By Steven Kimball
Most Andover High School students know E.J. Perry as the man who has led their beloved football team to two playoff appearances. However few know that the outgoing Perry has taken over the reigns of the volleyball program.
Prior to this season’s campaign, Andover Athletic Director Don Doucette named Perry as the new coach. Doucette explained, “E.J. does a great job of motivating the student athletes and he also does a great job with the myriad administrative duties that come along with the job.” In addition Doucette noted “Perry has had tremendous success coaching volleyball at both Salem (NH) High School and Methuen High School.”
Perry is credited with coaching Salem High School to multiple New Hampshire state championships. Doucette added, “He holds many coaching records there that still stand after many years.”
Perry has a positive outlook on this year’s team, citing their impressive 2-1 record. He explained, “The vibe around the team is smoking- we are hot and playing well. As a result of this vibe we are looking to make a run at both the MVC and State Title.”
Doucette has confidence in both the team and their coach stating, “The reason that we brought E.J. in is to win a state title and with this team I know we can accomplish this.”
Perry cited junior and senior leadership as a big part of the team’s success, with upperclassmen Alec Dean, Billy Baldwin, Kyle Shurehan , Kenny Doherty , David Stein and T.J. Norton leading the way.
Perry explained “We are 2-1 thus far. We had a dramatic comeback win against Lowell and also took down Lincoln-Sudbury. Our one loss came against St. John’s Prep who is the number one team in the state. We did however play a tough game against St. John’s and will look to defeat them when it matters in the playoffs.”
Thus far Perry has cited fan support as a big factor in the team’s success. He explained, “The fan support has been awesome thus far; we have had medium-sized crowds which has definitely helped. However we are always looking for more support and students are encouraged to attend the games.”
Perry is hopeful that additional members of Jack’s Jungle continue to come out and support the team in their campaign.