Mayflower is ready to introduce opponents this year to its "Parks and recreation" program.
The Eagles’ Deric Parks (6-foot-3, 285) is one of the best offensive and defensive linemen in the state — and one folks probably know the least about.
While missing most of the preseason because a knee injury, Parks hopes to introduce himself to a lot of folks this season.
"He’s the strongest kid we’ve had in our program," Mayflower coach Jed Davis said. "He can really throw people around. This summer, he went to the Razorback camp and they said he was the toughest lineman in his group."
What impressed a lot of coaches is how Parks plays with his feet.
"You can’t coach quickness off the ball," Davis said. "That’s a natural talent. He just explodes off the ball."
That explosiveness makes him particularly hard to handle on defense. "I like defense," Parks said. "I like contact. I love to tackle."
But he insists he’s not a one-man show.
"I feel like we have people around me who can make things happen," he said. "We have confidence in each other. We’ve done a lot of team preparation and bonding this spring and summer. I’m confident in myself and I believe in the people around me."
He also plays basketball for the Eagles.
"Basketball keeps me in shape for football," he said. "I helps be have more mobility for football."
As a senior leader on the Eagles, he intends for a better season than last year’s 3-8 campaign.
"We’ve dedicated ourselves to this season," he said. "We’ve worked over thee summer and each of us dedicated ourselves to do more things to get better. We have a team going of going to the playoffs and going from there. I will be upset if we don’t have a great team. We’re going in with a lot of confidence."