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Rocco Parrish of Grandview High School on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (Amanda Ray, Yakima Herald-Republic)

Grandview junior Rocco Parrish's breakthrough last season came in a 39-13 Week 2 victory against River View.

Parrish completed 15 of 21 passes for 336 yards and five touchdowns against no interceptions.

He would have two more solid efforts before, in the fifth week against Prosser, his season would end.

"Tyler Durbin," said a chuckling Parrish about the players whose hit would end what was looking like a solid sophomore season.

The affable Parrish, who gets his first name from his "big Italian" maternal great grandfather, holds no grudge.

He calls Durbin, and many other athletes he knows through the playing fields and courts of the Yakima Valley, friends.

Those connections should expand greatly this fall.

Parrish will hone his leadership skills statewide as a member of the WIAA's Leadership through Education, Activities, and Personal Development (LEAP) program. Parrish is one of 17 students statewide on the committee, nine of whom (including West Valley's Malachy Caffrey) begin their two-year term this fall.

"I'm just excited to work and help as much as I can," he said. "I always share what's going on in the Valley, and I'm also not one to hold back my thoughts."

Parrish is the youngest in a family that has become well known at Grandview.

Dad Scott is the Greyhounds athletic director and coached the boys basketball team to seven state trophies in as many trips to the state tournament, including the Class 2A title in 2002.

The elder Parrish also was part of the Grandview championship run in the late 1980s.

Older sisters Payton (who Rocco says he's told at least weekly that he looks exactly like) and Teagan were multisport standouts for the Greyhounds.

Rocco also is a guard on the basketball team, averaging more than six points a game last winter.

"I lived in the gym with my dad being a coach and with a basketball in my hand when I was a baby," he said.

He's also immersed at GHS beyond sports. He was the assistant activities director last year, and holds office in the Christian athletes club.

Earlier this month he was helping incoming freshmen ease into high school.

"I love doing these types of activities," he said. "I just like being involved in the school."

Parrish and his teammates are adjusting to new football coach Darren Mezger, who takes the reins after three seasons as head coach at Kiona-Benton and a dozen more assisting at Sunnyside.

Parrish will again be under center when the season begins Friday.

"We will try to maximize the talent," Mezger said. "The whole goal is to be balanced and not put the pressure on one guy."

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