In 2016, the Mount Saint Mary's Football team made its first playoff appearance in nearly three decades. The Rocket success coming under the leadership of then second-year head coach, Derick Perkins.
With the start of the 2017 season right around the corner, Coach Perkins and his team are hoping to take this year to another level.
“We didn’t have a ton of experience, so we expected mistakes. But now, instead of making those same mistakes, we got to learn from them and get a little bit better. All right, that’s what we talk about every day, get better. Every. Single. Day.”
Those are the words of the 27 year-old, head coach Derick Perkins.
“The expectations are just so much higher around here now, you’ve got a whole program and a whole school, that’s really excited about football.”
2016 was a special season for the Rockets. Seven wins and a playoff appearance, for the first time in nearly three decades, and the wins meant something to the Rocket community, just ask senior quarterback, Tanner Wade.
“Before last year, we were the same old Mount Saint Mary team, nobody really paid attention, not even in school. Last year, people were talking about it, really excited.”
In just his second year in charge, Coach Perkins created a winning culture. As he gets ready for season number three, the 27 year old feels like he's just getting started. “I’m a competitive guy and even though we step into a program that hasn’t won in so many years, we really take pride in doing things the right way. I’m tough on myself, probably tougher on myself than my guys... Me personally, I think my big deal this year is I need to relax sometimes.”
And this year hopefully the young coach will be able to relax a little bit more, the rockets have a weapon they did not have last year, an experienced quarterback. Heading into last season, Tanner Wade was practicing with the offensive line, that is until Coach Perkins saw him throw the ball.
Wade remembers that practice like it was yesterday. “We were out throwing routes after film, and I threw one through the goal post from the 50 yard line.”
Twenty touchdowns and a winning season later, the quarterback is hungry for more. After one season of Coach and QB navigating new waters together, the two offensive minds are ready to take this team to new heights.