Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015-16 Preview

I haven't been this excited to work with a new class of recruits in a long time.  I knew that last years recruiting class (my 1st at Berry) was a talented group, but I do feel that we have added a couple more in this years class compared to '15.

We graduated 10 Seniors off of our 30 man roster, and 2 were unable to return, so we will return 18 Varsity players, which is a little thin for comfort.  However, we were able to bring in 20 recruits and look to return 2 Juniors from hiatus.  This will bring our Fall roster to a little over 40 players (including walk-ons) where we will finally be able to ensure more competitive scrimmages within practice through additional depth and talent.

I am excited also for what the future holds, as I have already begun to move forward and recruit actively for next Fall, and we are incredibly excited about the guys that have expressed mutual interest in us.  

It is an exciting time to be a Viking.  Especially with the completion of our $7 Million brand new Valhalla Stadium.

Take a look at our Press Release regarding our incoming Freshmen class by clicking here.  As you will see almost all of the guys were either Team Captains, Leading Scorers, or All-County/All-State...etc.  

These guys are going to take our program to the next level, as is our 2016 Schedule where we will play host to Colorado College and Roanoke College, as well as, travel to Denison University and Washington College.  These games in addition to our SAA conference schedule will ensure our most competitive schedule to date.

I hope to see you on campus sometime real soon.

2015 Season Recap

This is one of my favorite photos from the 2015 Season, and was a great moment in time.  Cory Hall who was later selected by USILA to play in the North-South Game, scored the Overtime game winner at home on our Senior Day in front of a boisterous crowd.  
Click Here for Drone Video footage from our Pre-Game warm-up.

The SAA Conference is an incredibly competitive conference and proved again to be so in '15.  We finished as regular season champions in a tie and took a share of the crown.  We played in four one goal games.  We were fortunate to win the 1-goal games we needed, but ultimately lose the one we wanted in the SAA Championship game, where the winner receives an Automatic Qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.

Event though we didn't get the invite, we were still ready for the dance.

Post-Season accolades were our best yet, as Cory Hall and Jack Chase earned USILA Scholar All-American honors.  While the SAA All-Conference team featured four 1st team members in Cory Hall (Att), Jack Chase (Def), Max Smerka (Mid) and Nate Mayer (DM).  Additionally, the 2nd team featured Jake Lane (Def) and Christian Akers (Mid), while Patrick Towner (Def) rounded out the honorable mention accolades.

Other season highlights included a trip to Colorado and California on our Spring Break, our season opening win over Young-Harris in Kennesaw State University's stadium before the Duke/Denver rematch game, and the "Rome Mega-Bowl" it was glorious............................stay tuned............

2014-15 Season Recap

The 2014-15 Season featured our first ever graduating class, where we advanced to the SAA Semi-Final game and lost to Centre College in a heartbreaker.  I know that we could have won this game, but felt that I did not have my best season personally, as I was hit in the face with a shot and required reconstructive facial surgery.  I feel bad that I let my team down, but was proud of the way the guys battled through a season of adversity especially with a roster size of only 26 players.

Our 2014-15 season featured 9 all-conference players and 11 All-Academic SAA members.  However, the real thing I would like to boast about is that all 7 of the graduated seniors landed terrific jobs immediately after their graduation.  This is one area that Berry College excels at more than our competitors.  In fact, we have one player making $85,000 right out of college with AT&T!  The reason real reason why you go to Berry College ultimately, is to set yourself up for success in life.

We finished the season with a 12-5 record, and continue to show vast improvements, especially when comparing what we've accomplished in only 4 years against other new programs.  Berry College has been able to rise to prominence so quickly because of the facilities we offer, and the support we receive through both our administration and our budgeting resources.

You really have to see this place in person to fully grasp what an amazing place this is.

Coach Gilbert Introduction

I am sorry for the lack of posts over the past two years, and hope that you will continue to follow the Berry College Lacrosse program.  I will be updating this page more frequently, and hope you check in occasionally to see what is new.

With that in mind, I thought I would give you a little background about myself and where I am coming from.

In 2014-15 I accepted the position here at Berry College after spending 6 years as a Head Coach at New England College in New Hampshire.  I could not have been more excited for the opportunity at Berry Collge, and believe the potential for success here is infinite.

As stated, I spent 6 years in NH and took a team that was 1-13 prior to my arrival to 4 championship games in 6 years, including an NCAA Tournament berth, and also coached the programs first 2 All-Americans in over 70 years.  Additionally, 2 of my other players are now playing in the NLL.

With that said, I believe that if you bring in the right kind of student-athlete, success will follow.  I played at high level myself and was part of a National Championship team at Washington College.  I then went to Whittier College, Washington College, and Denison University all as an assistant and we advanced to the NCAA tournament at all three institutions, and twice we advanced to the Final Four.

Berry College is on the fringe of making the NCAA tournament as we have lost by 1 goal in the Conference Championship twice in the last three years.  Our guys are determined to score that extra goal that will help us advance to the tournament, and I too know that we can do that.

I hope you like what you hear, and continue to follow Berry College Lacrosse.

-Curtis Gilbert