Unlike most of his teammates who started running cross country for Scottsboro in junior high, Devin Berry did not venture into the sport until his sophomore year.
Berry was a basketball player, and SHS head coach Kenny Hill took notice of how Berry was always ahead of the pack during conditioning.
“I was just way ahead of everybody, and he said he thought I’d be good at cross country, so I decided to try it,” Berry said.
That decision led Berry to another a little more than two years later.
The now SHS senior finalized his collegiate running future when he officially signed a letter of intent to run cross country and track and field at the University of North Alabama during a signing ceremony Wednesday at SHS.
Berry also had interest from Jacksonville State and West Alabama, but UNA was his favorite from the start. He contacted the school in December, went for an unofficial visit and while on that visit got the offer to join the programs as UNA prepares to make the move from the NCAA’s Division II level to Division I.
“This is never anything I imagined happened when I started, especially since I didn’t start until 10th grade,” said Berry, who plans to major in computer science. “I love UNA. I love the city [of Florence]. That city, that school, it was definitely just the best fit for me.”
Berry played a key role in helping Scottsboro win the past two Class 5A state cross country championships as well as the 2017 Class 5A Outdoor Track and Field state title.
Berry, a two-time all-state cross country runner, finished fourth (16:30.80) in last season’s 5A state race after finishing 12th (17:04) in 2016. In track and field, Berry runs the 1600- and 3200-meter races.
“He just does it the right way,” said Scottsboro cross country/track and field head coach Luke Robinson. “I haven’t ever seen him have a lazy day. He always puts in the work, works hard everyday. He’s very respectable, he encourages other. He’s been a good leader for our guys, especially the younger guys. He’s a good role model for them.”