AKRON – Cam Parker spent most of 2018 running over defenses. In 2019, Parker hopes to continue that on a bigger scale.
Parker, the workhorse running back for the Tippecanoe Valley football program, signed his National Letter of Intent Thursday to continue playing football for Manchester University.
Parker was the feature piece in Tippecanoe Valley’s revival last fall. Parker rushed for 1,013 yards in nine games, the first Valley back in 12 years to eclipse the 1,000-yard milestone. Parker helped Valley reach the Three Rivers Conference championship game, lost in overtime at Southwood, but helped Valley win its first sectional game in six years with a win at Peru.
A team captain, Parker also garnered the Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Running Back team awards as well as First Team All-TRC and Academic All-TRC. As a junior, Parker was named the team’s Most Valuable Running Back and Most Valuable Special Teams awards.
For his career, Parker rushed for 1,557 years, which places him 12th all-time in team history as well as scored 14 career touchdowns. He was a three-year letter winner for the Viking football team.
“It just started with the coaching staff coming to school and talking to me, I just fell in love with all of it,” Parker said Thursday afternoon after his signing. “It’s just nice seeing all the hard work pay off and affording the ability to be successful.”
Added Valley head coach Steve Moriarty, “By far, he was our workhorse. His ability to make people miss, he could take that one unblocked guy and make him miss and get four or five more yards. His sheer quickness, but when he lowered his head, he ran hard. Overall, he’s a great athlete.
“His quickness will translate to the next level. He always joked that he wasn’t the quickest, but I think he has that in him. His first step with the ball was pretty impressive. Once he gets rolling and heading down hill, that’s something that I think will impress. Once he matures a little more at the college level, he gets into a college workout program and develops a little more and all he is doing is football, he’s going to be a special player for Manchester University.”
Parker becomes the third player from the 2018 Valley team to sign to continue playing college football, with Wes Melanson heading to Bluffton University and Jose Rivera to join Parker at Manchester.
“With Jose coming to Manchester, too, it’s great,” Parker added. “He did a great job blocking and opening up holes when I had the ball. We really did have a great senior season. I’m looking forward to playing with him at Manchester.”
Parker also competed in basketball and helped Valley to its first sectional championship since 2013 this past year. Parker averaged 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds a night. Parker will finish out his senior year on the Valley baseball squad.
The Spartans, coached by Nate Jensen, went 4-6 overall with a 4-4 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference record over the 2018 season.