Diehard Boston Fan, HPA’s Stephen Perry
It never ceases to amaze me with the quality of athletic talent we have here on Hawai’i Island.
Many of these outstanding athletes go on to share their knowledge with young people which makes for a community we can all be proud of.
It just happens that one of these individuals is also an avid Boston fan.
“I grew up in the New England area and I am a diehard Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots and Celtics fan,” Stephen Perry said.
Perry is best known to all followers of Big Island Interscholastic Federation sports as the athletic director at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.
“I don’t see the job of AD at HPA as being stressful,” he said. “I see it as one that needs organization and planning. The key is to be surrounded by good people (coaches) who know how to get the most out of our student athletes.”
Perry knows firsthand what it takes to be a good student athlete as he played soccer, hockey and baseball for four years in high school at Governor Dummer Academy in Massachusetts.
“I always played sports growing up,” Perry said. “There are four boys and a girl in our family and all were involved in a variety of sports when we were young.”
Perry went on to play collegiately at St. Lawrence University in New York where he played two years on the hockey team and one year with the soccer squad.
After graduating from college Perry landed a job as a math teacher at Hawaii Prep in 1983 and has been here ever since.
“I came to Hawaii right out of college, thinking I’d only come for a year,” Perry said. “Now, 28 years later I’m still having fun.”
Perry was fortunate enough to become the baseball and soccer coach during his first year at HPA and went on to serve another five years at the baseball helm and an additional 17 years as the boy’s soccer coach.
“I became the Athletic Director in 1990 and I’m still coaching the girl’s soccer team for the past 17 years,” he said.
But unless you’ve seen him on the links you wouldn’t know that Perry is a 4 handicap golfer.
“These days on a good day I play at 4 handicap,” he said. “There are so many good golf courses on the Big Island, but I would always enjoy the challenge of Mauna Kea Beach if given the opportunity.”
Perry got involved with junior golf about a dozen years ago when the HSJGA started up in Hawaii.
“Mary Bea Porter King, the president of the HSJGA, opened my eyes to the USGA Junior Am Committee and to Rules of Golf workshops,” Perry said. “I have officiated many tournaments around Hawaii over the past decade and also work at the USGA Junior Am Championship on the mainland each July.”
Perry, who is married to Robyn for the past 19 years have four children Justin (14), Julia (12), Jenna (9), and Jordan (7) who all are active in sports participation.
Perry continues to take care of himself by using the treadmill each morning before heading to work.
“I get on the treadmill for 30 to 40 minutes each day,” Perry said. “With coaching soccer I get to run around on the pitch with the players, some, but not as much as I used to years ago.”
As for diet Perry claims he has a boring one that works well for him.
“For breakfast its cereal with fruit and for lunch I’ll have a sandwich everyday of either turkey, ham or tuna, with Subway always being a good option” he said. “I like to have dinner at home with the family whenever possible and chicken with pasta is a personal favorite.”
Perry’s health related goals are simple.
“I’d like to stay active as much as possible,” he said. “Walking 18 holes instead of riding a cart and kicking the soccer ball around with my children whenever possible.”
Perry is a good example of someone who has a busy job that takes good care of himself while making positive contributions to young people and the community.
It is of little surprise that he was selected along with six other individuals to be recognized by the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame later this month.
The BISHF will have a ceremony at the Wall of Fame in the Prince Kuhio Mall on Sunday, August 21 at 10:30 am to induct Perry and the six other deserving selections.
“We will introduce the seven and display their photos to the wall,” BISHF selection committee chair Derek Shigematsu said. “We are hoping that past inductees and the general public will come out to support the newly inducted honorees.”
Following the Wall dedication the ceremony will move to a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon were a formal ceremony will take place.
For those interested in attending the luncheon the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under. Seating is limited.
Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Ellsworth Fontes at 935-5519.
The late Jack Matsui was the founder of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.
And someday should you happen to see a happy jogger attending a Hall of Fame luncheon remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
Email the Big Dog at firstname.lastname@example.org
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