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Parks signs with SSCC Soccer

Present for the signing ceremony on May 11 were, front row, from left, Michael Parks (father), Austin Parks, and Talitha Parks (mother); Back row, from left, Tony Williams (NAHS Athletic Director), Tim Swart (SSCC Men’s Soccer Coach), and Isaac Wooten (NAHS Boys Soccer Coach).

By Mark Carpenter – 

Yet another Adams County student/athlete will be continuing his athletic endeavors at the next level for the next two seasons as North Adams senior Austin Parks recently signed his letter of intent to become part of the men’s soccer program at Southern State Community College. The official signing ceremony was held on May 11 in the high school round room.
Parks, who had spent most of his time on a baseball diamond, decided to play soccer his final two years of high school and excelled enough to be able to continue to the next level.
“I really didn’t want to go real deep in debt for college first of all,” Parks said. “I like playing soccer and getting a scholarship to play soccer was going to save money, which seemed like a good deal for me. Their coach called me and I made the decision to sign.”
I’ll spend my two years at Southern State and then probably transfer to Northern Kentucky or Shawnee, someplace like that, where I want to study Engineering.”
North Adams boys’ soccer coach saw the improvement in Parks’ game as he moves on to the next level.
“Austin only played for me his junior and senior years and in those two years he became one of the most feared defenders in the Southeast District,” said Wooten. “His overall athleticism and competitiveness was unmatched and I wished at times that I had 11 of him out there. There seems to be a lot of local talent signing with SSCC and their team should have a successful season.”
“I asked Austin why he wasn’t playing baseball because I knew he had multiple offers and he told me he loved soccer more even though he’d been playing baseball his whole life,” Wooten continued. I hope that someday people will refer to Adams County as ‘soccer land’ . Austin and others in his class have brought the sport to life in Seaman and planted the seeds for the future.”
“That makes four players from our program signing this year and two last year, hopefully we can continue to send players on to the next level.”

4 comments:

  1. What is our real priority as a culture and as a community? Obviously it’s sports, not education, which is the key to a young person’s future success. SSCC is not an NCAA Division 1 or even a D-3 school, nor is it in the NAIA. It is a (very) small-town community college that offers a community college education.

    Having mentored and coached two national championships college teams (both men’s and women’s); two state championship environmental science teams; championship aerospace and robotic engineering teams that also won 17 technical achievement awards; and having been selected as a Teacher of the Year (among other accolades), I believe that I speak with experience and authority.

    I’m happy the young man will have the opportunity to play ‘at the next level’ and I hope he makes the most of it. But make the most of your education, too.

    I have to wonder where will he go from there…? Will the education he receives lay the groundwork for his future? SSCC is not a Division 1 (or better) school so let’s keep this in perspective. Let’s focus on students’ real future and their success in education and community leadership. Please report some newsworthy news.

    1. If you are a regular reader of our publication, you would certainly know that we consistently spotlight our local students in all their endeavors-academic, athletic, and otherwise.
      As the story says, this young man chose SSCC for financial reasons with the intention of moving to a bigger school in the future. Soccer is not what he is planning for his future, just something he can participate on close to home for the next two years.
      In our Sports department, we will always highlight out student athletes who move to the next level, whether it be Division III, NAIA, or anything else, it doesn’t matter, it’s a success story all the way around.

      Mark Carpenter,
      Editor

      1. Dear Friends at the Defender,

        Thank you for your reply. I am, in fact a regular reader of your publication and I have noted with interest how many of the articles are weighted toward athletics over the many years. This is common in our sports-saturated culture and it is symptomatic of the sports-warrior culture in which we live.

        Physical activity is certainly to be encouraged and competitive sports certainly have their place so long as young men and women are coached for the ‘right’ (in my estimation) reasons: leadership, teamwork, and learning how to overcome adversity to name a few important skills.

        Having coached high school and college sports, and competitive academic teams too, for decades I have seen far too many young adults sold on the false belief that ‘sports is your future.’ My years of experience tell me that this is erroneous. And too many parents follow this (misinformed) train of thought, at the expense of sacrificing their sons’ or daughters’ high school education for summer sports camps.

        Years ago I consciously chose to quit coaching high school and college sports so I could coach competitive (and highly successful) academic teams– middle and high school robotics teams, high school aerospace teams, and ‘Envirothon’ environmental science teams to name a few. I have seen many students who have participated in these programs consistently earn larger scholarships and admission to better (subjectively speaking) universities than the few high school students I have coached who were able to gain a college athletic scholarships. For what it’s worth, my wife and I consciously chose to steer our child away from competitive sports in favor of helping him advance his educational future. Thanks to educational scholarships he graduated undergraduate school debt-free, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He is currently pursuing his doctoral degree at a well-known university at no cost, thanks to academic scholarships.

        Let me put this is close perspective: my wife and I recently helped a local student and his parents navigate their way through the college application process. Ultimately the student– who is academically fairly average– was awarded far more in academic scholarships than any athletic scholarships he hoped he might receive (he did not receive any offers.) Though he is a very good athlete, by local standards, the academic scholarships he did receive will pay for virtual all of his education costs, at an excellent private college here in Ohio. (Footnote: As a former college coach I also offered potential students small scholarships, often for the parents’ sake, in hopes that the student would enroll at the college where I coached.)

        Thanks for you the opportunity to offer a different viewpoint for your readers to consider and thanks again for your reply.

        Kind regards,

        Up in the Holler

  2. Thank you for your viewpoint. I must disagree that we have a majority of our articles geared towards athletics, we have sports pages just like any other local paper would or should.
    It is true that athletics is not the future for the young people of Adams County, but the number of athletes who are academically superior and involved in many other activities is staggering. Personally, both of my children were involved in high school sports and my daughter even went on to the college level, with no expectations of anything further. In fact, she gave up competitive sports after her junior year to work at internships which led to her being employed by a professional sports franchise. My son is hopefully on a similar path.
    Hopefully you have noted the academic successes we have highlighted in our publication, and the extracurriculars such as the incredible arts and music programs at West Union High School. Whether it be right or wrong, no one sends us a press release when a local student enrolls in college, though we would certainly be glad to have them.

    Mark Carpenter,
    Editor

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