Southern football mourns loss of former player

Joplin, Mo. – The Missouri Southern football program lost a former player this past weekend when Johnny Berry was killed in a one-car accident in Mississippi.

Berry, a linebacker and native of Picayune, Miss., transferred to Missouri Southern in 2006 from Southern University in Louisiana and played one season with the Lions. That year, Berry recorded 43 tackles, including eight for a loss of 21 yards, a half a sack, one fumble recovery and three forced fumbles.

He returned after his senior campaign to serve a year as an assistant coach for the 2007 season before returning home to Mississippi. Berry had recently finished up his requirements for his degree and became a father in July.

"I was very fortunate to get to coach Johnny at Southern in Baton Rouge and here at Southern in Joplin," said head coach Daryl Daye. "He was a special guy. We bonded early in Louisiana when Katrina hit and he followed me to Joplin. He always had that encouraging way about him and that crooked smile. I was lucky to know him. We extend our most-deepest condolences to his mother Ms. Mae and his immediate family and friends. He will truly be missed by us all."

Berry's funeral will be held this Saturday (August 23) at Rose of Sharon Church of God in Christ in Picayune, Miss. The address is 500 N Beech St Picayune, Miss., 39466. Visitation will be from 1-2 pm and the funeral will take place at 2 pm.