By Allen Hamrick
Once again the CCHS football team has made the headlines. Riley Perkins, Colton Casto, Caleb Atha, and Jacob Morton- four of the toughest Panthers that have worn the jersey- have been recognized by the West Virginia Secondary Schools Athletic Commission.
Riley Perkins was given one of the highest honors that can be given to a high school football player. He was selected to be on the 1st Team AA All-State Defensive Team as a Defensive Lineman. He not only was picked to be on the team but was named captain as well; a well deserved award for someone who has devoted his career to giving Clay County football a hundred percent towards winning the game. In the 2020 season, he had 110 tackles, 33 of them for a loss. He had 14.5 sacks surpassing the previous school record of 12.5. He also had two blocked kicks and recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
In his career as a Panther, Perkins surpassed the school record for tackles. He was also 1st Team All Conference twice, both as a sophomore and a junior. He will soon drift into CCHS football history, following in the footsteps of many CCHS football tough guys. Riley was a player who knew his mind when he hit the field and stuck to his game plan. He saw the circumstances on each play, what had to be done and then went out and done it. He was an obstacle in the path of both the strong and the weak willed. A focused, physically powerful individual with blinders on, he was alert to one thing and that was to cause chaos and fear on the grid iron. His whole career, from Little League to high school, has been about getting the job done. It was just a good thing he was on our side. I have known and watched Riley since he first put on shoulder pads and know that both on and off the field his character, integrity and tenacity was the same, no matter the situation.
After graduation, Riley is set to play football and train as a ship builder for the Apprentice School in Newport News, Virginia, as an outside linebacker. According to their website, this school is as difficult to get into as any school in the nation and is more difficult than Yale, Harvard, or the Naval Academy. They get roughly 11,000 applicants, but only about 500 are chosen. Riley was chosen because of his academics, his ability on the field and his integrity. The school is an apprentice school that focuses on 19 different shipbuilding jobs with the sole purpose to provide the company with a continuous supply of journeypersons who possess the skills, knowledge and workmanship that is fundamental to the ship builder. This is a different kind of college; here Riley will earn his way from day one so that when he graduates, he will have no debt and will have already secured a job as a ship builder. Congratulations to Riley Perkins for being named on the AA All-State Defense team. Best wishes for his future in building some of the most powerful and complicated machines in the world as a United States ship.
In other football news, Riley was not the only one recognized on the team. Colton Casto, Jacob Morton, Caleb Atha and Grant Krajeski, who were featured in last week’s edition, were also recognized as some of the best in the state by being named to the 1st Team All-State Honorable Mention team. All throughout the season, these players demonstrated some of the best plays of the season were always in the hunt for the ball and were key to the success of the football team. Congratulations to all these players on making the CCHS football season one to remember. You will be missed on the field and will be the level to attain for those trying to fill your shoes.