ey wanted him to wear a hard plastic brace that encased his midsection. The only time he could take it off was when he was sleeping.
His back needed to heal, and he needed to rest and allow it to do so.
"This was an injury that doesn't heal that easily,” said his mother, a former registered nurse.
Janet Perry remembers talking to her mother, so worried about Steven.
"Oh, honey,” her mother said, "he's more than an athlete.”
"I know, Mom,” Janet said, "but he really loves to play.”
Doctors finally gave Steven Perry the all-clear at the beginning of his sophomore year.
He's been playing like never before ever since.
As a junior, he joined the football team midway through the season. In desperate need of a kicker, the coaches convinced him to help them out.
Then during conditioning one day, assistant Scott Stevenson was timing players in the 40-yard dash. The first time Perry ran, Stevenson said he'd clocked a 4.7. The next time, 4.6. The third time, 4.5.
Stevenson later told Perry that wasn't true; Perry had run a 4.5 every time.
The coach just didn't believe it.
"Have you ever thought about running track?” Stevenson, who also coaches track, asked Perry.
The coach convinced him not only to run but also to jump. Perry took on the extremely technical high jump and long jump. It's one thing to run. It's quite another to figure out how to launch your body 6-plus feet over a bar.
All along, though, soccer remained Perry's focus. He would miss a track meet if he had a soccer game. He would practice track on his own instead of missing soccer.
One fine day
To understand Steven Perry and what makes him tick, you must know about the day of the 2007 state soccer quarterfinals.
Also the first day of the state track meet, Perry went to Moore that morning for the high jump. By noon, he'd won the event with a personal best of 6-feet-6. A few hours later, he ran in the 400-meter relay preliminaries before returning to McGuinness for the soccer game.
All he did was score three goals in a 3-0 victory that night.
"Not a bad day,” Worthington quipped.
The next day, the track team capped it second consecutive championship. A week later, the soccer team won a title of its own with Perry scoring the game-winning goal.
Not a bad week.
Not a bad year either.