DES MOINES — Hundreds of Bluejay loyalists helped fill the north side seats at Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday, but one Perry partisan was singled out prior to the contest for well-deserved recognition.
As part of the celebration of the state tournament, the IHSAA awarded game balls prior to the introduction of the starting lineups at the quarterfinal round games, with each team having one “Fan of the Game” honored at half court.
Introduced before Perry’s game with Pella was Homer Perkins, a decades-long fixture at PHS sporting events. Perkins was presented with a game ball by Brett Nanninga of the IHSAA as the crowd was informed of why he was being honored.
“I was very surprised when Tom Lipovac (Perry Activities Director) called me to tell me about the honor,” Perkins said. “I had no idea they even did anything like this, and for me to be the one chosen was very special.”
Perkins said he was thrilled to stand at half court, especially to look up and see so many blue-clad fans in the stands.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we saw that kind of support at every game?” he asked. “I am sorry the boys didn’t win, but they made it to state and not many young men can say they did that. The memory will live with them forever and I hope it is a good one.”
Lipovac said after he was contacted by the IHSAA about the presentation that it took “not time at all” to chose Perkins for the honor.
“Nobody has devoted more time and energy to Perry activities than Homer has,” Lipovac said. “It was a very easy choice.”
The script read at the game to introduce Perkins follows:
“Homer Perkins has been an active volunteer in the Perry High School athletic program for over 45 years.
“Homer serves as the volunteer scoreboard operator for ninth grade, junior varsity and varsity boys basketball games and repeats the duties serving as the scoreboard operator for ninth grade, junior varsity and varsity girls basketball games.
“During the fall, Homer is the crew chief for the Bluejay football chain crew. He has worked every varsity contest for over 45 years except for games missed one season due to a sideline injury.
“Homer has served as the voice of Perry Bluejay baseball and the official scorekeeper for every home baseball game since 1980. In addition, Homer donated the funds for the press box from which he announces.
“On his nights not working as a volunteer, Homey may be observed as a fan at home and away events.
“Tom Lipovac, PCSD Student Activities Director, remarks ‘While Homer Perkins is a quiet, unassuming man, his actions and his willingness to be of service to our youth speaks volumes. Homer is a strong, positive supporter of our students’ achievements. He is a vital part of the Perry Community Student Activities program.'”