By CONOR NICHOLL
Parsons senior defensive end Chris Beard enjoyed a huge fall for the Vikings with 76 tackles, 13 for loss, five sacks and three fumble recoveries. He easily paced Parsons in all four categories. As well, no Parsons player in ’20 and ’21 matched those numbers.
Beard, who only played for Parsons as a freshman and senior, was one of the more under-the-radar Class of 2023 players. His production recently earned him a Kansas Shrine Bowl honor.
Parsons has 24 all-time Shrine Bowl players, including Beard, per Shrine Bowl archives.
This marks the fourth straight year Parsons has had a Shrine Bowl selection: Dariq Williams, Tanner Barcus, Isiah Tyson and Beard. As a freshman, Beard finished with 35 tackles, seven for loss.
Before 2020, no Viking had played in the game in nine years. From 1998-2012, the Vikings had four Shrine Bowlers.
“He’s flown way under the radar because he’s only played in Kansas his freshman and senior years,” Parsons coach Jeff Schibi said. “He’s a great player.”
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Beard was a first team all-state selection. Last fall, Parsons opened 5-0 and finished 5-4, including a pair of one-score losses. Parsons allowed 21 points a game.
The Vikings have posted back-to-back winning seasons after a 7-3 mark in 2021. That marks the first time Parsons has had back-to-back winning seasons since ’02-04. The Vikings were winless from ’08-09 and ’12-14, per Kansas Football History.