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The Renaissance man of lacrosse

KRISTIN ELVES/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Parkington does it all for the Laxcats, from collecting dues to guarding the net during games.

By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday Feb. 6, 2002

Parkington leads Laxcats on and off the field

Jennie Finch, Jason Gardner, Clarence Farmer and ... Greg Parkington?

You've probably heard of everyone on this list - except the last one.

All of these UA student-athletes are extremely talented in their respective sports. They are team leaders and nationally recognized performers. They all work hard on the field, but the thing that separates Parkington from the rest is his off-the-field contributions to his team.

"As good as he is on the field, he's more of an attribute off of it," first-year head coach Adam Hopkins said.

Parkington is the president/goalie/captain of this year's UA lacrosse team. When he is not out on the field trying to stop a 2 1/4-inch ball from going into the net, he is on the phone playing athletic director for the Laxcats.

"Basically, I do all of the jobs a varsity sport team would have their (athletic directors) do," Parkington said.

Being a club sport, lacrosse works on a small budget, and the majority of the money that goes into the sport comes straight from fund-raising or straight from the players' wallets.

"We have to work our butts off just to pay the $1,600 in dues," Parkington said about the players on the team.

As team president of a club sport, Parkington is required to complete a list of duties before the lacrosse team can play. He serves as a representative to the university and to other parties outside UA, makes field reservations, contacts potential players and sets up fund-raisers. He collects team member dues, completes piles of paperwork and the list goes on and on.

But Parkinson's above-and-beyond performance doesn't stop there - he was recently named to the U.S. Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates preseason All-America team as the third-team goalie.

Growing up in Maryland, where lacrosse is extremely popular, Parkington started playing in middle school.

"In seventh or eighth grade, I just kind of picked it up, and I haven't put it down since," he said.

After his senior year of high school, his family moved out West to San Diego. He wanted to stay relatively close to his family and at the same time be able to continue playing lacrosse. Parkington saw lacrosse as a developing sport in the Western part of the country, so Parkington chose UA.

"I wanted to be a sort of pioneer of the game on the West Coast," Parkington said.

As one of the Laxcat captains, Parkington is a leader on and off the field.

"He's a fine leader," said Hopkins. "He does whatever you ask, and that is rare in a lot of players."

"A good captain is someone who'll set the right example and push themselves," Parkington said.

Since taking over the starting goalie position in 1999, Parkington has been setting a great example by being a solid netminder for the Laxcats.

"(This season), he needs to continue to stop the ball and be vocal with the defense, which could be the most important part (of being a goalie)," Hopkins said.

As a lacrosse goalie, Parkington has to make sure the team's defense is in order as well as pay attention to the ball all the way down the field, which can be difficult at times with.

Parkington describes the role of the goalie as similar to that of a quarterback on a football field.

"It's very hectic at times," Parkington said. "Teammates put a lot of pressure on your shoulders, but I like being that guy."

The Laxcats are ranked No. 13 in the nation and have nothing but high hopes for this season.

"We've got a new coach and new discipline," Parkington said. "We are definitely competing for a national championship."


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