Steve Perry made his coaching mark on the gridiron at Bordentown Regional High School as the Scotties head football coach for 10 seasons.
This winter, Perry will be leading the Scotties on the hardwood as the new head coach of the school’s boys basketball team.
Perry replaces AJ Foy, who stepped down last summer as head coach of the Scotties after one season at the helm.
“They’re two different animals, football and basketball,” Perry said. “Whether you’re coaching football, basketball, volleyball, golf, whatever, you get the most out of your players when you show them respect. I respect them and they respect me.”
Perry is no stranger to the Bordentown boys basketball team, having spent the last 12 years in the program as an assistant coach.
He was part of the coaching staff during the 2015-16 season under longtime head coach John Myers that helped lead the Scotties to the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group II championship.
Myers won 131 games as head coach of Scotties, including leading Bordentown to six Burlington County Scholastic League (BCSL) championships.
When Myers resigned after the 2021 season, Perry said he wasn’t ready at the time to take over as head coach of the Scotties.
That changed, however, entering the 2022-23 school year when the head coaching position became open again and Perry was ready this time to “run the show” and lead Bordentown on the hardwood.
“After talking to some people and going through some things, I feel like I’m ready to (coach) this year,” Perry said. “We had a tough season last year. The position came open again and I was ready to do it.”
Bordentown is coming off a 3-22 campaign last winter and have won only four games over the last two seasons.
Perry will look to returning starters Myles Hansford, Jack Martin and Andrew DaCosta to help the Scotties right the ship this winter.
Hansford, a junior, is a three-year starter for Bordentown, who averaged 11 points a game last season and tallied a team-high 50 steals.
“Myles (Hansford) is very consistent. He’s our best perimeter defender. He’s a great ball handler. He’s our best all-around player,” Perry said.
Martin had an impressive junior season with the Scotties during the 2021-22 campaign, scoring over eight points and six rebounds a game with 21 block shots.
DaCosta had a team-high 25 blocks last season and averaged over six points and five rebounds a game. The junior forward is expected to be a big presence in the Scotties’ front court this season.
Another key returner for the Scotties this season is senior Isiah Florence, who provided crucial minutes off the bench last season in the team’s sixth man role. Perry says Florence will again play the sixth man role for the Scotties this season and bring much needed energy and strong play off the bench.
Newcomers to the varsity rotation that are up from the junior varsity level this season are Ryan Burroughs, Eunmin Choi, Ari Miller, Charles Oppong, Chris Gamble and Elijah Florence.
“We have 10 guys that can all play and who are all selfless and who have all shown leadership,” Perry said. “Our guys had a really good offseason. We feel like we’re in good shape right now.”
Bordentown is set to play in the BCSL Patriot Division this season, squaring off against Burlington City, Cinnaminson, Delran, Pemberton, Pennsauken and Willingboro.
The Scotties last won the Patriot Division crown during the 2019-20 season. Perry believes Bordentown has the talent to bring back a division title this winter.
“We would love to compete for a division championship, and we think we have the guys that can do that,” Perry said.
Bordentown opens up its 2022-23 campaign with a home game against New Egypt on Dec. 17.
Having only won three games last winter, Perry said it would be “huge” for his team’s confidence to start off the season 1-0.