ROME, Ga. – Twenty eight high school student-athletes have committed to the Berry College football team, announced Viking Head Coach Tony Kunczewski. The student-athletes have been accepted at Berry and will join the program for its inaugural football season this September.
"We are very excited about the young men who are joining us," said Kunczewski. "This first recruiting class is a great start and foundation for our program. We will post and release the information about more student-athletes joining the program as the information becomes available."
Will Adams is a senior running back at Ponte Verde (Fla.) High School. He participated in football and wrestling at PVHS. Adams was on a two-time district championship team and was a five-year varsity letter winner. An honor roll student, he is a state finalist for Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. The son of Lisa and Ben Adams, Will plans to major in business management at Berry College.
Arriving from nearby Model High School in Rome is offensive lineman Marcus Alford. A team captain, he was first team all-area, all-region and was a North Georgia All Star. Alford was also on the Model track and wrestling teams. He has been active in the Rome Police Explorer program, interned with a local K9 unit and helped in the recent tornado rescue in Adairsville. Marcus is the son of Jill and the late Kirk Alford, and will major in interdisciplinary studies.
Taylor Bankston arrives at Berry from Notre Dame High School and is from Ringgold, Ga. A fullback and linebacker, he earned varsity letters in football and wrestling. Bankston was twice picked honorable mention all-district on the gridiron. Off the field, he has been a tutor, member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is a recreational wrestling coach. The son of Pamela and James Bankston, Taylor will study business management.
A native of Rome, Ga., Jacob Barnett is a defensive end and team captain from Armuchee High School. A two-year letter winner in track and football, Barnett was an NAIA Champion of Character Nominee, earned the Good Citizen Award in Georgia High School Football Magazine, and was active in FCA. The son of Kim and Kerry Barnett, Jacob plans to major in chemistry at Berry College.
Shawn Betz is a center from Hazel Green, Ala. High School. A three-year varsity football letter winner, he also participated in baseball and track. Betz was HG's lineman of the year and was named all-region. A member of the National Honors Society, he earned his class's highest average in English, biology, and history. The son of Debbie and Greg Betz, Shawn plans to major in chemistry.
Joining the Vikings from Columbia, Tenn., and Zion Christian Academy is Terrell Blakesleay. A running back and team captain, he was picked running back of the year in 2013, and was honorable mention all-region pick in 2011 and 2012. An honor student, Blakesleay also participated in basketball as a prep. He was active in Beta Club, served as the school vice president, and is in the FCA. The son of Ulisha and Rev. Terrance K. Blakesleay, Terrell will study pre-law at Berry College.
David Boaz is from nearby Pepperell High School in Lindale. He earned all-area honors in both football and wrestling. The son of Maria and Ken Boaz, David will study secondary education at Berry wants to be a teacher and coach.
An offensive lineman, Allen Chambers joins BC from Pepperell High School in nearby Lindale, Ga. A native of Petersburg, Fla, Allen is the son of Renita and Bruce Chambers, and intends to study business at Berry College.
Trey Ciresi is a wide receiver from Jacksonville, Fla. and University Christian High School. In addition to football, he played basketball and baseball as a prep. He is a National Association of Christian Athletes All-American, was the Junior Orange Bowl 2A Scholar Athlete of the year, and was on the FHSAA 2A State Championship team. Off the field, he made the President's list, Dean's list, National Honor Society, Beta Club, and was a Student Government Class Chaplain. The son of Kristi and Frank Ciresi, Trey will study religion at Berry.
Lineman Dustin Foley arrives via Northgate High School in Newnan, Ga. He won two region
championships, and is a three-time all-county selection. Foley earned one letter in baseball and was active in SGA--and both the art and history Clubs. The son of Amy and Hank Foley, Dustin plans to study biology in college and wants to be a veterinarian.
Kyle Gasper joins the Vikings from Vidalia (Ga.) High School. He was named second team all-region and was tabbed the most valuable offensive lineman. A member of the National Honor Society, Kyle is the son of Alicia and Gary Gasper. He is undecided about his major at Berry College.
Chas Holsey, a linebacker, hails from Ooltewah, Tenn., and East Hamilton High School. A four-year varsity player, his team twice won its district. He was also Vice President of YPD in the 13th district. The son of Tanja and Charles Holsey, Chas will study chemistry/biochemistry at Berry.
Dale Jackson comes to Berry from Fort Payne (Ala.) High School where he was picked 2011 Class 5A Region 8 first-team quarterback. In 2011 and 2012, Jackson was tabbed first-team all-county. Off the field, he is a member of the National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta, French Honors Society, Key Club and FBLA. The son of Christy and Dale Jackson Jr., Dale is undecided about his major at Berry College.
