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Super Bowl rekindles fond memories for Parry

Del Oro's DC knows what it's like to face Tom Brady in the big game
By: Mike Ray
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For Josh Parry, it happens the first weekend of every February.

 

“You know, it really does make looking back at it now kind of fun,” Parry said this week about his playing days with the Philadelphia Eagles that in 2005 earned him a trip to play in Super Bowl XXXIX against the New England Patriots.

          

“It was really all about hard work and never giving up,” said Parry about his chance to play “for the whole enchilada” with the Eagles. “It was an exciting time that I’ll never forget.”

 

Parry, who now resides in the Lincoln area, is probably better known to local football fans as the defensive coordinator for Del Oro’s varsity football team.

 

This past season, in his first year at the reins of the Golden Eagles’ defensive unit, Del Oro put forth a strong effort with the Black and Gold achieving a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title and a berth all the way to the CIF State championship game.

 

Although a paperwork snafu with an ineligible player being used after being called up from the JVs in a postseason game vacated the section title, the memories for the Golden Eagles coach and the players will always be there.

 

“Everything came together this season,” said Parry. “The pieces all fit to the puzzle. We had a great group of kids this year who basically never gave up.”

 

Parry’s road to playing in a Super Bowl was a rather long and strange journey.

 

He was a standout two-way player in high school at Sonora High. In Parry’s senior season of 1995, Sonora defeated Del Oro, quarterbacked that season by future NFL player Randy Fasani, 24-3, to win the CIF Sac-Joaquin D-II section title.

 

Following his playing days at Sonora, Parry earned a scholarship to San Jose State and in his sophomore season set a record for the Spartans with 122 tackles.

 

After not being picked in the NFL draft in 2001, he was signed by the Eagles before training camp and made it through the preseason until final cuts. He then spent the 2001 season on the Oakland Raiders practice squad.

Parry was re-signed by the Eagles to a future contract two days after their loss in the 2001 NFC championship game and they assigned him to the Frankfurt Galaxy of the NFL Europe League where he played linebacker and running back.

“It was fun playing over there,” said Parry. “I was very thankful for the opportunity.”

He returned to the Eagles for training camp and the preseason, but following a knee injury during the 2002 preseason finale, Parry was not signed for the 2002 season.

Parry was re-signed to a future contract again in January of 2003 and that season was converted to the fullback position. He was waived during final cuts again on August 31, 2003, but was re-signed to the team’s practice squad.

In 2004, after bouncing back and forth between the Eagles regular-season roster, practice squad and being waived, Parry was headed to a tryout with the New York Giants when the Eagles called him after starting fullback John Ritchie suffered a torn ACL in a September game.

“I ended up signing a three-year contract after Ritchie’s injury,” said Parry. “He was a good friend and it was hard to see him get hurt.”

Parry earned a NFC championship ring when the Eagles defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 27-10, to earn the Super Bowl berth.

Although the Eagles fell in the Super Bowl to the Patriots, 24-21, Parry can’t forget the memory of the day.

“Playing in the Super Bowl is something you always dream of as a kid,” said Parry. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Parry played with the Seattle Seahawks in 2006 before a foot injury ended his NFL career.

These days, Parry and his wife Kelli are kept busy ushering their four children – Madison, 17, Aiden 15, Shaelyn, 13, and Landen, 10, around to sporting events. Daughter Madison, a junior at Del Oro, is one of the area’s top basketball players.

“Sometimes I feel that my wife and I are the captains of the Uber sports driving team,” said Parry. “But we wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Not even a Super Bowl ring.