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Norton Sailors' do-everything man

Newport Harbor senior hardly sat during a game, excelling as a receiver and defensive back, and contributing on special teams.

December 24, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
  • Newport Harbor High's Parker Norton.
Newport Harbor High's Parker Norton. (Scott Smeltzer,…)

Today marks the 37th day since Parker Norton played in his final football game for Newport Harbor High. Norton's career with the Sailors is over, yet he is working on whatever it will take to suit up again.

Playing football again is what drives Norton. Getting that chance is why he shows up to the gym to work out and why he runs on a daily basis. He believes there is a college team out there he can help after high school.

Norton proved his worth at Newport Harbor. No other player in the area this year contributed to a team as much as the 6-foot, 180-pounder. That is why Norton is the Daily Pilot's Newport-Mesa Dream Football Player of the Year.

Norton did it all for the Sailors, practically never taking a down off. How could he? On offense, he lined up at wide receiver, and at cornerback on defense. On special teams, he returned kickoffs and punts.

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When the Sailors scored a touchdown or attempted a field goal, it was time for Norton to take a knee. Being the holder for the placekicker was not much of a break for Norton. His job was to make sure to handle the snap seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, while on one knee, and then quickly placing one end of the ball on the field, before rotating the ball so that the laces faced the goal posts.

The best player on a team does not usually perform this duty. Norton played anywhere Coach Jeff Brinkley needed him on the field. Whether it was hauling in passes, intercepting passes, getting the Sailors good field position, or making the placekicker's job a lot easier, Newport Harbor heavily relied on Norton.

Norton wasn't the fastest, the biggest or the strongest player on the field, but he always produced. Even when he cracked a rib at the start of Sunset League play, Norton played through the pain and performed at a high level. He helped the Sailors (6-5, 3-2 in league) clinch third place in league and make their second straight CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoff appearance.

Norton earned the Sunset League Defensive Back of the Year honor after recording four interceptions and 12 pass break-ups, but he was just as good on offense. He finished with 64 catches for 569 yards and five touchdowns.

The receptions rank third all-time at Newport Harbor when it comes to single-season records. For his career, Norton totaled 101 catches, No. 4 at the school.

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