MINNEAPOLIS — Berry College's head football coach, Tony Kunczewski, collected his second Regional Coach of the Year honor in as many days after D3football.com announced its All-South Region teams on Tuesday night. Senior Mamadou Soumahoro was named the South Region Defensive Player of the Year, the first honor in Berry football history.
Joining Kunczewski and Soumahoro, Mason Kinsey and Tristen Cline were selected to the third team offense after career seasons.
Kunczewski was also named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Regional Coach of the Year on Monday afternoon, the first of his career. He was selected as the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Coach of the Year for the second straight season earlier in the year after leading Berry to a perfect 10-0 regular season and the team's second consecutive league championship. The Vikings finished the year 11-1 after advancing to the second round of the NCAA playoffs, a program best. Under Coach K's leadership, the Vikings led the SAA in nearly every defensive category during the regular season and shattered over 100 program records on all sides of the ball. Berry also jumped into the national spotlight for the first time this year, advancing to a No. 18 ranking in both the D3football.com and AFCA polls. Kunczewski's team placed a program-best three players on the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District teams for their excellence in the classroom. Berry also earned five SAA Player of the Week honors this season, three D3football.com Team of the Week selections and 21 total All-Conference honorees. After a 2-17 record in Berry's first two seasons of football, Kunczewski has led the Vikings to a 27-5 record over the past three seasons, two conference titles and an impressive 15-1 record at Valhalla Stadium.
Soumahoro, a senior defensive lineman from Lawrenceville, Ga., earns his second straight D3football.com first team All-Region selection after building on his record-shattering pace from the 2016 season. He finished the season leading the SAA with 14 sacks. He also collected 15 total tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, four batted passes and two blocks in addition to a career high 57 total tackles. Soumahoro also earned the SAA Defensive Player of the Year award for the second straight year and finishes his career as a four-time All-Conference selection. He helped anchor a defensive line that ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation against the run and allowed just 16.0 points per game during the regular season. He holds every pass rushing record in Berry history with 37 career sacks and 48.5 tackles for a loss. Soumahoro was also named Berry's first All-American after the 2016 season.
Kinsey, a sophomore wide receiver from Demorest, Ga., earns his first spot of the D3football.com All-Region team after becoming the first wideout in program history to pass the 1,000 yard receiving mark. He also broke Berry single-season records with 17 receiving touchdowns, 77 catches, a total of 1,245 receiving yards and 6.40 receptions per game. He earned All-Conference honors for the first time in his career earlier this season.
Cline, a senior right end/h-back out of Snellville, Ga., also earns his first All-Region selection after a first team All-Conference selection. Cline finished the year with a career-best 11 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown. He averaged a team-best 19.1 yards per reception, but many of his contributions as an h-back do not show up on the stat sheet. Also a premier special-teamer, Cline collected a career-best 12 tackles on the season.