What are you doing up here today helping with Athletes to Champions?
Parker: We have a group of kids in Statesville, N.C. We are teaching them a little bit about baseball and trying to be a good influence on them and help them out a little bit. It is a program my mom started. It is a branch off of Project Alaska that she had. It is called Athletes to Champions. We are just looking for kids to help. We are trying to do things to be a good influence on their life and just help them through sports.
Have you had a lot of experience with kids in the past?
Parker: I have had younger brothers and I've been around younger kids all of my life. These kids are awesome. They are unlike any kids I've ever met before in my life. They are so accepting. You can tell they enjoy playing out there. Yesterday they said they got done playing baseball and went to bible study around 8:30 or 9. Right when that was done they were back out there playing a wiffle ball game in the guy's backyard. They love baseball. If you think about it that's all they really have to do is come out here and play baseball. That is why this organization Athletes to Champions is so awesome. It gives kids another thing. When they go home their home lives are not that great. It is just awesome to open up a place where they can come and feel safe and have a good time, have food and just have an enjoyable time. They have people out here that care about them. It is just awesome to see these kids out here playing and having a great time.
How rewarding has this been for you?
Parker: It has been awesome. I wish I could have gotten up here a little earlier, but I had football workouts. I drove up last night and it is just a blessing. God has really blessed these kids and he is doing a whole lot over here. I am just helping them out and bringing a good experience. I am just trying to bring some joy to these kids' lives by bringing sports. It is just awesome.
How are summer workouts going so far?
Parker: Oh man, I don't know. It is real tough, but we are working hard. All of the guys out there are taking it day by day, but enjoying it as it goes. We have one goal ultimately and that is to win the national championship. We are just working day by day getting ready. There is a lot of talent out there. We have a lot of really talented guys. We just really don't want to fall short so we are working as hard as we can out there.
How much help was it for you to be there in January and what are you doing to try to help some of the other guys just coming in this summer?
Parker: It is tons of help. I am kind of use to the ole college thing right now. They are all doing things I was doing in January. I am way ahead. I am pretty much in all of my classes and things. I know a lot of things. I am always over talking to Jamie, Daniel, Matt Skinner and the others telling them what is next and trying to pick them up. They are adjusting awesome and all of those guys get along real well. They are all real good guys.
How does it feel to be back on the same team with Jamie Harper?
Parker: Jamie is an awesome guy. It is real cool to have him on my team and Carlton and Rashard from St. Augustine and Daniel Andrews and Matt Skinner. All of those guys are from Jacksonville. It is real nice to have them around. It kind of makes a home away from home. I know during the fall they are going to get a little home sick and stuff. It is just real cool to have people that you have known for a while that you can really trust and be around the whole time. It is awesome to have those guys up there.
What are you doing for baseball this summer?
Parker: Really, nothing right now. I try to sneak over and get a few swings in the cages, but that is about it. I am really trying to put a little weight on and workout in the weight room to get a little stronger for the season. I think that will help me out, but other than that I am really not over at baseball too often.
What is your weight right now?
Parker: I am about 200 right now. I am trying to put a little bit more weight on, but we will see how that goes.
How comfortable are you with the offense at this point?
Parker: I can't really say I know it all, but it is coming to me slowly. I am in the film room a decent bit trying to pickup a little bit. It is real tough. It takes a long time and you just have to be patient with learning the offense. It is not something you can go learn in three weeks. It takes so long to know the formations and plays and things like that, but I am getting it and I am trying as hard as I can. Hopefully I will have it down pat by the spring and feel real comfortable out there. I am just taking it day by day right now.
Did you exceed your own expectations with baseball this spring?
Parker: I really didn't know what to expect to tell you the truth. I am just happy that I got the opportunities that I did. You couldn't ask for more opportunities than I had this year. The trust that the coaching staff put in me letting me do things that I did on the field that I probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. I was definitely blessed with how I played. I really didn't know what to expect coming into the year, but it turned out awesome. I feel real comfortable out there right now.
For more information on Athletes to Champions please visit the following website:
Full Kyle Parker Interview Transcript
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