2009 Football: Parks is Rowan County’s Superman
By Mike London
MOUNT ULLA ó Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
That was always the breathless introduction when the old Superman TV series came on the air.
Superman, we learned from careful reading of D.C. Comics, was born as Kal-El on the doomed planet Krypton. Fortunately for the universe, Kal-El’s father was a brilliant scientist, and moments before Krypton disintegrated, he stuffed his infant son into a rocket ship and send him hurtling toward a new home on Earth.
Kal-El landed in Kansas and was adopted by a low-key farming family named Kent. They called the little tyke Clark, and the rest is pretty much history.
Krypton’s sun was red. Earth’s is yellow and its energy, for reasons never fully explained, endowed Clark with all sorts of special powers. He could fly without getting a hair out of place and bullets bounced harmlessly off his chest. He also possessed super-speed, super-breath, super-strength, super-hearing and basically super-everything-else.
Now Rowan County has its own Superman ó a West Rowan senior tailback named K.P. Parks, who led the Falcons to a 15-1 record and the 3A state championship last December.
As far as we know, Parks was born under a yellow sun, but he possesses super-balance, super-vision and super-work ethic.
He also owns super stats.
Parks enters the 2009 season as the frontrunner for his third straight Rowan County Offensive Player of the Year Award, a feat which would be unprecedented.
He already has accounted for the two strongest rushing seasons in county history, pounding for 2,864 yards as a junior and 2,536 as a sophomore. His freshman season merely ranks seventh all-time. He rushed for 1,721 yards as a varsity ninth-grader.
The Virginia commitment enters his senior year with 963 carries for 7,121 yards and 99 TDs. He has a shot at 10,000 career yards, a plateau which once seemed at least as far away as Krypton.
Ragsdale’s Toney Baker owns the NCHSAA record with 10,241 yards.
Before Parks came along, the all-time Rowan rushing mark belonged to West phenom Wade Moore, who accumulated 4,256 yards.
That’s why Parks is now regarded as Superman.
Assuming good health, he’s going to double Moore’s mark ó and then some.
Parks will surely break the NCHSAA record for carries (he needs 170), and he could shatter the state standard for 100-yard games. He already has 39. The record is 44.
Parks is on track to finish second in NCHSAA history in touchdowns. Albemarle’s T.A. McLendon found the end zone 170 times, and even Superman will have a hard time touching that figure.
Superman is vulnerable to Kryptonite, green chunks of debris that are all that remain of his home planet.
Parks’ only potential Kryptonite is complacency, but the friendly fireplug rarely takes an hour off, much less a whole day.
He’s kept lifting and sprinting during the offseason, and West coach Scott Young is confident his horse will be even stronger and more durable as a senior.
Parks raised his bench press and lowered his 40 time this summer, but he stayed humble. His goals remain simple ó another county sweep, another NPC championship, another state championship.
If he accomplishes the team stuff, he knows the individual records will come along for the ride. He’s a worthy role model for any 12-year-old. He’s never lost a minute of sleep worrying about his own numbers.
Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Rowan’s 5-foot-8 Superman is ready for his last patrol of Metropolis, er, make that Mount Ulla.
Don’t miss the show. We may never see another one like him.