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By Bryan Davis
Three years ago, Perrance Ward played his final snap of high school football for the West Point Green Wave. He left West Point at the end of the fall of 2007, and he would not start again on a football field until this past August.
Graduating from Southaven that Spring, Ward began his journey toward playing football at the next level. For the safety, itâ€™s been a long road, but after a season under his belt at East Mississippi Community College, the West Point native is getting a chance at senior college ball.
Ward made it official on Wednesday morning by agreeing to a scholarship with Memphis University, where he will carry on a family tradition started by his mother.
â€śMy mom attended the University of Memphis,â€ť Ward said on Wednesday morning. â€śShe received her masterâ€™s degree there, and we lived in South Haven during my senior year of high school.â€ť
Ward chuckled at the prospect of going from a Lion to a Tiger on Wednesday morning, but he knows that Memphis is going to be the best fit for himself.
â€śI like the program,â€ť Ward said. â€śI feel like itâ€™s a good position for me to go in, to start and get to playing right away.â€ť
During his first year at EMCC, Ward was not eligible to play for the Lions. In 2010, however, Ward played and made a huge impact, being named an All-American recently.
â€śIt was a long two years,â€ť Ward said. â€śI played this year, and I did pretty good, and I have three years at the next level.â€ť
Ward says that heâ€™s considering a criminal justice degree during his three years of eligibility at Memphis.
Though graduating elsewhere, Ward played all of his high school football for the Green Wave program, and he will take that winning tradition to Memphis.
â€śItâ€™s about hard work,â€ť Ward said. â€śWeâ€™re used to winning, and weâ€™re a winning program.â€ť
Ward feels confident that when he faces his best friend Michael Carr in 2011â€™s opening week, the Tigers will be able to give the Mississippi State Bulldogs a run for their money.
â€śWe know how to win,â€ť Ward said. â€śWe just have to be willing to do the work to get there.â€ť
At EMCC, Ward earned the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges All-North Division First Team honors as a free safety for head coach Buddy Stephens.
He helped to lead the 5-5 EMCC team to a third straight appearance in the post-season.
Ward did this by leading the teamâ€™s defensive backs with 62 tackles (44 solos and 18 assists) on the season. He had two sacks for -11 yards and one tackle for a loss of seven yards.
Ward had a team-high five interceptions for 33 yards in 2010. Four of those picks came in a three game stretch in the middle of the season.
In One game, Ward picked off two passes and ran a 66 yard fumble return back to the end zone, and he did this all in the second quarter. In that game against Caohoma, he was credited with nine tackles.
He had 11 stops and an interception against Mississippi Delta late in the season. He also had nine tackles against Pearl River and Northeast Mississippi.
Ward finished the season with five pass breakups, and he is listed as one of the Top 125 seniors by the Clarion Ledger in advance of his 2007 high school football season. While playing for the Green Wave, he was named the 2007 All-Division 1-4A First Team running back. He also played wide receiver and defensive back for the Green Wave.