For Detroit King standout Nicholas Perry, Saturday's PSL championship clinching victory was a long time coming. It was an early exclamation point on the coming out party for the former Detroit Mackenzie star. The 6-4, 225-pound athlete emerged as an everyman for the King Crusaders this season. As the weeks progressed he burst out of the shadows of more highly regarded city stars, staking his claim as not only the best player in the city, but the best player in the state as well. The fact that he has been so dominant on a team that is 9-0 makes his individual the accomplishments all the more sweet.
"It feels good," Perry said moments after Saturday afternoon's 28-11 victory over Detroit Denby. "All of the hard work we did throughout the season… we stepped it up. We went through everything and we really did a good job out here on the field."
Perry led the way defensively with his ability to make plays sideline to sideline. On one occasion he tracked down speedy Denby back Glenn Winston from behind to save a touchdown. That kind of athleticism has been common this season, which is why programs like USC have come knocking recently with scholarship offers. One trait that has been just as evident is his improved leadership. A quiet reserved youngster off the field, Perry has made it a point to be more vocal on it. Whether it is relaying both the defensive and offensive plays from the sideline, or getting in the face of his teammates, Perry has taken charge of his team. Case in point came early in the third quarter when Denby narrowed a 10-point halftime deficit to just two.
"I never got nervous," Perry said confidently. "I told my teammates, 'do not let up on these boys.' Do not give up on these boys. They're a good team. We really pushed through and came out on top."
As thrilling as the victory, was Perry insisted that he wouldn't spend a lot of time savoring the moment.
"That was a little short term goal for me," Perry said regarding helping King win its second PSL title in two years. "I really want to win the state championship. That's the dream. That's the long term goal and I think we're going to do a good job in trying to get there."
There's also still the matter of his individual goal of breaking the state sack record. Even though he didn't add to his total during Saturday's contest, he is convinced that he will eclipse the mark in the weeks to come.
"Oooh, it looks like 26," Perry said recalling how many sacks he has registered to date. "I may be close to tying the record up. I'm going to top 30."
When the dust from the season finally settles, Perry will focus more intently on his recruitment. The youngster been steadfast in sticking to his plan of keeping his attention aimed at his current team. However, that hasn't stopped him from identifying a few schools that stand out above the rest. The trick is getting him to reveal who they are.
"I'd rather not say right now," a coy Perry said. "I'm going to try to get down to Michigan State (for a game), and then take my officials from then on.
(USC) is a very big offer, but it's far away from home," he continued. "I would have to talk it over with my parents and see how I feel about USC."