Wray Perkin will be headed to Ottawa to assume his new role with the CFL’s Redblacks.
He has devoted nearly 20 years of his life working with the Mount Allison Mounties football team in a wide range of duties and so when he received the call to become an integral part of the newly-formed Ottawa Redblacks, Wray Perkin was not only ready but well honed and highly skilled for the position of assistant equipment manager.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said a happy Perkin from Acadia University where he has just completed the first year of a two-year bachelor of education program. He plans to delay the practicum portion of the program but expects to return next year to continue work on his second degree. He holds a BA in history from Mount Allison.
Nobody is the least bit surprised that Wray was tapped to join the new CFL team as he has not only held every position with the Mounties from water boy to equipment manager, while serving as the right hand of every head coach since Marc Loranger. He has worked tirelessly with coaches John MacNeil, Gord Grace, Rob Kitchen, Peter Comeau, Scott Fawcett, Steve Lalonde and current head man Kelly Jeffrey.
In addition to being recognized across the Atlantic Conference as the top man in his position, Wray has received the call on two occasions to work with the equipment department of the Montreal Alouettes during pre-season training camps. He was forced to turn down a similar bid from the Toronto Argonauts but served as the sidelines equipment coordinator with the Edmonton Eskimos when they played in the Moncton Stadium.
Wray has been instrumental in creating an atmosphere within the Mountie football family that attracts new recruits when they visit – one of unity, closeness and brotherhood.
As one player recently commented, “Wray has to be one of the finest individuals I have ever known – he is kind, considerate, helpful, understanding and mature well beyond his years.”
Another said there can’t be a single individual who has ever met Wray who could say anything but positive words about him.
Wray spent a couple of summers as a student with the Tribune-Post and editor Scott Doherty says, “When I heard the news that Wray would be working for the Red Blacks I couldn’t help thinking that if anyone deserves such an opportunity it is him.”
Doherty said Wray simply walked into the job and, despite having no formal training as a journalist, dove right in, adding he has an incredible work ethic that will ensure success in whatever he sets his mind to.
And Doherty’s colleague Katie Tower says, “Wray is a hard-working, ambitious individual whose strong focus on community has no doubt helped him earn this position.”
Wray will be working side by side with the former Alouettes assistant equipment manager who has taken over the lead role in Ottawa, and it was he who quickly contacted the Sackville protégé to come to his aid.
Wray says it is not only exciting to join the CFL ranks but to be with a brand new team. He believes the challenges will be many as he will be involved from day one in ordering a wide array of equipment and supplies, ranging from helmets, uniforms, cleats, footballs to wrapping tape and water bottles. Everything for a professional team must be obtained fairly quickly, sorted, catalogued and fitted to each of the dozens of huge young men who will be in town looking for a job.
During his undergraduate years at Mount Allison, Wray has performed a multitude of tasks in a tireless fashion. He has worked on broadcasts of hockey – both Mountie and Titan – has served as statistician, writer with the Argosy, assisted coaches of various sports, among a long list. And, in addition, he has served as a volunteer coach with the Titans, creating a strong special teams unit while assisting in other areas.
His relationship with Mounties players is much like a brother. Fans will fondly recall how, when he was asked as a youngster to bring something to school for show and tell, he brought Eric Lapointe – the greatest player ever to wear the Garnet and Gold. They became inseparable and a few years later they received a front-page feature in the Montreal Gazette. Actually it was Lapointe who arranged for his call to the Alouettes training camp.
Recently he was asked to select his all-star Mountie team over the past 12 years and, naturally, Lapointe was number one on his list.
Not only has this young man done so much for the Mounties, but his family has also contributed extensively by having players to their home for meals and providing total support to both Wray and to the team.
Mother Dodie says she and John totally support their son and believe it is time for him to take a break from school after nearly 19 years in classrooms. And she, too, describes his invitation to join the Redblacks as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Wray will be the second ex-Mountie to take on an administrative position in the CFL. Former punter/kicker Olivier Eddie is now in the communications department with the professional champion Saskatchewan Rough Riders.
Wray will be moving to Ottawa on April 1 after a brief visit with his family and friends in Sackville and you can bet he will be kept busy receiving congratulations from those of all walks of life.