A Family Tragedy and Lacrosse Tell a Valuable Story
by Jason Carr with Bo and Lauren Jackson
|Parker Jackson, then a sophomore
at Milton High in Georgia, passed away in a single-car auto
accident in 2006. His family, out of their grief, created the
annual Legacy Lacrosse Cup, which annually brings teams to Georgia
for a weekend of games and clinics and provides an opportunity to
hear Parker's story.
Image courtesy Jackson family
November 7, 2006 was a day that changed the lives of a family forever. Sixteen-year-old Parker Jackson was killed in a single car no-fault accident. It shook his family to the core and what came from that is what this story is all about.
Parker loved the sport of lacrosse and played the game with an intense passion. He loved not only the game, but also the friendships that can only come from teammates you share the battle on the field. Parker spent a lot of time developing his lacrosse skills and even inspired others to pick up the sport. When he passed away, a whole community grieved over the loss of an incredible teenager. The Atlanta lacrosse community grieved over the loss of one of its brightest stars. Parker was a sophomore playing on Milton's varsity team.
Parker's parents, Bo and Lauren Jackson of Milton, Georgia, knew that somehow and someway Parker's story was meant for something. In the midst of dealing with the reality of Parker's loss, they were overwhelmed by support and love from the lacrosse community that their son was immersed in. That support and their belief in God led them to passionately pursue a way to make something great from Parker's loss.
The Jacksons wanted to capture the spirit that motivated Parker and leverage his story for something special. They knew that Parker's story mattered then and still does now. Out of their grief and then clarity, they created the Legacy Lacrosse Cup. The Legacy Cup, this year held April 13 and 14 in Milton, is an incredible weekend experience that brings together 15 of the best boys and girls high school lacrosse teams from across the country to compete. The fans always look forward to this weekend of high school games and a spirited collegiate game featuring Georgia and Georgia Tech.
In addition, the Friday night players and coaches dinner is a unique element to the weekend. Friday evening features music, games and a challenging, inspirational message of truth, that we are living our legacies now. Sharing Parker's story every year has left a lasting impression. Now, five years later, the ripples of Parker's legacy continue to impact thousands of young people.
The tournament has developed special environments featuring product demos, skills clinics with pro players, and other fun games to encourage young players to play lacrosse. LXM Pro Kyle Harrison has participated in every Legacy Lacrosse Cup. Kyle shares his lacrosse knowledge, does some demos and shows support for what the Jacksons are doing. Though Kyle never met Parker, he has worn the initials PJ on his helmet since becoming involved with the Legacy Cup.
It has been said that it's darkest before the dawn. For the Jacksons the darkness led to a truth they want everyone to live out: our legacy and story matter. Their hope is that every player and fan would be intentional and realize that their decisions and choices matter now.
The Legacy Lacrosse Cup has become a great venue for competitive lacrosse every year, and a great venue to challenge some of the best players in the country with one simple message: your story matters.