John Berry becomes all-time leading rusher in Lebanon football history

Submitted photo
Lebanon senior running back John Berry (bottom) became the ‘Jackets’ all-time leading rusher for a career and a single season. Also pictured are members of the Lebanon offensive line who have played a pivotal role in his success. From left, are Jordan Lewis, Korbin Smith, Cole Godwin, Race Cottongim and Malik Culp. 

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

In a program that has seen a plethora of solid running backs year in and year out, the Lebanon High School football team has a new running back that sits on top of the record book.

With eight minutes remaining in the second quarter of the ‘Jackets’ 50-22 win in the Missouri Class 5 District 4 semifinal matchup over the Branson Pirates, Berry ran into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown. With those two yards, Berry broke former Lebanon football standout Brock West’s 2012 single-season rushing record (2,080 yards).

Later in the first half, Berry would surpass West in rushing yards for a career (3,873 yards). Lebanon head football coach Will Christian had high praise for Berry on his accomplishment.

“Congratulations to John as it was very well deserved,” Christian said about Berry’s record-breaking night. “He joins a very elite group. We have had tremendous backs in Lebanon football history, and he sits on top of that mountain now.”

Berry has been working on both of these records since his sophomore year when he started earning varsity carries but said he set the goal to himself his freshman season. In the 2015 season, Berry rushed for 385 yards and five touchdowns. During his junior season, he rushed for 1,392 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns.

“Breaking the record for me at least is something special because it is not every day that people break records,” Berry said. “I have wanted to break it every since I started playing running back in 9th grade. I know about the great running backs that Lebanon has had, so it was an amazing experience.”

When asked about the record, Berry didn’t hesitate to give kudos to his offensive line up front for everything they have done for him over the past three seasons.

“My offensive line is the best in the state,” Berry said about his offensive line. “I wouldn’t want to run behind anyone else. They have worked all season long.

“They deserve the record more than I do because without them I wouldn’t be anything.”

Members of the 2017 offensive line have included Jordan Lewis, Korbin Smith, Cole Godwin, Race Cottongim, Malik Culp, Caleb Brown, Rylan Hoard, as well as receivers Cole McBride and Will Richardson blocking on the outside.

For the complete article, see Tuesday's print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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