In team sports if you’re able to play more than one position well, you’re pretty special to the team. In baseball, that’s the role that Parker Jackson finds himself in as a Sallisaw Black Diamond.
“It takes a pretty unique skill set to perform at multiple positions, so Parker is a really valuable asset for us,” said Sallisaw baseball coach Curtis Wartchow. “That ability is the most valuable asset you can have as a player. Parker is the kind of kid you want your son to be-a good Christian kid that’s always doing the right thing.”
A junior at Sallisaw, Parker plays football, basketball and baseball for the Black Diamonds but says he doesn’t favor one sport over the others.
“I just really like whatever sport is in season and just being with friends and competing,”
Although Jackson doesn’t profess to have any special role models in sports growing up, there are a couple of football players that he admired.
“I always liked Brett Favre and Drew Brees. They were both kind of undersized guys for quarterbacks, but they were fighters and competitors. I see myself kind of like that-not the biggest or most athletic guy on the field but the hardest fighter out there.”
In addition to his athletic endeavors, Parker is also in the National Honor Society, FCA, the Native American Club and likes to volunteer to help out at community events like the annual rodeo. Moving into his senior year next fall, Jackson realizes he’ll be expected to be one of the team leaders in his sports and has a pretty good idea of what leadership is all about and what it means for life after high school.
“I think leadership is about setting a good example on and off the field. People tend to get caught up in an athlete’s production on the field and what kind of stats he might have, but eventually when sports come to an end, you have to go out in the world and rely on your principles to lead.”
With the school year ended, Jackson’s thoughts are now on football for next fall as the team adjusts to new head coach Mark Hutson.
“I don’t worry about personal numbers but after a rough season this year, I’d like to see us get back on the winning track in football. Coach Hutson is changing some of the culture here and so far, he’s been fun to play for,” said Jackson.