Jimmy Perkins, Team Captain and Program Trailblazer

University+of+Utah+junior+attacker+Jimmy+Perkins+%284%29+looked+to+pass+to+a+teammate+in+an+NCAA+Men%27s+Lacrosse+game+vs.+Vermont+at+Rice-Eccles+Stadium+in+Salt+Lake+City%2C+UT+on+Friday+February+01%2C+2019.%28Photo+by+Curtis+Lin+%7C+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

University of Utah junior attacker Jimmy Perkins (4) looked to pass to a teammate in an NCAA Men's Lacrosse game vs. Vermont at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday February 01, 2019.(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Cole Bagley, Assistant Sports Editor

 

The University of Utah men’s lacrosse team is currently competing in their second season of Division 1 lacrosse. Despite being such a young organization, the team has found ways to win games. Utah has proven they are a strong team and so much of that has to do with their leadership — specifically captain Jimmy Perkins.

Jimmy Perkins was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he attended Quaker Valley High School. While in high school, Jimmy had no problem scorching the nets as he set several school records that included 224 career goals, 131 career assists and 355 career points. Due to his phenomenal play, Perkins would be recruited by Robert Morris University where he completed his undergrad but only played two years while redshirting the other two. This would allow him to play two years somewhere else while completing a Master’s Degree — and so the search began for a new program.

“I was really interested in coming out west,” Perkins said. “I saw the opportunity to build something new, to be a trailblazer in being a part of the first Pac-12 men’s lacrosse team, and learn from the best players in the game with coach Holman.”

After a visit to the University of Utah, Perkins knew this was where he belonged and decided to bring his talents to Salt Lake City. In the inaugural season of Utah lacrosse and Perkin’s first season at the U, he would score 24 goals, dish out 7 assists and help the team to a 5-10 record. Despite having incredible individual abilities, Perkins is a team-first player and is more concerned about producing results as a unit.

University of Utah senior Jimmy Perkins (4) during an NCAA Lacrosse game vs. the Furman University Paladins at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (Photo by Jalen Pace | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

“Jimmy is a great teammate because he pushes everyone to be the best they can be,” fellow captain and teammate Aaron Fjeldsted said. “He’s very personable and approachable, anyone can talk to him about family matters or stuff going on back home which makes him trustworthy and loyal. He also leads by example and makes up for his lack of size with how ferocious and hard he plays.”

As one of the team captains, Perkins takes his leadership position very seriously. There are no days off for him as he recognizes that as a leader he sets the standard for how the team plays and if he is slacking off then they will follow that example.

“It means everything to me,” Perkins said. “We vote as a team for captains, and for guys on this team to view me in that way and want me to be a part of leadership, just means the world to me. It’s more important than anything else you can earn individually.”

In addition to leadership, Perkins is also focused on building a foundation for Utah lacrosse. As it stands, Utah is the only sanctioned lacrosse team in the Pac-12 and is one of a handful of teams in the west. Perkins recognized this and decided to be a trailblazer and set the standard for the U’s brand new program.

“It’s really special and we can bond over the fact that we are creating something that’s our own here,” Perkins said. “Our goal is to build the best program in the country and it’s a cool opportunity for the school to be a part of that and watch us grow.”

As for Perkins, this is his senior season. This is his final chance as a player to leave his mark on the program and he is wasting no time in doing so. Thus far, he has scored 17 goals, recorded 2 assists, and has been absolutely critical in the Utes three wins. When the Utes have won he has averaged 3.6 goals per game — a clear staple for their offense.

“I’m trying to use these last couple weeks of the season and play them like it’s my last because nothing is ever guaranteed,” Perkins said. “I’m trying to just soak up enjoy every moment out here with the guys.”

But the Utes are determined to finish strong as they have high expectations of competing for a national championship despite being such a young program.

“Our goal is to win and compete for national championships,” Perkins said. “We are taking that one week at a time and just want to play Utah Lacrosse on a consistent basis and see where we end up.”

 

[email protected]

@bagley_cole