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The Student News Site of Westerville North High School

The Odyssey

The Student News Site of Westerville North High School

The Odyssey

The Student News Site of Westerville North High School

The Odyssey

Suicide and Bullying Prevention at North
Suicide and Bullying Prevention at North
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Ohio House Bill Restricts Transgender Athletes in Sports
Ohio House Bill Restricts Transgender Athletes in Sports
Theodore Garrett (Senior) April 9, 2024

During the 2022-2023 school year six transgender girls played in Ohio highschool sports; one of them is a tennis player who completed her senior...

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Why are students frustrated with High School counselors?! | RAW student interviews S2 E6
Lia Webb (Senior) April 9, 2024

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Suicide and Bullying Prevention at North
Suicide and Bullying Prevention at North
Keller Hyde (Junior) and Alex Cardoza (Senior) April 15, 2024

Efforts to spread awareness about student violence and suicide prevention have been on an upward trend in recent years. Despite these steps,...

Continue Reading
Ohio House Bill Restricts Transgender Athletes in Sports
Ohio House Bill Restricts Transgender Athletes in Sports
Theodore Garrett (Senior) April 9, 2024

During the 2022-2023 school year six transgender girls played in Ohio highschool sports; one of them is a tennis player who completed her senior...

Continue Reading
Why are students frustrated with High School counselors?! | RAW student interviews S2 E6
Lia Webb (Senior) April 9, 2024

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Perkins shoots for success, offers

Tai Perkins helps North to victory, dropping 34 points for a second time against Westerville South.
Perkins+splits+Westerville+South+defenders+on+his+way+to+score+a+layup.+North+defeated+South+68-61
Aaron Layne
Perkins splits Westerville South defenders on his way to score a layup. North defeated South 68-61

With the final buzzer for Tai Perkins’ (2025) junior year right around the corner, Perkins has put himself in the spotlight. He has made big and consistent strides in his junior season. Perkins has been playing basketball since the second grade.

Following all his success this season, Perkins has picked up his first NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) offer, which is considered success to most, but it’s different to him. “Trying your hardest trying to win the game, just playing at the best of your ability win, lose or draw just playing your hardest is what success means to me,” Perkins said. 

Perkins has an offer from Florida Memorial University and other Division II schools have also expressed interest in his game.

The Westerville North Varsity Basketball head coach is Shan Trusley. Trusley has been the head coach at North for 11 years and coached for 35 years overall. Trusley commented on how Perkins’ game changed this year

“His confidence has grown, he’s more confident in his skills and abilities. [Perkins] works really really hard during the off season. He really shoots it well. Most of his shooting percentages have gone up each year,” Trusley said. This has led to Perkins’ success this season. 

Perkins also agrees that his confidence went up in the offseason and that is helping him come more consistent.

“My confidence has gotten way better and my teammates have more trust in me to score and go out there and play my game,” Perkins said. He also put in a lot of work in the off season by going to camps and playing travel basketball. Perkins works hard on and off the court.

All of this growth in Perkins’ game has led him to become a leader on his team, “He has become more vocal, he talks more on the floor and he leads, leads by example,” Trusley said.

Perkins also views himself as a leader on this team as well. “All my teammates are like brothers to me, we are all close together, it’s like a family. Just being one of the upperclassmen, we only have two seniors so I might as well pick up my leadership role right now and become a better leader,” Perkins said. 

Trusley speaks on the impact coaches have on Perkins picking up his first NAIA offer. “College coaches seek input form us, they ask for guidance, they ask for feedback and we try to give them that feedback we try to give them that advice but ultimately the college coach decides,” Trusley said. 

Perkins averages the most points per team this season. Scoring as high as 34 points on two occasions. Made with Canva. (Connor Rathburn (Junior))

Michael Donovan, a high school basketball coach for five years, who also has a background in football recruiting, shares his views on a coach’s impact on their athletes’ college offers.

“When I was recruited we passed DVDs for our film, now it is very different. As a player I did most of my film out there. Now with how much technology has changed the player can put out their film so much easier. Most of the time when coaches wanted info from [the coaches] they wanted to know what the kid was like. If they wanted the film they found that film online,” Donovan said. 

Donovan comments on how he helped his players become more consistent, just like Perkins has. “Coaches expect your best effort all the time, they expect your practice habits to be the same if not harder than your game habits. The way that you practice will be the way it transpires to your game. I’m a very intense coach and I wanted to put [my players]in situations that would be harder than in game,” Donovan said.

One of the things that college coaches are looking for is if they could pass the general test. College prospects “had to pass the look test. Meaning were they big? Did they fit their physique? You can’t coach a 5 feet 1 inch guy to be 6 feet 5 inches. You’re 6 feet 5 inches or not 6 feet 5 inches. [College coaches] feel they can make you bigger, faster and stronger, [which] is stuff they can all coach. But they can’t coach how big you are,” Donovan said.

Perkins often exhibits the thing that was emphasized the most, that “coaches hate to coach effort,” Donovan said. A hard working athlete and a winning attitude are as important to colleges as the player’s skill set. Perkins also believes that colleges are looking for him to be a team player.

Perkins has two brothers on the North team, Tyson Perkins and Micah Young. This creates an easy team dynamic. “It helps with chemistry and it helps that they are such great kids, their teammates really like [the brothers],” Trusley said.

Perkins’ coaches often credit his success to his hard work, but Perkins feels his brothers play a big role.

“It helps a lot, we just are so connected. We just know we can talk to each other and know we can talk to each other about the game on a different level than anyone else,” Perkins said.

Wrapping up his junior year, Perkins is just getting started. Both his coaches and his peers are looking forward to his senior year with the team.

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About the Contributor
Hi, I'm Connor Rathburn I am a junior at North. I play for Columbus ice hockey. I am also a part of the Warrior Boys Lacrosse team.

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