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Parker goes back to Maiden

The old adage, ‘You can always go home,’ proved true for ousted West Lincoln coach Butch Parker. At the age of 50, Parker will return to Maiden High School today, taking a position as testing coordinator.
It was hardly a surprise that Parker would turn to his roots, when considering he spent 14 years as a Blue Devil. What is surprising, is him leaving West Lincoln in the middle of the year, as conventional wisdom would say it takes some high schools a summer to find a place for a teacher.
So how did Parker’s homecoming come about?
“Dwayne Finger told me if I ever needed a job to get in touch with him,” Parker said.
The ironic twist was it was Finger, Maiden’s Principal, who actually contacted the 49-year old Parker. Finger read of Parker’s firing and contacted Butch at West Lincoln the day after.
Finger, Jeff Price (assistant principal), Pat Hensley (Associate Superintendent of Catawba County Schools) and Tom Brown collaborated on re-hiring Parker. The last day (Thursday) before Christmas break, Finger contacted him at West.
“It’s a done deal. Welcome back to Maiden,” Finger announced.
What was Parker’s reaction?
“I gave it some thought; I didn’t just say yes immediately. At the time, my intention was to work next semester at West Lincoln High School… but when this opportunity presented itself I had to make a decision and I made it,” Parker said, who turned in his resignation that afternoon to Principal Mitch Sherrill.
There were several factors that played into Parker’s decision.
“No. 1, to come back to where I had been, when you throw in the fact Maiden is going to the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference—that’s just going to be a great athletic conference and that this is going to be the last year of Maiden’s high school stadium and me being a nostalgic person wanted to be a part of that,” he said.
While all those factors played a role, none was as big as the chance to rejoin Tom Brown’s Blue Devils’ football staff.
“The overriding factor was to able to work with Coach Brown again. It was a joy and a pleasure to be able to do that. That was the major factor in the whole decision. He told me he wanted me back.”
Parker will coach the defensive line under Brown, who is a coaching legend in the state of North Carolina.
Despite the coach returning to his old stomping ground; he will always remember the three years spent at West Lincoln.
“I wish West Lincoln High School and football the very best. I have a big place in my heart for a bunch of good folks and several young men I’ve become very close to. You don’t invest three years of your life in something and not leave with some awfully good feelings,” he said.
With Parker’s three-year stint in the rear-view mirror of his mind, he’s thrilled to return to Maiden.
“It’s certainly going to be a sense of excitement for me. I don’t know how to tell you. I’m thrilled to be back there. I have a lot of good friends that are still down there and it will be a good thing,” he said.
Having been on the staff when Antoine Ikard, who at one time held the NC rushing record, and Chris Ramseur toted the pigskin, Parker believes junior-to-be Tommy Henry may be the best ever.
“He may be the best one to ever come through Maiden High School. He’s on pace to possibly break the rushing record. He is a special player,” he said.

by John Mark Brooks

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