WHITHARRAL, Texas – Many in the Whitharral community were left heartbroken after learning that 15-year-old Tucker Parkinson of Levelland was killed in a rollover crash in Hockley County on Sunday.
“Our world stopped when this happened,” said Jeremy Holt, the head football coach at Whitharral High School (WHS).
Parkinson was involved in the 4-H program and livestock competitions and was a valued two-way player on the WHS football team.
“He was just a great example of what a coach would want,” Holt said. “A great work ethic that he put into everything. He’s a great player, and his presence will be missed hugely, not just his presence on the field, but his personality as well.”
Families, friends, and teammates are remembering the young man that they said left a profound impact.
“Tucker was all things good,” said one of Parkinson’s teachers. “He always had a smile on his face, and an ornery comment out of his mouth as he did whatever you asked him. He was such a fun kid to teach.”
“Tucker was one of the most hard-working, dedicated and happy-hearted persons I knew,” said a teammate of Parkinson’s. “He meant so much more than words can describe. I love that kid. He never failed to put a smile on my face, no matter the circumstances. He was always the person who could turn something boring into the greatest comedy show. But he meant way too much to me than words or actions could ever express.”
Through the grief, Holt said the outpouring of love has meant a lot.
“There’s been coaches from all over the state that have reached out to me asking if we need anything, and sending their prayers,” Holt said. “It’s been tough but knowing how many people care and are loving on you has been a blessing in this tragedy.”
Throughout this week, Whitharral ISD will have counselors on campus to support to students struggling with the loss. All WISD students will be released from school at 12 p.m. on Thursday (10/5) so they can attend Parkinson’s funeral at 2 p.m. at the Mallett Expo Hall (2320 S. US Hwy. 385).
Holt said when his football team takes on Hart High School on Friday, the Panthers will honor Parkinson by wearing jersey patches and helmet decals with his number ‘33’.
“We can’t do enough to really show the impact that he had and the honor that we want to give him,” Holt said. “He was a great kid. He can never be replaced, and he will always be missed.”