Position switch validated for Ringgold's scoring specialist
By Jason Mackey
Published: Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, 11:48 p.m.
Frank Perez worried what people might say if he took his son, Jeremy, a starter the past three years in the midfield, and shifted him to striker.
So Ringgold's boys soccer coach asked his coaching staff.
“I said, ‘If you think we need to play Jeremy at striker, step up and say so,” Frank Perez said. “I would have played him in the midfield, but they said we needed him up top.”
It's a good thing Perez listened.
Jeremy Perez has flourished in his new position, scoring a WPIAL-best 21 goals, and the Rams have been better for it.
Entering Monday night's game against Albert Gallatin, Ringgold was 10-3-1 overall and 5-2-1 in Section 4-AAA, entrenched as a contender after bumping up to Class AA following the 2012 season.
“My finishing and goal scoring is a product of the team playing well,” Jeremy Perez said. “It's a product of everything we've worked for.”
Ringgold had won four of five, the lone exception being a 1-1 tie against Class AAA No. 2 Bethel Park on Sept. 24.
In that game, as has been the case in many others, junior goalkeeper James Snyder kept things close, allowing Perez and offensive complement Nathan Patton (10 goals) to go to work.
“He made a couple saves that were just out of this world,” Frank Perez said. “If he doesn't make them, we don't tie.”
Center back Josh Briscoe anchors the 3-5-2 defense, playing a role as the last line of defense.
Midfielder Connor Dudas has been another weapon on offense.
Frank Perez enjoys having his son as the team's top scorer, but he worries about the perception of nepotism. That's why he's extra tough on Jeremy and his other son, Brandon, a sophomore midfielder.
“I hope if you were to ask anyone this — and I'm sure that it's true of most parents — but I think I'm the hardest on my sons,” Frank Perez said. “I have to be so they almost overachieve, and then there's no question about why they're there.”
With Jeremy taking over the scoring role vacated by Nick Cichon, an all-state player who had 25 goals and 21 assists last year, that's been the case.
Frank Perez said his son relies heavily on his tactical ability and dribbling skills; while Patton is more of an energy guy, Jeremy Perez benefits from his intuition.
Playing center-mid for the past three years hasn't hurt, either.
“He has the natural talent to play the game and be a leader for the team,” Snyder said of Jeremy Perez. “Believe me, it always takes the pressure off the goalie if someone up top can put one away.”
It also takes the pressure off a team that went 14-4 and won the Section 4-AAA title but lost in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.
One that hopes to do considerably more damage this season.
Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Kovacevic: Still waiting on Malkin, Crosby
- Rossi: Lack of together time showing for Penguins’ defense
- Norwin volleyball using fast-paced offense to offset lack of height at hitting positions
- Community group to preserve Dravosburg cemetery’s history
- ‘Common knowledge’ about slot machines often wrong
- Fleury a bright spot among struggling Penguins in playoffs
- Shale oil, gas drilling boom wins favor with labor unions, thwarting environmentalists
- Cool chemistry: Programs at Springdale library take inspiration from late science professor
- Egg decorating turns to fight, charges in Brookline, police say
- Just-acquired tract eyed as commercial site