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Family of champions: Grandfather, grandson both win football state championships

Cathedral assistant football coach James Woodard and his grandson Sean Perry hold the MHSAA Class 1A State Championship trophy after the Green Wave beat St. Aloysius.  This year, Sean, a junior linebacker at Centreville Academy, won the MAIS AA State Championship, and Woodard won the MHSAA 1A State Championship with Cathedral. (Photo courtesy of Wendy White)

Cathedral assistant football coach James Woodard and his grandson Sean Perry hold the MHSAA Class 1A State Championship trophy after the Green Wave beat St. Aloysius. This year, Sean, a junior linebacker at Centreville Academy, won the MAIS AA State Championship, and Woodard won the MHSAA 1A State Championship with Cathedral. (Photo courtesy of Wendy White)

During the afternoon of Nov. 21, Cathedral assistant coach James Woodard could be found sitting in his car, screaming at his radio.

Listening to his grandson Sean Perry play for the Centreville Tigers against the Adams County Christian School Rebels for the state championship, Woodard listened intently.

Perry busted through the line and made a tackle in the backfield, but the radio announcers did not have a No. 52 on their roster, so they were unable to give credit to Perry for the big play.

“I screamed at my radio, ‘His name is Sean Perry!” Woodard vigorously said.

The reason the radio announcers did not have a No. 52 is because Perry wasn’t supposed to be that number when the season began.

A junior tight end on Centreville, Perry was asked to switch to the defensive line, and since he was going to be playing on the line like his grandfather Woodard did at Delta State, he wanted to wear the same number as him.

“My grandpa played that position his whole career,” Perry said. “So if I had to move to that position, I wanted to wear his number.”

After Centreville defeated ACCS 35-21 to win its ninth state championship, Perry was without any more football obligations for the remainder of the year, freeing him up to come watch his grandfather and the Green Wave make their playoff run.

Perry, who is the son of Tray and Amanda Perry, attended the MHSAA Class A South State Championship Game, where Cathedral defeated Nanih Waiya 28-19.

Perry stood on the sidelines, as he watched Cathedral seal its fate to play in the state championship.

No chance of Perry missing out on seeing his grandfather win a state championship like him.

“I was trying to get a sideline pass for the game, but they didn’t have enough, so I went in the stands and watched it there,” Perry said.

Following Cathedral’s dominant 49-14 victory against rival St. Aloysius, Perry went onto the field and hugged his grandfather, both champions in 2014.

“It was awesome,” Perry said. “He was shaking, he was so excited. I could tell it meant a lot to him.”