Perleberg’s enjoyed Jamestown soccer rideRoss Perleberg has seen the highs and lows of soccer in Jamestown. Whether it be wearing Blue and White or Black and Orange, the former Blue Jay and current Jimmie has seen about everything soccer-wise in Jamestown. “It’s been interesting, both the good and bad,” said Perleberg, the lone Jamestown product on the national-tournament bound Jimmies. “I have a lot of memories that I’ll be able to look back on when I’m older and when I’m done playing, and most of them are good ones.”
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Ross Perleberg has seen the highs and lows of soccer in Jamestown.
Whether it be wearing Blue and White or Black and Orange, the former Blue Jay and current Jimmie has seen about everything soccer-wise in Jamestown.
“It’s been interesting, both the good and bad,” said Perleberg, the lone Jamestown product on the national-tournament bound Jimmies. “I have a lot of memories that I’ll be able to look back on when I’m older and when I’m done playing, and most of them are good ones.”
Perleberg and star goalie Phil Boerger were the backbone of the brief resurgence of Blue Jay soccer five years ago. But after going to state with the Blue Jays, his first stint with the Jimmies was a little bumpy.
The JC men’s soccer program won just six games combined in its first three seasons — 2007-09.
Perleberg was there for some of it, before stepping away from the sport. He eventually got the urge to play again after some inward looking moments.
“I guess I kind of realized I needed to grow up and mature as a person,” he said. “I could have had a better attitude my freshman year. That was something I needed to change and improve on.”
After sitting out for a year-and-a-half, Perleberg returned last season and has been a versatile performer as the Jimmies have gone from doormat to one of the last 16 teams remaining.
“There have been a lot of changes from when I first got here to now. I’m not blaming anybody for the early years, it was a challenging situation for everybody,” Perleberg said. “With coach (Phillip) Bohn coming in and the type of players he’s recruited, it’s all come together pretty fast, really, and now we’re going to Alabama.”
The 24th-ranked Jimmies (16-4-1) take on national-tournament host and sixth-ranked Auburn-Montgomery (16-3-2) on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
The metamorphosis from losers to winners the Jimmies have successfully navigated, leads Perleberg to hope for a similar one at his high school alma mater. Perleberg has spent time coaching in the youth leagues and sees a brighter future as the number of kids participating in recent years has increased.
“The numbers dwindled there for a few years and that has a negative effect on how well the teams can do,” said Perleberg, who will graduate this spring. “But I think things are starting to rebound. If we can get more kids playing, get more kids interested, it’s been proven we can have competitive teams, that we can make it to the state tournament. It’s always going to be challenging, but it’s not impossible.”
Perleberg’s playing days with the Blue Jays prepared him well for now. Back then, he had to do a bit of everything, including score a bunch of goals, which forced him to develop multiple skills. He’s served as more of a utility player during his college career, spending most of his time this season as a defensive midfielder.
“I’m not necessarily the best at one thing. I think I’ve been able to adapt to whatever role coach wanted me to do. We have a lot of good players, so I tried to carve out a niche, so to speak,” Perleberg said. “More than anything, it’s been a lot of fun being a part of a successful team.”
He’s also enjoyed teaming with players from all over Europe. Perleberg said the similarities far outweigh the differences.
“We have a lot more in common than you might think,” he said. “Three or four years ago, I probably wouldn’t have imagined some of my better friends would be from Europe, but that’s one of the unique things about this team.
“For me, it’s been a great experience. … To be going to Alabama, it’s pretty awesome.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com