable Mention.
As a team, the Vikings also racked up some impressive statistics to go along with their equally impressive record and individual accolades.
The Vikings’ offense was ranked third in the conference with 4,530 total offensive yards, scoring an average of 34.2 points per game. They also led the conference with a 93.9 percent field goal percentage and a 69 percent completed red zone scoring opportunities.
On the other side of the ball, the stingy defense was ranked first in the conference in quarterback sacks with 33, with only 16 points allowed per game. They also led the conference with the fewest yards allowed at only 279.9 on the season.
Overall, this season marks the closest that the Vikings have ever gotten to the NCAA Division III Football championship. With the success of such a talented young program, the Vikings are on track to continue this success in future seasons.
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