Lefty Perry, a 5-11, 165-pound running back-defensive back for the Hazel Green High School Trojans from 1969-71, is believed to be the first football player from his school ever to receive a football scholarship from a Southeastern Conference team. A two-time All-County player for coach Ken McKinney at Hazel Green, Perry was voted the teams Most Valuable Player in 1971 after leading all the Madison County schools in scoring with 17 touchdowns during the Trojans county championship run. He was named to The Huntsville Times All-County team as a sophomore in 1969. Much was expected of Perry the following season, but he was forced to miss most of his junior year with a shoulder injury. Early in his senior year, he told sports reporter James Magness of The Huntsville Times: I lifted weights this summer. My shoulders feel great, my ankles are great, my legs are great. I never felt better in my life. He quickly began proving his point when the season began. His teammates on the 71 team, which finished 9-1, losing only to Grissom, included Hall of Fame quarterback Kenny McKinney. One of Perrys most spectacular games came in the Trojans 34-0 win over Buckhorn, when he scored four touchdowns, one on an 85-yard run. After high school, he signed with coach Paul Bear Bryants Crimson Tide in 1972 and was a member of Alabamas national championship team in 1973. Perry subsequently transferred to Jacksonville State University, playing first for Charley Pell and then Clarkie Mayfield. He became a second-team All-America player for the Gamecocks. Asked about the factors that had the greatest impact in his success on the football field, Perry replied: In junior high, the seventh graders played with ninth graders. In high school, the tenth graders played with the seniors. In college, the freshmen played with the seniors. At each level, your game had to be stepped up to another level to earn a spot. Competition among teammates drives ability. You practice against one another five days to play an opponent for two hours. My teammates had the greatest impact on my athletic accomplishments. Perry owned and operated several small businesses from 1988-2006 before receiving the call to full-time Christian ministry as Pastor of Brownsboro Baptist Church. He is currently employed by Stewart Electric and serves as bi-vocational pastor at Mays Memorial Baptist Church near Athens, just over the Limestone County line. Perrys wife is Debbie Perry, the youngest sister of another Huntsville-Madison Athletic Hall of Famer, former high school basketball coach Stanley Stafford. The Perrys have one son, 25-year-old Caleb Perry, an electrical engineer who lives in Huntsville.