Evan Sale, Campus Carrier Sports Editor
Fall sports are winding down, and winter sports are just getting underway at Berry. One team that is anticipating the start of their season is men’s basketball. Coming off a record of 10-16 last year, the Vikings look to have a better season this winter. They are starting that drive with team chemistry, senior leadership and the hopes of the new players being conditioned to compete at the college level.
Senior leadership is a staple in Berry basketball, and the seniors take their jobs seriously.
“The seniors are very vital to the program,” transfer junior Elijah Hirsh said. “They lead with encouragement and by example, which makes it much easier for newcomers like me to buy in.”
With senior leadership comes team chemistry, and the basketball team is not missing any of that. The team recently made a trip to Costa Rica in order to serve and bond together as a team earlier this year.
“This is the closest I’ve ever been to a team,” Hirsch said. “And ever since Costa Rica, our team chemistry has really improved. I’m excited to show that off on the court.”
The team also puts a lot of trust in Coach Rogers, believing that he has what it takes to make each player as successful as possible. This is Coach Rogers fifth year as head coach which means the Vikings are not new to his plans and coaching style. But this year the plan is a little different.
“I think Coach Rogers is preparing us for a winning season,” sophomore Trey Falconer said. “Even though this is my second year here, I feel like the coaches and players are a lot more locked in this year to make it our best year. The feeling is a lot different than last year, in a good way.”
“I don’t know what our opponents will look like, but if we stay within what Coach Rogers has implemented and play with great attitude and effort then we will be tough to beat,” Hirsh said.
The Vikings are also looking to surprise some teams in the conference this season with a couple of transfers, a strong freshman class and a new mindset.
“Our plan is to win as many games as we can and be the best we can be,” Falconer said. “I think we can do a good job in our conference and stay pretty high in the standings, and I’m confident in our team to do very good this year. I think we’ll do a lot better than what people ever expected out of us.”
One of the transfer players to be on the lookout for will be Quinn Atkinson, a 6’3, 220 junior transfer from University of North Alabama.
“Atkinson has the size, skill and ability to be player of the year in this conference. He’s going to do big things for us this year.” Hirsh Said.
The basketball team has fallen short of their goals a couple of times in the past few years but with the new mentality and the new-found team chemistry the team is ready to surprise people and put Berry Hoops on the map. The basketball team is on a mission this year to have the best season that they can. The boys will play their home opener this Saturday against Brevard College in the Cage Center at 7:00 PM.