BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The 2021 high school football season was a good one for the Bennett Tigers. Bennett finished the year with an 11-2 record, a Section VI title, and a trip to the AA state championship game.

“We learned to be an iron chain. Your weakest link is your strongest one. Really being close up together like that, having that brotherly bond, that helped us stay strong together,” Bennett lineman Rashard Perry said of last season’s team. “Mentally and physically, we did the job as we needed to do.”

Aside from their outstanding run game, the Tigers had another dominant force on their side in lineman Rashard Perry.

A two-way player on the line, Perry finished his junior campaign with 123 solo tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 24 sacks which racked up 175 sack yards, over 100 more than the next highest player in Western New York.

“During the season, it was very fun, very exciting. I’m glad I got all the stats and all that, but really it was all the hard work I put in,” Perry said. “Everything you’re doing needs to be 100% perfect. Only the greats take time to do so much that the point that you’re trying to do it wrong. You have to keep focusing doing skill training. All that stuff to do that coach McDuffie and the coaching staff, they really helped me be great.”

Rashard’s talent and stats speak for themselves, but what’s most impressive about the 6’3 lineman is his leadership skills and the way he represents himself.

“He’s one of those kids that’s lived by the philosophy that we put forward. We talk a lot about the three D’s, dedication, discipline and good decision making,” Bennett head coach Steve McDuffie said. “When you look at a kid like him, you can actually see his dedication to do the things right in the weight room and do the things right in school.

“He’s been one of those great players, one of those legacy players that followed up kind of what Isaiah [McDuffie] did and he kind of took the reigns. He’s been a pillar of this program,” McDuffie said.

Rashard Perry is a 2022 News 4 Sports player to watch.