One of the greatest athletes ever to come out of Delta is part of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame 2023 induction class.
North Delta Secondary graduate Mitch Berger is among six athletes headed to the hall, recognizing his distinguished career in the NFL.
Berger played 15-seasons (1994-2009) as a kicker/punter with 11 different teams, most notably the Minnesota Vikings (1996-2001), New Orleans Saints (2003-06) and the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008, winning a Super Bowl that year.
Twice, he was named to the NFL Pro Bowl and selected as an All-Pro (1999, 2004). Berger also set an NFL record for 40 touchbacks (long kick-offs that sail into the opponent’s end zone) in a single season in 1998. At one time he was the highest paid punter in NFL history.
Berger came through the North Delta Minor Football program before shifting over to high school where he was the starting quarterback and handled all kicking duties for the North Delta Huskies.
He took his game south of the border, where he kicked for Tyler Junior College in Texas, earning All-American honourable mention status in his sophomore season. He then transferred to the University of Colorado and was selected in the sixth round of the 1994 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Berger also thrived on the basketball court, earning provincial first team all-star honours in his Grade 12 year back in 1990 as the Huskies defeated the Richmond Colts in front of a sold out PNE Agrodome.
The 50-year-old now resides in Arizona.
The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame induction class also includes:
Athletes- Dennis Kearns (hockey), Kelsey Serwa (ski cross), Jamie Borisoff (wheelchair basketball), Susan Butt (tennis), Mary-Anne Walz (softball).
Builders/Coaches- Wynn Gmitroski (athletics), Deb Huband (basketball), Jim Kojima (judo), Carla Qualtrough (para sports).
Team- 1971 Richmond Roadrunners (lacrosse). 2012 Penticton Vees (hockey).
Pioneer- Eleanor (Young) Stonehouse (tennis). Brian Day (sports medicine).
Media- Dan Russell.
W.A.C. Bennett Award- Jake Kerr/Jeff Mooney.
“After months of anticipation, we’re energized to begin telling the stories and marking the outstanding achievements of our Class of 2023,” said Tom Mayenknecht, Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. “Honouring the past – and inspiring the future – is at the very heart of the mission of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and this year’s honourees truly exemplify the best of sport in this province and beyond.
“On behalf of our Board of Trustees, Selection Committee chaired by Wendy Pattenden and management team led by Chief Executive Nicholas Cartmell, we congratulate our deserving inductees and look forward to coming together again in person to fully honour the Class of 2023 at our BC Sports Hall of Fame Induction Gala next year.”
Induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame is the highest sporting honour in British Columbia, celebrating the extraordinary individuals and moments that make up the fabric of B.C.’s diverse sport history.
The formal Induction Gala for the Class of 2023 is scheduled to be held in June 2023, with details to be announced in the coming months.