For DeMatha junior Michael Parker, visits to his Uncle Kevin and Aunt Maureen Looney’s Calvert County home while growing up meant lessons in tough love from his six older cousins.
Parker, nine years younger than the youngest of the Looneys’ three boys, relished the chance to play with the big kids. Brendan, Steve and Billy Looney — who each grew into athletic stars at DeMatha before becoming Navy lacrosse players — gave him the little brother treatment.
Often the lessons were subtle like an extra nudge when they included Parker in their backyard games. Sometimes they were a bit more extreme. At least once the brothers duct-taped the little boy with a penchant for spontaneously breaking into song to the wall in hopes of imparting a little of the edge that each of the Looneys brought to the field.
“It was really cool to grow up in the ‘Looney day care system,’” said Parker, who now plays soccer and lacrosse at the Hyattsville school.