Catching up with Coach Berry Bess

Published 11:00 am Thursday, June 15, 2023

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Coach Berry Bess is focused on the upcoming football season for Panther Nation. Bess is entering his third year as head football and track coach at Georgiana School. 

He said, “We have high expectations for the team this year, and the goal is to win the region.”

Bess is a native of Greenville, and a 2010 graduate of Greenville High School. After high school, he went on to the University of Alabama and graduated in 2016. 

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This year marks his 12th consecutive year of coaching. He has coached football and track at Greenville Middle School, Tuscaloosa County High School, Foley High School, and Greenville High School, before settling in at Georgiana.

Bess said that as he was growing up, his coaches inspired him to become a coach. “The life-long relationships that they created with my teammates and I, are what made me want to have that type of impact on future generations,” Bess said. “I’m inspired by being able to mold student-athletes into better young men and women through sports.” He added that he loves watching their growth and helping them to develop into a whole individual. 

“Most of [the student athletes] don’t even recognize the changes that are taking place in their lives, while as coaches and mentors, we do,” Bess said, noting  that watching this change gives a satisfying effect.

Bess said the Georgiana community welcomed him with open arms in 2021, and the support has been tremendous. He credits the Quarterback Club with making sure the student-athletes are equipped with everything that they need so he and his staff can focus on training and coaching. 

“Spring training went great,” he said. “We had about 35 players come out and work hard, and we’re getting ready for our upcoming summer session.”

According to Bess, Georgiana is in a tough region, and as head coach, he wants to put his team in position to be able to host playoff games, and win the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) 1A state championship. 

 expectations are high, he explained, and athletes want to continue to get better and better, week by week, and not peak too early in the season.

The season opener is slated for August 25, at W.S. Neal High School in Brewton.