Have you been to a Cougar athletic event in the last couple of years? Have you noticed an increased presence of the Cougar Crazies? This is in big part due to one man taking over the pep club and his name is Josh Parker.
There was always a sizable crowd in the fall for Friday Night Lights on the Hill. There were some decent student sections at basketball games,though nothing compared to the 80s and 90s. There was not much at the non revenue sports.
That has changed. I obviously go to a lot of sporting events as ya know it is my job. I have seen the football and basketball student sections grow. Most impressively I have started to see volleyball become huge, soccer see an increase in student attendance, baseball and softball crowds growing. This is where Josh truly deserves a pat on the back.
The trick is that Josh Parker actually cares. He has a passion in him I first noticed years ago when he had the job as PA guy for Jacksboro Eagle basketball back when his brother Cody, now the head Eagle Coach, was a wee lad playing for the Eagles. I heard it grow as he broadcast games for both local radio stations. I felt his emotion as he fought for what he thought was best for our students as a member of the board of education.
I saw him reach his pinnacle though once he started teaching and running the pep club at CCHS. He does so much behind the scenes to get these Cougar Crazies food for tailgating, shirts for the games, pep buses for away games and many other intangibles that most never realize. He is as big a part of the Cougar Nation as any coach out there.
It is also apparent when you ask the students about them.
Lauren Graves plays volleyball and manages the tennis team. She had this to say about Parker, ” Josh is extraordinary. He has a heart of gold I can’t even begin to tell you the influence he’s had on my life let alone all the lives of each student at Campbell County High School. When you think of the definition of extraordinary you think of someone who is like no other and that is in fact who Josh Parker is. He began this journey with us four years ago; walking the halls of the high school for the first time just like us and I’m forever grateful of his decision to begin teaching. Each of us involved in cougar nation can easily say how big of a fan we are, but deep down we all know that Josh is cougar nations biggest fan. Josh is a great teacher with an admirable mind set. He isn’t in it for the money or the fame he’s just in it because of how big his heart is. He cares about his students and their actions. Josh has been there to support me and all my fellow classmates in the classroom and also at all of our sporting events. He’s had our backs off and on the courts and fields. Josh Parker will always have a special place in my heart due to his indulgent efforts, ambition, and time commitment to cougar nation. Thank you Josh for all you have done for me the past four years. It’s been an amazing ride.”
Ethan Schroeder is not only a soccer player and the emotional leader of the Cougar Crazies. He echoed many of the sentiments Graves did about Josh saying, “Josh is not only a teacher but a friend, he’s someone who you can talk to about anything and i mean anything. He has done so much for me, my friends and the school. He is in it for the right reasons. He uses his own time and sometimes his own money for certain pep club functions. He has built the pep club to be something people want to be apart of, and honestly it’s something to be proud of. Kids want to cheer on the Cougars and as we saw this past season it can really help the teams. You can ask, What does josh for for me and my friends?? Josh has literally watched us grow as people. His 4 years at Campbell County has been our 4 years. Hand in Hand we have walked on this long but memorable journey together and that’s why i think our class is so close with Josh. Josh to me is the older brother i never had and i could never repay him for everything he’s done for me. If in 6 years you ask me what is one thing i miss from high school, my answer will not just be one specific thing, it will be all my memories with Josh. Those memories will never be replaced.”
I personally would like to thank Josh and give him the credit he deserves, but does not seek out, for this. I ahve followed Cougar Athletics for a long time. I have seen the highs and lows. Right now we are approaching a high water mark. Football and the non revenue sports are seeing amazing crowd support. Basketball still has a way to go before hitting its glory days of crowd support but the student section is thriving it is now up to the community to help pack the gym. This has been on your shoulders for two years Josh and you have carried the weight well. I am also sad you will no longer be doing basketball on the radio as you are my go to for action on the road. From the bottom of my oversized bacon wrapped heart I thank you.