By Ken Peters
The Hamilton Spectator (May 28, 2013)
It's not the first time it has happened.
And, given the skill and experience each brings to their individual assignments, it likely won't be the last.
But it's special just the same.
Just don't expect Dino Perri and his spouse, Julie Perri, to share too much chit chat about their plans for Tuesday. Maybe a good-luck kiss to begin their days and that should be that.
For the second consecutive season, the Perris are coaching their respective high-school squads in the Hamilton Catholic championships. Not against each other, mind you. That would be insane. Dino tasted success last year, one of a mitt full of gold medals in his collection. For Julie, it was close, but no cigar.
At 1 p.m., Dino will be busy, coaching his undefeated and defending Hamilton Catholic senior boys' soccer champion St. Thomas More Knights in the 2013 championship contest against the Cardinal Newman Cardinals. The contest, which will be played at More, is a rematch of the 2012 championship match that More won, 1-0.
At 3 p.m., Julie will grab the clipboard and take to the same field to mentor her St. Jean de Brébeuf senior girls' soccer team in the 2013 Hamilton Catholic championship against the undefeated and 2012 defending champion Cardinal Newman Cardinals. The game is also a rematch of the 2012 championship match that Newman won 1-0.
Afterwards, the couple, who have been married nine years and have three young children of their own, will compare game notes and hopefully enjoy a few congratulatory beers.
Before last season, the couple both made it to their respective finals just once before. That was in 2006 and both won. That was the Brébeuf girls' first and only senior soccer title. Julie was pregnant at the time with the couple's first child.
Dino is in his 15th year mentoring the Knights.
Julie has been the Braves' bench boss for the past 11 years.
Dino said the couple doesn't make a pre-season date to spend championship Tuesday actually coaching in the championship.
"No, we don't approach it like that. I think we do it more individually hoping our teams can get there. It's sort of like 'Good luck, you worry about your team and I'll worry about mine and we'll talk about it after,'" he said.
Julie said the Perri mornings are hectic affairs getting three children, aged six, four and 19 months, ready for their collective days. That doesn't leave a lot of room to discuss championship soccer strategies at the breakfast table.
"It's just a 'Good luck, and I'll see you at the game.' That's it," Julie mused.
Still Julie acknowledged sharing championship Tuesday with her spouse is special.
"It is great. It is great seeing each other succeed. We've both coached long enough that, if he makes it to the championship and I don't, it's not the end of the world. I go cheer him on just as he would do for me. But it is nice to get out there and watch the other person's team beforehand and use that as a bit of a boost going into your own game. It becomes a great day. Our kids can watch and it's fun," the Brébeuf coach said.
So who is the better coach, Dino is asked.
"I'm not going to answer that, you're going to get me in trouble."
Julie gives her husband that honour.
"He runs a great program over there. I give him full credit. I do what I can do, but he is the one who eats, sleeps and breathes soccer."
Doesn't hurt to have a championship partner, either. email@example.com