BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) — Prayers and well wishes are going around after Burke County football coach Eric Parker collapsed at a game in Wayne County on Monday night.
Parker collapsed on the field during the first half of the Bears’ game. Tuesday, the community came together in prayer for him.
Parker was taken by ambulance, then airlifted to a hospital in Savannah.
In a statement, Coach Parker’s wife, Rashann, says that, thanks to a quick response by local medical personnel, he is stable and doing well.
“From talking to his wife, everything was like God’s plan because usually the helicopter’s not there, so that all worked out,” said Pastor Tony Wesby of Bryant Grove Baptist Church. “Usually on a Monday night he’s not on a football field. He probably would have been home or could have been driving. This could’ve happened, nobody could’ve been around. So, she’s very grateful for what happened with the situation.”
Pastor Wesby says he got to the game during the second quarter and the ambulance was already there. He says that doctors are expecting a full recovery.
Coach Parker has been a head coach in the CSRA since 1997. He’s won 206 games and a state championship with Burke County in 2011.
Robert Allen, assistant director at Burke County Recreation says he’s known Coach Parker for about eight years. In a statement to NewsChannel 6, he said:
“He looks out for all the kids. He’s just a good guy. He’s a good person. Plus, he’s a family guy and into the church…I would do anything for him. And I think all coaches would do the same thing.”
Allen is also a high school community coach. He was at the game when Coach Parker collapsed and he says it shocked a lot of people, especially the students.
“Coach Parker is not only a coach, but he’s also been there for the community, for individual students and for all my organizations I’ve been a part of- he always is supportive,” said Pastor Wesby. “So, why not support a brother in his time of need? So, the way we support him is pray.”
The prayer vigil will be held at the “Bear Den”- the high school’s football field- at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Representatives from the school have said that Coach Parker will remain in the hospital for a few days and that he is in good hands.