Justin Payne turned things around in his fifth year guiding the Parkville football team. The Knights stumbled to a 3-7 record last year, but 2019 proved much more fun.
Parkville (11-1) went undefeated in the regular season and won the first two rounds before losing to Old Mill in the third round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Knights had never won a playoff game in school history.
“I think the fact that they bought into our program helped,” Payne said. “Part of being in a program is being a certain kind of kid. You’ve got to be a selfless kid, a disciplined kid and a kid that’s willing to put in the work — and these kids really liked each other.”
Payne said that Parkville’s going to lose some key players who had been with the team for awhile, but the Knights return several good athletes for the 2020 season. He’s aware that people recognize Parkville has a strong program and will have a target on its back. That’s just fine with Payne, who said he’s hopeful for more fun next season.
Payne is celebrating the 30th anniversary of being an All-Metro pick. He made the 1989 team as a linebacker while playing for Oakland Mills.