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Friday, May 6, 2016

The way 'DaWesterners' do 'DaThangs' they do

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Akron-Westfield High's Craig Parkinson is one coach with so many tactical things in his head, it's amazing he can keep it all in order. Even more of an accomplishment is the way DaWesterners understand all the variations of a theme he gives them.

Ol' Parky's bag is that if you think you've seen enough of his team to think you've seen it all, you couldn't be wronger.


He gets plays everywhere.

He finds some from watching San Francisco 49er wide receiver Jerry Rice during the 1980's.

He gets 'em from his dad, who was a center in 1929.

His dad, by the way, was the youngest of 12, born on the 12th day of the 12th month of 1911 ... couldn't he have waited just one more year? Parky is the youngest of seven, so he's probably learned a thing here and there from his older siblings.

Gee, he'd probably even get a few fancy plays if he or his kids have one of 'dem new high-tech computer thingamajigs ... but I haven't thought to ask that until now.

Who knows?

Only Parky knows, can we follow his nose?

Well, maybe not.

So what's the deal with the Westerners Class 1A State Finals opponent, Dike-New Hartford?

"We've been preparing for a 4-3 (four linemen, three linebackers), but they really haven't played a passing team, yet," quarterback Mike "Lil' P" Parkinson said, "so we don't know what they'll throw at us."

Say, maybe he'd know if his dad, "Master P," gets ideas from video games.

Moving on.

"We'll just execute our offense and make them adjust to us," Lil' P said. "We'll adjust to them, too, I guess.

"But, we want to play our game."


Part of the game will be overcoming something Master P calls "Dome-itus."

"He doesn't call it 'Dome-itus' with us," right tackle Luke "He might not be a Saint, but he is a" Bernhardt said. "It's just a new experience and he doesn't want us to make a big deal of it."

That's just the mental part of playing at such a grand venue, in such a momentous occassion.

But, there's also the noise.

"It was incredibly hard to concentrate on the quarterback's voice," said Bernhardt, who thought it was a good idea Master P had players yelling during the indoor portion of practice for simulation purposes.

"That's a big help."


On defense, the Westerners might be looking at a mirror image of its offense, or maybe of Laurens-Marathon/Albert City-Truesdale's.

"We match up well against each others' strengths," Parkinson said. "They're similar to us, except they throw in a little bit of LM-ACT offense where they go double slot.

"They have a three-step drop passer. He throws the slant and fade superbly, and we know that now from film.

"Our defensive line is tall, and I think that against their offensive line is real key.

"There's all the glory boys, but it'll come down to the trenches."

Sounds exciting.

"We're just here to have fun, man," he said. "It's been a whirlwind of a ride, and we're riding it to the end."

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