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Former NSU defensive tackle passes
Aug 31, 2013 | 140 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Funeral services are Saturday at 11 a.m. for Arthur "Tank" Berry, a dominant 1984 All-American defensive tackle who is regarded as one of Northwestern State's all-time football greats.

Berry, 49, died unexpectedly last week in his sleep in his Branson, Mo., residence and will be buried in his Mississippi hometown after visitation and the funeral at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 117 Pilgrim Road in Natchez. Arrangements are under the direction of Robert D. Mackel and Sons Funeral Home.

Berry is survived by two sons, Arthur and Uriah Barris, and nine siblings, seven brothers and two sisters.

He was the 1984-85 Gulf Star Conference Male Athlete of the Year after winning GSC Football Most Valuable Player honors as a senior in 1984, helping the Demons to a conference co-championship in their second season under coach Sam Goodwin.

The 6-0, 260-pounder was a first-team Kodak Coaches and Associated Press FCS All-America selection after making 77 tackles, nine for loss, and collecting nine quarterback sacks. Berry was the biggest reason defensive coordinator John Thompson's unit led the nation in scoring defense, giving up only 9.0 points per game.

In a stunning 22-0 whipping of Southern Mississippi, Berry caused three fumbles, recovering one, broke up a pass and blocked a field goal against the Golden Eagles. He was also the GSC Player of the Week after a 19-0 win over GSC co-champion Nicholls State. His NSU teammates picked him as the team's Defensive MVP.

Despite his size, Berry was selected by the Houston Gamblers in the United States Football League. He was a two-year All-Louisiana selection, as a noseguard in 1982 and at tackle two seasons later. He came to play for the Demons while A.L. Williams was head coach.

Berry was inducted in NSU's Graduate N Club Hall of Fame, the top honor for athletic standouts at the university, in 1994. He was chosen during the school's centennial football celebration in 2007 as one of the "Top 100 Demon Players of All-Time."
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