Community offers its thanks to Parnell

More than 100 fans, parents and former players showed up Friday to help induct longtime volleyball coach Mike Parnell into the Falcon Wall of Fame.

He joined last year’s honorees Carl Westling from cross country and Jim Leierer from football.

Over a 17-year period, Parnell guided his teams to league and district titles and reached the state level four times, including snagging a second-place finish in 1987. In 1995 he was named “Coach of the Year.”

Parnell was chosen for his dedicated years of successful coaching, high sportsmanship standards, leading his team to regional and state championships and contributing to high standards of the school and community.

Also honored by athletic director John Patton were 12 student-athletes from the Class of 2008: Parker Barnett (football), Blake Blakey (golf), Robert Boenish (football), Darrin Britton (football), Kyle Hoch (football), Aaron Mannie (wrestling), Patrick McLean (football), Erica Johnson (cross country), Lauren Sandri (track), James Schorr (wrestling) and Levi Sawyers (football).

Parnell was hired as a fourth-grade teacher in August 1968 and retired in June 2001 for a total of 33 years. He took a couple years off in the 1970s to serve in the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Beginning in 1974, Parnell coached a variety of sports for the school district including track, volleyball and elementary intramurals.

“I love this guy,” former assistant coach Jan McNeely told the crowd. “He gave me my first real chance at coaching and believed we could build a program with sustainability and exceptional talent from one year to the next.

“He never doubted what we could attain with hard work and focus, and in the end his girls, the program and the community owe him a debt of gratitude for his selfless years of coaching and dedication,” McNeely said.

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