Pearl football coach embraces son's passion - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Pearl football coach embraces son's passion

You often hear stories of the coach’s son starring on the field for his father’s team. That’s unlikely to happen with the Pearl football team. Source: WLBT You often hear stories of the coach’s son starring on the field for his father’s team. That’s unlikely to happen with the Pearl football team. Source: WLBT
You often hear stories of the coach’s son starring on the field for his father’s team. That’s unlikely to happen with the Pearl football team. Source: WLBT You often hear stories of the coach’s son starring on the field for his father’s team. That’s unlikely to happen with the Pearl football team. Source: WLBT
You often hear stories of the coach’s son starring on the field for his father’s team. That’s unlikely to happen with the Pearl football team. Source: Family You often hear stories of the coach’s son starring on the field for his father’s team. That’s unlikely to happen with the Pearl football team. Source: Family
You often hear stories of the coach’s son starring on the field for his father’s team. That’s unlikely to happen with the Pearl football team. Source: WLBT You often hear stories of the coach’s son starring on the field for his father’s team. That’s unlikely to happen with the Pearl football team. Source: WLBT
PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

You often hear stories of the coach’s son starring on the field for his father’s team. That’s unlikely to happen with the Pearl football team.

“I just love being in the lights and being on the stage and being able to perform and entertain people,” says Pearl sixth grader, J Perry. “It’s just so much fun.”

J’s father is John Perry, head football coach of the 6A state champion, Pearl Pirates.

RELATED: Pearl wins 6A State Football Championship

“I can guarantee you, he had a ball,” says Coach Perry. “But I don’t know, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Coach Perry motivates his son to be better on stage in much the same way he motivates his Pirate players, even though he doesn’t know much about theater. Asked about J’s role in last spring’s production of ‘The Lion King’, Coach Perry said, “I can’t remember what he was. He was the goofy looking bird... I’m not a big ‘Lion King’ fan."

J controls the music on the Perry’s ride to school every morning. What’s on the dial? Mostly show tunes, with J saying his favorites include ‘Wicked’ and ‘Hamilton’.

WATCH: J belts out 'My Heart Will Go On' during morning ride to school

I’m not into the same music he’s into,” says Coach Perry. “But in the morning time, it’s his time.”

The Perry’s surprised to learn their relationship resembles that of Jim Harbaugh and his son, something they learned when the Michigan coach held a camp at Pearl High School in 2016.

“Coach Harbaugh told J some of the best times in my life was watching my son, who now leads the drama department at Michigan, in plays,” says Coach Perry. “J’s face lit up because I think he felt like he had to play football to make us happy, and that’s the farthest thing from the truth.”

It’s a lesson J learned firsthand on the eve the 2016 6A state title game. His father sat with him for four hours at an audition just 24 hours prior to the big game.

“Everybody was like, ‘Don’t you have somewhere else to be?’”, according to J. “He stayed there, having to travel to Starkville the next day until 10:30 or 11. It was really cool.”

“You want your son to grow up and be a football player and follow in your footsteps,” says Coach Perry. “But then when you see somebody who has a passion for something else, you learn real quick: let them chase their passion.”

Coach Perry believes he's successfully struck a deal to get J to go out for seventh grade football next year: he's currently paying for J’s voice lessons.

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