Volume 91, Issue 13

Thursday, September 18, 1997



Mustang's find happiness with special Perks

Matt Collins/Gazette
WHY DIDN'T I PICK A SPORT THAT I COULD USE THESE TWO EXTRA ARMS? Back for his fifth season in the purple and white, Tom Perks continues to shock coaches with his super human abilities.

By Justin Klein

Gazette Staff

It was only at the last minute that Tom Perks decided to return to the Western men's soccer team for his fifth and final season to achieve a great quest – bringing a Canadian championship home to Western.

"Tom Perks gives a 100 per cent effort for every second he steps on the field," teammate Ugo DeCandido said. "The announcement that he was returning raised the spirits of the team instantly. He leads by example and there is no chance we won't win it all under his leadership."

After acting as the captain of Canada's under-17 World Cup team in Scotland in 1989, Perks first made the decision to bring his credentials and experience to the Mustangs in 1993.

In his freshman year, Perks took the team to new heights when the Mustangs won a bronze medal at the national championship tournament. Perks was named the game's most valuable player and was appointed to the tournament's all-star team.

Adding to an already impressive display of awards, Perks was honoured with a Purple Blanket Award for athletic distinction last March for his previous four years of Mustang service.

"Tom Perks is one of the most talented players on the squad this year," Mustang head coach Rock Basacco said. "He's the soul of the team because of his abilities on the field and off the field and his leadership is undeniable.

"He has a tremendous work output and challenges for every ball vigorously, plus he sacrifices his body to extreme heights for his team."

Unlike last season when the team started off slowly with a 0-3 before beginning their climb to the top, Perks has led his team to an undefeated record after three games.

The fact the Mustangs are second in the Canadian rankings, behind their top rival University of Victoria Vikes, shows at this early point in the season the team is prepared to defend their provincial title.

Commenting on Perks' output on the score card, Basacco can only speak about what the fortunate fans can see and what the unfortunate opposition competes against.

"He is very strong in the air, very strong on the ground and has a tremendous shot when he gets it off. Taking into account that he is a midfielder, Tom contributes in every possible way.

"Perks is the ideal player. He puts forth every ounce of energy he has and feels the team, not him, is responsible for the success that it has achieved."

Perks only forecasts gold in the future if the guys continue to work hard day in and day out.

"There is no stopping us. We have a strong team who's hard practicing will and only show an abundance of prosperity in the future."

After destroying every team in Ontario and losing a nail-biter to Victoria for the Canadian championship, Western is ready to avenge their loss with one of the strongest teams they have ever fielded.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997