Every good sports team has that one player who can always be depended on to get the job done, while encouraging those around him at the same time. This player never fails to bring a positive attitude or joy to the game.
For the Bearkats, Adam Perry is just the player to fill that role.
As one of just two sophomore position players on the active roster, Perry has already started in 22 of the Bearkats’ 39 games. He currently carries a respectable .238 batting average with one triple, six doubles and 12 RBIs. Perry shines even brighter on defense with a .978 fielding percentage, the fourth best on the team.
But numbers and statistics aside, Perry exudes a passion and dedication to the game of baseball that makes him a player any coach would be lucky to have on his team.
At the ripe age of six, Perry began his love affair with the game of baseball on the tee-ball fields. Like most children, he experimented with many different sports, from swimming to football. But for Perry, baseball just fit.
“I played everything growing up,” Perry said. “I did both football and baseball in high school, but I didn’t have the size for football. I love the fact that you have to work hard in baseball. I love the mental aspect of the game too.”
As a young boy, the first thing about baseball that appealed to Perry was the joy of hitting homeruns. His love of hitting the ball eventually fell over into the rest of the game, and now he feels that just being able to play the game of baseball is a blessing.
“When I’m playing, I feel such a love for the game. It’s only by the grace of God that I get to play,” Perry said. “For me, playing ball is like worship for God. He’s #1 and He’s the only reason to play the game.”
During his junior year in high school, Perry suffered an arm injury that set him back for a large chunk of the season. But through the ordeal, he learned perseverance, a lesson he continues to use to this day.
“Baseball teaches you about life. It teaches you how to overcome obstacles,” Perry said. “I’ve learned you’ve got to take it one pitch at a time. If you strike out, you’ve got to just focus on your next at-bat. There’s a lot of failure in baseball. If you’re successful just 30 percent of the time, you’re an all-star. You’ve got to learn how to overcome that.”
While playing at Elkins H.S., his hard work and dedication on the field was one of the main things that attracted SHSU head baseball coach Chris Rupp. Despite little playing time in 2002, Perry remained dedicated to the game and the following year, contributed to winning the state championship from all over the field as a utility player.
“Adam is definitely a competitor. He’s a very hard-worker and he’s dedicated to the game,” Rupp said. “If I asked him to go play left field, he’d do it because he loves the game. He’s not scared to do anything.”
Going from high school to college, Perry encountered the challenge of less playing time and establishing himself on the team. Eventually he found his niche and settled in his current position behind home plate.
“Oh man, being a catcher is the only spot to be,” Perry said. “You control the game, but you’re kind of under the radar. It’s difficult though because you control the mood of the team. You can’t just throw signs out there. You’ve got to be smart.”
However talent and dedication aren’t the only things Perry brings to the field. While working on his own game, Perry said he wants to set an example and lift up his fellow teammates.
“I’m the guy who’s out there with the pick-me-up,” Perry said. “I want to have an impact on guys’ lives.”
Perry said his goal this year is to be all-conference catcher, a goal he set at the beginning of the season. As a team, he hopes the Bearkats can earn a spot in the regional tournament.
“I’d like to take my career as far as I can. That could mean minor league ball or maybe the pros,” Perry said. “I just want to enjoy my time playing here. I love the game and like I said, it’s a blessing just to be able to play.”