UCHS sophomore Parker honorable among peers

UCHS sophomore Parker honorable among peers
Union City sophomore Drake Parker is an “All American” boy.
The five-foot-seven, 155-pound Twister was selected as an Under Armour/Baseball Factory Preseason All-American Honorable Mention performer after a November pay-to-play tryout at Houston High School in Germantown and a subsequent action at a tournament in Tucson, Ariz. in January.
“Drake has a passion for baseball and finds a way to be around the game,” UC baseball coach Jeremy Maddox said. “He stayed in the game during the offseason and has been recognized for his hard work and talent. He was able to be compared to other high quality athletes and still performed well.
“It allowed him to get a head start on college recruiting. He got his name out there among those ranks. It’s never too early to do that.”
According to the Baseball Factory Web site, the cost to participate in a national tryout like the one at Germantown — which was one of many around the country last year — is around $99. From there, additional costs may apply if a player is selected to continue forward.
However, athletes selected to move on do reap benefits to the tune of getting a chance to play in front of scouts and having a personalized highlight reel and Web page to send during the college recruiting process.
Parker’s Web page is viewable at http://members.baseballfactory.com/playerpage.asp?id=47955.
Out of 95 baseball players at the G’town event, Parker was one of only five to be designated as an Under Armour Preseason All-American. He was also nominated as the “Top Underclassman” and listed on the Baseball Factory Web site as such.
On the Baseball Factory’s Web site, Parker was lauded as having a “leadoff type bat with quick hands” and as an “aggressive defender.”
Thus, Parker earned a trip to the Under Armour All-American Tournament in Tucson in January.
While in Tucson, Parker participated in three games for the Southeast team alongside players from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee.
All totaled, Parker was 3-for-7 at the plate and a perfect 9-for-9 on stolen base attempts. The UC sophomore also hurled three innings.
At Tucson, Parker was one of just 36 sophomores — out of 260 participants — at the Under Armour clinic.
Former Major League Baseball player Brian McRae was on hand in Tucson to hand out honors to the players and he also spoke to a group of which Parker was part of.
Meanwhile, Parker also participated in another baseball clinic during the offseason — the “Coast to Coast Baseball Camp” in Phoenix, Ariz.
Parker’s trek to Phoenix began with a summer camp in Memphis and another — held in September — in Little Rock. At the Memphis camp, Parker had the fastest time in the 40-yard dash (4.5 seconds). In Little Rock, Parker was invited to play in a doubleheader game against some of the other campers.
After the LR and Memphis camps, he was invited to the Arizona leg of the journey in December, where he was one of 40 youngsters from over 20 states participating.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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