Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Perkins will kick for Kentucky Wesleyan

Surrounded by family and school officials, Will Perkins on Monday signed a scholarship to play football at Kentucky Wesleyan. Pictured are (from left) brother Rowan Perkins, mother Leah Perkins, Will Perkins, father Adam Perkins, brother Noah Perkins, (back) CCHS Principal Curtis Brown and CCHS head football coach Al Starnes.
Up at 4 a.m., each day before school, Will Perkins is determined to get stronger and more explosive.
Perhaps that is what Kentucky Wesleyan has seen in the Crittenden County High School senior, prompting the Owensboro college to offer Perkins a partial athletic scholarship.

The 17-year-old was surrounded by family and friends on Monday when he officially signed forms to join the Division II football program.

Perkins had never kicked a football before the fall of 2015. Now, it’s something he studies and thinks about daily.

Rocket football coach Al Starnes says Perkins is a very hard worker and he’s not surprised that he’s getting a chance to further his education and play collegiate football.

“He only played for us two years, but we saw right away that he had a leg and could help us,” Starnes said.

Perkins joined the CCHS football team without a thread of experience in the sport. In fact, he is still learning the game.

The son of a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, Perkins was introduced to soccer while living in Germany. He also lived in Hawaii and Alabama and played on travel soccer teams.

“We thought we were setting him up to play soccer in college,” said his father, Adam, who is now a pilot for the air ambulance service headquartered in Marion.

When the family moved to Marion from Hopkinsville a couple of years ago, Perkins realized there was no high school opportunities for boys soccer here. So, he went for the football team.

In between his first taste of kicking a ball that wasn’t round and his signing to play college football, Perkins became a record-setting place kicker at Crittenden County. He is currently No. 2 in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s all-time recordbook for most extra-point kicks in game – 10 at Fulton County. He is also among the top 10 in consecutive point-after attempts without a miss – 33. He also holds the school record in both categories.

By the end of his senior season, Perkins was consistently booting his kickoffs to the opposing team’s 10-yard line and got some touchbacks with balls bouncing into the end zone. Coach Starnes says Perkins can get stronger and should be able to kick it through the end zone.

That’s why Perkins is working out twice a day at a local gym. He goes before and after school.

“I want to become more explosive and stronger so I can kick the ball farther,” he said.

He has a personal kicking instructor and watches video and reads about kicking.

“I want to continue perfecting my craft,” he said.

Wesleyan plays football in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.

Perkins is undecided on his academic path. He will either work toward a degree in biology in order to become a physical therapist or study music and music therapy. He plays several instruments including the electric guitar and drums in the Marion Baptist Church praise band.

Perkins is also a good student. Part of his scholarship to attend Wesleyan is for academics, thanks to an ACT score of 26. As for football, it’s all still new and Perkins thinks he can continue to improve.
“I feel like I am really just getting started,” he said.