Bloomfield Hills, MI, November 15, 2013 – When most people think of defensive linemen they think of big mean men with nicknames like Mean Joe, The Freak and Mongo. The image of dumb jocks and meatheads seems to get slapped on tackles and ends more than any other position and it can be a tough stereotype to fight off. While most people talk about stats like height, weight, sacks and tackles for loss, the stats the members of the Warrior defensive line are most proud of are their grade point averages and ACT scores. The Brother Rice defensive line is doing their best to transform these stereotypes one Honor Roll at a time.
Led on the field by senior captain Dominic Perkovic (Bloomfield Hills), the line is made up of 4 tough competitors rounded out by Seniors Alberto Sandoval (Wixom) and Josiah Thomas (Berkley) and Junior Jack Dunaway (Birmingham). They are just as determined off the field as they are on. These remarkable defensive linemen are all members of the school’s National Honor Society, serve as class officers and have never missed a semester on the honor roll. Assistant Head Football Coach David Sofran said “It’s really a testament to their work ethic. Our academic curriculum is one of the most challenging in Michigan and being in the trenches on the field and in the honors classes off of it is no easy feat. They have never missed an honor roll and really push each other to succeed.”
The 11-0 Warriors are having great success on the field this year and the defensive line’s dominating play has been a big part of the success. When asked about his senior year sack totals, Perkovic deferred to the group’s success. “As a line we have 25 sacks and an additional 33 tackles for a loss. It’s not about who gets to the quarterback, it’s about us succeeding as a team.” While they enjoy talking about accomplishments as a group on the field, in the classroom they are a little more competitive with their individual stats. “Don’t let Dom tell you he’s the smart one, my 4.2 trumps his 3.9.” said Sandoval. Thomas (3.80) and Dunaway (3.94) bring the group’s combined GPA to an impressive 3.96.
The school’s principal Brother Michael Segvich, CFC is most impressed by the character of the boys. He said, “We strive to develop the soul, mind and body of each student and these four are the perfect example of the well rounded young men we have the privilege of educating. They are leaders, they volunteer with area charities, they tutor local middle school students and their peers and they are men of faith. We are very proud to have them represent us in the classroom, in the community and on the football field.”
The 3 seniors are making plans for next year and the list of colleges they are considering is just as impressive as their statistics. Yale, Cornell, Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth, Penn, The Air Force Academy, Michigan and The University of Chicago are on the short list of the many schools that they are considering. In addition to debating where they are going to go to school, they also will debate whether or not to play football at the collegiate level. For now that can wait.
They have a game to play this Saturday against fellow Catholic League member U of D. This will be a rematch of their 38-0 victory from earlier in the season. They have a chance to accomplish something special at Brother Rice by leading the Warriors to a third straight state championship. Said Thomas, “The college selection process is exciting, but right now we’re just focused on each week’s opponent and getting Coach Fracassa one more title. To send him out on top is the number one goal for us and we’re all focused as a team.”
Brother Rice High School is a Catholic, college preparatory school for young men. Inspired by the Essential Elements of a Christian Brother Education, the school fosters the spiritual, intellectual, cultural and physical development of its students. The Brother Rice Community promotes excellence through an environment conducive to life-long personal growth, responsible moral choices and critical thinking. For more information please visit brrice.edu