Standout senior Jefferson lineman Cody Berryman — who plays along both the offensive and defensive fronts — took a few moments to speak with The Jackson Herald Monday.
Berryman has graded out the highest on the Dragons’ offensive line in each of Jefferson’s first two games.
Berryman and his Dragon teammates enter this Friday’s game with Dawson County coming off a near upset of Class AAA’s no. 6 team, North Hall, this past Friday.
Jefferson’s Cody Berryman has graded out the highest on the Dragon offensive line through two games.
The 24-21 loss ended Jefferson’s 21-game regular season unbeaten streak as the Dragons start region play with Friday’s crossover game at home with Dawson County.
Sub-region play starts next week against Hart County.
•JH: Jefferson has had undefeated regular seasons the past two years, how did that feel for that to end?
•Berryman: “It was tough, definitely, but coming away positive from it: It was 17-0 at halftime and we fought back and almost beat one of the best teams in Class AAA. It hurt, but it shows we can play with anybody I think. We’ve got to play better if we’re going to win.”
•JH: It might sound strange, but could you actually build on this?
•Berryman: “Just coming away with something good from this … second half we played a lot better, especially defensively. But we have a lot of defensive stuff we need to work on. Offensively, it’s a few minor things. You can always tweak. You can always learn from a loss. Sometimes, it’s good to lose and just learn from it and get better and go on to the next one and play.”
•JH: Your quarterback threw for nearly 200 yards … How do you feel about your passing game and what y’all are doing as an offensive line to help that out?
•Berryman: “We feel good about it. Coach (Ben) Hall works us really good and works hard on fundamentals, so our line, most of us are veterans who played last year and we’ve got a couple of new guys. But we just try to get our fundamentals down and do the best we can do.”
•JH: What will this week of practice be like as you recover from Friday’s setback?
•Berryman: “It will be a tough week. (Coaches will) obviously work us hard. Obviously, this year, it’s a lot tougher schedule than last year and coaches are probably going to work us harder this week, especially defensively to get the checks right and just make sure we know the game plan.”
•JH: You’re coming up on region play with a lot of big games ahead … Are y’all excited about the rest of the year?
•Berryman: “We’re definitely excited because this is where, on the record, it really counts.
So we’re really excited and we really want to get a win, especially the first week in the region to give us some confidence going in.
Because with as many teams as there are in the region this year, you can’t really lose at all if you want a chance to go to the playoffs, so we’ve really got to step our game up this year.
We’ve got some tough teams. Pretty much every game this year is going to be tough because we’ve got to go to Hart County, Elbert County. Two tough teams, two tough places. And we’ve got East Jackson and Jackson County here.
But we really want to have a big win this week to jump start that off.”