Andrew Perillo

School: Central Bucks East






Favorite athlete:  Victor Cruz


Favorite team: New York Giants


Favorite memory competing in sports: My favorite memory is playing against Central Bucks South this past year as a senior. Playing under the lights with the student section behind us was amazing.


Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: Happened to a teammate of mine, in a scrimmage before the season, it was his first year playing. He lined up like eight yards ahead of the line of scrimmage as a wide out and he did not realize he was off- sides. It took the entire sideline and fans yelling at him to realize and back up.


Music on playlist: No Role Modelz – J. Cole


Future plans: To attend college and major in Environmental or Aerospace Engineering


Words to live by: “The bull doesn’t care.”


One goal before turning 30: To have a steady job that I love doing.


One thing people don’t know about me: I am a twin, and my sisters are twins.



By Mary Jane Souder


Andrew Perillo laughs at the suggestion that perhaps he should consider a career in coaching.


“A couple of times I was called coach Perillo,” the Central Bucks East senior said of his unplanned stint on the sidelines during his final high school football season this fall.


Watching games from the sidelines was certainly the last thing on Perillo’s mind entering the season. The Central Bucks East senior had worked hard to earn a position on both sides of the football and was not only firmly entrenched in the starting lineup - he was also a captain.


“During camp when it got announced, I was so happy,” Perillo said of his selection as captain. “They were the goals I was looking forward to and pushing myself to, and I was finally able to get them. I had just gotten to the point where I wanted to be, but I wanted to push myself further.”


The script, however, did not go as planned.


Perillo played three games for an East squad that had its sights set high after a 1-5 pandemic-shortened season last year. Three days after the Patriots’ third game at Central Bucks South, the senior captain began noticing some all-too-familiar concussion symptoms.


“I didn’t realize it at the time – it wasn’t like a specific hit where I knew right away that I was out,” said Perillo. “I ended up playing the entire game.


“The Monday after - I started feeling it. This was my fourth concussion, so I knew how they usually felt. That week I talked to my parents about it. I went to a specialist, and I realized I had one.”


The CB South game – a 24-19 win – turned out to be Perillo’s final high school football game, although he didn’t know it at the time.


“I was hoping it would be maybe two-three games I’d be out,” he said. “It ended up I wouldn’t be playing any of the games.


“It hurt because just being able to get what I wanted to achieve – being captain, starting offense and defense. It was just the start of what I thought would be a great season. We were 2-1 at the time, and we had already turned it around from last year.


“As a team, we were all more positive and more ready to go and knew we could have a great season. It hurt because I knew I was still going to be there but would not be able to help on the field.”


Perillo’s football story didn’t end there, but it followed a much different path than he anticipated.


“I think back to Jake Ventresca – Jake got hurt week one of his senior year, and Anthony Giordano got hurt last year,” East coach John Donnelly said of two former standouts who were lost to injuries in their final season. “I think Andrew has been able to look at those guys and it’s not the role he wanted to be in, still being a great leader even though you can’t physically be on the field, but he saw what those two guys did, and I think he had some good role models to follow, and he really fulfilled that.”


Andrew Perillo and his twin brother Jon – who bear no resemblance to each other but are very close - both grew up playing baseball. Andrew began playing football in first grade, and he was hooked.


“My dad played baseball and basketball growing up. My (twin) sisters are five years older than me, and they played soccer and track,” he said. “I started playing football for Warrington – I don’t remember much of it, but I just know that was when I first started wanting to play the game.


“I started playing for Lenape Valley Indians where I began thinking that (playing in) high school was a possibility. I forget how they ranked it, but I started off on one of the worst teams but from fourth grade to eighth grade I was able to get to the first team.”


Perillo played baseball through ninth grade but gave it up to commit more time to football.


“It just came down to I wanted to devote myself to one sport, and I loved football more,” he said. “I decided after the season ended to quit and just focus on football and prepare more for that sport.”


After playing for the freshman team in ninth grade and the JV as a sophomore, Perillo earned varsity playing time as a junior, splitting time with Jack Vogelsong at tight end.


