08/05/07 — Parker signs with Campbell

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Parker signs with Campbell

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 5, 2007 2:02 AM

PRINCETON -- A highly-decorated player on the high school baseball scene, Colin Parker anxiously awaits a fresh start at Campbell University.

The Princeton High graduate recently announced his intentions to attend the Division I university with aspirations of earning a starting job. The Camels managed just 11 wins a year ago and have a new coach, Greg Goff, guiding the program this season.

Goff piled up 152 victories during his stint at Division II Montevallo (Ala.) College and took his 2006 team to the College World Series. That determination to win inspired Parker, who enjoyed four outstanding seasons at Princeton.

"He sounds like he knows what it takes to win and I like that about him," said Parker. "He hasn't seen any of us play, ever, so throughout the fall he's going to observe us. After first semester is over, he's going to evaluate (the players) and award scholarship money to those he thinks deserves one."

Parker wants to be in that group.

"They didn't have the greatest season last year, so I feel like I can compete for playing time as soon as I get on campus if I work hard," said Parker, who plans major in history.

The previous Campbell coaching staff recruited Parker as a pitcher/position pitcher. But the 5-foot-8, 150-pound left-hander feels he can succeed as part of the bullpen, and not in center field where he spent playing time for the Bulldogs.

College teams play a grueling schedule -- games either four or five times a week. Pitching staffs can easily get depleted depending upon innings pitched or injuries.

And a pitcher who can mix speeds, Parker hopes, will experience live play.

"I know I don't throw the hardest in the world," smiled Parker. "If you can throw strikes and you can change speeds, and I think I do that well with my curveball, then you can get people out."

Parker compiled an 8-3 record and a 2.96 earned run average this past spring. He collected 101 strikeouts in 71 innings of work, and helped Princeton claim the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A state championship.

Offensively, Parker batted .376 with 19 RBI and 14 extra-base hits.

The Bulldogs logged a 25-8 worksheet that included a perfect 10-0 record against Carolina 1-A Conference opposition. Parker earned all-Carolina Conference honors and was selected the N.C. Baseball Coaches Association 1-A player of the year.

"It was a surprise for me because I don't consider myself the best player on the team," said Parker, a four-year varsity performer. "It was a great honor and a good way to go out (of high school)."

But Parker's achievements were undoubtedly remarkable.

During his junior season, polyps developed in his sinus cavities and a deviated septum caused him to experience difficulty breathing. Parker wanted to have surgery to remove the polyps before his senior year, but he spent countless hours playing travel ball.

Doctors supplied Parker with medication and nasal sprays to help him get through the spring. Constant coughing allowed the three-sport letterman to breathe. When the season ended, Parker underwent surgery and the doctors also re-broke his nose to repair the deviated septum.

"I knew I needed to get it done because I didn't want to be behind the other players (at Campbell)," said Parker, who is attending school on a Presidential Scholarship. "It's some of the best competition you can get in Division I and I thought my abilities will allow me to contribute something to that.

"I wanted to challenge myself to play at the highest level."

Initially, Parker wanted to attend Wake Forest. When that situation fell through, he knew Campbell was the right fit since he wants to become a lawyer. He also thought about attending in-state schools Surry Community College, Lenoir Community College, Barton College and Chowan University.