Posted: 1:33 pm Friday, September 5th, 2008

Best special teams? Try Jupiter & the Parkeys 

By Jason Lieser

Most high school coaches would love to have one reliable kicker. Charlie Persson has two.

Brothers Doug Parkey (senior) and Cody Parkey (junior) will split time kicking and punting this season, and both are considered legitimate Division I prospects.

“I wish there was an extra year between them,” Persson said, shaking his head.

Doug is expected to handle most field goals, while Cody handles the long-distance footwork. They continue a long line of exceptional Jupiter kickers that includes Miami’s Matt Bosher.

Special teams has always been a strength for Jupiter, and Persson stresses the value of finding “hidden yardage” in the kicking game, both offensively and defensively. The Warriors have at least nine different kickoff schemes, and a variety of trick plays.

“We have to take a very high-profile approach to it,” Persson said. “You really have to practice for our kicking game, because we’ll come up with something.”

Doug Parkey said he has spoken with Florida State, Central Florida and South Florida about his prospects of playing next year. His preference is to join the Seminoles. His longest field goal in a game was 44 yards, but he drilled a 60-yarder in practice. As Persson astutely pointed out, that’s pretty impressive given the South Florida humidity.

Cody Parkey — who hit a 45-yarder in a freshman game but has yet to attempt a field goal on varsity — has one year left at Jupiter and then hopes to land a spot at Auburn as both a kicker and punter.

Over the last few years, high school kickers have found fewer scholarship opportunities than in the past. The total number of football scholarships per school used to be 105, but it was progressively cut down until it hit 85 in 1994. Since then, college teams have tried harder to get kickers to accept preferred walk-on status.

“Before they went to 85 scholarships, you didn’t mind taking a shot on a kicker,” Persson said. “It becomes more attractive to just offer walk-on status, but the guys that are ahead of the curve are the schools that are offering kids scholarships.”