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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Carson Parmelee; an athlete since birth

    Senior close defender Carson Parmelee has been a key for the No. 15 Arizona mens club lacrosse team this season, keeping opponents away from the net. The Laxcats team captain played football at the same high school as current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms but was forced to concentrate on lacrosse after having reconstructive surgery on both knees his junior year in high school.
    Senior close defender Carson Parmelee has been a key for the No. 15 Arizona men’s club lacrosse team this season, keeping opponents away from the net. The Laxcats’ team captain played football at the same high school as current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms but was forced to concentrate on lacrosse after having reconstructive surgery on both knees his junior year in high school.

    The man behind the mask

    Carson Parmelee has been a natural athlete since birth.

    The No. 15 Arizona men’s club lacrosse team’s senior close defender and team captain, who now stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 230 pounds, knew he had found a love for sports since he played in a soccer league at age 5 and has stuck with it throughout his life.

    Growing up in New Jersey, Parmelee played all sorts of sports, including soccer, baseball, basketball and football as well as lacrosse.

    However, Parmelee fell in love in fifth grade when he first picked up a lacrosse stick.

    “”I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to play lacrosse,”” he said. “”Lacrosse isn’t a very popular sport in a lot of states. I am just happy I got to play.””

    In high school Parmelee concentrated on football because the program was one of the top in the nation.

    Lacrosse isn’t a very popular sport in a lot of states. I am just happy I got to play.

    Carson Parmelee
    senior close defender

    “”Football was a big deal at my high school,”” Parmelee said. “”Chris Simms of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played at my high school.””

    Parmelee excelled at the left tackle position as well as on the lacrosse field, although he had to go through much adversity as a two-sport athlete as he suffered a few serious knee injuries to both legs and had reconstructive surgery his junior year.

    Parmelee started the difficult process of rehabbing his knees so he could get back on the field.

    “”I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy,”” he said. “”I was able to fight through it and get back.””

    After a long road of hard work, Parmelee was able to return to sports. He won all-county honors as an offensive lineman in high school and was even considered to be college football material, eventually being offered a spot on the Citadel’s football squad.

    “”I went on football trips after high school,”” Parmelee said. “”I decided not to pursue a college football career because of my knees.””

    Even after making that decision, he still wanted to play a sport in college.

    “”I chose U of A because they had a solid (club) lacrosse team that is always ranked in the top 25,”” he said. “”I was excited about joining the team. I even e-mailed the coach before I got to Tucson.””

    Prior to becoming a key member of the Laxcats, Parmelee practiced in summer leagues in New Jersey, where he played twice a week.

    “”The summer leagues really helped my game,”” Parmelee said. “”It just kept the stick in my hand and helped me not lose touch.””

    Despite his high school success on the East Coast, where lacrosse is popular, Parmelee knew joining the lacrosse team at Arizona would not be a walk in the park.

    When he joined the Laxcats as a freshman, the squad returned its whole defense and he received minimal playing time. Still, Parmelee said it was one of the most critical years in his development playing lacrosse.

    “”Sitting behind all those returning starters helped me,”” he said. “”They helped me realize that college sports are not just physical but highly mental as well.””

    The following year the Laxcats graduated three defenders, and Parmelee has been a starter and star ever since.

    Along with his talent comes the support of his loving parents who frequently attend Laxcats games.

    “”They root for me and are real positive when they come,”” he said. “”They are excited to watch me play and watch lacrosse.””

    As the Laxcats journey toward the USLIA National Championships in May, Parmelee realizes that his career in sports is coming to an end.

    “”I am a senior, and I am going to graduate soon,”” he said. “”It has been great to play with all these guys and make these solid friendships. I am going to miss how you could get lost in a game even though it doesn’t have much affect in your life.””

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