Scott Berry has been a leader for the Augusta Christian soccer team since its inception.
At first, that leadership came from the experience he brought to the team, having played with the Patriots and GA-SC Bulls travel teams.
This past season, the leadership came from his status as a senior, leading by example on the field.
"It was a new team when I first got on the team as a freshman, and there weren't many people with experience," Berry said. "It wasn't successful, really. It was kind of a growing process."
The work Berry put in throughout his time at Augusta Christian paid off this past week when he got an early graduation gift before the school's graduation ceremony Saturday. On Thursday, Berry signed a letter of intent to play soccer next season at USC Aiken.
Berry's parents attended the school, which plays soccer in Division II's Peach Belt Conference.
The Pacers' squad won't be a completely foreign environment for Berry. USC Aiken coach Ike Ofoje serves as a team coach for the GA-SC Bulls. Berry has not had Ofoje as his coach, but he's been able to meet him and get to know him.
Berry played forward his first three years with the Lions before moving to center midfield this past season, because that's where head coach Joseph Lutz needed him most. Berry said he's open to playing wherever the Pacers need him and hopes to contribute in his first season.
"Hopefully, I can take everything I've learned and build on it," he said. "I want to improve. Coming in as a freshman, I don't expect to start, but I can help everyone around me get better."
He said his most memorable moment with the Lions came in the program's first game, a 1-0 victory over Heathwood Hall.
"That was pretty cool," he said.
Berry lauded Lutz for his ability to manage the variety of players on the Augusta Christian roster.
Berry expects a bump in competition level from high school to college, though he said he will be playing against some of the same players he competed against in travel ball.
"Playing with other really good players will only make me better," he said.
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