Timon Parris played multiple sports at Floral Park Memorial, but only one grabbed his heart.
“I love playing football,” Parris said. “I grew up playing football and I’m glad to be a part of Long Island football.”
That’s what made competing in the 18th annual Empire Challenge last week so special for Parris, who also was on the track team and played basketball at Floral Park.
“This game means everything to me,” he said.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound offensive lineman said it took him some time to get back into football mode, but he regained his playing shape in the practices leading up to the annual all-star game that pits the best seniors from Long Island and New York City against each other.
“When I first started playing I was very rusty and out of shape, but now I’m getting back to my former self,” Parris said.
Parris was instrumental in Long Island’s 40-8 win over New York City at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. The quick, lanky offensive guard created holes for an offense that set a Long Island record with 343 yards of total offense.
The game, which benefited Boomer Esiason Foundation’s fight against cystic fibrosis, was for more than just bragging rights for Parris. The game, and the practices that led up to it, offered Parris a chance to get to know his future teammates at Stony Brook.
Joining Parris on the Long Island roster were Anthony Anderson from St. Anthony’s, Tyler Andreassi from Sachem North, Ousmane Camara from Bay Shore, Lawrence’s Tyler Fredericks, Sayville’s John Haggert, Dennis Lestrange from Smithtown East, James Manginelli from Connetquot and William Floyd’s A.J. Otranto.
Parris committed to Stony Brook just after the conclusion his final football season for Floral Park. He played on both sides of the Knights’ line and earned all-county honors.
“I just liked the whole community over there,” Parris said of Stony Brook. “They have a good education system and they have a good football program. I’m very excited to go there.”