How Parker Hesse became a Hawkeye up on Teeple Creek

August 9, 2018 | 9:00 am
Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Parker Hesse looks out over their yard as he stands on the front porch of his house in Waukon on Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Chapter 1:

WAUKON — Picnic Woods Drive runs up a massive hill that tells you, if you already didn’t know, you are in the Driftless region.

Prehistoric icebergs missed this stretch of America in northeast Iowa, southwest Wisconsin and southeast Minnesota.

Turn left on Teeple Creek Road to find the Hesses. They’re on the left. You can’t be speeding. Not that you would, it’s all gravel roads out here. If you’re going too fast, you’re going to miss the turn.

 

Tucked between two cornfields (corn this summer, anyway) is a home with a dog named Ranger sitting on the porch wanting his belly scratched. He’s a Mountain Cur who’s probably way too nice to be an effective watchdog.

You notice lambs and a big garden.

When Perry and Marcia Hesse, both 51 and 1985 Waukon High School grads, went looking for a home, they totally, absolutely and completely nailed it.

“The people here didn’t really advertise it,” said Perry, a letter carrier in Waukon. “The mom of a friend of mine asked, ‘Does Perry know there’s a place for sale down there?’ We drove down the driveway. First thing I thought, the garage is the perfect place to put a basketball hoop.

“We took a tour of the house and there was a creek in the backyard. I thought, it’s a done deal. This is where we’re going to be.”

Chapter 2:

Home

The Hesses moved here July 1, 1995. Their oldest son, Parker, a three-year starting defensive lineman at Iowa, was born May 26, 1995.

“It’s nice to be out in the country,” said Marcia, a preschool teacher with the Allamakee Community School District. “Kids have their own space.”

The Hesses live on eight acres between two farms. It’s four miles outside of Waukon, and, yes, with three sons in four sports and 4-H, that was a lot of trips into town.

“It’s basically complete privacy down here, where the kids can run around and scream and holler,” Perry said, with a bit of a pause. “ ... We’re talking about yesterday. This still is what they basically do.”

They are not farmers, but they do have sheep.

“I had a friend who had sheep. I’d never had sheep before,” Perry said. “When he moved out here, he brought his 15 sheep out here just to keep the pasture down. At the end of the year, there were two we couldn’t catch. He said, ‘Forget it, they’re yours. I thought, ‘I don’t know,’ and then it’s just kind of funny.

“It was a couple of years, but we love having sheep. It’s awesome. They keep the pasture down. Outside of lambing season, they’re not much maintenance. That was how we got into it.”

Marcia points out the animals gave their three sons — Parker (23), Peyton (20) and Pryce (17) — a sense of responsibility.

There is a portrait on the mantle in the main room of the three boys with their 4-H sheep.

 

“I always say we should retake this picture and put full-grown sheep in there,” Perry said.

To the left and right of the picture are die cast metal figurines. Peyton and Pryce are on the left in their Waukon uniforms. Parker’s is his 4-yard pick-six interception at Nebraska in 2015, which gave the Hawkeyes a lead in the second quarter they wouldn’t relinquish in a game in which they were trying to cement 12-0.

It was a monumental play for a redshirt freshman defensive end to make. It’s certainly figurine worthy.

“We were at an Iowa game,” Perry said. “Riley McCarron caught the touchdown pass to beat Iowa State (2015). We were tailgating and this guy came over. Riley had one of those made from the Iowa State catch. We were tailgating with the McCarrons and this guy delivered the statue. I was like, ‘Where did you get that?’ Guy gave me his card. He’s from Dubuque. I had one made of all the boys.”

Chapter 3:

Backyard football ... and Brands-Ball

Football is all over this story, but let’s stay with the reason the Hesses picked Teeple Creek in the first place. They wanted to give their children a place they could play.

They played.

First off, no one ever broke a bone. Pryce has broken his arm twice, but he never did it playing “Brands-Ball.”

You’re from Iowa. You know what this is.

The Hesse brothers played hoops at Waukon. No one wrestled because you know they love football — Parker cried when Green Bay drafted Aaron Rodgers because he thought the Packers needed a guard — and food (more on that later), but they love wrestling. A framed and personalized Dan Gable “Once you have wrestled, everything else in life is easy” poster is in the basement. Gable spoke at Waukon High School to help fundraise for a new weight room. Guess what? It got built.

The second hoop in the driveway changed the hoops game of “21” into something very different. The boys still play their version of 21. With two hoops, you have to score on the far hoop. No free throws. Games last about eight minutes.

