TORONTO — Brian Perkins etched his identify into illustrious firm final June when he led the Toronto baseball group to the Division IV state baseball championship.
Thursday night, he joined one other illustrious membership.
Perkins, a 1989 graduate of East Liverpool High School, was introduced because the 2020 winner of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Bill Van Horne Coach of the Year throughout the convention’s digital Banquet of Champions.
While formally accepting the plaque from OVAC govt director Dirk DeCoy, Perkins did so on behalf of the complete program, faculty and group.
“If it wasn’t for our players, coaches, support of the administration at Toronto City Schools and the community, I wouldn’t be standing here,” Perkins stated. “I accept this on behalf of all of them. What an honor! I really appreciate it.”
Perkins joins Rich Wilinski, who was the 1975 winner, as the one Toronto head coaches to obtain the award and turns into simply the fourth baseball coach in OVAC historical past to obtain the accolade. He’s the primary since Harrison Central’s Justin Clifford in 2014.
The state championship was the primary for Toronto since 1998. Now, virtually a full yr faraway from receiving the trophy, Perkins referred to as it a “unique” yr.
Much of that stems from the truth that the Red Knights can have to wait till 2021 to get an opportunity to defend their title after this yr’s season was canceled due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve had a lot of great memories to look back on,” Perkins stated. “It was a special group of players and coaches that made this quite a memory for us.”
The Red Knights, who completed 28-5 final season climbed to the highest of the state’s baseball mountain by advantage of a Three-1 victory towards Hillsdale within the state championship recreation. That got here a day after they blanked Antwerp, Eight-Zero, within the state semifinals.
Impressive wins over Strasburg (district championship), Chillicothe Huntington (regional semifinal) and Newark Catholic (regional championship) earned Toronto the best to play at Akron’s Canal Park.
Toronto additionally claimed its ninth OVAC title with a Four-Zero victory over Wheeling Central. The championship is the sixth underneath Perkins’ watch.
With their rings formally acquired throughout a banquet in late fall and now this award, Perkins formally units his sights on the 2021 marketing campaign.
“I told the guys that after Christmas break (2019), we were focusing on 2020 and what we accomplished in 2019 was in the past,” Perkins stated. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 happened and now we’ll officially close it and begin working on 2021.”
In his 16 seasons on the helm, Perkins has amassed a 329-86-1 report. He additionally led the Red Knights to the state semifinals in 2017 and gained Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference titles in 2018 and 2019.
Perkins additionally identified the assist of his household, together with spouse Jamie, son Zach (19) and daughter, Camryn (13).
Other finalists for the award have been Oak Glen soccer coach Ted Arneault Jr., Oak Glen volleyball coach Morgan Poling, Meadowbrook boys basketball coach Lou “Scooter” Tolzda and Fort Frye women basketball coach Dan Liedtke.