Joshua Mabry, Campus Carrier Asst. Sports Editor
Berry’s football, volleyball and men’s soccer teams are all in the middle of winning seasons.
The football team is 5-0 overall in the season and 3-0 in conference play after defeating Austin College 61-0 on Saturday. The team is also ranked 13th in the country for division III football.
The volleyball team is 11-2 overall and 7-0 in conference play. They are ranked 21 in Division III volleyball.
The men’s soccer team has won seven games, lost one game and ended one game in a tie.
Tony Kunczewski, head football coach, is pleased with how his team has performed overall this season.
He said that the team knew they were facing a tough schedule coming in, having to play three straight games on the road, but they are handling it well.
“Offensively, we’ve done a great job being able to run the football and have been efficient throwing the football,” Kunczewski said. “We’ve done a great job of not turning the ball over.”
Defensively, the Vikings have some work to do, according to Kunczewski.
He said that one thing the team is doing really well is creating takeaways.
Berry is third in the nation for Division III on turnover margin.
“Limiting the ball on offense, taking care of the football and then creating takeaways on defense is something we talk about on a weekly basis,” Kunczewski said.
Quarterback play has been especially good this season, according to Kunczewski. Senior Tate Adcock has thrown 11 touchdowns and has had no interceptions.
As far as the rest of the season goes, Kunczewski said that he never makes long term goals for his team because those take away from what is happening right now.
“Our goal is to do the best we can this day and this week,” Kunczewski said.
Junior Mason Kinsey, wide receiver for the Vikings, is pleased with how the team has performed so far this season.
“We have a motto: don’t look at the top of the mountain, just climb,” Kinsey said. “We take it game by game. I feel like we have a good group of guys that keep their heads focused on what we have to do every week.”
Many young guys, especially those in the receiving core like senior C.J. Stone and freshman Michael Luckie, have played especially well this season, according to Kinsey.
“Obviously some of our defensive guys have stepped up and took major roles – Derrell Mims, Mark Sommerville and Bryson Lamboy.” Kinsey said. “With Mamadou [Soumahoro] gone, our defense had to have a lot of guys step up.”
There are a lot of guys that have transformed into starters who can make plays on defense and play really well, like sophomores A.M. Harris and Jack Carroll, according to Kinsey.
Kinsey is not big on personal goals because those can take away from the focus of the team.
“As long as we win, I don’t really care what my statistics are,” Kinsey said. “I’m going to keep that mindset through this year and next year while I am here.”
Caitlyn Moriarty, head volleyball coach, said that the volleyball team is in a really good place for this point in the season.
“Our team has really shown their grit in a couple of really tough conference match-ups,” Moriarty said. “They’re continuing to come into practice trying to get a little bit better.”
The volleyball team has really grown offensively, and is currently ranked in the top 25 for hitting percentage in all of division III, according to Moriarty.
The second part of SAA conference play is about to start, and Moriarty said that it will be difficult, but she believes that her team is in a good spot to be able to perform well.
Moriarty is excited to be home for the first two weekends of the second half of the season. She said she believes that the team being in their home gym gives them an advantage.
The harder parts of SAA travel for the team are over and this will help the team be able to worry more about specific details.
“My ultimate goal is that each game we continue to get a little better and more confident and continue to battle through some mental demons that we have that we’re progressively getting better at,” Moriarty said.
Junior Carson VanCampen, a middle blocker, also believes that the volleyball team is having a lot of success this season.
“We all have so many supportive and different types of roles on the team that all add to our collective success,” VanCampen said. “All that has helped us learn how to play together better and play for each other, our coaches and our families.”
VanCampen said that since the team has a strong passion for volleyball, they want to get better and are very serious about practice.
“Being loud and cheering and supportive of everyone else, that can help bring energy,” VanCampen said.
VanCampen said she believes that the Vikings are ready for the rest of the season. She said that there is room to grow, but the team has a growth mindset and is ready to do anything it takes to continue to work hard into the postseason.
Richard Vardy, head men’s soccer coach, said that he is very excited about the season that his team has had so far and that his team has not yet reached its full potential.
“We did hope for a strong season this year as we have a large senior class with talent and experience,” Vardy said.
Vardy said he believes that the strongest part of the Vikings this year is the team’s depth. This helps when making lineup changes because the strength of the team remains the same.
The strength of his team has also caused good competition and competitive practices, according to Vardy.
For the rest of the season Vardy hopes that his team will continue to win and, hopefully, be in a position to win the conference title.
Senior Alec Jones, a defender, said he feels good about how the team has performed so far this season.
“Coming into the season, we knew that we had a really strong team,” Jones said. “It was just a matter of executing, playing well and winning games.”
There are some really big games coming up for the men’s soccer team, according to Jones.
He said that if they play well in those, the team will have a chance of finishing in the top of their conference.
In order for this to happen, Jones said they have to have the right mindset.
“We know that we’re able to play to a very high level,” Jones said. “It’s just a matter of mentally preparing ourselves for those games.”
Jones is proud to be part of such a good team this season and hopes that the Vikings can continue to their successful streak and secure a conference spot.
Speaking for the team, Jones said the Vikings’ ultimate goal is to win conference and go to the national tournament, just like the team did the year before Jones came to Berry.