John Perling Athlete of the Issue


Scarlett Campbell, writer

  1. Bernards football is flying high with a 4-2 record, what has contributed most to that?

I think our team was doubted going into this year. We graduated a number of very talented seniors last year and the team NEEDED players to step up and fill their shoes. I think a number of players, including both QB’s and the middle linebackers are showing everyone that they can really play; the athletes that stepped up into starting positions contributed the most to our record.


  1. As a captain, what do you try to get out of your teammates and how do you get everyone fired up?

I try to get them into my own head. My goal is to show them that football is a battle and, especially on the offensive line, you’re looking your opponent in the face for the entire game. You need to beat him, and, if you trust your teammates to beat their man, we win the game. I try to get people fired up by encouraging the competition and the battle that football ultimately is. 


  1. Playing on both sides of the line, what type of condition do you have to be in to play at a high level?

Our coaches are always telling us, “Don’t take a play off,” and, especially playing both offense and defense, to play an entire football game giving 100% each down, you need to be in great shape. Luckily, over the summer, we participate in Test Football Academy which is basically conditioning and lifting in the dead of summer for hours. This training is intense and allows a lot of us to be in the condition we are in, but I won’t miss 7:00 in the morning wake up times to simply condition in July.


  1. Every time you step on the field, what type of motivation do you have? Does this motive have you playing with pride or anger on the line?

I motivate myself with music, weirdly enough. If you know me or are on the football team, there is a specific guitar solo I always listen to before games. It makes me want to run through a wall. But, during the game, to keep me going I think about the feeling of losing. It sucks, and I don’t want it to happen, so I’ll do the absolute most to win.

  1. What do you expect out of yourself on the field?

I think my coaches, teammates, and I all expect a leader on the field. Other seniors and I have the most experience, and we have to use our wisdom to help out our team. I am expected to simply do my job and not mess up and make a few nice plays a few times a game.

  1. What ways have coaches like Sim changed you as a person?

Sim has changed my values. As the head coach, it is his program, and he seems to feel responsible for the team, in both winning and losing; his doing this has taught me the value of loyalty to your team (or family). Sim has ingrained on us having accountability, as it will take you a long way in life. “If you look me in the eyes and tell me, ‘Coach, I screwed up, I won’t be mad,’” has stuck with me since I first met the man. Sim has taught the team how to be mature and how to be a decent person, and I want to thank him for that.

  1. What goal are you working towards for the future as both an athlete and a person?

My goal right now is finishing college applications and getting accepted into a school that will allow for opportunities later in life. There is a possibility I play in college as a PWO (preferred walk on) at a few schools, but everything is still up in the air. In the end, happiness and success is always the end goal.