In the words of Fairview football head coach George Redding, “Heroes are remembered, but legends never die.” Every program has talent come and go over the years, but few have reached the legendary status Coach Redding speaks of. Fairview, which has had its fair share of talent, has never had one reach the level of Parker Martin.
Martin came in as a freshman and immediately started making his impact. He quickly became a starter at defensive back and even won the season’s last two games as the starting quarterback. That would foreshadow what would come as he would become the school’s first-ever three-time 1st team all-state selection (try saying that five times fast). His sophomore and junior year, he received all-state honors for defensive back, and his senior year, despite another spectacular year at DB, was selected as a 1st team athlete.
That kind of contribution led Fairview to a 33-7 record while he was under center, including this year’s school record 12-2 semifinal run. He completed 116 of 185 passes for 1,571 yards and 25 touchdowns this year. Add in 801 yards and 18 touchdowns on 135 carries, and you’d imagine that would be enough, but not for Martin. He had 44 tackles (two for loss) and 9 INTs to go with his seven other pass breakups. Again, I’d argue a case for a third all-state DB selection, but all-state athlete may sum up Martin better than any other award could. He also was the school’s first finalist for 5A Back of the Year.
All these accolades cemented Martin as arguably the “GOAT” of the Fairview football program and have allowed him to take his career to the next level as a walk-on at Jacksonville State. When asked about what the Fairview program meant to his development as a player, Martin said, “It’s just a family, a brotherhood. The coaches always preached showing up every day and working as hard as you can, and if you want something, you have to earn it.”
Several may just think this success came easy for Martin, but what they didn’t see were the springs and summers filled with extra workouts and fieldwork. And all of that was amid responsibilities from his other two sports, baseball and basketball. Martin added, “I just knew if we were going to have the success we wanted to have, I’d have to be my best. That meant putting in as much extra work as I could.”
In another interview, Coach Redding spoke to what Martin meant to the program he said, “He meant everything. He just impacted the guys around him in a positive way. You knew you could count on him to do the right things on and off the field.”
As Martin finishes up his high school sports career on the diamond, he has his sights set on becoming a Jacksonville State University Gamecock. His goals are first to get his degree but then to become a starter and help contribute to winning a conference championship, which would give him the ring he’s been chasing his entire career.
On why he chose JSU, Martin said, “It just felt like home from the first time I stepped on campus. I knew I could get a good education and continue developing as a football player in a good program with great coaches.”
As the years go by, maybe some of the mind-boggling scrambles, one-handed INTs, and other jaw-dropping plays will be forgotten. But when it comes to Parker Martin, as Coach Redding said, “Legends never die.”