Berry College football preview vs. Maryville

by Brett Renken for Berryvikings.com

Excitement is building in Rome as the football season is a day away. Berry College is preparing for a season of historical firsts. The sounds of loud cracks from tackling drills, shouts from the quarterback's calls, and whistles are breaking through the quiet atmosphere at Berry. The kickoff is Saturday, Sept. 7.

What: Berry vs. Maryville football

When: Sept. 7, 6 p.m.

Where: Barron Stadium

Rosters: Two Deep and Roster (.pdf)

Tickets: $5 available at the gate

Radio: WLAQ

Video: Viking Fusion

Live Stats: Link

Check out what Head Coach Tony Kunczewski has to say about the season.

Brett Renken: When I first walked onto the practice field, I was taken aback by the number of players and talent that we have in our first season. How were you able to recruit so much talent?

Tony Kunczewski: Because of the place we're at: Berry sells itself. I wish I could say it's because we're great recruiters, but it's not. This is a special place. One of the questions we made our guys ask themselves during camp is, 'Why Berry?' And almost every man said because of the sense of community that they felt. We want to do a great job keeping that-- not just a sense of community but also the 'Berry community' that encompasses the students and staff and this place in general.

BR: There has been a lot of discussion about the quarterback battle throughout training camp. Has anyone broken away from the pack?

TK: I think it depends on what day it is. Sandon Mims, Adam Sandin and Dale Jackson III are talented quarterbacks, so we feel very good about the position we're in.

BR: What about selection of the two-deep depth chart? How is that coming along?

TK: Well we have to give one out every Monday. But what we give out Monday could change each week. For these guys we audition every day. Where as you might be number one this week, there are other guys who could jump ahead of you next week. 

BR: Talk a little bit about the team's style and philosophy.

TK: We want to be a physical, tough and mean team when we walk onto the field against Maryville. We run a pro-spread offense and want to be known for being physical. I like where we are at right now. I think we have strong receivers and an impressive young offensive line."

BR: You were a defensive player in college--so you must have a personal stamp on the defense?

TK: We will run a base 3-4 defense, which the Pittsburgh Steelers have run successfully for so long. I am from that area and it's no coincidence that I like that scheme. But some prominent college teams--such as the Georgia and Alabama--prefer the 3-4. The zone blitz was started in Pittsburgh. We feel like playing a 3-4 keeps the offense off-balance because you don't know where the fourth or fifth rushers are coming from."

BR: What can we expect to see on the field come game time?

TK: Hopefully our fans will be treated to a lot of excitement andwe will see a lot of excitement in the stands. Our guys are 'champing at the bit'. And they so much want to do well and represent this college the way it should be represented. We are going to play hard and be physical and we will have fun doing it too. That's what I hope resonates off the field when you watch us play. I hope week in and week out you see an improvement. That's what we're all about right now: improving every day.