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Senior Spotlight: Hartselle’s Addison Parker

With the cancellation of the spring sports season, the Enquirer is spotlighting senior athletes from its coverage area with Q-and-A stories. We’ll look to touch base with many more seniors over the next few weeks.

Addison Parker grew up destined to be a Hartselle Tiger. He spent his high school career as a two-sport athlete, starring on both the football and baseball fields.

Parker has played baseball since he was five years old. Over the years he has always played on teams that we comprised of players older than him.

Once he got to high school, he continued to hone his craft as a pitcher and utility player. He always wanted to do what was best for the team.

On the field, he was named to the 2019 Perfect Game Preseason All American Team and the 2020 Perfect Game Preseason High School Senior All American Team.

Off the field, he was given the President’s Volunteer Service Award – Morgan County in 2016, 2017, and 2019. The award is for completing over 100 hours of volunteer service.

His dream of playing for a state championship as a Hartselle Tiger came to an end before getting that chance.

The AHSAA moved to cancel the spring sports season on March 27th after Governor Kay Ivey announced on March 26th that schools would be canceled for the remainder of the school year.

The Enquirer spoke with Parker about his baseball career and the disappointment he has experienced due to the cancellation of his season.

Q: When did you get started playing baseball?

A: I officially started when I was 5 years old in Hartselle Dixie Youth. I wanted to play the previous year as a 4-year-old since I was an older player for my age bracket. The league would not let me play since they were afraid that most 4-year-olds would end up quitting and hurting the team. Looking back, that is funny because that was not my personality at all to quit.

My brother, Austin, is 3 years older and he was playing travel ball with the North Alabama Giants when I was in the 5/6 League. I would practice with the Giants and I was actually listed as a player on their roster in some tournaments. After my 8-year-old season in Hartselle, I joined with a group of older Hartselle players to form the Warhawks. I learned a lot playing with the older guys and it helped me to push myself to continue to improve. I have lots of great memories of the Warhawks such as tournaments, Warhawk Retreats, and a great trip to Cooperstown.

Q: When did you know you wanted to play for the Tigers?

A: Every baseball kid in Hartselle wants to play for the Tigers from the beginning of their baseball career. That is just the Hartselle way. I have always enjoyed baseball so I set my goal to one day being a Hartselle Tiger.

Q: What was it like waiting for your moment to come?

A: I have always enjoyed playing baseball and grew up around the ball field. Through the years, I’ve been a utility player and played wherever I was needed to help my team. This helped me to become a versatile player. My main goal was to become a Hartselle Tiger so in the years prior to high school, I always pushed myself to become a stronger player. My dedication paid off as I found success as a Hartselle Tiger. As a Tiger, I helped the team in any way needed. I stepped up as a leader as well during practices and games. We were on track to have a great season this year. We were a strong group that liked to have fun. I am grateful for my teammates because we formed so many memories over the years.

Even after I started playing high school ball, I continued to work in the offseason and in the summers with Viper Baseball Academy to reach my next goal of playing college ball. Playing Showcase Ball is a great opportunity since you are constantly playing in front of college coaches. It also is tough so you have to be mentally and physically ready for every game. So, I have learned through the years to work hard and make the most of every moment that came my way.

Q: What were your thoughts when you got the news that your season had come to a close, long before you had planned?

A: I think in our short season that our team grew better relationships and we had a lot of fun in that short time. I think all of us are just upset to not be able to try and make a run in the playoffs. Now it is time to go ahead and start working out and getting on a throwing program to get ready for the fall.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

A: After graduation, I will be headed to the University of Tennessee at Martin in the fall on a baseball scholarship and majoring in Agribusiness. I have a workout plan for the summer from UTM Baseball that includes throwing, running, and lifting weights. It is exciting to get to continue to play baseball and look forward to a great time with my new teammates. I know it will be hard work to juggle school and academics but I also know it will be worth it.