Parker Foster embraced a selfless mentality. An inability to play didn’t douse his contributions.
A back injury precluded him from playing Plainview’s initial 13 games. So, on Friday nights, he stood on the sideline and helped relay plays.
“You’ve got to be selfless,” Foster said, “and not think about ‘poor me.’ You’ve got to think about, even though you’re out, how else can you help your team?”
Plainview (13-1) coach Joe Price, who described Foster as an inspirational player after the win against Cushing Dec. 2, detailed the senior’s involvement.
“He’s right there paying attention, doing what he’s supposed to be doing and coaching the other kids,” Price said. “He is a very selfless kid. He the guy that says the team prayer and does so many things.
“Him not being there was a missing link more from the leadership and attitude aspect than the physical tools he has when he plays.”
Foster couldn’t — with 100 percent certainty — pinpoint the precise moment when he injured his back. He played through some pain during the Millwood scrimmage on Aug. 18.
“It hurt leading up to the Millwood scrimmage just a little,” Foster said. “After the Millwood scrimmage, it got really bad.”
Every other week, Foster would visit his doctor, who would clear him to progress a little further.
“Most of the season whenever I was out, I was just trying to rest,” Foster said. “After the Lincoln Christian game, I was for sure that I was going to get to play this past week.”
Foster thought he’d be able to play in the third-round game against Lincoln Christian.
Against Cushing, Foster had two carries for seven yards, including a 12-yard rush.
He returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown — but it was negated due to a penalty. He returned three punts for an average of 14 yards, including a long of 29.
“Having Parker out there, he’s a very good leader, a quietly confident kid,” Price said. “I think all that rubs off on the other guys when he’s out there.
“When he’s healthy, he’s a very talented kid, so when he’s out there, it’s given us a little pick-me-up right here at the end. We’ve had a few guys that have been injured and he’s really helped fill the gap.”
Tuttle coach Brad Ballard noted the Indians’ speed after the Tigers defeated Plainview on Sept. 16.
“I think they have a little bit of everything, I really do,” Ballard said. “I think they’ve got speed in a lot of different places.”
Foster adds more in all three phases as Plainview seeks its first state championship.