As the 8-Man All-Star Games approach on Saturday, it is always a great experience for the all-stars to be joined by one or more of their high school teammates. Even more unique is when that teammate is your twin brother. Blake and Brayden Perez of St. John’s/Tipton will have that opportunity this Saturday when they put on the pads for the DII East All-Stars in the 36th Annual Kansas 8-Man All-Star Game. While unique, twins on the same team did happen as recently as 2019 when Blair and Dalton Hoffman of Dighton both played in the game.
As for the Perez twins, they were the key skill position players that helped lead St. John’s/Tipton to a combined 14-6 record of the past two seasons, going 7-3 each year. They also provided big contributions on the defensive side of the ball. In 2020, the Blujays made it to the 8-Man DII Regional Playoff, seeing their season come to a close in a hard-fought contest against Frankfort.
Brayden Perez has been a feature back in the Blujay offense since his sophomore season, but he broke out as a senior with a career high 1,280 rushing yards and 24 TD. He also finished the year with 1,781 all-purpose yards. He was also second on the team with 141 tackles on defense, adding four tackles for loss, four fumble recoveries and an interception. Through his career, he racked up over 3,000 rushing yards, just under 4,600 all-purpose yards and 72 total touchdowns, while adding 351 tackles on defense. Brayden Perez discussed what led to his continued improvement throughout his career.
Blake Perez also had an outstanding four years with the Blujays. His senior season he led the team with 145 total tackles. He finished his career with 323 tackles. Blake also saw an expanded role on offense in his final year. He ran for 632 yards and 9 TD and led the team with 464 yards and 4 TD receiving. In all, he racked up 1,215 all-purpose yards in his final year at St. John’s/Tipton. Blake Perez explained how coach Dean Gengler worked to expand his role on offense as a senior.
Blake and Brayden Perez are the second and third members of their family to play in the 8-Man All-Star Game. Their brother Eriq played in 2013. Brayden will have a chance to continue his football career as he is headed to Bethany College in Lindsborg in the fall. Saturday will mark Blake’s final football game. The twins will play for the East All-Stars in the 8-Man DII contest which kicks off at 10:00. Pregame coverage on the 8-Man All-Star Game Network on KD Country 94 and 8manallstars.com is at 9:30 from Trojan Field in Beloit.