School: Madera South
He's qualified because: Extended one of the most impressive coaching streaks in all Central Section sports, winning not only a fourth straight section title with the Stallions' boys -- this in Division II -- but also a ninth straight for boys cross country in the section overall. He had delivered five consecutive D-I championships previously up the road at Madera.
"I'm very lucky, I'm amazed," he says before pointing to assistants Ernest Velarde (also with him at Madera) and Kelly Valmonte. "You're only as good as people around you, and they are phenomenal. We all work together with the same mindset, same drive, same love for kids and same willingness to confront a kid if he blows it."
Gearing for D-I: Five of Madera South's top seven runners were underclassmen, and that's particularly encouraging given that the Stallions will be elevated to D-I next year in the section's ongoing pursuit of competitive equity. It's been a quick ascent for Madera South, which was D-III as recent as 2009.
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"It's where I want to be," Parris says of the D-I promotion. "We're going to go after it, and I know there's going to be a dogfight. There will be three other returning strong teams in Stockdale, Buchanan and Clovis. And we'll be in the \ title chase like everyone else. We'll set our goals, refocus and be ready to go."
Always in the mix: The goal this season, Parris says, was to be considered a threat in every meet -- ranging from the Kingsburg Invitational (first place) to the Nike Pre-Nationals in Oregon (second) to the Clovis Invitational (fifth) and state finals (sixth).
And the Stallions were.
"We wanted to compete against anybody in the section and state," he says, "and I felt we accomplished everything we initially set out to do. We were never counted out in any race. It proved this team was for real."