Perkins returning for celebrity golf tourney

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — All it took was one visit to the Natchez Children’s Home Services’ campus for Ray Perkins to get hooked.

Now, the former University of Alabama and NFL head football coach will be making his second trip in as many years for the Children’s Home’s celebrity golf tournament Nov. 3-4.

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“I just think it’s a great cause and a wonderful tradition,” Perkins said. “It’s been around for many, many years, and I was just moved by visiting the home last year and seeing the kids and how they teach them and where they teach them. I think they do a wonderful job.”

Not to mention, the children are wonderful to meet, Perkins said.

“They just had a great, warm, wonderful personality,” Perkins said. “They seemed like a very happy bunch of kids, and the environment they were in at the school, it was all great.”

With Perkins being a second-timer, he said he hopes the tournament draws in several first-timers like it did for him last year.

“I look forward to seeing everyone again, and maybe they’ll have a few new ones to add to the group,” Perkins said. “I think (the old faces) were as impressed as I was. Hopefully, we can get some new blood coming in.”

A day after the tournament ends, Perkins’ attention will turn toward the marquee matchup between the No. 1-ranked LSU Tigers and the No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide Nov. 5.

“I think it’s going to be a great game,” Perkins said. “Naturally, I’ll be pulling for Alabama. It’s going to be one of the biggest games that’s been in this part of the country, and I’m looking forward to it, as I’m sure many others are as well.”

Perkins, who also played at Alabama from 1964-66 under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, said it’s easy to see why Alabama has had such a strong team.

“They have a lot of great players,” Perkins said. “Of course, the coaches are doing a great jot, but if you don’t have the players, you can’t coach them into being a great team.”

For now, though, Perkins said he’s just ready to come support the Children’s Home again.

“I just have to praise all the people that work at the home and have been there for a long time,” Perkins said. “They do a wonderful job.

“I would suggest people that don’t know about the children’s home find out about it, and when they do, they’ll get caught on fire about it.”