“I gained a good amount of weight and just worked a lot,” he said of his offseason regiment.


Perillo missed the final two games of last season’s six-game season, diagnosed with what was his third and – he hoped - his final concussion.


“I was told to be careful,” he said. “It was always up to me what I wanted to do.”


And what Perillo wanted to do was play football, a plan that lasted just three games.


“My past ones were only a few weeks, and once I realized it wasn’t getting better as quick as my past ones had – it was hard at first because I thought I’d be able to get back on the field with my teammates,” the senior captain said. “It ended up I developed a new role.


“The first week I couldn’t go back because my symptoms were too bad, but once I was able to return to practices, I just took it more as trying to coach and teach. Before I was trying to lead by example, now I wasn’t able to be out there showing them what I can do, so I might as well give the experience I have and vocally try to help in any way I could. Once I knew I was totally out for the season, I adapted to it. I knew what I had to do to help this team try and get as far as we could through the season and into the playoffs.”


According to his coach, Perillo made important contributions despite being sidelined.


“He continued to be an outstanding leader for us,” Donnelly said. “It’s not something we ask a guy to do – it’s something that has to come from within, and Andrew did that to the very end.”


For Perillo, it was just a matter of figuring out a new way to lead.


“When I was playing, I tried to show that as a team and as a person you have to hold self-accountability,” he said. “If you mess up a play, knowing you have to take responsibility that you did and move on but learning from it.


“In the games, there are certain things you can read. I was trying to teach that as I played. Once I got injured, it’s different. On the sidelines, you see more things than you can in a game from certain angles, so during games, I would talk to the tight ends and outside linebackers about things that I saw, and the same thing in practice. It became more a matter of different angles and different things they could do with their steps or in routes.” 


Perillo’s earned the respect of his teammates.


“I know there were guys in tears after our last district playoff game that were really in tears for him that he just didn’t have the opportunity,” Donnelly said. “He would have killed to be in that game but was still very instrumental in helping us get there and guiding our younger players.


“My son is one of the tight ends that has worked with Andrew, and I know Jack and all the other tight ends look up to him. Just the way he plays, the way he carries himself on and off the field, he’s the kind of guy you want to represent your program.”




Off the gridiron, Perillo is an excellent student and boasts a course load that includes AP Statistics, AP Spanish and AP Physics as well as Environmental Sustainability. As a result of his concussion, Perillo missed a week and a half of school.


“What they do now is you can still have symptoms when you go back to school,” he said. “When I started off, I started with listening days. I wouldn’t take notes. I would just try and adjust and be in the classrooms as long as I could.


“It was assisted days. If the symptoms got worse, I would go to the nurse. That portion of my school time happened for the next three weeks. It was definitely difficult, especially with the classes I have right now.”


Donnelly acknowledged that Perillo was faced with a daunting task.


“His teachers were great coordinating with him to get him back into the swing of things,” the Patriots’ coach said. “With block scheduling, the work can pile up pretty quickly, and it was important for him to stay on top of that.


“With practice, we were able to work it out so he would be able to take care of his academics and still be able to get out to football, so it was important to him to continue to lead, and he did a great job with that.”


Next fall, Perillo is looking to pursue a degree in environmental engineering or aerospace engineering.  He is undecided on a school but is considering a diverse list that includes the University of California Santa Barbara, Penn State University, California Polytechnic State University, and the University of Florida.


Football will not be part of his future – at least not as a player, but he credits the sport for instilling life lessons.


“It has taught me a lot more out of the sport than it has in it,” Perillo said. “The biggest thing I take out of this program are certain skills like accountability, things like integrity and some things you wouldn’t be able to gain without football like perseverance. I think that especially helped me with this year.


“The upperclassmen above me like Will Silverman, Jack Vogelsong, Andrew Cassidy, Anthony Giordano – they all gave us this culture of what we can do and what we can be. I think that really helped me on the field as well as off it in school, and it’s going to help me in life.”


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