“We kept things moving and it got a little physical sometimes,” Parker said.

“And you named it what?” Marcia asked.

“Brands-Ball,” Parker said. “We were watching the Terry documentary when we thought of the game.”

There was a stretch where for five years running, the boys broke a lamp in the basement. The newest one still has plastic wrapped on the shade.

The kids played games in every section of the yard.

If you have a fence, you will have a Wiffle ball games. Those went for hours. This is where Parker shows the scar he has on his wrist from trying to rob someone of a homer. The scar does kind of match the one Marcia has on her hand. She earned that in 2000 when the Packers beat the Vikings on that crazy Brett Favre touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman. She jumped and hit her hand on the chandelier.

Let’s get to “The Onside Kick Game.”

That happened on the bank next to the garage. Yes, “bank.” The onside kickers began from the top of the hill. The receiver stood at the bottom. The Hesse boys played every version of two-on-one.

Who usually played receiver?

There’s a big of a size difference between the boys, so Peyton, who played quarterback at Coe in 2016 at 5-foot-11, 165, usually was the “1” in 2-on-1. He might be the quickest.

“Oh yeah,” Peyton said.

Parker, now 6-3, 262 pounds, quietly shook his head upon hearing this.

“When it was 2-on-1, he (Peyton) always had to be the one,” Pryce said.

So, how did that work with the onside kick game?

“I think we rotated that,” Peyton said.

“I don’t remember any rotation,” Pryce said. “I liked to kick it. That way I got to stay at the top.”

Downhill onside kicks. Were you guys ever worried about that one?

“You know, no,” Marcia said.

“They did it for hours,” Perry said. “They were on that bank for hours.”

No collarbone or anything?

“Nope,” Marcia said.

“Like I said, no broken bones here,” Parker said.

“Pryce broke some stuff other places,” Marcia said.

Parker started to apply the knowledge gained from all-day rounds of “The Onside Kick Game.” The 2-on-1 thing definitely made sense to the four-year starting defensive lineman. It wasn’t exactly early Hawkeye training, but it sort of was.

“Yeah, we do, and on special teams you have to keep leverage,” Parker said. “I guess that’s what we were doing.”

The yard directly behind the Hesses’ home is a perfect football field. Smaller, but it worked for three boys. It even crowns, like a real football field. The only problem is Teeple Creek is out of bounds on the far sideline.

“I remember there was one summer where I had arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder,” Perry said. “I threw passes with my left hand. 300 passes a day left-handed.”

Did you get good at it?

“Oh yeah,” Perry said. “All three would line up and we’d just run pass patterns all day.”

Iowa isn’t California. You can’t always play outside. With the Hesses, football was year-round. They would go outside for that.

But a certain amount of playing happened in the basement.

It’s low clearance to get down there.

Former Hawkeye and now Denver Bronco Josey Jewell is from up here. He and Parker first faced off in an athletic competition together in 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Josey was a fourth-grader and Parker was in third.

Anyway, Jewell got married this summer and a ton of Hawkeyes attended. Anthony Nelson, a 6-7 fellow defensive end and Parker’s roommate, stayed with the Hesses and whacked his head going down the stairs into the basement area.

“We heard a thud and kind of an expletive,” Perry said. “He hit his head here pretty good. Great! First concussion. He’s going to be sitting out the first game.”

Perry was only kidding. And it wasn’t the first thud he’s heard coming out of the basement, which is where the fun, rec area, man cave and weights are.

All of the Hesses are Packers and Brewers fans. Wisconsin is just across the Mississippi. Of course, the rec room has slowly shifted from Packers to Hawkeyes in decor (there is a Cyclone clock. Perry keeps it to hold an antenna for the radio).

There’s a framed Des Moines Register from the 2015 game at Nebraska, the culmination of 12-0.

“It was the coolest thing,” Marcia said. “We were coming back from Nebraska that day. We got to Parkersburg and we just stopped. It was getting late and we needed a break.”

“It was literally 3 a.m. and hot off the presses,” Perry said. “We walked in and it was on the stand.”

There used to be a plastic basketball hoop down here. Indoor Brands-Ball? Why not?

Hockey with a plastic golf set?

“I remember Peyton knocked out one of my teeth once,” Parker said. “We were playing one-on-one hockey with a plastic golf set. Usually, we’d play on either end, because then you could hit it across the room and play goalie. But there was one where someone missed and it got in the middle of the room. Both of us ran and I tried to slide and hit it before he did. He just uppercut and hit me in the mouth. Knocked my front two teeth out.”

