Long County High School’s Josh Berry is known as a standout football player, with good reason.
As a senior running back for the Blue Tide this season, Berry rushed for 1,292 yards, setting a school record, according to LCHS Athletic Director Karen Swindell.
“Josh had a great season for the Blue Tide,” she said. “He became the very first runner to rush over 1,000 yards in a season for the Tide.”
Berry also led the team in scoring with 13 touchdowns for the year and is well respected among his teammates for his upbeat attitude, making him an easy selection as this year’s Blue Tide Coastal Courier Player of the Year.
Berry played in every aspect of the game and, according to maxpreps.com, he scored 12 rushing touchdowns and had 6 receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown.
On defense Berry had 10 solo tackles, 3 assists and deflected a pass. Berry was also selected as the Region 2-AA Player of the Year by the coaches.
Swindell, Blue Tide football coach Ron Flott and many of Berry’s friends and family say that what he has accomplished on the football field and is still accomplishing on the basketball court is nothing short of a miracle.
In November 2010 Berry was diagnosed with acute leukemia. The community rallied around the teen and held several fundraisers to help offset the medical costs extensive travels necessary for treatment.
A local motorcycle clubs raised $6,000 and the Long County and Ludowici/Long County Fire Department donated another $3,000 to aid the teen and his family.
Berry is the son of Long County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Robert Berry.
Not once did he lose his determination to move forward and keep playing the sports he loves.
“I’m very happy to receive this award and I thank the Coastal Courier for it,” Berry said. “This year, the team played hard and we accomplished a lot, without them I couldn’t have gotten this award. I want to thank my parents for all of their support. They’re always there at all of my games, taking me to my appointments, and getting me to where I need to be. I also want to thank my coaches for pushing and helping me so that I could fulfill my potential.”
“Josh is a great athlete who had to overcome some of life’s big obstacles,” Swindell said. “Josh’s willpower and determination have helped him rebound stronger than ever before.”
Swindell said Berry was unstoppable in the open field due to his speed and is definitely one of the players who led the team to its first successful season.
“Josh and the rest of the Class of 2013 have laid the foundation for winning ways in Long County,” she said. “They have established a winning tradition that will hopefully be improved upon year after year…Josh is very deserving of this honor because of all that he has done to put Long County football on the map.”