Perry, Crossen co-pilot Plymouth defense

Published 4:15 pm Friday, December 7, 2007

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
PLYMOUTH - Like support beams in a skyscraper, assistant coaches often get overshadowed by the magnificent construct in which they hold up. But like those beams, if the coaches were to falter, then disaster would ensue.
For the Vikings, those support beams are named Terry Perry and Corey Crossen, and they have helped solidify one of the best defenses in the state.
Each has had a stint as the Vikings’ defensive coordinator, but in the past two seasons the two have divided up the duties and maximized the defense.
Perry, who has worked with the football team for 10 years, primarily works with the defensive line and linebacking units, while Crossen, a five year vet, specializes in the secondary.
During games, Perry calls the defense for the front eight, while Crossen coordinates the defensive back’s alignment accordingly. Crossen also handles the substitutions.
Together, they have produced a unit that has held teams scoreless eight times in 15 games, and has not allowed over 14 points in a contest all season.
Defensive lineman Reginald James said that Plymouth’s pounding defense is a direct result of his coaches.
Crossen said having two defensive coordinators has simplified both their jobs.
While it may be a bit unconventional to have two defensive coordinators, who can argue with the results. It also doesn’t help to have a senior heavy team that is packed with premium athletes.
In Perry’s 10 years with Plymouth, the coach said this year’s squad is his best defensive unit.
Perry and Crossen cited the leadership of noise guard William Hunt, linebackers Chuck Woods and Dasheen Perry, along with Angelo Sharpless as vital to the Vikings’ success.
The play of the Plymouth linebackers has been sensational this season, and a lot of that is due to the play of middle linebackers Woods and Dasheen Perry.
Woods calls the plays on the field for the Vikings, while Perry helps finish them off.
Vikings’ head coach Robert Cody said that both Crossen and Perry bring different elements to the team, and both are significant.
While Perry brings a teacher like quality to the field, Cody said Crossen brings a big brother quality to go along with his coaching credentials.
The duo hopes it can get one more dynamic day from their defense on Saturday, when the Vikings face North Duplin for the NCHSAA class 1-A state championship at Carter-Finley Stadium at 11 a.m.