ROCKTON, Ill. — Brad Parsons doesn’t need to look far for inspiration. His mother Cheryl Scott, who has defeated cancer twice in the past six years, was on hand Tuesday to see her son announce his intention to continue his baseball carer at Johns Hopkins University.
Parsons, a three-year starter at second base for the Indians, said baseball was at times a welcome respite from the situation.
“When her cancer came back, I knew I had to be strong for her,” Parsons said. “And baseball was a great way for me to free myself and it was like a filter for all of my emotions that I was going through at the time. That was when I really realized that I wanted to play this game for as long as I could. And I know there’s no way I’d be here today without her.”
Besides being a standout baseball player, Parsons also excels in the classroom. He is planning on a double major in biology and neuroscience, with hopes of being an orthopedic surgeon. Besides the obvious terrific academic programs Johns Hopkins offers, Parsons said he hit it off well with the team during his recruiting visit.
“I just fell in love with the campus and how they did things up there,” Parsons said. “The guys on the team were all intellectual, but at the same time they had a passion for baseball and very social guys. I really connected with them, and it seemed like it would be the perfect place for me.”
Parsons said he’s looking forward to continuing his career in any capacity with the Division III school.
“I just want to go out there and continue to play,” Parsons said. “It’s pretty much my favorite thing to do. I know that after these four years, I’m going to be done with baseball. But I want to be able to practice every day, to not only give me something I can do, but something I enjoy every day.”
Parsons hit an even .400 last year with a sparkling .544 on-base-percentage while playing a solid defensive second base. Hononegah coach Matt Simpson appreciates what Parsons brings to the table.
“For a high school kid, he’s a five-tool player,’ Simpson said. “He can hit, he’s a good baserunner, he’s got some power, he’s good defensively. He’s just a really good baseball player. We’ve got him hitting second, and he’s setting the table for the middle of the lineup, but he’s also got the chance to drive in some runs if we get guys ahead of him on.”
While the Indians are in constant contention for conference and regional titles, Parsons would like this squad to take things a step further.
“Everyone talks about Hononegah never winning a sectional game,” Parsons said. “I’d like to be part of the team that breaks through that. I think that with the guys we have on our team, the chemistry that we have, this year is one of those years where we might not be the biggest or the strongest, but we have the fight in us. When it comes playoff time, that’s really what you need to excel.”