HS football team honors cancer victim

ESTANCIA, N.M. (KRQE) – Friday Night Football will have special meaning for one New Mexico high school. The team will be sporting special jerseys, to honor a player’s sister.

When Estancia High takes to their home field for Friday night’s game against Dulce, they’ll know this one is special.

“We’re dedicating this game to my sister, Victoria Parra,” said 15-year-old Carlos Parra, a freshman on the JV football team.

His older sister, Victoria, was just 12-years-old when she was diagnosed with cancer. “She loved sports, she loved to play sports, she loves to be with her friends, just have a good time, she never was sad,” explained Carlos.

Victoria was honorary captain at her brother’s homecoming this month. “Her joy was kind of infectious,” said Stewart Burnett, Head Football Coach for Estancia High.

Nine days later, Victoria lost her battle with a brain tumor, at age 19.

This week, the Bears’ red and white jerseys will feature Victoria’s name, along with a splash of lime green. Green is one of their rivalry’s team colors, Moriarty. But more importantly, lime green was Victoria’s favorite color.

Head coach Stewart Burnett said the idea was a joint effort. “There’s probably a lot of people that never thought they’d see us wearing white and green anything out here, but it’s for a good reason,” Burnett said.

“I’m greatly humbled that they would show great support, my teammates for always being there, being my family,” said Carlos.

Carlos and his family hope to keep Victoria’s positive spirit alive. “She always told me that she was fine,” recalled Emily Parra, Victoria’s mom. “Even her last breath was, she was fine.”

Emily Parra wished her daughter would be there for the game dedication. “She would have loved it.” But they know come Friday night, Victoria will be with them, cheering on her baby brother.

“I’ll play as I play and just, hope I don’t get hurt, and hope she’s there to watch us win,” said Carlos.

“There’s a lot of things in life that are a lot bigger and a lot more important than football, and this is one of those things, and how we’re impacting these young guys’ lives,” explained Coach Burnett. “Ultimately at the end of the day that’s why we’re here, and why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Estancia High will auction off the honorary jerseys during, and after the game on Friday night. The money will go to Parra’s family.

The game will be in Estancia Friday night at 7 p.m.

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