Cheshire’s boys lacrosse team will have about 15 seniors in the spring. Brian Perry was their freshman coach, and head coach Mike Devine says they’ll stick it out for four years in part because of the love for the game that Perry, who died Friday at 43, instilled.
“He had a knack for showing the kids he cared so much about them. The kids saw his enthusiasm and wanted to play for him,” Devine said.
“He cared about their development, pushed them, wanted them to play at the varsity level.”
Perry was an assistant coach for Cheshire’s football and boys lacrosse programs and a standout player in both sports. His obituary said he died of complications of diabetes.
He was the New Haven Register’s area lacrosse MVP as a senior in 1996, scoring 67 goals and 26 assists at attack. In football, he was a fullback and linebacker as part of the team that won a state-record 49 consecutive games from 1992 to 1996. He was named to the Register All-State football team as a senior.
“When I get the ball (in lacrosse), I just lower my shoulder and let the sticks bounce off me,” Perry told the Register in a 1996 article that also noted that diabetes affected his endurance.
Extremely tough weekend for Cheshire Lacrosse. Unfortunately we have lost another dedicated Coach and former player of the program. Coach Perry’s passion and enthusiasm towards the development of our players will surely be missed. Coach Perry was a tremendous two-sport athlete… pic.twitter.com/LkXkEBFa7l
— CHS Rams Lacrosse (@CHSRamsLacrosse) November 22, 2020
“In football, you’re going in the same direction (with the ball) most of the time and they know that. In lacrosse, there’s more change of direction. You have to know when to pop back and settle it down.”
Devine, who became Cheshire’s head lacrosse coach in July 2019, said Perry was a whiz with video, getting players and coaches multiple camera angles. He said Perry played a big role in the Rams’ 15-14 win over Wilton in the 2017 Class L semifinal.
“Before Hudl Assist was even a thing, he tried to find easier ways to break down film,” Devine said. “He put together shot charts. We were analyzing stuff before that was even a thing.”
Cheshire also lost lacrosse assistant coach Jim Dempsey in June.