by Mike Hastings
Some people set out to be leaders, while others are just born for the job.
Parker Howell is a born leader.
The Christ Presbyterian Academy senior helped lead the Lion football team to the Class AA state title this year, earning Mr Football honors along the way.
And later this week, Parker will hit the hardwood as he and his teammates compete in the BlueCross Basketball Championships, seeking their third state title in four years.
As good as he is on the court or on the field, he is just as accomplished in the classroom.
For these reasons and more, we honor Parker Howell as the BSW Athlete of the Week.
“Parker is a very rare kid, in terms of all that God has blessed him with,” say CPA’s head football coach Ingle Martin.
“As a leader, he’s come so far. He’s done a terrific job of leading by example,” Martin said.
“Anytime you have a Mr Football out there demonstrating that the game is much more than an individual thing, others take notice. Parker did a great job of leading our football team this year,” Martin said.
Parker didn’t come to CPA to be part of a great sports program. It never entered his mind. At the time, he was more concerned with crayons and water colors.
“I’ve been at CPA since kindergarten,” Parker said.
“I’ve grown up with 20 or 30 of the guys here. Everything feels like family. My teachers will come up and say hi in the hallways. I’m gonna be proud to be an alumni,” he said.
Parker started to embrace the tradition of great sports teams in middle school as a basketball player.
“I didn’t start playing football till my sophomore year,” he said.
I’ve always had my size so I thought I would give it a try.”
His coach remembers it this way.
“He was just a kid that played a ton of basketball, but decided to give football a try and help CPA out as much as he could,” coach Martin said. “He was blessed with size and God-given ability and he was all over the field on defense.
“He had a shoulder injury as a junior and didn’t play much. He only played in one district game, but he was so good that an opposing coach nominated him as player of the year,” Martin added.
When his team needed him on the other side of the ball, he added offensive tackle to his resume, and that is where he found his future.
He was named Mr Football and signed to attend Western Kentucky where he will compete at offensive left tackle.
He plans on earning a degree in mechanical engineering, following in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather.
But before that, there is some more basketball to play.
“One of the big things on our team is to stick to the program,” Parker says. “Don’t be distracted. I tell our young guys, ‘just because we’re on TV it’s the same,’” he says.
“He’s always had a positive attitude,” Lions’ basketball coach Drew Maddux says about Parker.
“He’s been an inspiration to me, the way he perseveres. He has battled through injuries and personal tragedy. It has been an inspiration to have a front row seat and watch him grow,” Maddux said.
“Parker’s story is unique, with lots of twists and turns. He’s worked hard his whole life.
“I think about him, and I think about greatness, everything he touches,” the coach said, adding “I’m excited to see what God does to grow him up to be a mighty man. Whatever He call him to do, Parker is going to be special.”
Athlete of the Week - CPA's Parker Howell