Turner's Parker to play baseball at Cowley College

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

Sometimes watching a classmate succeed is all it takes for someone to want to follow their dreams.

That was the case Tuesday as a number of students showed up in the gymnasium to witness Turner High School senior Ridge Parker sign his letter of intent to play baseball at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas.

“This is motivating for (the underclassmen),” said Falcons baseball coach Erik Horton. “That’s why all of the school came out to supported him. So hopefully the sophomores and juniors can take over where he stops.”

And Parker takes pride in being a mentor to his classmates, as well as his teammates.

“It’s a big thing to help other kids out when I can,” Parker said. “Playing catch with them and trying to show them what to do.”

Parker doesn’t have much time to do that with the 2021 season right around the corner, but his decision helps out a lot.

“This takes all of the stress off of me,” Parker said. “It makes it easier.”

And once he researched Cowley College, he knew it was the perfect fit.

“It’s a smaller school and they have a really good program there,” Parker said. “It’s just more like home.”

However, he won’t step onto the mound right away as a starting pitcher. The Tigers have racked up a number of division titles over the years and finished sixth at the 2019 JUCO World Series.

“Cowley is a really good program and a really good team,” Parker said. “So I’m going to have to work really hard to get up and play with them.”

But Parker knows his work ethic should go a long way in helping him to compete at the next level. Only time will tell how he does, but he’s already left his mark at Turner.

“Ridge has meant everything (to our team),” Horton said. “He’s one of the five seniors, but he’s a leader of the whole team.”