A short time after it began, the coronavirus pandemic forced the CIF to cancel the rest of the spring sports season, which meant an abrupt ending to the high school careers of spring sports seniors around the central valley. As a way of honoring some of these outstanding seniors, the Sports Central team will be presenting a series of stories called “Senior Standouts.” They will air in sports at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday through the end of June, and others, like the story below, will appear here on our website.
Clovis East pitcher, first baseman and DH Tyler Parker was a four-year varsity letterman for the Timberwolves, who will be signing later this week to play baseball at Fresno Pacific. Playing in the highly competitive Tri-River Athletic Conference (TRAC), Parker was a 2nd-team all conference selection in 2018, and a 1st-team all conference pick in 2019.
We asked Tyler to reflect on his journey as a baseball player, and his time at Clovis East.
Describe the emotions when the your senior season was cancelled?
I honestly did not see it coming. I remember thinking we were going to come back and grind out the rest of the season. It was heartbreaking thinking I suited up for the last time for Clovis East.
How did you get into baseball and what did you like about it?
I remember when I was in pre-school or so, my parents signed me up for tee-ball, without even asking if I wanted to play. Sure happy they did that, been playing ever sense. What I like most about the sport is that it’s a game of strategies, thinking out each play and taking into account the possible outcomes of what you’re about to do. It’s kind of something you can only understand if you played before.
What was your most memorable moment playing baseball for Clovis East?
It for sure, was getting my first varsity win my freshman year. Can’t remember who it was against. All I can remember was, all the adrenaline going through my body, and how cold it was that night. But I loved every minute of that game.
One or two people that helped with your baseball development?
Most definitely my father. He showed me the game and how to play it correctly. He passed on due to cancer when I was in elementary school, but he has been my drive to succeed in everything I do ever since.
What has life been like during the pandemic?
It has been weird not going to school or having a baseball season. Just been trying to get my work in and get better every single day. I feel as if athletes, or anyone for that matter, have their true colors come out when they face adversity such as this pandemic.
Here’s what Clovis East head baseball coach Ryan Smith had to say about Tyler:
“I think what makes Tyler such a special person and player is his belief in himself. He knows the road will be tough, but loves the process and enjoys every minute of the grind, because he believes he is capable of anything.”