From Martinez, Ga. and Lakeside High School is Alec Leeseberg. A linebacker, he was named 2012 Region 2 AAAAA First Team Linebacker, all-county first Team and second team all-area linebacker last year. Leeseberg was 2012 Lakeside High School Defensive MVP, is a member of the choir, men's quartet and Technology Students of America. The son of Christy and Matthew Leeseberg, Alec will major in engineering. Alec Leesberg story: http://newstimes.augusta.com/sports/2013-02-10/seven-ink-letters-of-intent-on-signing-day
Jonathan Lewis, a running back, comes to Berry from Suwanee, Ga. and prepped at North Gwinnett High School. From 2009 to 2011, his team earned a region championship and made the AAAAAA State Quarterfinals. The son of Jacqueline and Mark Lewis, Jonathan will major in pre-engineering at Berry College.
Joining the Vikings from Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., is Christopher Lilly II. A standout wide receiver and kick returner, he will graduate cum laude this spring. Lilly is in the BETA Club, and is also active in the business club and drama. He also served as a youth sports coach. The son of Novonda and Chris Lilly, Chris will be a pre-med student at BC.
Cole McCreary is an offensive lineman from Fairmount, Ga., and Adairsville High School. He earned four letters in football, was honorable mention all-region and all-county. McCreary is a team leader, Star Student 2013, earned the Georgia Certificate of Merit 2011 and special awards for Spanish, social studies and science. The son of Cindy and Frank McCreary, Cole plans to study biology at Berry. McCreary Story: http://daily-tribune.com/bookmark/21637653
Offensive lineman Jack Morgan will arrive from Hoover (Ala.) High School. A three-year letterman, his team won the 2012 Alabama 6A state championship--after finishing second his junior year. He was selected to the All Metro team and was on the National Select 7on7 national title team. The son of Missy and John Morgan, Jack will study environmental science at Berry.
Hailing from Augusta, Ga. and Westminster High School is Trey Newton. A linebacker, he participated in soccer, football, basketball, track and swimming. Newton was all-region soccer and football. Off the field, he is on the A-B honor roll and in the Beta Club. The son of Andrea and Clark Newton, Trey is undecided on his major.
Arriving in Mount Berry from Columbus (Ga.) High School is offensive lineman Tedric Palmer. A four-year letterwinner, he was picked a Columbus Valley top 25 senior and was a second team all-conference selection this past year. Palmer is in numerous honor societies, the BETA Club, and is involved student council. The son of Regina and Tedric Palmer Sr., Tedric is undecided about his college major.
Cody Parker, a defensive tackle, joins the football program from Canton, Ga. and Cherokee High School. He was the most improved player, team captain, and defensive player of the week. Parker also wrestled, is in the Gamma Club and served as an FFA Officer. The son of Denise and Robbie Parker, Cody plans to study psychology.
Tyler Petty comes to Berry after leading Eagle's Landing Christian Academy to a GHSA Class A State Championship. A team captain, he was a first-team all-region player and an Associated Press first team All-State selection as an offensive lineman. Tyler is the son of Jeff and Cynthia Petty, and is a pre-pharmacy major.
Joining Berry from Augusta, Ga. and the Westminster School is Taylor Robertson. A wide receiver, he was an all-area selection this past season, and was tabbed all-league as a junior. Robertson also played baseball and basketball as a prep. The son of Jackie and George Robertson, Taylor is undecided which major he will pursue in college.
Sean Stassie arrives from Villa Rica, Ga. and Bremen High School where he was named 2012 first team all-area at wide receiver. He also played baseball, basketball and was a member of the track and field team. Stassie is in the Beta Club and a member of the National Honors Society. The son of Jill and Tom Stassie, Sean plans to study animal science at Berry College.
Coming to the Vikings from Independence High School and Thompson's Station, Tenn., is Chase Swayze. A quarterback, he was an all-district performer the past two seasons, and was twice picked Bank Corp player-of-the-week. Swayze is involved in FCA, serves as student body vice president, and is a member of the National Honors Society. The son of Shelia and Rick Swayze, Chase intends to pursue a business degree in college.
Arriving from Tampa, Fla. and Sickles High School is Marcos Vega. A running back, he lettered four times as a prep. The son of Sonia and Marcos Vega, Marcos plans to study business management at BC.
Methus Weldon joins Berry from North Bend, Wa. and Mount Si High School. He participated in football, baseball and track as a prep. Weldon was a two-year football varsity letterwinner and a senior co-captain. In track he was a league finalist in the 400m dash and a district finalist in 4x100 relay. Off the field, he is active in student government and is a tutor. The son of Debby and Chris Weldon, Methus has yet to pick a major.
Arriving from Hoover, Ala. and Hoover High School is tight end Hunter White. He won three letters in football, and his team was the Alabama 6A Football State Champions after finishing runner-up the previous two years. In baseball, he was selected as a 2012 Under Armour Baseball Pre-Season All-American. Off the field, he is a Peer Helper, on the A/B Honor Roll, and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society. The son of Melissa and Michael White, Hunter is undecided on his major at Berry College.
The 2013 recruiting class joins 15 student-athletes already enrolled at Berry College. The tentative Viking football roster can be accessed HERE.