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Chippewa Falls coach Scott Parker (center, in black) is surrounded by members of the first team he coached in 1987-88 and his current Cardinals team on Saturday in Chippewa Falls.

Few have been around the game of hockey as long as Scott Parker has.

The Tripplers can attest to that. Scott Trippler played on the first team Parker coached at Chippewa Falls High School during the 1987-88 season. Now his son Blake plays for Parker on this year’s squad.

The Chippewa Falls boys varsity coach has coached the Cardinals for 30-plus years, serving as a teacher of the game for generations of Chi-Hi students.

Parker was recognized for hitting the 30-year milestone along with his first team — the 1987-88 Chi-Hi squad that he guided to the state tournament — on Saturday during the Cardinals’ game against Sun Prairie.

That 1987-88 team was the first to reach the hockey state tournament in Chippewa Falls history.

“In ‘88, he was the right guy at the right time at the right school for the right team,” Scott Trippler said. “He instills toughness in the teams he coaches, and he cares about his kids.”

Trippler is one of five members of that 1987-88 team have children on the current Chippewa Falls team.

Parker has gone on to coach plenty of successful groups with Chippewa Falls. They’ve reached the state tournament five times in his tenure, and have been sectional runners-up three times in the last decade, with the latest coming in 2017.

The Cardinals have one win at the state tournament in program history. That came in 1999 with Parker at the helm.

“He’s meant a lot to Chi-Hi hockey,” Scott Trippler said.

This year’s Cardinals squad is in contention for the Big Rivers Conference title, sitting a half-game back of league leader Eau Claire North with only a handful of games remaining.