Southern’s Perry headed ‘home’ to St. Andrews

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 11:42 PM

Kavoris Perry caught a glimpse of his future when he walked in the St. Andrews University wrestling room while on a visit to the Laurinburg campus. The Knights’ royal blue and white reminded Perry of Southern Vance.

“The atmosphere felt comfortable,” said Perry. “Same colors as my school. It just felt like I’m at home as far as wrestling.”

Scotland County will, in fact, be Perry’s new home. The Raider senior signed Thursday to wrestle for St. Andrews, which competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Perry wrestled at both 160 and 152 pounds for Southern and finished 10th at 152 February in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A championships.

St. Andrews got a look at Perry in a Western Harnett tournament. His second-place finish prompted the Knights to contact Jameil Floyd, Southern’s head coach.

Charlie Carroll coached Perry for two seasons at Southern and attended Perry’s signing ceremony on Thursday.

“He’s worked hard, academic-wise, in the weight room, on the wrestling mat,” said Carroll. “He’s deserving of the reward that he’s getting.”

Carroll expects Perry to improve considerably with an opportunity to wrestle in practice against opponents on his level or higher.

Perry believes footwork will be a focal point as he transitions to the 157-pound class.

“I know that I need more foot movement,” he said, “and using my offense even more. I have to strive to be the best, just go in and give it my all.”

Perry recalls being inspired by watching his older brother, Randy Perry Jr., wrestle for Southern. The 2007 graduate was a member of a Raiders dual team state championship.

Kavoris’ father, Randy Perry Sr., hopes Kavoris will be more aggressive — in wrestling and in the classroom.

Kavoris Perry seems to have done well in both at Southern; the Northern Carolina Conference champion at 152 pounds is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club in addition to earning N.C. Scholar honors, all while working two jobs for the last two years.

“If he applies himself,” said Randy Sr., “I’m pretty sure he can be on the dean’s list.”

“I know he can succeed at anything he wants to,” added Linda Perry, Kavoris’ mother.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.