At some point, the boys realized mom and dad’s basement actually does have drywall and, sure, mom and dad would like that drywall to stay whole.

“They got better at it, though,” Marcia said. “They started taking things off the wall.”

“Hot Potato Volleyball” was when stuff came off the walls in pregame.

“We would literally take this whole back part of the basement apart,” Parker said. “We’d take down all of the decorations.”

 

This became a ritual.

“Everything would be off the walls,” Perry said.

“It was better than breaking things,” Marcia said.

That one time with the Nativity scene ...

“The first time they really broke something, I came home and my Nativity scene was out,” Marcia said. “They met me at the door and they were crying. Peyton and Parker met me at the door, ‘We’re really sorry we broke the wise man!’”

You broke the wise man?

“Only one of them,” Parker said with a laugh.

This particular wise man lives to this day.

“They fixed it,” Marcia said. “They took rubber cement and now it has this glassy sheen over the top of it.”

It does and another family heirloom is born.

The competitions were plentiful, but the love and support is absolutely obvious.

When Parker’s flag football team fell behind in any game, Peyton couldn’t take it.

“Remember how when Parker used to play flag football and the other team would score first and Peyton would be crying?” Perry said. “He’d be standing next to me. ‘Peyton, it’s just one possession.’ But ‘Parker’s losing!’”

Peyton ended up as the manager for that team, Marcia said. He kept a tackle chart.

“When you’d pull flags, he’d mark it,” she said. “Whoever got the most tackles, got a bottle of Gatorade.”

Chapter 4:

Becoming a Hawkeye

Backyard play doesn’t stay in the backyard. It can’t, of course.

Northeast Iowa towns have a youth football league, the Youth Sports Foundation. Some years, Waukon fields three teams. Decorah is in. Teams from Minnesota come down and play. So, fifth-graders are in pads up here. The teams played six-game schedules and got a chance to play in the UNI-Dome.

“I had so much fun in fifth and sixth,” Parker said. “I was dreading waiting until seventh grade so we could start playing. I remember talking about that a lot.”

 

Perry Hesse laughs at the notion he is the greatest third- and fourth-grade flag football coach in Waukon history. He had Parker. He had Marcus Weymiller, who earned honorable mention all-Missouri Valley Conference as a running back at Northern Iowa last season. He had Seth Snitker, who played at Northern Iowa and probably could’ve played at Iowa.

Waukon had a playoff run in 2006-07. That fueled excitement in the ranks.

“From the days that I had them in flag football, Parker and Marcus had that maturity that was off the charts,” Perry said. “The other kids were throwing dirt clogs. Back then, everyone thought I was a genius coach. We went undefeated. The community really thought I was something. Then, they look back years later, OK, now we know.

“Marcus is built the same. They’re like, ‘We could put a guy in motion and go deep ...’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I was just going to build up to that play.’”

Parker completed 93 of 153 pass attempts for 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior at Waukon. He rushed 173 times for 1,273 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was going to play linebacker, tight end (thus the No. 40) or maybe defensive end in college.

Colleges started calling after Parker’s sophomore year.

Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley is the walk-on from Waukon. He’s Waukon football original. He played four years as a linebacker for the Panthers and now he’s entering his 17th season as UNI’s head coach.

Parker attended UNI camps in fifth and sixth grade, so he had a great feel for the UNI program. As Parker progressed as a high schooler, the camps became strategic.

After a great sophomore year, Hesse went on a camp tour. Got in at Iowa State. Got in at Northern Iowa.

“Mark said Parker had full scholarship ability,” Perry said. “‘Just because he grew up in our backyard, we’re not going to shortchange him, we’re going to offer him a full scholarship.’ He gave Parker that leverage.”

So, the Hesses visited UNI and ISU after Parker’s sophomore season. Perry wanted to get Parker to Iowa City, but was too late.

“I got online and they were booked,” Perry said. “Booked. Everything was booked.”

Perry Hesse wasn’t going to be late the next year.

Attention football dads: This next part is crucial if you think your son has what it takes to compete in Big Ten football (by the way, answers on that come pretty quickly and definitively).

Not only were the Hesses not going to miss the next shot at Iowa camp ...

