The 49ers High School Player of the Week Award for week 8 goes to Chris Perez of Lincoln High School in San Jose.
When the final score is announced and the stands clear, the crowd exits the stadium gates talking about the great catch, the quarterback's arm, and the running back's yardage. The chatter to follow rarely touches on the performance of a defensive lineman. However, Lincoln high's linebacker, Chris Perez, had the media buzzing after his outstanding defensive performance against league rival, the Live Oak Acorns in week 8 of the football season.
As he has done all season, the 6'0", 175 lb. senior Chris Perez, continued to fill in the gaps and force big stops on Live Oak's offense. The league's lead running back that plays for the Acorns was held to a below-average performance due to Perez's faultless maneuvers.
"When a play came his way, he filled the hole," stated Lincoln Coach Kevin Collins, "When it was elsewhere, he scraped and filled the back alley. He's very instinctive, reads the plays, and fills the gaps accordingly to get the job done."
Perez led his defensive line with the execution of 17 tackles. His incredible performance was a key contribution to the Lincoln Lions' accomplishing their defensive goals, including: holding the opponent to 14 points or less, and creating at least 3 turnovers. The Lions roared their way to a 25-7 victory, and forced 4 interceptions throughout the game, improving their league record to 5-0, tying Gunderson for first place.
"I always set a goal to do the best I can," reflected Perez on his outstanding 17 tackles, "I always strive to be around the ball—to be a hawk out there."
With heroes such as his mother, father, and grandmother, Chris has always been encouraged to keep his head up and motivate others. His mentors have instilled the values behind the saying, "It is not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game", and the senior captain has preached these same values to his team. Known to lead by example, Chris has carried his parents' words with him on the field, as well as in the classroom where he has been recognized as a leader others follow due to his work ethic and determination.
"I keep my head up and aim to be a joyful guy," said Perez, "I want to motivate and encourage others to never be afraid and to do their best because you never know who's watching."
As the home school of 49ers High School Player of the Week, Lincoln High School will receive a $500 grant for their football program. Perez will receive a 49ers hat and t-shirt, a certificate signed by 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh, two tickets to a 49ers home game and recognition on 49ers.com. At the end of the season, Chris will be invited to the 49ers Training Facility in Santa Clara, CA to accept a trophy recognizing his achievements.