Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

September 19, 2013

When a loss is a win

Perry clan has family gathering at Navy-Delaware game

Losing in the Perry household has never been a reason to hold a party, particularly when a family member is on the wrong end of a 51-7 game.

But on Saturday, in Annapolis, Md., the loss was, well, a loss, and the festive, family atmosphere eventually won out.

Two dozen members of the Perry family made the weekend trip to see former Andover great John Perry’s football team, the University of Delaware Blue Hens, and meet up with relatives. John Perry is an offensive assistant coach for Delaware.

Brother E.J. Perry — Andover High’s football coach — was there with his wife and two sons. So were the three other Perry brothers — Tim, James and Matt.

The trip was a memorable one to say the least.

“It was one of the most picturesque scenes in college football at the Naval Academy,” E.J. Perry, the oldest of his brothers, said.

“It was amazing to see the plebes file into the stadium. They actually marched. Then they all had a place on the football field designated to stand. It was amazing to watch.”

Coach E.J. Perry’s Andover High team, which lost to B.C. High in an overtime heartbreaker last Thursday night, doesn’t play again until Sept. 27 against Central Catholic. Coincidentally, his brother James, a coach at Princeton, is off until next week, too, thus allowing for this big family trip.

Last Friday, E.J.’s son, E.J. IV, played in a JV game at B.C. High — he threw for two TDs and ran for another in a 26-20 loss. Following the game, the family left for Annapolis straight from South Boston.

But they made a pit stop in New Jersey. Brother James called and said his Princeton team was doing some film work last Saturday morning and that he would show young E.J. “how to watch a real football practice.” So they dropped young E.J. off at Princeton at about 11 p.m. on Friday and let him ride with his uncle to Annapolis.

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