“I signed him up for two days in a row,” Perry said. “They hadn’t seen him in person. They didn’t know him. I’m not only going to sign him up for a day, I’m going to sign him up for two in a row. He wasn’t happy about it. He was playing baseball. ‘Dad, I don’t want to go down to Iowa. And you signed me up for two days.’”

Two days is the smart part, especially if you want to get lunchbox Iowa’s attention.

“It was completely the thing to do,” Perry said. “Iowa watched him the first day and they told me, ‘After the first day, we kind of knew. We were pretty sold.’ Then, they told me, too, ‘Well, this is great. He’s walking back in here tomorrow.’ I kind of felt I needed to do that because Iowa was the only camp his sophomore year that I couldn’t get him in.”

This was three straight weeks of football camps during the summer before his senior year. Yeah, Parker had kids stuff and a life.

“He’s still bitter about this,” Perry said.

“Well, no,” Parker said. “I hurt my shoulder that week, too. Or no, it was my eye. That was when I got hit in the eye with that basketball thing.” (Junior summer he was messing around with friends and throwing this mini-basketball around. He got hit in the eye. “I still have this distorted spot right here. I don’t really even notice it. I think it’s gotten better. I had to get injections that summer and steroids to get the inflammation down.”)

Perry Hesse just wanted to get his son, who lives in the Driftless between two cornfields (this summer, maybe soybeans next) and played 2A football his senior year, in front of the Iowa coaches. When you’re from here, the hardest part is getting discovered.

“As long as they were aware of him and knew him as a person and then if they decided not to, that’s fine,” Perry said. “But I just thought as a parent, I’m not going to sit here if he’s under a stone.”

The next part is fun. Having “free college” right there within your reach and then earning it? Good as it gets.

“I had a really good day at that camp,” Parker said with a smile.

How does that look? How do you know you had a good day at the Iowa football camp?

“I’d say by the way they interacted, but it’s a padded camp with one-on-one pass rush stuff and other one-on-one stuff,” Hesse said. “I’d know. I put some of my best stuff out there today.

“Then after, the entire coaching staff made sure to shake my hand and said something to me personally before I left. Then, they found out, ‘You’re going to be here tomorrow?’

“So then the next day, it was preferential treatment, front of every line.”

Which is nice, especially when you’re trying to earn free college. But it didn’t end there for Hesse at Iowa camp. What else would Iowa coaches want to see? What is the intangible that Kirk Ferentz puts under his pillow at night?

It’s leadership, never mind how that fits under a pillow.

“I can’t remember if it was Reese (Morgan, Iowa defensive line coach) or LeVar (Woods, special teams coordinator), one of them told me, ‘We’re sold on Parker.’ And then they said, we did a drill and Parker went first and was headed to the back of the line and then another kid was up, he kind of had this look on his face ‘Do I go around that cone?’

“They said, Parker came back up and explained to the kid, ‘They want you to do this, that, touch that.’ The coaches said most kids don’t have the confidence. And then there’s, ‘If I help him out, he’s going to look better and maybe better than me, so I’m just going to let him look foolish.’

“I can’t remember if it was LeVar or Reese, they said when he went back to help that kid in the drill, that’s when they knew.”

Video: What playing for Iowa means
 

Afterward, Ferentz asked Hesse how tall he was and what he thought about playing tight end. After the TaxSlayer Bowl, Ferentz told him the path to the field was probably quicker for him at defensive end. The next year, Hesse replaced injured star defensive end Drew Ott and now has 10.0 career sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss going into his final season.

Last year, the kid who took a second to help another kid at Iowa’s padded camp added defensive tackle duties in pass-rush situations. Hesse spent a lot of his offseason watching film on DT and working on what else he can do with that opportunity.

“In football anywhere, if you want to win, you have to have guys who put winning first,” Parker said. “That’s not much of a sacrifice. There are a lot of D-linemen who’d do anything to be on the field on third down. I move inside. I don’t see it as a slight. It’s fun to be out there.”

OK, football dads who are interested in being a Hawkeye under Kirk Ferentz, what did we learn here? 1). Two days of camp. That seems elementary. 2). Be a super-positive presence, work super hard.

3). Let your kids play whatever they want. If it’s “The Onside Kick Game,” let them set the pace. It’ll sort itself out.

The three Hesse boys have played in state championship games. Pryce and his Waukon teammates are going for back-to-back this season. Parker and Peyton lost in the finals.

Parker is enjoying the Hawkeye experience. Peyton threw 52 career passing TDs and more than 4,000 yards as Waukon’s QB. Pryce? He’s a tool belt lineman. His stat is a state title.

