By DWAIN SPILLMAN JR., Journal Sports
When your head coach has full confidence in your ability, it only feeds fuel to a fire that already burns torridly in an optimum competitor.
That’s the belief that St. Mary’s coach Aaron York has in his quarterback Adam Parker.
“We’ve got a shot with (Parker) leading us in every game.” York started as he shared comments on his senior quarterback. “He’s not the biggest kid or has the strongest arm, but Parker finds a way to get it done. And the other kids feed into that and it makes them better. It makes the whole team better.”
The Tigers have enjoyed one of the best regular seasons in program history in 2022, winning the District 3-1A crown and earning a first-round playoff bye after bulldozing through the competition and outscoring league opponents 197-28.
Now 9-1 after rolling past Hanson Memorial last Friday in their playoff opener, the Tigers earned the No. 5 seed in the LHSAA Division IV Select playoff bracket. They play in the state quarterfinals Friday night at Metairie against No. 4 St. Martin’s.
The St. Mary’s signal caller has been a major part of the Tigers’ success story.
In just nine regular-season games this season, he was often limited to only first-half appearances because of the Tigers’ starters moving to the bench for most of the second halves. After a bye in the opening playoff round, Parker upped his statistical line to completing 127 of his 181 passing attempts for 1,805 yards with 20 touchdowns and an overall passer rating of 180.7.
He also contributed heavily as a dual threat with 289 rushing yards on 57 carries and finding the end zone an additional 11 times on the run. Parker has accounted for 2,094 yards of total offense.
When not leading the Tiger offense, Parker doubles as a free safety on defense and has 10 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.
“He’s a competitor,” York continued in his praise of his offensive field general. “It doesn’t matter what he plays or what he does off of the field, he is going to find a way to be the best at it.”
Parker reflected on his approach to the game of football.
“I just want to understand the (opponent’s) defense the best that I can in order to exploit them in every way and just win,” he said. “I just want the ball. I’m a little nervous when the game starts but that all goes away and I become completely focused with the first touch.”
He was also quick to give praise to his teammates and described just how enjoyable this season has been playing alongside trusted colleagues.
“I believe we are the most complete team we have been in a while,” Parker added. “Our comradery is so high, probably as high as it has been since we have been teammates. We are all on the same page.”
Parker added the extraordinary attention that coaches have given both him and the team and the impact that has.
“The coaches prepare us 100 percent for each game. It’s like having a second set of parents out there. We can always go to them, and they discuss things with us and help us where they can.”
He also expressed immense gratitude for family support as well.
“It means everything to me just knowing they are there and that they believe in me,” Parker said. “They can truthfully tell me the good and help me correct anything they see as bad. It makes me want to be the best that I can be.”
Parker also shines off the field. The senior Tiger carries a 4.0 GPA while participating in Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, BETA and the Pro-Life group. He also plays basketball for the Tigers.
Like most high school athletes, especially those with great talent and superior work ethic, Parker has hopes of playing at the next level. He also expressed that his focus is earning a college degree while gaining a professional career after football.
His future appears to be bright and successful. Parker just finds a way to be the best at whatever he does and “just gets it done.”
CREDIT: Elizabeth Yopp/St. Mary’s Media Relations