Now that his Wildcats are in the 2A quarterfinals against the Richfield Wildcats, Parker wants to let his players know that if they want to keep their season alive, they must make the necessary adjustments.
Most notably, Parker said, it's about taking advantage of the moment in front of them.
"We had preseason, we had region, and now we're in our third season of the year," he said. "It's all or none. We have to stay focused."
If Richfield (6-4) has hopes of an upset, the Wildcats from central Utah must be ready to quell one of the fastest teams in 2A football in South Summit (7-2) Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium in Kamas. Through nine games, South Summit has rushed for 2,441 yards and 35 touchdowns on the backs of nine different ball carriers. There may not be a more potent 1-2 punch in the 2A playoffs than seniors Hayden Packard and Porter Santos. Packard leads the team in rushing with 537 yards and is tied with junior quarterback Caden Christenson for most rushing touchdowns on the team with eight. Christenson has stepped into the starting quarterback position in Kamas and has been impressive directing all the different weapons the Wildcats have.
He has thrown for 12 touchdown passes, six of those going to the speedster Packard.
Parker said he is proud how quickly his team got rolling this season and pointed to the kicking game, with the emergence of sophomore kicker Bracken Santos, that has helped the Wildcats stay ahead of the pack.
"We had one stutter step against Manti, but other than that, I would say we have resiliency. We've had injuries and had young kids step in," he said.
Defensively, South Summit is led by Garrett Crystal, who leads the team in tackles with 82, as well as Jay Reidhead (80 tackles, two interceptions) and Porter Santos (59 tackles, two sacks and one interception). Brothers Cole and Brad Richins have been mainstays on the South Summit defensive line this year as Brad leads the team in sacks with six, while Cole is right behind his brother with three.
As for facing off against Richfield, Parker said he remembers when the southern Wildcats came to Kamas and beat South Summit 18-6 in the 2A play-in game four years ago.
This Friday, South Summit will have to slow down Wildcat running back Josh Henry (833 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns), quarterback Spencer Henderson (747 yards throwing, six touchdowns) and receiver Brennan Thomas (486 yards receiving, three touchdowns).
"The last time we played them they knocked us out," he said. "That was probably the most disappointing year that we had because I really felt like we had the talented to go far.
"We will not underestimate them by any means. They've had their struggles this year, so it's just a matter of us going to work."