By Sheri Duff
Michelle Perry is impressive. At least that’s how Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head girls ice hockey coach Ben Psaros begins to describe his senior forward. “Michelle is a vibrant, eccentric, funky young woman. She has one of the best shots on the team, solidifies our second line wing core, and continues to enhance and improve her skating and stick-handling skills weekly,” he states. “I do not believe she played youth hockey and only started playing ice hockey three years ago. She has really been impressive to watch this year, especially knowing her limited experience with the sport.”
Born on Aug. 22, 1995 Perry is a Shelburne native. Her family includes parents MJ and Pat, 20-year-old sister Margaret, a college student studying abroad in Budapest, Hungary, a cat named Spot, and a dog named Copper.
Unlike most hockey players who began lacing up ice skates by age five, Perry never played organized hockey until her sophomore year of high school. “I had a lot of friends on the team,” she commented. “They convinced me to give the sport a try.”
A 3-year varsity ice hockey player, Perry acknowledges that she has a strong constitution. “I never get discouraged,” she shared. “I know I used to be the worst player on the team. But my friends were always there to support and encourage me so I found it easy to stick with it.” Coach Psaros agrees with her assessment and adds, “Michelle’s transformation is incredible. I only wish she picked the game up years ago to better our struggling program [the team hasn’t won a game in nearly two seasons]. She is an asset to the program.”
In addition to ice hockey, Perry is a 2-year varsity field hockey player, is community service minded, and gainfully employed. In fact, it is for field hockey, her sport of choice, for which she is most proud. “My proudest moment was going to the field hockey state championship this year,” she informed. “Although our team wasn’t supposed to get past the second round, we kept winning until we made it to the title game. It was quite an accomplishment.” For the last three years, she has participated in Habitat for Humanity. She will complete her high school career with one last spring break trip to West Virginia for the non-profit organization. As for employment, she hopes to reprise her role at Splash on the waterfront this summer.
Perry is waiting on acceptance letters before deciding on her plan of action for next year. Her top three college choices include UVM, Ithaca College, and Providence College. Although undecided on her course of study there’s no cause for concern. She is a triple threat: She is athletic, social, and has a desire to make a difference on and off the ice that will enhance any college of her choosing.