Sports Person of the Week
Perry’s Ready to Lead H-K on the Line
Two-way lineman Thomas Perry is pumped up to lead the Haddam-Killingworth football squad in a senior captain’s role this year. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Perry )
Thomas Perry is looking forward to leading the Haddam-Killingworth football team as a senior captain this fall. Thomas is a two-way lineman for the Cougars who’s been playing football for the past six years. He was inspired to start the sport by various members of his family who played football in college.
“I have been playing football for what will be my sixth year. I always knew I was going to play football, though,” Thomas says. “Most of my family played college football, so I wanted to play football, as well, once I was old enough.”
Thomas plays on both the offensive and defensive lines for the H-K football team. He’s prided himself on being a leader for the Cougars from the moment he joined the program. First-year Head Coach Erik Becker has quickly seen how Thomas intends to lead H-K in his senior season.
“Thomas is a truly exceptional young man in every sense of the word. He is an active member of the community, an outstanding student, and an incredible football player,” says Becker. “Thomas is a team captain and leads by example on and off the field. I could not be more proud of him.”
Thomas’s favorite aspect of football is how each player on the team needs to rely on one another. Thomas likes that everyone has to pull together in the same direction in order for a club to see success.
“If a person does not do their job, then there are consequences for his teammates,” says Thomas. “This makes the game all the more fun and forces the team to be cohesive units.”
Thomas has experienced plenty of great memories during his time on the H-K gridiron. One of his favorite moments came when the Cougars’ offense found its groove in a matchup against the Coventry co-op team last season. Thomas helped pave the way to a historic night that saw teammate Dalton Modehn set school records for both touchdowns and rushing yards in a game in a 55-43 H-K victory.
“My favorite moment was playing Coventry,” Thomas says. “During that game, it was as though our offense finally clicked, and we were able to have a lot of fun scoring and performing well.”
The 2020 season will be a transition year for the Cougars as Becker makes his debut on the sidelines. However, Thomas feels confident with Becker at the helm and thinks that H-K has the pieces in place to put together a solid campaign.
“Coach Becker has done an incredible job so far. I think he is an awesome coach, and I cannot wait to spend time with him during the season,” says Thomas. “It has been tough to do football over the summer because of COVID-19, but Coach Becker has done an incredible job preparing us through the restrictions that have been put in place. I would like to thank Coach Becker, as well as the other coaches, for the work they have put in for us.”
Although the Cougars have yet to practice together as a team, Thomas says that H-K’s players have been working out individually to get ready for the upcoming season.
“The team works hard to become better,” Thomas says. “We lift during the offseason, as well as work on our footwork. Many of us attend camps and clinics to improve our skills, as well.”
In addition to playing football, Thomas is also a member of the Haddam-Killingworth wrestling team who won claimed a state title earlier this year. Thomas took first place in the 285-pound division at the Class S State Championship as a junior, helping the Cougars finish second as a squad. Thomas went on to place third in the 285-pound bracket at the State Open and then won two bouts at the New England Championship.
Thomas plans on playing football at Middlebury College in Vermont after he graduates from H-K. Thomas is excited to take his game to the collegiate level, but right now, he’s focused on finishing his high school career on a positive note.
“I am committed to the application process at Middlebury College,” says Thomas. “I look forward to playing at the next level and also helping my team this season.”