03/20/10 — All-Area: Perry is News-Argus girls' coach of the year

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All-Area: Perry is News-Argus girls' coach of the year

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 20, 2010 11:06 PM

As world famous football coach Bill Parcells once said, "You are what your record says you are."

Eric Perry is a winner.

The third-year head coach at Wayne Country Day has compiled a 63-21 record over the past three seasons and has taken the Chargers to the N.C. Independent High School Athletic Association state championship game twice.

WCDS won it all in 2009 and finished runner-up this winter.

And, not surprisingly, Perry is the 2009-10 News-Argus All-Area girls' basketball coach of the year.

"We worked hard this year on building confidence that we could play well enough to make a run again," said Perry, who won the coaching honor last season. "I have to thank God, my wife, coach (Tyler) Fike, all of the players and their families for our success."

Entering the year, Perry had to build a team around a young nucleus that did not include a single senior. All-Area selection Catherine Ford had already built a solid reputation as a scorer and Mack Thompson was a returning starter, but the rest of the squad presented several questions.

"The nice thing about having so many young players is that they are easier to teach because they haven't developed bad habits yet," said Perry. "We hope we can carry all of the progress we made this season into next year with a good offseason."

With all of his players returning next year, Perry knows that the expectations will be high for another trip deep into the postseason. Tempering his own anticipation with the realistic goal of improving each time on the floor has helped Perry not think too far in advance.

"The good thing about this group is that they know both sides of the coin," said Perry. "They have been to the finals and brought home a win, and they have gotten there and seen what its like to lose. Hopefully, they will be motivated to get back to the top next season."

In his three seasons at WCDS, Perry has focused on building a family atmosphere for his current and former players. The dream came to fruition once the Chargers made their playoff run.

After taking its first playoff game at home, Wayne Country Day had to travel to Forsyth Country Day in Winston-Salem. All three of the seniors who graduated last season made the trip and checked in to see how the squad was doing.

"That was my proudest moment this year," said Perry. "We want the girls that come out of here to realize that they are always welcome and that this program is continuing to succeed due to their hard work."

Perry's hard work has already paid dividends.