Former JCHS assistant baseball coach Nick Perkins is a perfect fit for Hampton High School.
By Tim Chambers
Just as former Hampton basketball Coach Leon Tolley has been to the Longhorns, a former Johnson County coach came to the aid of Hampton’s baseball program in the “Nick” of time. Nick Perkins has been the perfect fit for the Bulldogs, a school not known for having powerhouse baseball teams through the years, but the Johnson County resident is hoping that soon changes.
Perkins is no stranger to Johnson County. He assisted current Longhorns’ head baseball skipper Pete Pavusek for six seasons, serving as his top assistant for four of those (2011-1014). During that span, the Longhorns won two postseason games in 2011 and four in 2012. They won one apiece in 2013 and 2014 and were one game away from reaching the state tournament in 2012.
“We had some good players,” said Perkins. “I appreciate Coach Pete so much because he let me work and try new things. I returned to high school ball a different coach after time in D-3 and D-1 ball, but Pete gave me the authority, which gave me experience leading young men.”
Before the 2020 season came to a halt, the Bulldogs were 3-0 and were playing minus three starters who were still in basketball. Their biggest win came against Happy Valley 8-4 on the road. Perkins’ role goes far beyond coaching baseball at Hampton. With the help of parents and others, they had taken on some projects that have really made a difference in the program.
Nick at Night
In addition to adding lights to the baseball field for night games, they now have a double-barrel home bullpen and a single barrel one on the visitor’s side. They also now have a team clubhouse with locker rooms and an indoor facility with turf, and the Bulldogs wear customized Rawlings home and away baseball uniforms. They can also take batting practice in their indoor facility.
“We have 31 players right now and five-person coaching staff. It’s been a group effort by everyone to get all the things that we have now. I’ve been blessed with some wonderful kids and parents. I couldn’t do it without them.”
Perkins gave a lot of praise to the Bulldog Diamond Club, who has assisted with many things since being started. The Bulldogs won the first-night game ever played at Hampton thanks to a walk-off base hit by Josh “the Babe” Owens. Many say it was one of the biggest crowds ever to watch a baseball game at Hampton.
Perkins is the second Johnson County resident to become head coach and Hampton. Former Longhorn athlete Doug Phillips was responsible for getting the land where the current team played back in 1976. Phillips spent his lifetime coaching several sports at Hampton before his retirement. Another former Longhorns’ baseball player Judd Hammonds has been an assistant under Coach Perkins.
Expect Perkins and his staff to take the Bulldogs to greater heights in the upcoming years. Johnson County is proud of the great job that you are doing.