Puma football stepping up

How loss of last year's graduates will impact the 2019 team


After losing strong players from last year’s graduating class, coach Preston Jones and the varsity football must fill in the gaps of former players. The 6A team pushes their athletes to prepare for this upcoming season with the hope to improve their game after the heartbreaking defeat against Chandler High School in the state championship last year.

“We lost a lot of seniors, but on the offensive side we have a lot of returning guys that have experience as well,” quarterback Chubba Purdy confesses. The question of how successful the team will be this year is one that many students wonder. “Time will tell, we’ll see if we can stay healthy, see if some of the younger kids are able to step up,” coach Preston Jones explains. 

Having lost former running backs, the players need to secure a solid running game to maintain a balanced team. Running back Payton Day comments, “I need to just really do my job to the best ability and give everything I have”. Day believes this tactic will help make him stand out to earn the spot of starting running back for this year’s season.

“This year we have to have a lot of trust in each other and know everyone has to do their jobs to win a whole bunch of ball games,” Purdy states. The team has been bonding more this year to have confidence in each other, and stay on the same page when playing on the field.

“Everything is mental for these guys, they’ve got the physical side of it they just need to be mentally engaged to play at that higher level,” Jones informs. The team not only has to be tough physically, but mentally as well to push through this season after dealing with huge losses in previous years. The players have been focusing more on the aspect of teamwork this year to gain confidence as a whole to make their bond even tighter.

“We evaluate every year what we think we could have done better or what we could change,” Jones expresses. By making tweaks and improvements, the Perry football team hopes to grow and learn from last year’s mistakes to come out successful this season.