Valdosta native shares journey of bringing the gridiron to the Arctic

Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 22, 2019

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- One Valdosta native is starting new chapters for kids across the continent, and sharing it all in a new book.

Cathy Parker, originally from Valdosta, was inspired by a story on ESPN, detailing the effort of a small, remote community in Borrow, Alaska, starting a high school football team.

While no shortage of heart and determination, one thing the team did lack was a football field, playing on rocky terrain alongside the Arctic Ocean. That's why Parker set out to change that.

In her book, 'Northern Lights,' she details her journey, faith and the community support it took to get these kids a real football field.

Parker said, in a city like Valdosta, where local football programs are a big part of the community, she hopes this story can help local kids never take their opportunities for granted.

"I think sometimes when you have something and you've always had it, you might take it for granted," Parker said. "When people hear that we're from Valdosta, Georgia, the first thing they say is, 'oh, high school football,'and then we've got Valdosta State that's done so well. Just a sports community, especially in the sport of football. We may take it for granted that we're so blessed to have this, that our kids have this opportunity. For another community to start a program that had never had it before, and had extreme obstacles, not just not knowing how to play the game but extreme obstacles of not having a field to play on, and those types of things. But it was a great thing to be able to give."

Parker will host a book signing Tuesday night at the New Covenant Church on Bemiss Road.

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