In late February, the Oregon High Desert Storm arena football team held open tryouts.
The team picked just two players, including 2016 Crook County Graduate and standout athlete Parker Lapsley.
Lapsley made the team but was restricted with a shoulder injury.
“It just made me more hungry,” said Lapsley. “I kind of started back at the bottom like an underdog and I was just patient and never gave up, kept pushing myself and now I am starting for them.”
“Parker is just a really awesome dude,” Former Mountain View High and University of Oregon kicker Zach Emerson. “One of the hardest workers on the team here. So, I have a lot of respect for him in that aspect. He’s just been grinding, waiting for his opportunity.”
That opportunity soon came and the coaches put the ball in his hands.
“Parker on the field, energetic,” said High Desert Storm receiver Kris Lewis. “He is going to make a play, he’s going to make you ooh and aww. He’s the energy guy here. He’s going to bring the big plays from the backfield.”
“He’s fun, he loves the game, he is always eager to get on the field and show what he can do,” said Storm receiver Devonte Solomon.
Over his last four games, Lapsley has scored 12 touchdowns, 11 rushing and one receiving.
“Knowing that I am going against some D1 players to ex-NFL even, it’s just feeling like it’s making better as an athlete, to my connects,” Lapsley said. “Meeting head coaches with other teams we play against and everybody that could be in the Canadian leagues to all over. So I am just getting my foot stuck in the little crack of the door that could possibly lead to who knows and I am not stopping here.”
From Prineville High School to arena football star, for Lapsley, it’s only the start.
“I’ve always been an underdog like I have been saying, now I am out here being one of our star running backs for us, so anything is possible, just don’t give up on yourself, don’t shorten yourself,” Lapsley added.
The Storm takes on the Idaho Horseman Saturday, 7 p.m. at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center.