Linfield honors late teammate with monument and jersey tradition

first_imgThe football team, playing in its first full season without Moore, has constant reminders of him. The No. 35, which hung inside Smith’s office this season, has been moved into the locker room. Little stickers honoring Moore have been slapped on helmets. The team takes Moore’s away jersey out to practice and plans to bring it to road games. Nearly everyone on the team, Smith said, has dog tags, which Faults and Chandler helped design.On the front is the Linfield logo with the slogan, “Play for Moore,” underneath it. Below that, the No. 35. On the back, it has John 11:25, the Bible verse Moore’s mother picked out.“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even if they die.”After Moore’s death, Linfield College had to decide whether it would take the field six days later against Chapman in the next round of the Division III playoffs.Two days after Moore died, Monday, motivational speaker Will Keim addressed the team before it decided to practice that day. Tuesday, students on campus held a candlelight vigil. Wednesday, the team ate dinner together, talking mostly of Moore. Thursday, Chandler, Faults and Smith spoke to nearly 2,000 mourners at Moore’s memorial service. Friday, the team rested.“We went out because that’s what Parker would’ve wanted,” Smith said. “He was a worker, a grinder. I think he would’ve been mortified if we’d stopped then.“But I honestly didn’t know how we’d come out and play.”Linfield scored touchdowns on its first four drives and never let Chapman into the game. The following two weeks, 10th-seeded Linfield beat two previously undefeated teams, Mary Hardin-Baylor and Widener. The Wildcats run ended in the national semi-finals, losing, 20-14, to eventual-national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater.Seven months later, speaking on the phone from his office, Smith talked about Linfield’s newest tradition. Moore’s jersey, the No. 35, will be worn by an junior or senior defensive player who best represents what Parker stood for as a player and as a person.“In football, you’re never just playing for yourself,” Chandler said, who was selected to don the number this season. “You’re not playing for the love of the game. You’re not playing to win. You’re playing for your brothers. We’re playing now for a brother that we love, and a brother that we lost. This is a lot more than just a game.”On Sept. 12, Linfield begins its season with Homecoming against Chapman—the same team Linfield played against in its first game without Moore.Saturday, 301 days after Moore’s death, a player in a Linfield College uniform will run onto the field with John 11:25 around his neck, wearing No. 35. Comments Published on September 10, 2015 at 9:49 pm Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR ­A few minutes after 11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, 33-year-old Joventino Bermudez-Arenas entered a McMinnville, Oregon 7-Eleven and approached the man checking out. He took out a knife and stabbed 20-year-old Parker Moore twice in the chest.Medics airlifted Moore to a Portland hospital, where he later died. Moore and Arenas did not know each other, and police reportedly found no motive.The 7-Eleven sits across the street from the campus of Linfield College, where Moore played linebacker on the football team. Hours earlier, Moore helped shutout Linfield’s opponent 59-0 to win its conference championship.That night, Moore’s close friends and teammates, Kyle Chandler and Eli Faults drove an hour to Portland. The next morning, the team met in the locker room with grief counselors.“We’re not going to pretend this didn’t happen,” Linfield’s head coach Joseph Smith said. “We don’t want people dealing with it alone in their dorm rooms. I want (my players) to talk about it…(They’ll) never quite recover, but we want to honor (Parker) by being better men. I fully believe that if a bunch of young men living their lives that way then his death won’t be in vain.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLinfield, a historically good Division III football school in McMinnville, Oregon, suddenly faced an adversity much greater than football, Smith said. It’s been ten months since the shock, since Moore’s death, since the improbable playoff run. The 2015 school year has brought pain. When a group of teammates couldn’t compromise on where to live, Chandler thought of what Moore would do to please everyone. For the first time in three years at Linfield, Chandler won’t room with Moore.“It’s always in the back of your mind,” Chandler said. “The week after it happened, we had a week of just these gorgeous sunsets. When I wasn’t in playing, I would kind of just look off, sitting there on the football field thinking about him. I still have those moments. But you learn to live with it. You have to.”The team’s focus was not moving on, but moving forward with his memory, Smith said.This season, before its second game, Linfield will unveil a monument near the stadium, bearing Moore’s picture and some lights. The day after, Linfield will host a memorial run/walk event of 3.5 miles—Moore wore number 35—which will end at Maxwell Field, Linfield’s home turf.Courtesy of Linfield Athleticscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more