Feature photo courtesy of Kyrese Knox.
UPDATE: Koby Perry no longer attends Alcovy High School. He says he plans to enroll in Alpha Omega Preparatory Academy on Friday and graduate from there in the spring.
Senior safety Koby Perry from Alcovy High School started with natural athletic instincts, hitting anything in front of him, and has developed them into an undeniable love for the game through the help of three mentors.
Perry grew up in Covington, Georgia, the home of Newton County Recreation. At age 6, Perry’s mom signed him up for the football program at Newton Recreation. There Perry met the athletic director, Ricky Bond, and coach, Horace Stroud, who would help raise him on and off the field.
“Ricky Bond and Horace Stroud pretty much brought me up and kept me on track, so I kind of matured into a man as well as a player,” Perry said.
Even though Bond and Horace were not Perry’s coaches after middle school, as an 18-year-old, they continue to influence him.
“They’re a big part of my life to this day,” Perry said. “They keep their tabs on me, look out for me, call my mom, make sure I’m making good decisions.”
Bond was the athletic director for 30 years at Newton Recreation. The center has sent approximately 30-35 athletes to the collegiate level. The Newton community is small, and there is a sense of pride in the success of the recreation center, Bond expressed. Perry is no exception to the other success stories in Newton.
“Koby is probably everyone’s favorite because he plays so hard,” Bond said. “He’s not real big, but just his intensity.”
Bond and Stroud have helped Perry with the recruiting process, emphasizing his strengths as a player. Hard work and a love for the game is what helps Perry stand out.
“I’m not very big. It’s the heart I have in me,” Perry said. “On the field, I feel I have something to prove. I want it more than anyone else around me.”
Perry is looking for that same connection with a coaching staff that he found with Bond and Stroud. He found it again in his 11th and 12th grade basketball coach Mack Hartwick.
“[He’s always] influencing me to be a better person and stay focused on what I’m trying to do in life, which is get to the NFL,” Perry said.
Other than the love for the game, Perry is motivated by his family. Alongside Perry’s coaches has been his mom, who acted as his support system.
“She’s my world,” Perry said. “She has so much faith in me to make it to the NFL. I owe it to her to do it. She’s made sure me and my sibling never missed a meal, so I do what I do on the field so hopefully in the future, I can feed her and make sure she never has to worry or work again.”
After moving schools throughout his high school career, Perry played with the Alcovy High School Tigers last fall. They finished 4-6, improving significantly throughout the season with a new coaching staff, Perry said. Perry also made strides individually.
“I’m very very physical, and that’s nature,” Perry said. “Also I can cover a lot of space, which helps the guys beside me [do their] job so much easier.”
Perry expects to play safety at the next level, but wants to put his team in a position to win. He is currently looking at Ellsworth Community College, Dodge City Community College, Fort Scott Community College and Hartnell College and said that he will decide “soon.”
Edited by Gracie Riley.