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Parker Revers fights for something greater through courage, dedication

| Thursday, February 13, 2020

If you ask Bengal Bouts participants about the club, most will bring up how difficult the workouts are, and club president Parker Revers is no exception.

Even so, Revers, who never boxed before coming to Notre Dame, says that’s part of the program’s appeal, and beyond that, it’s what got him hooked.

“I went into Notre Dame with a pretty open mind,” Revers said. “One of the RAs in Fisher Hall was a Bengal Bouts captain, so I kind of gave it a try for the first week or so. The workouts kicked my ass, and it was one of things where I just wanted more of it.”

In particular, Revers looks forward to the most difficult workout days the most.

Nola Wallace | The Observer
Senior Parker Revers poses with coach Fr. Brian Daley during a boxing practice session Feb. 6 at the pit under the Joyce Center.

“Within the program, I really like the Mac days,” Revers said. “So Mac is one of the trainers who comes every Monday and Wednesday. He pushes us… Those days are special because he says, ‘Do 250 burpees,’ and you’re like, ‘That’s not possible.’ And 25 minutes later you’ve done it, and you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m a better person now.’”

And that’s what Bengal Bouts is all about in Revers’s mind — improvement.

“Bengal Bouts is doing an individual sport with the best team I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “It’s 150, 200 guys every year coming together, fighting for something that’s greater than themselves. It’s a lot of young guys pushing their boundaries. Stepping up. Dedication. Relentless courage. It’s stepping into a ring, something that they’ve never experienced, every single year.”

While the participating in the program may certainly result in physical and mental gains for the individuals involved, it is about far more than that. The proceeds from the program go to the Holy Cross Congregation’s missions in Bangladesh, and Revers believes that is the reason for the club’s longevity.

“We’re 90 years strong now,” Revers said. “I think that’s an incredible testament to the good will and good fortune we’ve had as a program.”

Revers actually had the opportunity to travel to Bangladesh on behalf of the program right after his first year, a decision he made in large part because of the impact left upon him from the captains his freshman year.

“The captains were guys … who I quickly looked up to and admired as role models,” Revers said. “When the opportunity came up to live in Bangladesh on behalf of the program that next summer, I jumped on it.”

From there, his dedication only grew.

“I became pretty committed to the club after that,” he said. “2017, [I was a] captain/cohort with guys I also admired and were my heroes, and I was a captain my junior year and now am president my senior year.”

Revers described his experience in Bangladesh and how, even over the summer, he was still hooked on the club’s grueling workouts.

“We would teach English classes in the morning to about 40 students, boys and girls, and then we would visit travel villages about 2-3 hours away. That means we’d come back to the village that we worked for at about 3 or 4 p.m.,” Revers said. “Dinner was at 6 p.m., so Jackson, the guy I was with, we’d climb up to the roof of the school and fill up buckets with water, we would put bricks in some socks, and we’d lift weights, do pulls from the overhang, throw mitts. There would be points where I would look down after doing pushups and see a pool of sweat, seeing my reflection in it.”

That sight left a great impact on Revers.

“Those were moments where you’re on the other side of the world, can’t really speak to anyone, and it just really evoked some pretty wild feelings,” he said. “And that’s something I’ll hold with me forever.”

Now, Revers is trying to impart his experiences to the new group of fighters.

“I do my best just to be a role model to the younger guys now,” he said.

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About Hayden Adams

Hayden is the former sports editor of The Observer. When he's not working toward his four majors (physics and film, television & theatre) and three minors (journalism, ethics & democracy), you can probably find him hopelessly trying to save his beloved Zahm House from being wiped out. He plans to attend law school at a TBD location after graduation.

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