Senior Night for every high school athlete is emotional, but for Yukon senior football player Parker Kenley, it will be a night he will always remember.
Kenley was prepared to play his final game at Miller Stadium. He stood on the north side of the field with his family awaiting his turn to be recognized as one of the senior Millers.
Kenley looked toward the south end zone and saw smoke coming up and said he thought that someone had made a mistake and let the smoke go too early instead of waiting for the team to run through the tunnel before the game.
“I didn’t know what was going on and I looked over at my sister who was standing next to me and she was crying,” Kenley said. “I asked her why she was crying, and she said, ‘Parker, Caleb is here to watch you play.’ I turned and saw my brother walking through the smoke and I just took off after him.”
Caleb Kenley is in the United States Air Force and has never been able to see his brother play a high school football game. Caleb was stationed in Japan for two years and recently was re-stationed to Massachusetts.
The two brothers met each other at midfield and embraced with tears in their eyes.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Parker said. “We didn’t even say anything to each other. We just hugged and embraced. He has never seen me play in high school, so for him to get see me play my last game at Miller Stadium was so special. It’s hard to put into words how special this was.”
Parker said he was already focused and ready to play against Westmoore but having his brother there gave him even more intensity.
“It was just incentive to play really well,” Parker said. “I really wanted to impress him and leave everything out there on the field and do everything I could to help us try and get a win.”
Parker got to see Caleb this past summer but hasn’t been able to spend a lot of time with him in almost three years. Caleb was home from Friday until Sunday.
“We just got to have some brother time and just hang out with each other,” Parker said. “It was a really special weekend.”
Parker said his brother was the first person he saw after the game was over.
“He just told me he loved me and that he was proud of me,” Parker said. “That was an experience I will never forget.”