The Berry College football team enjoyed great success this season, and players on the team are getting recognized for the work they put in.
Vikings quarterback Gavin Gray led a group of 20 Berry players who were honored Monday with the release of the 2019 Southern Athletic Association Football All-Conference Awards.
The former Calhoun player earned the league’s Newcomer of the Year award as he helped lead Berry to its fourth straight conference title and its third straight NCAA Division III playoff appearance.
Gray, who helped lead his high school team to four region championships and a state title, threw for 1,349 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first season under center for the Vikings.
His single-season passing yardage ranks him as one of the top-five passers in Berry’s program history. He ranked third in the league in passing touchdowns and cracked the top 10 in every other quarterback category.
Seven Berry players were named to the All-SAA First Team, with wide receiver Mason Kinsey, offensive lineman Jacob Bishop and kicker Trey Gregory on offense and defensive lineman Mac Wells, linebacker Brandon Palmer, and defensive backs Mark Sommerville II and Devin Grier on defense
Kinsey completed his senior year with his third straight All-SAA first-team honor and solidified himself as the top wide receiver in school history, holding program records in nearly every receiving category.
He had 1,221 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns this season, bringing his Berry career totals to 3,343 yards receiving and 50 touchdown receptions. He also earned an invitation to the prestigious East-West Shrine Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida, in January.
Fellow senior Brandon Palmer led the Vikings’ defense as he claimed his third straight all-conference nod. Palmer posted career highs across the board including 41 tackles and 8.5 sacks, and he helped lead the Vikings rank second in NCAA Division III with 47 sacks, which is a program record.
Gregory also claimed his third straight All-SAA nod for his senior season. He set a program record and led the SAA with 14 made field goals. He also holds the program record for longest field goal at 49 yards.
Making the All-SAA Second Team were running back Isaiah Dawson, offensive linemen Luke Seale and Antonio Brown, defensive lineman David Galloway, and linebackers Jack Carroll and Alex Kirkendoll.
Dawson, a junior running back, earned his first all-conference recognition, while posting 1,069 yards on the season, making him Berry’s first ever 1,000-yard rusher. Dawson scored seven touchdowns and ranked second in the league in rushing yardage.
David Haithcock, Cade Kennemore, Garrett Kinsey, Cullen Carlin, Jordan Wilson and Matthew Syverson were named honorable mention.