One brother wears the ring to rule them all.

“Let’s just say it’s debated in our house on an almost daily basis,” Perry said. “They start getting on Pryce and he’s like ‘I can go upstairs and get my state championship T-shirt. I can go get my ring.’”

 

This sets up to be a dramatic fall for the Hesses.

Pryce’s first game is Aug. 24. Waukon opens against Decorah.

“Waukon football has been a great thing to be involved in,” Marcia said. “It’s provided so much for our kids. The opportunities they got from playing football, the people they’ve gotten to meet, the places they’ve gotten to go. It’s kind of a neat thing to be a part of. To be a part of state championship games, all the boys have had a chance to play in one.”

Some of them won.

“Well, the one,” she said.

Pryce smiled.

Pryce would love to play college football. He’s waiting to see how his senior year goes, but he’s not waiting for life. He’s a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and works at the Good Samaritan Society in Waukon.

Peyton broke an ankle at Coe last year, took a pause and looked at his life options. An opening came up at the post office. Perry brought his son an application and Peyton was hired.

Now, he’s a letter carrier in Waukon out on the street every day. He also loves football. The best way for a 20-year-old to keep that in their life is officiating. Peyton raised his hand for that, too. The books were arriving in the mail. The online test is upcoming. He plans to be on the field this fall.

“I’m going to be a substitute for the varsity this year,” Peyton said. “I’ll be doing the lower-level, JV and stuff and kind of get my feet wet and hopefully go from there.”

“My fear is that Parker is in the NFL and Peyton gets there and calls him for illegal hands to the face,” Perry said. “Getting you back for that fourth hamburger you took that one time.”

The garden — it’s huge — is actually in its first year and has become Peyton’s project.

“Peyton loves his garden,” Marcia said. “He wanted to have it. He went out and bought the seeds. I asked him what he bought. He said, ‘I’m not telling you in case they don’t grow.’ I said, OK.”

“I see the garden expanding next year,” Perry said.

Dinner is a thing here.

Marcia remembered seeing Mark Farley’s mom in town at the grocery store back in the day.

“You have football families in front of us,” Marcia said. “The Farley family, they had three boys and a daughter and you’d see her in the grocery store when the kids were getting a little older, I’d be like, ‘Oh my gosh, look at the food she has in there.’

“She goes, ‘Just wait, this is coming for you.’”

They played and they ate. Actually, they still play and they very much eat.

Pryce is maybe the quietest Hesse brother, but that doesn’t mean the wheels aren’t turning.

“Pryce learned early that he has to get in there and eat right away, so he can get his share,” Marcia said.

It’s carnage. It’s exactly what you think it is.

“The first boy goes through and puts seven hamburgers on his plate,” Perry said. “‘You know, you can take one and go back. ‘No Dad, you can’t. When you go back, they’re gone.’”

And ...

“We’re all pretty fast eaters, too,” Parker said. “You try to eat fast, so you have a shot at whatever’s left and getting a second helping.”

It’s still like this. Might always be like this.

“You have to make sure you’re waiting there,” Peyton said. “You have to beat the bell. If you listened to the bell, you were late.”

It’s not an actual bell. Marcia just yells “Dinner is ready.”

Chapter 5:

Life outside Teeple Creek

You heard the story about buying the newspaper in Parkersburg in 2015 after the 12-0 season. Iowa football is a rhythm for the Hesses.

From the day Parker arrived in Iowa City weighing 218 to the days of Peyton barely getting a postgame shower in after Waukon games and then sleeping for eight hours and waking up for an Iowa game in Bloomington, Ind.

(There also was the TaxSlayer trip. Perry needed an emergency appendectomy and doctors found Stage 3 colon cancer. He had to watch the game in a hospital bed and only remembers that every time Tennessee scored, he hit the morphine button. Perry and Marcia had to stay in Jacksonville. Parker had to drive his brothers home. Perry went through chemo and is cancer free now.)

You know the brothers watch each other’s game film. When Pryce was on the state title run last year, he got a text from a number he didn’t recognize.

Pryce is a guard and sometimes he pulls and gets in front of a play. A lot of times, when guards are asked to pull, they tip it by where they are in their stance.

“The text said, ‘You’re giving it away when you’re going to get out and pull,’” Marcia said. “And then it wasn’t very long and Parker called and told us it was Nate Bazata (a three-year starter at defensive tackle for the Hawkeyes). He was watching Peyton’s film with Parker and picked up on that.”

