As the Polar Bears made big play after big play on their road to the Super Six last season, Antonio Parsons watched from the sideline.
The junior wide receiver says he had fewer than 10 touches last year, but after the Polar Bears graduated roughly half of their first-team offense, Parsons knew his opportunity was coming.
“I took notes from the dudes who were in front of me, did the training I needed to do during the offseason and just had to come out and produce,” said Parsons, a junior wide receiver.
It wasn't long before he had a career day.
Last Friday, Parsons caught four touchdown passes from junior quarterback Connor Neal, as Fairmont Senior cruised to a 34-15 win over North Marion.
“He’s always been someone that’s worked his way to earning a spot, and I think that kind of culminated Friday with his performance,” said first-year head coach Nick Bartic.
Added Parsons: “It’s a good feeling to know you’re a big asset to your team.”
Parsons and Neal, both first-year starters, have played together for years. They click better than anybody else on the field.
“He’s been one of my best friends since 8th grade," said Parsons. "He’s always been there for me – him and his family – and I’ll always be there for him.”
Up next for the Polar Bears, a state-semifinal rematch with Bridgeport. Though the stakes aren’t as high this time around, Parsons still dreams about taking the Polar Bears back to Wheeling for another shot at a state title.
“Coming that close and not making it, it just makes you want to have it even more," said Parsons. "So that’s what we’ve been going for.”