Like father, like sons
Photo: Soccer is a a family thing for the Parillos. KHS senior Anthony (from left) is an NSCAA all-American nominee, while Scott is the head coach and Cody is the assistant coach at Kaneland. Photo by Kimberly Anderson
ELBURN—A father coaching his son is a regular occurrence in sports. But it’s rare to have both your father and brother as your coaches.
Yet that’s the case in the Parillo family this fall. Senior Anthony Parillo, one of the standout players on Kaneland’s boys soccer team, not only calls his father, Scott, “coach,” but also his older brother, Cody.
Cody, 23, is a Knights’ assistant coach who joined the staff this year, while Dad, of course, is the head coach who’s in his 13th season.
“It’s pretty nice,” said Anthony in regard to having his father and his brother as coaches. “He’s been there since I’ve been play (soccer) for as long as I can remember. And me and my brother get along really well. He always backs my decisions no matter what so it’s nice to have him there.”
Asked to compare his father’s coaching style to his brother’s, Anthony replied, “My brother is more laid back and goes with the flow. My Dad’s got the intensity and fire that drive us (the team) to do a lot better.”
Naturally, Anthony and Cody have grown up around the game. Scott coached both his sons in recreactional leagues, and they’ve been around the team since they were boys.
“We have (newspaper) photos of Anthony at age 6 or 7,” Scott recalls. “He would stand on the sidelines with me. Kids (on the team) used to love him and pass the ball to him.”
One of Anthony’s best soccer-related memories as a child occurred in 2004 when the Knights won their first regional title.
“It was a very good team and they were all cool guys,” Anthony said. “I think I was 9 or 10 (at the time). I was like a ball boy back then, a little mascot.”
Cody took a different path, sports-wise. He competed in rec soccer, but bypassed prep soccer and played freshman football at Kaneland. After that, he devoted his time to school and working at Paisano’s Pizza and Grill in Elburn, where he is still employed today.
Even though Cody didn’t play competitive soccer in high school, Scott said Cody is very knowledgeable about the game.
“It’s nice (to have him on the team), I’m not going to lie,” Scott said. “He’s always had a passion for soccer. He knows exactly who I am, my good points and my bad points. It always seems like we’re on the same page.”
“I really enjoy it,” adds Cody, a 2013 Western Illinois graduate who majored in information systems. “I like being around the kids and I like being around the game. It’s nice to have our whole family out there.”
There is no favoritism shown to Anthony, who’s a team co-captain, on the field … or in the classroom, for that matter. Anthony had his father as a teacher for U.S. History last year, and Cody was a student of Scott’s for both U.S. History and Government classes.
“You have to treat him as a player and not your son,” Scott said. “He doesn’t call me Dad on the field. I have to treat him like any of the other players.”
But both Scott and Cody value and rely on his feedback—as well as those of co-captains Tyler Siebert and Ivan Bohorquez—during games and at practice.
“He’s just like any other captain,” Scott said.
“He gives his input. They see some of the stuff (on the field) I don’t catch. We always ask the captains during halftime if there’s anything we (the coaches) didn’t address.”
“He’s a four-year varsity player,” Cody said. “When Anthony speaks up, we take his input seriously.”
There are times, though, when the team can enjoy a few laughs, and the Parillos are right in the middle of the levity. They try to keep the team loose.
“I think they (team members) enjoy listening to us joke around, and the dynamics between us are good,” Cody said. “The rest of the players, it lifts their spirits just joking around and having fun out there.”
Anthony Parillo is coming off a 2012 season in which he scored a team-best 19 goals as a midfielder for the Knights, who advanced to the Class 2A sectional title game. Prior to the start of the 2013 campaign, Anthony was a National Soccer Coaches Association of American prep all-American nominee.
“It’s fun to go out and watch him,” Cody said. “He’s really good. I think it (being an all-American nominee) is awesome and it’s going to open a lot of doors for him.”
“It’s pretty cool of having that honor of being one of those types of players,” Anthony said, “but I don’t really care about individual awards. I care what we do more as a team.”
And Scott? He takes pride in whatever Anthony and Cody do in life.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with soccer,” he said. “They’re fun, I love them, they have good senses of humor, they have dreams and aspirations just like everybody else. They’re my boys.”