A Word With: Lakeith Parker
George Marinos recently sat down with versatile Hanover Rhinos veteran Lakeith Parker, to discuss everything from family, to forklifts.
Parker recorded 13 pass deflections as a cornerback for the Rhinos in 2015, and this year, has switched primarily to the offensive side of the ball.
GM: I’m here with Lakeith Parker, running back/defensive back for the Hanover Rhinos. We went to Gettysburg High School together. Did you imagine that you would one day be playing semi-pro football, back then?
LP: Yes, it was my dream to play semi-pro football.
GM: You’re doing quite a good job, as well. You led the team in pass deflections last season. How proud are you of that accomplishment, and why?
LP: I’m proud of that accomplishment. I’ve always played defense, and leading a semi-pro team in statistics put my name out there. This year, I switched it up to play offense, and we had a lot of new players, that needed to learn how to play together as a team, and not an individual, so this year, it was about learning a new position, so I can give it my all.
GM: What has it meant to be part of the Hanover Rhinos’ family?
LP: It has made me realize that there is family out there that is not blood, my football family. The Rhinos care about so much more than football, also. Because of all the community and kids’ activities they sponsor, my daughter and I share a love for football. She used to just come to the games and play with other kids, now at 7, she actually takes interest in the game, and wants to play the game. We all stick together on and off the field, and for that, I’m very grateful.
GM: So, in many ways, the Rhinos family has brought you closer to the family that shares your blood?
LP: Yes. Before I joined the Rhinos, I didn’t share the love of football with my daughter or girlfriend. Now we all share a love for the game and our team.
GM: Tell the readers about how you and your girlfriend met.
LP: We used to work together, then she moved on to a different job, and we saw each other at the store and exchanged numbers. That was 7 years ago. We have full custody of my daughter, YouNique, and have for 4 years. We have turned my love for the game into a family love for the game.
GM: How would you best describe your love of football?
LP: My love for football comes after God, and my family. It’s a love that, no matter what I’m feeling, I can go in a game and forget about anything that’s going through my head, even if it’s only for a couple of hours. I can also vent to my football family without being judged or ridiculed for my feelings. They accept me for who I am, whole-heartedly.
GM: Who is Lakeith, the person?
LP: I am a person that will do anything for my family. I work hard everyday to earn the things I want and need in life. I’ve never expected anything to be handed to me, and I pass these traits along to my daughter. I don’t want to raise a bratty, unsociable kid. Our society has enough of those. I want my daughter to have morals and values much like mine. (For her to believe) that with God, anything is possible, as long as you believe.
GM: What kind of work are you doing these days?
LP: A forklift driver at Ring Container Technologies, in McSherrystown. I work 12-hour days, to be able to allow my girlfriend to be a stay-at-home mother to our daughter.
GM: How do you like the Hanover area?
LP: Hanover is a good place.
GM: What’s the craziest thing you’ve had happen while driving a forklift?
LP: You won’t believe it, but I’ve never had an accident since I’ve been working there.
GM: How long did it take you to get your forklift license?
LP: Like, a day. It didn’t take long at all.
GM: Thanks for your time.
Remember, you can catch a new Q&A session with a Hanover Rhinos player on Wordy Wednesdays, every Wednesday, exclusively on Rhino Charge, the official blog of the Hanover Rhinos.