Parker ready to turn it up

From The Sports Desk

June 01, 2011|By Steve Virgen,

John Vallely, the guest speaker at the 50th annual Athletic Awards Breakfast, challenged high school seniors with a question Wednesday morning.

Speaking about accomplishing feats, Vallely asked, "How will you ever know unless you dream big?"

The question hit home with the 30 student-athletes, 15 from Corona del Mar and 15 from Newport Harbor during the breakfast hosted by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Commodores Club at the Radisson Hotel in Newport Beach.

The challenge can definitely be applied to Newport Harbor football standout Parker Norton. And, he isn't backing down.

Parker, just as all of the athletes in attendance, accomplished a great deal in high school. But he wants more. On the surface it may appear he is against great odds, as he enters the University of Colorado as a preferred walk-on, but that just serves as more motivation.

Vallely, a Corona del Mar alumnus who excelled in basketball at Orange Coast College and starred at UCLA, had the drive to succeed. He spoke about the Pyramid of Success and delivered several statements for the athletes to keep in mind.


Parker listened, took it all in. He could identify with a lot of Vallely's words. Parker is driven. He won't quit, as he plans to give Colorado football his best shot.

"Make sure you have no regrets about your effort," Vallely said.

With the work that Parker has been putting in lately it's as if he's saying, "Yes sir."

Parker, who is 6 feet tall, began his senior football season at 178 pounds. But because of contributing so greatly as a defensive back and wide receiver, he ended the year at 162. As he narrowed his college choice to Colorado, Parker knew he would need to work harder to find success with the Buffaloes.

He has been training rigorously, with purpose. He's bulked up to 188 pounds now.

"I knew I had to pick it up a notch going to that level," Parker said.

He's been working out with John Iverson, an ex-Recon Marine. If you've been near the Back Bay, you might've seen Parker, running up hills 80 yards while carrying two 50-pound railroad ties and wearing a 15-pound vest.

"I normally train MMA fighters, I'm used to training pretty hard core people," Iverson said. "As far as Parker goes, there is no quit in him. He doesn't know the meaning of the word. And I push people hard."

Parker has also performed pool training and worked through breathing exercises so he'll be ready for the high altitude at Colorado.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles