Kevin vs. Goliath

Kevin+Perez+taking+on+Rabun+Gap+player+in+the+state+championship+game.

Steve Theis

Kevin Perez taking on Rabun Gap player in the state championship game.

Sai Phut, Staff Writer

Noah Behrmann, Ty Morgan, Jackson Dresser, Jayce Shirley. The big names of the Carmel Christian men’s varsity soccer team. The spine of the team. When you think of the players who could lead the team to the state title, these are the first names that come to mind. 

Along with these big names, another player stood out during the playoff games. This player was not a regular-season starter, but when almost half of the players were unable to play due to Covid-19 exposures, he had to step in. His name? Kevin Perez. 

Kevin is a freshman at Carmel Christian School and new to the program. From struggling to get playing time as an underclassmen and injuries like a broken thumb, Kevin barely saw the field in the short season that the Carmel boys had. 

“I was excited and happy,” Kevin said when he found out he was on the varsity roster at the beginning of the season.

Although it was uncertain the boys would have a season at all because of the pandemic, the Carmel Christian men’s varsity team still had hoped to have at least one game. 

During these trying times, the team identity played an important role for the Cougars. “I agreed with the Carmel soccer identity of playing for God, who is greater than us and bigger than me,” Kevin said.

After the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears put into the team, it was no surprise that they made it to the NCISAA State Championship. Then the unthinkable happened: seven players were exposed to Covid-19, and four of them were regular starters.

What did they do? They stepped up. 

I was praying that I wouldn’t be a burden to the team and that I would be able to help the team win in any and every possible way.”

— Kevin Perez

 

Kevin, along with other underclassmen, became the Cougars starters for the playoff games. They played with such tenacity, it was clear that they still had the chance to go to the state championship. For being the smallest guy on the field, Perez was everywhere in the midfield. He hunted the Wesleyan Christian players down. 

Again, in the state championship, Kevin Perez was called upon to step up and be on the starting 11. 

 

 

“When Coach [Dresser] told me to start in the state championship game, I was nervous.” Kevin said, “I was praying that I wouldn’t be a burden to the team and that I would be able to help the team win in any and every possible way.”

Perez started in the NCISAA State Championship and came out with the victory. With heart, passion, and fire, the Carmel Christian men’s varsity team dominated Rabun Gap winning 2-0. 

“I enjoyed being in the Carmel Christian culture,” Kevin said. “God had a plan, and thanks to Him, we were able to come home with the championship trophy.”