Days before its opener against Northeastern last week, Kenton Ridge warmed up for practice on the field between the stadium and the high school. Not far away sat senior Alex Parrish, one of their best players. One look at his knee brace told you why he wasn’t practicing.
Parrish hasn’t played on a Friday night since his freshman season because of three knee injuries. He won’t play at all this season, so his career his over.
Yet he remains a big part of the team. He was even named a captain even though he won’t play. As much as he would rather be playing, Parrish keeps going to practice and games.
“Just moral support,” Parrish said. “I cheer them on. That’s pretty much all I can do. It’s been tough, but they’ve gotten me through (the injuries).”
Parrish hoped to start at safety and wideout. He figured he had put his injury history behind him after tearing the ACL in his left knee in a scrimmage before his sophomore season and then again a week before the first game last season.
After 10 months of rehab, after skipping track season to get ready for football, he made it through the 7-on-7 scrimmages and most of camp before tearing the ACL in his right knee in a scrimmage.
Doctors told Parrish at that point his knees were prone to ligament tears because of the way they are structured.
“When it happened (the third time), I tried keeping my hopes up,” Parrish said, “but you remember how it feels. I kind of knew the whole time.”
Kenton Ridge players wore stickers on their helmets with Parish’s initials and number last season, and coach Joel Marratta expected them to do it again this year.
“It’s just unfortunate for a great player, but also a great person,” Marratta said. “He’s probably one of the best players that have come through here that’s never going to get the opportunity to be out there on Friday nights and show what he can do.”
Northeastern at Northwestern: The Jets and Warriors have split the last two seasons. Pick: Northwestern 35, Northeastern 27.
Catholic Central at Graham: The Irish and Falcons lost by a combined score of 150-7 last week. Pick: Catholic Central 13, Graham 6.
Other games: Shawnee 35, Troy 31; Tecumseh 24, Butler 19; Middletown 28, Springfield 13; West Liberty-Salem 44, Benjamin Logan 20; Greeneview 44, Madison Plains 10; Cedarville 28, Cincinnati Christian 7; Marion Pleasant 35, Triad 18; Southeastern 14, Northridge 13; London 24, Greenon 20; Kenton Ridge 41, Indian Lake 34; Urbana 35, Dixie 10; Fairbanks 39, Mechanicsburg 33; Butler 35, Wittenberg 31; Ohio State 52, San Diego State 10; Bengals 24, Bears 18; Browns 20, Dolphins 13.
Wizard winner: Bob Rutan, of Springfield, was the only person to pick every game right in Week 1. He wins a Beat the Wizard T-shirt. There were 55 entries. The Wizard missed two games.