Southampton Academy’s Parker signs with Chowan
Published 9:48 am Friday, December 5, 2014
A quiet ceremony recently took place in the Southampton Academy library to allow student-athlete Paul Parker to sign his letter of intent to attend Chowan University and play baseball. In attendance were Athletic Director Dale Marks, Parker’s parents Paula and Lloyd Howard, Head Coach Tim Nixon and a select few of Parker’s teammates and closest friends.
Parker began his baseball career in Portsmouth, where he was born, at the age of 12 playing for a youth team in the Churchland area. His athletic talents and love for baseball led his family to move to Southampton County in search of better opportunities for Paul. Once here, he found Line-Drive Hitting and studied under former owner Andy Vann to improve his game. Playing for a myriad of travel and “rec” league teams like Sedley of the Southampton-Sussex league, the Virginia Swamp Things (Prince George) and most recently the Mid-Atlantic Pirates of Chesapeake, kept his game top-notch. He played at third base and shortstop before finding his home in the second baseman position. Since his transfer from public school to Southampton Academy, he has been awarded first-team all-conference honors twice, second team all-state in 2013-14 school year and hopes to improve on those honors this year.
It was while playing for the Mid-Atlantic Pirates that Coach Jimmy Anderson received the call from Chowan University asking about Parker and asking if he’d come to the campus and play in an inter-squad game. Immediately after that contest, Paul and his parents were taken on a tour of the campus by Chowan assistant coach Brian Hill and the scholarship offer was presented. Cairn University in Pennsylvania had previously made an offer also. Prior to that Parker was being recruited by other schools, including North Carolina Central, Coppin State and VMI.
Parker stated “VMI was the closest school to offering, but they didn’t.”
When no offer came from VMI by the start of open signing period, Parker ceased contact with the coaches there. He ultimately chose Chowan over Cairn and the others because it’s close to home, making it easy for his family to attend games and the coaches made him feel like family right away.
According to Parker, the coaches at Chowan expect him to be able to compete for legitimate playing time as a freshman. While there he will major in biology with intentions of becoming a physician’s assistant once his baseball career ends. His ultimate dream is to play professionally after college, but realizes he has to put in a ton of work and also has to be very blessed to achieve that. For now he is playing basketball, looking forward to his senior year of baseball and focusing on academics.
Paul and his parents live along the Hunterdale and Sedley border. His mother, Paula, is a property manager and father Lloyd is self-employed. Parker knows it has been their love and support that has gotten him this far toward his goal.