The phrase "act like you've been there before" has no basis with Berry College football. The Vikings haven't been there before.
A private college of 2,200 students in Mt. Berry, Ga., announced its intentions to field a football team back in 2011, and played its first season as a Division III program in 2013. Playing with a roster consisting of three juniors, five sophomores and 99 freshmen, Berry went 0-9 in its inaugural campaign, winning an exhibition against the LaGrange JV but never coming closer than 36-24 in any regular season game.
Berry improved in year two, though, falling just short against LaGrange in a 28-27 overtime setback on Sept. 13.
Pay dirt finally came Saturday, as the Vikings clawed back from a 23-10 deficit to score the game's final 19 points in a 29-23 overtime victory over Washington University (St. Louis, MO). The win could not have come at a more perfect time, on the 100th Mountain Day - Berry College's spin on Homecoming, in honor of its founder Martha Berry.
After three years of waiting, Berry College president Stephen Briggs, athletics director Thomas Hart and head coach Tony Kunczewski and staff must have envisioned their first win a thousand times. But I'm not sure anyone could have imagined anything better than reality - in overtime, on the school's biggest holiday of the year, with hundreds of students on the field chanting the school's name under a sky of fireworks.