Perkins takes talent where it’s needed

Friday, October 24, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:49 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

Adam Perkins is a traveling man, departing and arriving at different positions for the Hickman football team weekly.

Perkins and the Kewpies (4-3) open their district season at 7 tonight against the Kickapoo Chiefs (5-2) in Springfield at JFK Stadium.

Perkins, a 6-foot, 205-pound senior, earned second-team All-State honors last year as a linebacker. Perkins also rushed for 370 yards and two touchdowns as a fullback. Perkins will start at linebacker against the Chiefs, marking his third position change of the season.

Before the start of the season, coach Gregg Nesbitt approached Perkins about moving from fullback to the offensive line.

“We had a need on the offensive line during two-a-days,” Nesbitt said. “I asked him if he would move to the offensive line, and he said, ‘Great, let’s do it.’ ”

Perkins said he is not concerned with awards at the end of the season. He focuses on helping his team.

“This year has actually been kind of fun,” Perkins said. “Going back and forth from positions is different, but it’s not too bad.”

Last week, in an attempt to put Kyle Nuelle, Joe Schumacher and Perkins on the field at the same time, Nesbitt again asked Perkins to switch positions.

“Perkins, Schumacher and Nuelle are all inside linebackers,” Nesbitt said. “I knew Adam would much rather play linebacker but he moved to defensive end because he is going to do whatever he can to help the football team. He is a consummate team player.”

Perkins said he doesn’t mind switching positions.

“I will always do what I’m told to do,” Perkins said. “I’m here for the team, I’m a team player.”

This week, Hickman’s defense will be without Schumacher, who will likely miss one game with a strained knee. Perkins, who will take his spot at linebacker, said he is not worried about playing without Schumacher, but the team will miss his contributions.

Opening the district season, Perkins said he is confident the Kewpies are prepared.

“I just need to be confident and read my keys,” Perkins said. “I’ll do what I have to do.”

This week’s opponent, Kickapoo, operates a similar offense to Hickman’s. Last week, the Chiefs broke out of an offensive funk, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter in a 28-7 win against Glendale. Quarterback Shane Laurie, whose brother Spencer is a freshman on the Missouri basketball team, can produce in many ways, including play-action.

“They have a quarterback that can throw the ball better than what we saw last week,” Nesbitt said. “They have a better opportunity to score with the play-action pass; he can flat out throw the football.”

Nesbitt said he knows Perkins will make an impression against the Chiefs, no matter what position he plays.

“Adam is just a football player,” Nesbitt said. “He is one of the faster, stronger kids on the field combination wise. He is a very powerful, physical, hard-nosed football player.”

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