As Kyle Parker and his family work towards an important decision we thought we would rerun this article from March that should remind people what kind of person Kyle is off the field. Regardless of his decision Clemson has been very lucky to have Kyle Parker play in Death Valley and in Doug Kingsmore. His actions off the field have already touched many and you can only imagine what kind of impact he and his family can have in the future.
As Clemson battled UNC Charlotte Tuesday night the loadest cheers of the night came when Kyle Parker came to the plate. Every time Kyle or Wilson Boyd came to the plate 30 young men and their leaders from the Power Cross organization in Statesville cheered loudly for the two Tigers. The cheers of “KP, KP, KP” were so loud they got the attention of those in the press box.
The Power Cross organization is a Christian based outreach organization that works with young men in the Statesville area to combine athletics and faith to give these young men the same opportunities as others with more stable family environments. Leader Jeff Storment and his wife have done amazing things with these young men.
One might wonder why these young men were at the game cheering for the Tigers. For over two years Kyle and his parents Carl and Cathy Parker have been working with the Power Cross organization through their non-profit organization Athletes to Champions (Athletes2Champions.org). The past two summers Kyle, Carl and others have put on a summer camp for the Power Cross young men in Statesville. The first summer they did a baseball camp and last year they did a football camp. To the young men that attended the game Kyle is a friend, a hero and a role model.
In order to get these young men to the game Saturday the Parkers reached out to the Clemson baseball parents to help raise the money needed to buy tickets, provide a tailgate, food for the game and a Clemson cap for each young man. Carl and Cathy Parker were amazed with the response from the Clemson baseball parents.
Wilson Boyd’s parents setup a tailgate for the young men before the game where they all enjoyed a nice meal and received a Clemson baseball cap. TheClemsonInsider.com was on hand to cover the event. TCI’s photo gallery from the tailgate shows the young men having a great time.
After the game the Power Cross group met Kyle before he jumped on the bus for the ride back to Clemson. Although the Tigers didn’t win the game the night was a special one for these young men. They went crazy in the stands as Kyle hit a two-run homer and cheered loudly for the Tigers and their hero all night long.
The difficult family environments that these young men face can’t be be overstated. Thanks to Athletes to Champions, the Clemson baseball parents and the Power Cross organization for over five hours Tuesday night things couldn’t have been much better for these smiling faces with Tiger Paw stickers.