By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Today Brighton High School and the Lady Cardinal program celebrated Amanda Perry’s commitment to play for the Bethel University Lady Wildcats in McKenzie. But when all the Brighton Softball signing ceremonies started back in November it appeared Perry’s day wasn’t on the agenda. Back in the fall Perry’s teammates Ta’mya Johnson and Kailey Hunt inked letters of intent to Delta State and West Alabama respectively.
It was during those occasions Perry declared to The Millington Star she wasn’t going to play in college. Then the next Lady Cardinal to sign was Hannah Benard to Dyersburg State. Perry wasn’t as firm in her decision not to play at the next level.
By the time Brighton infielder Currie McIntyre was inking her letter to play for Dyersburg State in March, word was being spread around the Brighton campus the next signing would be Perry’s.
“It feels great and I’m really blessed to be able to continue my career and education at Bethel University,” Perry said. “I just realized by staying within myself and I was like, ‘I’ve played this game for so long, why give up now?’ So I decided to just keep going.”
Perry’s signing day was celebrated by family, friends, coaches and teammates in the Brighton Gymnasium Lobby. Playing full time since her sophomore year for Brighton, Perry earned the third base position on defense. She typically bats ninth in the order as a second leadoff hitter in most inning to compliment Johnson.
Perry using the slap-style she taught herself three years ago. The method takes advantage of her speed and batting eye. Perry has one of the best averages and on-base percentages for the Lady Cardinals.
Her contribution has helped Brighton win back-to-back District 13-3A and Region 7-3A champions. The Lady Cardinals reached State in her sophomore and junior campaigns.
Now her career will continue at Bethel under the guidance of Johns Weeks. Bethel named Weeks the head coach in December 2017. Prior to taking the Wildcat gig, Weeks operated Impact Sports Academy in Henderson specializing in softball at multiple age levels.
Perry said she turned down a few schools in the recruiting process but couldn’t turn down Weeks once he made an offer.
“I just didn’t feel that good vibe from them,” she acknowledged. “But with Coach John at Bethel, I trust him and I know his work process. I know what’s going to come out with him. I know the outcome.”