, Salem, MA


June 26, 2013

Letter: Ken Perrone, life coach

To the editor:

As one of Coach Ken Perrone’s former players at Salem High School, I write to both congratulate him for this long overdue Hall of Fame recognition as well as thank him for his preparing me, and hundreds of other young athletes, for the challenges of life well beyond our days on the gridiron.

Although we did not know it then, Coach Perrone was teaching us skills far more important than those to win on Saturday afternoons; he taught us skills to win in life. Coach Perrone and his entire terrific coaching staff taught us work ethic, discipline, team, good sportsmanship and loyalty. These invaluable lessons learned as an impressionable teen have served me extremely well in every aspect of life — high school (on the field and in the classroom), college, law school, professional life, politics, as husband and father. Indeed, these are the very lessons and attributes my wife, Kara McLaughlin, and I strive to instill in our children daily. Our children are ever familiar with, “Try your hardest and be polite.” No matter what the endeavor, Coach Perrone taught his players to live by these standards, and no matter what the outcome, you’ll be a “winner.”

So, Coach Perrone, on behalf of all of us you coached over those many years pacing up and down the sidelines of Bertram Field, thank you both for teaching us the game of football, but more importantly teaching us how to play the game of life!

John Keenan

Salem High School Class of 1983

Editor’s note: John Keenan, Salem’s state representative since 2005, was one of Ken Perrone’s team captains in 1982 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

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