Hornets up in Perry’s last UAPB game – Update Alaba

In five seasons, Skyler Perry played under three head coaches, started most of his 43 games with the Golden Lion, was named the Southwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year and played in the SWAC championship game.

“It hasn’t hit me yet,” the quarterback said after a loss to Prairie View A&M University nearly two weeks ago. “It was at the back of my mind, just thinking about it as a whole. Among the many things Perry has to be thankful for is the scholarship he was awarded at Edna Karr High School in New Orleans. Otherwise, he signed with Texas Wesleyan University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school in Fort Worth.

“When [then-assistant head coach Doc Gamble] he came in person and offered me a full scholarship, it was like, ‘Why not?'” Perry said. “I was starting my freshman year in high school. I didn’t have that many scholarships on the table and I’m a kid from poverty trying to find a way.” It also didn’t hurt for Perry to have former teammate Karr on the Lions roster to convince him to give the Pine Bluff life a try.

“I spend a lot of time in Pine Bluff and have a good connection to the community,” said the New Orleans native. “Pine Bluff will always be a second home to me. Today is not the day for Perry and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff football team to celebrate a Thanksgiving meal. However, they are the hosts for Alabama State University’s Turkey Day Classic, which begins at 2 p.m

Today, Perry caps off a long, productive career with his 44th and final game and one final opportunity to help the Lions prove they have their man of the future in Don Treadwell.

“Coach Treadwell is a really good guy, always in a good mood,” Perry said. “There’s something like me, you know what I’m saying?”

Always in a good mood and wants everyone to behave the same and feel good about him. He’s a great person as a coach and an all-around person.” If Perry had to vote on a head coach, he said he’d give Treadwell his.

Treadwell, also the offensive coordinator, took over for the fired Gamble last month, and the 62-year-old’s positive demeanor shone through in weekly interviews with members of the press who regularly cover the SWAC.

So talking about his quarterback and sophomore running back Kayvon Britten — who needs 97 rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the season — brought more of Treadwell’s aura of calm.

“In my experience, if you have a leader who is talented and embraces the leadership role, Skyler is one of them and his positive energy permeates the entire team because he’s the same every day,” Treadwell said of Perry.

“He doesn’t take days off when it comes to the leadership skills he’s been given. That’s the role he’s earned, and we’re going to miss him.” Treadwell also boasted senior left tackle Mark Evans II, who was recently invited to the NFL Players Association’s Collegiate Bowl, scheduled for Jan. 28 in Pasadena in California.

Evans is a Football Championship Subdivision All-American who has started in 9 of 10 games this season.

The Lions have been in a holiday mood since Treadwell became interim coach, playing Florida A&M University and Grambling State University and hosting Senior Day against Prairie View.

Still, they’re 0-3 under Treadwell and need a win to avoid a ninth straight losing skid, which would be the program’s longest in 36 years.

And then there’s the challenge of spoiling the Hornets’ big season with first-time coach Eddie Robinson Jr., another New Orleans native who’s not related to the similarly named 408-game Grambling State coaching icon.

Alabama State has won the last five meetings against UAPB. The Lions last beat the Hornets in 2012.

Despite struggling the past two seasons (UAPB is struggling to avoid back-to-back 2-9 records), the left-handed Perry can walk away with career numbers not many quarterbacks muster.

He currently has 6,813 yards on 615 of 1,117 passing with 41 touchdowns and 29 interceptions and has rushed 282 times for 966 yards and 8 touchdowns.

He made good use of the fifth year of eligibility granted by the NCAA to all student-athletes whose 2020-21 athletic year was affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

UAPB played five spring games that season (Alabama State’s home game was stopped before halftime due to lightning and does not count) and nearly won its first SWAC championship in nine years.

How do you put it into words? Treadwell wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know you can,” he said.

“All of us who have had the privilege of working with him will sit back and think, if you will.” He had two starts this year, one after a non-throwing hand injury and the other after an injury to his throwing shoulder.

But he came back each time, just wishing he had something to give and maybe change the Lions’ fortunes for the better.

“I don’t try to do too much, but I always feel like you can do more,” said Perry, father of a 3-year-old daughter.

“I always give everything on the field. Still, Perry is grateful for the trip from the Big Easy.

“It went so fast,” he said. “I still remember the first day I came to Pine Bluff.

I didn’t take any visitors or anything like that. My faith has paid off big.”

UAPB Football (2-8) at Alabama State (6-4)

What: The 98th annual Turkey Day Classic

When: today 14:00

Where: ASU Stadium (capacity 26,500), Montgomery, Ala.

Video/Audio: ESPN+ (Subscription Based)/KPBA-FM 99.3

SWAC records: UAPB 0-7; Alabama State 4-3

Series record: Alabama State leads 14-6; Alabama State won the last meeting 35–15. in Montgomery on October 9, 2021


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