Berry hopes to continue winning at KSU

February 01, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

Mario Berry can't be an Admiral any longer, but he still wants to be a winner.

The Danville senior said the chance to be part of another successful team weighed heavily in his decision to play college football at Kentucky State University.

Kentucky State turned its fortunes around last season, making a run at its conference championship after going 3-8 in 2002. That helped attract Berry, who was on three state championship teams at Danville and said he wanted to align with a winner in college.

"I didn't want to go from a team that's been winning to winning a couple of games each year," he said Friday.


Berry said he picked the Thorobreds after narrowing his choices to Kentucky State, Cumberland, which had a winning season last year, and Union, which didn't.

"When I made my visit to K-State, I liked everything about it," he said. "The coaches were real nice to me, and the players were super nice. I thought I fit in very well with the players."

Berry said he hopes he can also fit into the Thorobreds' plans next season.

"They said I'd have a chance to start or play at tight end or fullback, and that influenced my decision a whole lot," he said.

Berry said he'd prefer to play fullback, but he said he'd gladly go to tight end if that's where he is needed.

He played tight end and defensive end for Danville last season, catching 12 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns.

Berry said he met Kentucky State coach Donald Smith but hadn't had an extended conversation with him until his visit to the Frankfort campus.

"I liked him a whole lot," Berry said of the former Harrodsburg High School player and head football coach.

Berry said he also likes the direction Smith is taking the program. The Thorobreds finished 7-4 last fall and tied for second place in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, staying in the title chase until the final week of the season.

"When I went up there, I got to watch film on them, and it impressed me a whole lot," he said. "From a couple of years ago to now, their program has really turned around."

Berry was listed at 208 pounds before the season and said he currently weighs 215 and hopes to be at at least 225 by the time he reports to Kentucky State this summer.

He said he'll spend a great deal of time in the weight room between now and then, and he'll also be back on the Danville track team this spring.

"I'm going to be working on getting a whole lot bigger and increasing my speed," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting into the speed of the game, getting out there with them and playing hard."

Central Kentucky News Articles