March 28, 2013
By Ryan Syrkus
Of all the awards she has earned, there is one that truly stands out for red-shirt senior Monica Perry. No, it's not All-Big Ten Second Team or Big Ten Pitcher of the Week. It's not All-ACC First Team or either of her two All-ACC Pitcher of the Week honors. It's not even a Louisville Slugger Division I National Player of the Week. The award which stands out the most for Perry is one that honors her all-around success in athletics, academics, and most importantly of all, community service.
During the offseason, Perry was honored with the Femina Perfecta award, voted on by her teammates.
"Honestly, I think it's the best award I've gotten in my whole life," Perry said. "It's voted on by your teammates and to be recognized as a good teammate by your other teammates is the coolest thing. Just knowing that all the effort you put in and trying to show respect to everyone and let them see you're working hard for them and notice their hard work, it just feels good to be recognized by them."
One of the big contributions to how she won the award was Perry's efforts off the field and in her hometown of Whitesburg, Ga. Giving lessons to aspiring players in her hometown, Perry has helped out with making connections to younger athletes while making Georgia more recognizable as a softball hotbed of talent.
"It's a lot of fun for me," said Perry. "It's more of me going out and helping out a bunch of kids. They get really excited to have somebody who plays college softball teaching them instead of just their parents."
"I think the reason I have so much success with the kids is because they can kind of relate to me more," Perry continued. "I think the biggest thing is that they can hear it from somebody they can kind of look at as an example. It's easier for them to learn. [Since I'm] closer to their age and kind of more on their level makes a lot more sense to them and makes them want to pay attention more. It makes it a little bit more fun for them."
Since starting her clinics, Perry has taught girls ranging from eight-years-old up to sophomores in high school who are trying to get recruited. Even more so, Perry's efforts not only helped give Georgia more credibility to their softball programs, it also shed light on the possibility for the young athletes and their future.
"I feel like a few of the girls that are from the west part of Georgia have gotten more into wanting to go play college," Perry said on the growth of softball in her hometown area. "I definitely think softball in general is growing over there. Before, there is not really anything over there, it's just really rural. Most of the good softball players in Georgia are from north of Atlanta, but softball has really grown [in west Georgia]. Every time I give a camp or clinic, they always want to play college softball when they get older."
With the success she has already enjoyed in less than two years of playing time for the Seminoles, Perry continues to be a model student-athlete for younger, aspiring kids to follow. Based on her on and off-field accolades and her commitment to her home community, Perry is setting herself up to impact even more lives in the near future.