• John Macon Gillespie

Perkins Eying Competition At Fortius Project

For Joe Perkins 2018 is off to a fast start, but he doesn’t mind. Life moves that way when you stay busy.

These days he’s mainly focused on school work and keeping net for the MRA soccer team. Just last week Perkins was inducted into the National Honor Society in a ceremony at his school, and he also made two saves in a win over Parklane.

“I stay doing something,” Perkins told SES Mississippi. “Staying focused on my grades is my top priority. After soccer, I’m moving straight to track and field.”

The gridiron is where Perkins has made a name for himself, though. In fact, he’s already been recognized as one of the nation’s top players his age. Thanks to not only performance at camps, but also for Murrah in 2016, his freshman season, and last season for MRA.

Back on January 19th Perkins played for team USA in the U-17 International Bowl. He recorded an interception in a 50-6 win over British Columbia. It was his second time to represent the U.S. team in the International Bowl.

“It was once again an honor to be a member of the U.S. National team,” Perkins noted. “The experience was awesome. Great coaches, great teammates and a special opportunity to play in AT&T Stadium on ESPN3.”

“Getting to hear my named called out for making a big play and then hearing them say I am from Mississippi makes it even more special. I love representing my state.”

That’s not the only imprint football will have on his schedule in the offseason months. The rising junior defensive back knows his position requites him to be both strong and fast. So he’s working on both those areas through regular training and weight gain.

Additionally, he’ll be competing at the April 7th Fortius Project combine stop at Hinds community college.

“I want to get out there and compete against the best across the state. The Fortius Project brings out the best,” Perkins said. “If I want to get better I have to go out and compete against the best.”

Playing at MRA, Perkins is used to competing against the best. Jackson Prep, one of the state’s best teams last season, Jackson Academy, Parklane, Oak Forest and PCS are in the Pats’ division.

Last season MRA finished with the second best record in the division, but had their season ended at the hands of rival Prep. In 2018 Perkins will be a junior and figures to have a big hand in helping the Patriots get back to that point.

“Our goal remains to compete for a state championship,” He stated. “Last year we fell one game short after we battled back to position ourselves to host a playoff game.

“I want to do everything I can to to help the team next year. Personally, that means getting stronger and faster. And stepping up my leadership role.”

**Photo courtesy of Lou Ann Woidtke, Memories-n-Motion

#MRA #JohnLukeMcCord

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