Thursday 22 Aug 2019


Athlete of the Week: Ericka Parra

ERICKA PARRA
Spring Creek High School

By ANDREW STEVENS

Spring Creek’s girls’ soccer program doesn’t have the luxury of relying on an abundance of experienced seniors to lead its upperclassmen by example on and off the field.

What the Gators do have is the promise of well-rounded and talented youngsters, eager to recognize the reality of their potential over the next few years. Ericka Parra, a two-sport sophomore, who has mastered the balance of athletics and academics, is living proof of Spring Creek’s long-term optimism.

Parra is this week’s Mt. Olive Pickles High School Athlete of the Week. The High School Athlete of the Week is a partnership between Curtis Media Group and Mt. Olive Pickles to recognize local high school athletes who excel athletically, academically and through service to their community.

The recognized athletes are chosen by the athletic department and administration from their respective high schools.

A forward on the Gators’ girls’ soccer team, Parra began playing the sport in middle school. With just three seniors on this year’s squad, Parra has been thrust into a leadership role partly out of necessity, and her example has more than exceeded the responsibility.

“As a coaching staff we actually talked about it during Winter workouts, just how much she’s improved,” Spring Creek head coach Daniel Robinson said. “By far, she’s the most improved player we have on the team. It’s not even close at this point. She’s kind of improved her game in every aspect.”

Parra also competes in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles on Spring Creek’s track team. The conditioning necessary to compete on the soccer field has translated well to the track for Parra. Soccer games and track meets that fall on opposite days and rarely create scheduling conflicts, has provided Parra the freedom to be a two-port athlete within the same season.

“In soccer we run a lot, so that helps me out in track,” Parra said. “I do go to the track meets. I don’t have to miss a lot, because I feel that soccer is more important at the moment.”

When she’s not leading a youth-laden soccer squad or clearing hurdles on the track, Parra maintains a 4.0 grade point average. She is also a North Carolina scholar, and a member of the Future Farmer’s of America, the Future Business Leaders of America, Future Health Professionals, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and the Spanish Club.

Parra has learned the art of juggling academics, competing in a pair of Spring sports and being involved in a number of extracurricular activities.

“I”ll go to the teachers during the day and talk to them about what’s going on,” Parra said. “After school, I’ll just go to soccer or track.”

With two more years of high school remaining, Parra is uncertain of what her plans for after high school may hold. What is certain is with Parra leading the way, the Gators’ future is in good hands.

“Even though (Parra) is only a sophomore, I think some of the freshman look up to her,” Robinson said. “We’ll mention stuff during practice. Kids talk to each other. They know what their GPA’s are and stuff like that. Hopefully, she only being a sophomore, can pass that down to the freshmen and upcoming freshmen for next year, because she’s going to be a vital part of the team next year and moving forward.”

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