Prep Football: West’s star tailback Parks is hurting

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 1, 2008

By Ronnie Gallagher
MOUNT ULLA ó Expect K.P. Parks to play against South Point in the Western 3A final on Friday.
Just don’t expect the star tailback to be anywhere near 100 percent.
So says coach Scott Young and team doctor Dean Proctor, who works at RoMedical.
Proctor noted Parks is still nursing a high ankle sprain, suffered two playoff games ago against Statesville.
“It’s the worst ankle sprain you can have as far as sports,” Proctor said Monday afternoon. “If you were a worker’s comp patient, you’d have surgery.”
Proctor has been on the West Rowan sidelines throughout the playoffs. He said the junior, who has 2,535 yards rushing going into this week’s game, first injured the ankle when a Statesville lineman rolled into it during the Falcons’ 27-14 win. Parks still finished with 177 yards rushing.
Although he barely practiced leading up to West’s 20-16 win over Carver, he was obviously favoring the injury. He re-injured it in the third quarter when a Yellow Jacket defender’s helmet popped it.
Proctor has kept a close eye on Parks the last two games.
“I check with him every time he comes off the field,” Proctor said. “I ask him if he wants me to tighten up the tape. Nine times out of 10, he says, ‘I’m straight.’ He won’t come to me and tell me he’s hurt. Most true athletes won’t tell you.”
But Parks did approach Proctor after helmet met ankle.
“All he wanted me to do was tighten (the tape) up,” Proctor said. “Then he went back out there and got 10, 15 more yards.”
How much was Parks hurting? He finished with just 92 yards on the ground, the only time in 14 games he has been under 100.
So what happens this week, leading up to the Western showdown?
Proctor’s plan, along with treatment, is to immobilize the ankle the first part of the week. On Thursday, Parks will do a walk-through.
On game day?
“We’ll tape him up real good and see what happens,” Proctor said.
Young has also heard from Catawba trainer Bob Casmus, who told him that in normal circumstances, an injury like this could shut down a person for two to three weeks.
But who has ever called Parks normal?
West’s Superman will be ready at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.
“With the track record of how tough our kids are, there’s no reason to believe K.P. won’t play,” Young said. “We’ve just got to understand there is no way he’ll be 100 percent.”

Coming Wednesday: Parks is one of many Falcons Proctor is helping through nagging injuries.