07-30 luke parsons

After a strong high school baseball career for the North Lamar Panthers, Luke Parsons is ready to take the next step after signing with Eastfield College in Mesquite. Pictured, from back left, are head coach Bric Steed, brother Logan Parsons, athletic director Kendal Kirk, father Kevin Parsons, Luke Parsons and mother Barbara Parsons.

On the mound, North Lamar Panther Luke Parsons was just about as sure as they come. Now, he’s ready to test himself at the next level after recently signing to play for Eastfield College in Mesquite.

Parsons started playing baseball at a young age, getting his first taste of the sport playing T-ball for the Paris Optimist League. He initially got into the sport to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, but soon made a name for himself in his own right.

“I really liked hitting early on, and thought that was a lot of fun,” he said. “Then when I got a bit older and started pitching, that’s really what did it for me.”

Parsons fell in love with the game, and by the time he reached third grade, he knew baseball was a passion he wanted to pursue.

“That’s when I knew I wanted to play baseball at as high a level as possible,” Parsons said. “At that point I started taking it more seriously and focusing on it more than any other sport.”

Parsons said he played basketball for the Panthers in his freshman and sophomore years, but decided to focus all his athletic efforts into baseball for his final two years.

His hard work and long hours of honing his craft paid off, and Parsons became a bona fide ace for North Lamar.

“Luke is a really tough pitcher,” head coach Bric Steed said. “His fastball has tremendous movement, and so that’s going to be his key to unlocking everything he does. He’s going be able to throw his fastballs with a high degree of movement, which will lead to a lot of ground ball action. He’s also got a breaking ball that’s basically a slurve. It’s a good pitch and I think he can improve on it even further at the college level.”

Though Parsons’ senior campaign was cut disappointingly short by the coronavirus pandemic that halted all high school sports in early March, he nevertheless was able to make a definite impact in the appearances he was able to make. Over the course of a month, Parsons boasted an ERA under 1, while being third on the team in strikeouts with 13.

Both Parsons and Steed point to the district opener of his junior year as one of the signature performances of his high school career. Parsons said everything was working that evening, and he seemed to hit his marks with pinpoint accuracy all game long.

“Every pitch I threw was there and was probably the best I’d ever thrown it,” he said.

For as dominant as Parsons is on the mound, however, Steed said that what he’ll remember most about Parsons was his sense of humor and infectious personality.

“He’s a kid with a great heart and personality, and a great love for the game,” Steed said. “He gave our team a good fluidity, because he was always having a good time and was a great kid to be around. He’s just a lot of fun, and that’s what he brought to our team, and I’ll miss that.”

Looking back on his high school career, Parsons said he’s going to miss his teammates and the fun bus rides to and from away games. Looking forward to the future, though, he said he’s excited to continue playing.

“I’d say what I’m most looking to is just the tougher competition,” he said. “The guys at the college level can really hit, and I’m ready to test myself.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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