Posted: 1:10 pm Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

QB Emanuel Perez leaves Pahokee for Jensen Beach 

By Jason Lieser

After two seasons of platoon duty at Pahokee, quarterback Emanuel Perez transferred to Jensen Beach for his senior season.

The Blue Devils tried to move Perez into the starting role in each of the past two seasons, but he struggled against top-tier opponents. Pahokee coach Blaze Thompson wanted Perez to win the starting job this spring, but said the team will likely go with Joe Eason, who will be a senior this fall.

“I think (Perez) feels he’ll have a better shot at starting and being the full-time quarterback there,” Thompson said. “We’d always hoped he would be our starter, but it just hasn’t worked out. He’s a good quarterback and I wish him nothing but the best.”

Jensen Beach is graduating senior quarterback Dustin Paonessa, but Falcons coach Lance Jenkins said back-up Connor Shaw will go into the spring as the No. 1 quarterback.

Jenkins has met with Perez, though, and expects him to compete for the job.

“I really don’t know a whole a lot about him, but everybody I’ve talked to says he’s a good player,” Jenkins said. “He’s got big strong hands, so he probably gets the ball out well, but I haven’t see him throw yet.”

Jenkins said Perez’ family lives in the Stuart area and he had been commuting to Pahokee the past few years.

Perez completed 61 of 103 passes last year for 906 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also threw five interceptions.

Most of Perez’ statistics came during the softer portions of Pahokee’s schedule. Against Atlantic, Dwyer, Palm Beach Lakes and Glades Central, he totaled 13-for-33 passing, 119 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.