Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fall Line-Up of Events

Sat. Sept. 18th - Advanced Skills Camp I
Sun. Sept. 18th - 'Rookie vs. Returner' game
Sat. Sept. 24th - Berry Football vs. Sewanee
Sun. Oct. 2nd - 2nd Annual Alumni game 11:00 a.m.
Sun. Oct. 16th - 
6th Annual Berry College Pumpkin Classic 7v7
Sun. Oct. 16th - Berry College 'High Steaks' Blue vs. White Scrimmage
Sat. Oct. 22nd -Wounded Warrior Project's Face-Off for a Cause

Sat. Oct. 29th - Berry Football vs. Millsaps
Sun. Nov. 12th - 
Advanced Skills Camp II

Any Recruits looking to visit, these are THE ONLY dates we will be hosting this Fall.  You are always welcome to stop by during the week, but we hope these dates can accommodate both of our busy schedules.  Talk soon!

2016-2017 Recruiting Class Announced 
 This year’s class of Men’s Lacrosse recruits includes twenty-one athletes from ten different states.  Coach Gilbert could not be more excited for the incoming class and explains, “the class of 2020 is here to fill in the holes due to major graduation losses from the past two years.”  This is a diverse group of talent that includes four attackmen, eight defensemen, five goalies and four midfielders. 

  The Vikings graduated their All-time ground ball leader in Christian Akers and Co –Scoring leader Jake Emche who shot 44% on the season in 2016.  One of the biggest losses will be Goaltender Nick Voso, who finished his career off with a 60.2 % save percentage ranking him 9th Nationally among all goalies in DIII in 2016.

  The 2016-17 Vikings squad will face 4 teams that played in the Post-Season in ’16 and will rely upon a balanced mixture of returning talent and incoming impact players to return to the SAA Championship game.  “Our expectations are that with this talented incoming class, blending with our returning talent, we absolutely feel we can win an SAA Championship this season,” explains Coach Gilbert.

Incoming Lacrosse Recruits:  (in alphabetical order)
Aaser, Eric                  Knoxville, TN             L&N Stem Academy, TN       Attack
Bradley, Hudson        Lexington, KY            Henry Clay, KY                      Defense
Brogdon, Riley           Lawrenceville, GA      Mountain View, GA               Goalie 
Bosworth, Landon     Orlando, FL                William R. Boone, FL            Defense/​LSM
Canfield, Sean            Orlando, FL                Lake Highland Prep, FL       Midfield
Cantoral, Dylan         Carrollton, GA           Carrollton, GA                       Goalie           
Caswell, James          Austin, TX                  Westlake, TX                           Defense/​LSM
Coleman, Max           Huntsville, AL             Huntsville, AL                       Goalie           
Druelinger, Sam        Germantown, TN       Houston, TN                           Defense/​LSM            
Estes, Mitch               Havertown, PA           Haverford, PA                        Defense                      
Fredlock, Michael     Lexington, KY            Henry Clay, KY                     Attack
Grafmeyer, Kyle       Bethesda, MD              Landon, MD                          Goalie 
Johnson, Cole            Alpharetta, GA           Chattahoochee, GA               LSM               
Koferl, Luke              Huntersville, NC        Lake Norman/​Mt. Olive        Attack      
Maggio, Joe                Buford, GA                Buford, GA                            Midfield/​Defense     
Mitchell, Miles           Hendersonville, TN   Hendersonville, TN               Midfield/​Attack
Murphy, Kevin           Vero Beach, FL         St. Edwards, FL                     Goalie
Sale, Evan                   Detroit, MI                Detroit Jesuit, MI                  Attack
Tatum, Matt               Avondale, GA            Decatur, GA                           Attack
Wilson, Ryan             Suwanee, GA              North Gwinnett, GA             Defense
Zakacia, Nick             Johns Creek, GA       Chattahoochee/​UMass-Lowell   Defense         

You can find more information on each of these athletes by visiting our recent press release by clicking HERE.

