After back-to-back all-CIF Southern Section seasons for the Templeton High football team, senior offensive lineman Ross Berry is finally ready to take the long-awaited next step in his decorated playing career.
Berry signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to play at Cal Poly, honoring a verbal commitment he had made more than a month before his final season with the Eagles.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” Berry said after the ceremony at Templeton High. “Being from the area, I know how great the school is and I know how great the football team is. It just seems like a good position for me.”
Measuring 6-foot-4 and weighing in 285 pounds, Berry will line up at guard and instantly become one of head coach Tim Walsh’s biggest linemen.
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“He’s a guy that could play early,” Walsh said. “Now, will he? Hopefully, we have enough guys in the program where he doesn’t have to and he’s going to have five years to play four, but he’s a guy, if you asked him, he’s going to play as soon as he could possibly play.”
Berry will be following in the footsteps of Templeton head coach Dan Loney, who was a standout offfensive lineman for Cal Poly after graduating from Atascadero.
“Seeing Ross go over there is just great,” Loney said. “It’s a school he’s been wanting to go to for a long time. He’s put a lot of work in to it and for him to be able to have that opportunity to go to the school that he wants to go to and to have a program that is successful and on an upward swing is just a great accomplishment for him.”
But even now, months after the football season is over, the hard work hasn’t stopped for Berry.
He has been getting up a 5 a.m. three days a week to take part in CrossFit training at Northern Inferno in Paso Robles and lifting weights after school between track and field and speed development sessions.
On top of that, Berry has compiled a 3.5 grade-point average and looks forward to continuing his education as a crop science major at Cal Poly, citing the agricultural education the school has to offer as a major factor in his decision to sign with the Mustangs.
“I know that (the Mustangs) are on the rise and I know that they have what I want academically,” Berry said. “It just seemed like a perfect fit.”