Whenever the Circle City Rollers played a game — whether that was in central Indiana or in another state — members of the team knew they would have a crowd of fans cheering them on.
Andrew “Drew” Perry made sure of that.
Perry’s son Kevin played on the power wheelchair soccer league since he was about 10 years old, and Drew Perry was dedicated to the team’s needs — whether that was providing dinners, funding or just a cheering fan.
Perry’s smile, joking nature and dedication to his family will be missed, Circle City Rollers coach Mike Hayes said.
“Everybody always loved being around Drew,” Hayes said.
On Dec. 2, Perry, 50, was killed in his Center Grove area home. Police have since arrested Joseph Evan Avart, 37, Plainfield, on a charge of murder. Investigators said Perry and Avart were both dating the same woman.
Perry was generous and truly cared about other people, Hayes said.
Perry came to the team looking for a sport he could share with his son, who uses a wheelchair. He quickly became a part of their soccer family, he said.
Hayes still remembers Perry shaking his hand, with tears in his eyes, thanking him for a chance to be able to be a part of the team with his son and giving them an avenue to enjoy sports together, he said.
“He was the ideal parent that any youth coach would love to have on their team,” Hayes said.
“He was a great dad, a great friend, he will definitely be missed.”
Hayes’ son, Michael Archer, played on the team with Perry’s son. Whenever they had a game, Perry was well-known for bringing the largest crowd of fans, Archer said.
As a player, that meant a lot to him, he said.
Archer also looked up to him as a role model because he was so family-oriented, he said.
Perry was encouraging to his son Kevin, while also coaching him and teaching him, Archer said. As a new dad, Archer looked to Perry as an example, he said.
“His love for Kevin was amazing,” Archer said.
Anyone who knew Drew knew what his passions were: the Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks and Bears, his family and making food, said Tom Foster, who worked with Perry at Excel Decor.
Foster always said if Perry could have a different career, he should have been a chef because he was so good at preparing food.
Perry also excelled at his job as sales manager for the trade show company. He was fun and he knew how to make people feel comfortable, Foster said. He also knew how to adapt to situations and come up with solutions quickly, when something would change or a problem would come up.
“The part I am going to miss is Drew made the office fun. He brought energy and fun to the office,” Foster said.
Perry loved interacting with people, and his clients loved him, Foster said.
“Drew was Drew. What you saw is what you got,” Foster said.