By Alexandra Eanniello

September is almost halfway gone and that means our football season at Bryant University has successfully started. The football team thrives off the energy of the fans and persuades the student body to pack the Bulldog Stadium with black and gold school spirit this year.

The Bryant Bulldogs kicked off the 2017 football season with a comeback win against Merrimack College on September 2, led by new head coach James Perry. He has led Princeton to two Ivy League titles and plans on bringing that energy and skill to Bryant. In college, Perry was leading scoring quarterback his senior year with 3,255 passing yards and 27 touchdowns.

He is a decorated athlete being awarded the New England Football Writers Gold Helmet of the Year, the Bulger Lowe Award as the Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year in New England and he earned the Ivy League Player of the Year.

After graduating in 2000, he continued his legacy at Brown as an offensive assistant for ten years before coaching at Princeton. He coached three All Ivy-League quarterbacks and led them in winning two League titles. In 2016, he was hired to be head coach at Bryant in hopes to continue teaching his impressive offensive skills.

Coach Perry has installed a “play FAST” motto on day one of his tenure here at Bryant, described by Brad Baker, the director of football operations. Since preseason, the team has been working extremely hard to get into their top physical shape. Bryant’s captains: Dillon Guthro and Kevin Lazo, have done a terrific job of pushing the team to give one-hundred percent effort at every practice and strive to be nothing shy of the best.

This attitude has given the team the determination to win the conference title this year. “We are working to play fast,” said Perry, head coach. “We are trying to operate our schemes as fast as possible and put guys who can run in good positions to use their speed.” Last spring and summer the team played in intensive camps to implement this new technique emphasizing on playing fast and playing with a physical mentality.

“One of our main goals for the season is to win our conference,” said Sophomore Tomas Wright. “We plan to achieve this goal by trusting the process of what Coach Perry and all our coaches have been preaching to us since they were hired.” Coach Perry has gained the respect of the players as he brings energy and stability to the team.

Head coach Perry and director of football operations Brad Baker, are expecting to continuously bring titles home to Bryant every season. There are a lot of young men who are trying to make their presence known as well as upperclassmen pushing and leading their teammates. A couple key players to look out for, according to coach Baker are Tom Costigan, Kevin Lazo, Dillon Guthro, Price Wilson, Brendan Femiano, Matt Sewall, Jean Constant, Torrey Dixon. Coach Perry is excited for his first season coaching and implementing new successful strategies to the programs at Bryant.

Make sure to mark your calendars for Bryant Football’s homecoming on September 23 at 1:00 against Fordham; you won’t want to miss it!