Prep football: Parks’ approach similar to Baker’s
By Bret Strelow
Within striking distance of the NCHSAA’s career rushing record, K.P. Parks didn’t register a carry on West Rowan’s first drive Friday.
Parks caught a pass for 21 yards on West’s first offensive snap, and the Falcons punted four plays later.
The remainder of a second-round playoff game against R-S Central offered no surprises.
Parks completed the first quarter of a 38-0 victory with 116 yards and finished at 244, raising his career total to 10,253. The previous state record of 10,241 was established by former Ragsdale star Toney Baker in 2004.
“This is a team thing, a program thing,” Parks said. “Everything plays into it: the O-line, the receivers blocking downfield, our passing game being good and our defense getting the ball back for us over and over.”
Baker knows as well as anyone how Parks, who has rushed for 189.9 yards per game as a four-year varsity player, has put together such a spectacular career.
Baker, an N.C. State starter who was recently granted a sixth year of eligibility, averaged 213.3 yards per game at Ragsdale. He amassed 3,411 yards as a junior ó the third-best season in state history ó and 3,030 yards as a senior.
“A lot of dedication, a lot of hard work and, obviously, a good offensive line,” Baker told the Post last weekend following the Wolfpack’s home loss to Clemson.
Baker, who had become the state’s all-time leader by eclipsing former Albemarle star T.A. McLendon’s total of 9,038 yards, learned last Saturday that Parks was on the verge on breaking his record.
“It’s special for my community, my home in Jamestown, the High Point and Greensboro area, my high school,” Baker said. “Congratulations to him.”
Parks could play as many as three more games in his career, but a tough test awaits the defending 3A champions. West Rowan (13-0) will face Asheville (11-0-1) in Mount Ulla on Friday night with a berth in the Western final at stake.
The Falcons pitched their fourth shutout of the season against R-S Central, and quarterback B.J. Sherrill threw two touchdown passes to tight end Patrick Hampton.
“K.P. just carries himself so well all the time,” Hampton said. “He always gives the rest of us credit, and that’s why there aren’t any jealousies on this team.”
Mike London contributed to this story.
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