Pryce didn’t pull out any new tricks. The next game was the state championship. Made it this far ...

Parker needed just three years to graduate from Iowa with a degree in interdepartmental health sciences. He’ll graduate in December with a master’s in sports and recreation management. Spend a second watching any Hesse interview, you see a magnificently articulate man. He credits that to a class he took at the UI, “Acting for Success.”

He wanted to be an optometrist. Iowa doesn’t have an optometry program. He wanted to study health care administration.

“The program at Iowa doesn’t work with football,” Hesse said. “It’s a lot of group-based stuff, working with a management team. They say they’re going to take priority in your life. Football says the same.”

This isn’t the “regrets section.” Hesse prefaces future talk with “I don’t want to go to school that long. That’s something I figured out pretty early.” (Said the guy who’ll leave Iowa with a degree and a master’s in five years.)

This conversation is taking place along the fence line. The view is Teeple Creek, a field of rolling hills and corn.

The creek, which empties into the Yellow River, runs through the Hesses' story.

Teeple changed drastically in the floods of 2008. It created a pretty great swimming hole less than 100 yards from the house. It’s still around 7 feet deep. Of course, the creek was almost as fun for the Hesse boys as Brands-Ball.

There was the day with the tractor tire they found in a sinkhole. This is the Driftless, so it’s all hills and valleys. So, why not push the tractor tire down the hill?

“We took it out of the sinkhole and tried to roll it up the hill around this fence line here,” Parker said. “I don’t know what happened. We were already tired.

“It turned and started rolling downhill. We’re trying to catch it. We were all running after it. We’d all run up and hit it. I eventually shoved it as hard as I could. It barely wobbled and just went the rest of the way. It hit this thing, leapt over the creek and ended up landing in a part of the creek that had only about two feet of water.

“So, we had to go down there and fish it out. We eventually got it back. I’m not even sure we used it that much after that.”

Video: The Teeple Creek tire story
 

The is a long way of saying Parker doesn’t know what he wants to do when he grows up.

“Obviously, I’m going to exhaust all of my options in football,” he said. “I was running around in the backyard here pretending I was playing for the Packers. We’d put our Packers helmets on. Brett Favre was the hero for a long time.”

Sports administration has his attention, but that’s it. Really, all of his thoughts are streaming into his senior year with the Hawkeyes.

“Some people move jobs a lot now,” Parker said. “I think after I’m done with football, I’m just going to explore around and see what fits best for me.

“I like traveling places, but I don’t see myself living on the road. People who want to travel, I don’t know if that would trip my trigger. I’m a little bit of a home body.”

And why wouldn’t he be?

This view, these stories, this home.

Chapter 6:

Company in the country

Wait, wait, wait, what is that? Up on the hill, in the cornfield? Is that ...? Wait, that’s a new house.

Finally, after 23 years, the Hesses have a neighbor. Kind of. The house is maybe a quarter mile up the hill.

“First time,” Parker said.

“It is (weird),” Perry said. “We’ve been out here 20 years. (The neighbors’) mom and dad actually own a farm back there. It’s a guy who’s retiring.

 

“We’re just spoiled. When I bought it in ’95, I wondered how long it would be until houses started popping up. I’m pretty happy if that’s it.”

The new home is not nearly enough to spoil the view. This will always be the home of Brands-Ball, hockey with a plastic golf set and, of course, the shattered and now shiny wise man.

Two lambs that became family. Ranger the Mountain Cur who would just love if you could scratch that spot behind his ear. And, yes, there are actual clothes on an actual clothesline.

“As you can imagine, when Parker comes home, it’s nice for him,” Perry said. “There’s just no one around. If we lived in town, not that I’d complain, but you’d have a neighbor kid come over.

“Parker will get back from bye week or a big game, he’ll take a lawnchair and he doesn’t even talk to us.

“Out here, it’s a faucet you can just shut off.”

Dinner bell positioning. The Onside Kick Game. Football figurines.

“Everyone has a place they go to, whether it’s physical or mental or whatever they do to try to unwind and decompress a little bit,” Parker said. “Being from here, it’s definitely something for me, physically getting away from things and just being out on my own or being with Peyton and Pryce.”

And now a neighbor. Hey, the world comes at you fast, even around Teeple Creek.

“Hearing he’s a big Hawkeye fan,” Perry said with a laugh.

Maybe this can work.

Video: Parker Hesse on 2015 and 2018 seasons