The Berry College Men’s Lacrosse will begin action this Fall on September 18th with their first day of practice culminating in the annual 'Rookie vs. Returner' game on Saturday September 24th, where we can find out just how good these rookies really are....
Spring Break and SAA Conference Play

  Having taken some lumps and growing pains in February, the Vikings were eager to continue to play high level out-of conference opponents in early March and carry their momentum into SAA Conference play.  
  The first game in March was against SAA opponent Oglethorpe University where the Vikings outscored them 18-1, before heading out for Spring Break.  Berry first faced Transylvania University in Lexington, KY where they beat their opponent 10-5 despite Coach Gilbert being ejected from the game in the 4th quarter for his 'team cheering too loudly' when killing a 3-man down penalty.
  With Coach Gilbert forced to stay behind at the Embassy Suites due to his ejection penalty, Coach Peterson and Byers captained the helm in a nail-biting 7-6 loss against NCAA Tournament finalist, John Carroll University in their next game.  
  The Vikings Spring Break trip then continued through Baltimore, MD where the team practiced at both Coach Gilbert's High School in Hereford and Johns Hopkins University, before heading out to face his alma matter Washington College in Chestertown, MD.  It was a close first half with a score of 4-2 at the half, but the 100 year storied program proved too much for the Vikings in the second half.
  The Vikings returned to Mt. Berry, GA ready to run in the SAA tournament and despite an early hiccup with Centre College and their 11 seniors, the Berry squad again rebounded nicely with a quality 10-3 win at Hendrix.  The Vikings youth proved to be the achilles heel in the next two games and came up one-goal short against Rhodes and a couple more against Sewanee.  
  The remainder of the season found the Vikings hyper-focused on both securing wins, but also keeping their goals against average low in anticipation for the 3-way tie scenario forecasted for the SAA playoffs.  The diligence paid off when the regular season concluded and the dust settle with Berry College boasting the lowest defensive goals against criteria satisfied to secure a hard-earned third place finish to the regular season.
  The SAA Playoffs featured a first-round rematch of Berry College vs. Hendrix where the BC squad again came out victorious with a 10-6 victory.  The following week the Vikings returned to Mount Eagle to play Centre College in the SAA semi-finals, but their experienced senior class of 11 proved too much for the Vikings squad fielded by 50% freshmen.

  "Overall, I am not happy with the outcome of our season (8-9), however I do know that we took significant strides gaining both National recognition, as well as developing young talent that will prove invaluable in the future," Gilbert explains.  "I know I've said it before, but some teams can boast a record of 8-0 out of conference, but where will that really take you.  I want to play the best competition all of the time, and will always schedule the toughest teams possible, because I know it will all pay off in our Conference play."  Gilbert added "I think we went about as far as we could have this year, and I am okay with that, but our 2017 team will much better because of who we played this year, and with whom we put on the field."
February Wrap-Up

  The young Vikings have wrapped up their toughest February in program history.  These out-of-conference contests weathered the Vikings and will prepare them for a strong SAA run despite their 2-3 losing record.  February's contests began when the young Vikings hosted Colorado College who had beat BC 10-0 in 2015.  Berry jumped out to a 2-0 score and trailed 5-4 at the half.  Despite losing 14-8 to the Tigers who advanced to the NCAA tournament, they proved that the 2016 team is a formidable one.  Two days later, Berry avenged the loss with a 17-9 win over Methodist, who was coached by Berry College's former Assistant Zach Nedbalski and alumni Max Smerka.
  The Vikings then played host to #15 ranked Roanoke and took their lumps often against the storied program.  "It was certainly an eye opener for our 15 freshmen," explained Coach Gilbert.  "I want Roanoke and teams like them on the schedule to show us the level that we need to play at to be a National force.  We are certainly competitive in the SAA, but I want to be competitive on a National level," Gilbert added.  
  Again, Berry bounced back with a win against their in-state opponent, Piedmont with a 12-3 win which featured 6 different scorers.  The following weekend the Vikings took an 11 hour ride North to face #4 ranked Denison University, where Coach Gilbert had previously coached as an Assistant, however the Big Red were too much for the Vikings and handed them their 3rd loss of the month.  Denison went on to advance to the NCAA Semi-Finals before falling to National Champion Salisbury University.

  "February is a time to mature and get more competitive, and while some programs would be happy with an undefeated record, I would rather play in championships and these games help us take steps in that direction,"  Gilbert explained.  He then added "it's not how you play in the beginning of the year, as much as how you are playing at the end of April that matters the most to me."