Sometimes, no amount of words can do any situation justice.

Sometimes, no amount of words can fix what has been done, and no amount of words can stop the pain.

Words, sometimes, barely portray emotion — or fix confusion — and they can only serve as remembrance, because things can seem so perfect at the beginning.

Linfield College’s football team had just won its sixth straight Northwest Conference title over the weekend with a dominant 59-0 win over second-placed Pacific.

As the team, fans and university were getting ready to celebrate, the unthinkable happened: a player was killed just hours after the game.

I didn’t personally know Parker Moore, the 20-year-old Linfield football player who was stabbed to death at a 7-Eleven near Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel anything every time I see or hear about his death.

It was a brutally random killing, and because the police fatally shot the suspect at the scene of the crime, the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office is still struggling to find a motive.

There is no need for me to go into further detail about the event or about the suspect and victim.

Social media and the news can be your sources for saturated, violent media, but I can’t help but feel that as a college student and former athlete, this story was particularly chilling.

The reason? It could easily have been me.

When I was on the men’s soccer team here at Pacific Lutheran University, I had countless Saturday nights after winning a game where I stopped by the local AMPM gas station on Pacific Avenue to get a Gatorade and some snacks before going home to relax.

More than a few times, I would keep my eye on people loitering outside of the store, because, as we all know, Parkland is far from the safest city in Washington.

I never had the sense that I would be attacked — keeping my wits about me was more of a precaution — and I am lucky to say I have never had any trouble.
Tragically, I’m sure Moore felt the exact same way.

I don’t want to break out typical cliches, like, “don’t take life for granted,” or, “it can be gone in an instant,” but this is a situation where these overused phrases have never been more true.

The Linfield football team and university lost a member of its family to a truly senseless act that may never be explained.

Moore, a resident adviser and business management major, was described by Linfield head coach Joseph Smith as “a leader of people.”

I hope you will join me in sending condolences to his family, Linfield College and the rest of the athletes in the Northwest Conference, whether teammate or opponent, who knew Moore. ◼︎

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