For the first time in program history, Parish Episcopal has a new coach this season. But he’s hardly a stranger.
After five years as the team’s offensive coordinator, Daniel Novakov takes over for Scott Nady, who left the program after last season. And he hopes to continue Parish’s legacy of success.
“Everybody’s been more than accommodating and great to work with,” Novakov said. “We’ve got quality seniors who are great leaders.”
With that said, however, the biggest question mark for the Panthers this season might be how its young roster, which could include as many as 20 new faces, will handle perhaps the toughest private-school district in the state.
Parish must find a new quarterback to replace Jeremy Hodge, who’s now at New Mexico State. One possibility is Tyler Hamilton, a dynamic athlete who played receiver last year.
Another option is incoming freshman Preston Stone, who played at Highland Park Middle School last season yet already holds a Division I scholarship offer from Nevada. Stone’s brother, Parker, is a receiver who also transferred into the program from a boarding school in Virginia.
Two-way standouts include lineman Jalen North, as well as Logan Rayburn and Jack Love. Twin brothers Josh and John Emmanuel are hard-hitting linebackers. However, experience is at a premium.
“We have so many new kids and new faces who didn’t play a lot of football for us last year. We’re really trying to figure out what we have,” Novakov said. “I don’t look at it as rebuilding. I expect us to compete.”