ROCKINGHAM — Hunter Parris, a senior on the Richmond Senior High School baseball team, has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week.
Parris and the Raider baseball team didn’t have time to rest over spring break, as they traveled to West Brunswick High School and played in the 20th annual Beach Diamond Invitational. Richmond and head coach Ricky Young won two of their three games, and took third place with a redemption win over rival Scotland High School.
Parris’ performance on the mound against West Brunswick in the second round game helped him earn his first career recognition.
Birthday: Nov. 29, 2000
Spring Sport: Baseball
Height & Weight: 5-10, 170 pounds
Years on Varsity: 2 Years
Experience: 13 Years
“THROWING GAS” WITH HUNTER PARRIS
RSHS Academics: Set to walk across the graduation stage in little over a month, Parris is wrapping up his academic and athletic career at Richmond. This semester, he’s taking three online courses at Richmond Community College, while also taking two class at the high school.
At RichmondCC, Parris is taking Art Appreciation, English 112 and Psychology 150. On RSHS’ campus, he’s in third block Weight Training Honors with Coach Mitch Hadinger, and rounds out his day serving as an educational intern with Tammy Pattan, who runs the Career and Information Center. He explained that he “puts together scholarships for other students.”
“Weight Training is my favorite class because I like being around the baseball team and I can get better and stronger while I’m in there,” Parris said. “Taking so many online college classes helps me get ahead for college and prepare myself for what’s to come. I enjoy the online aspect of the classes.”
Parris currently holds a 4.5 GPA, which puts him 27th in the graduating class of 2019. He’s an A Honor Roll student who is a member of the National Beta Club and National Honor Society. When he’s not playing baseball, Parris enjoys being a member of the Bleacher Creatures.
Future Plans: With college right around the corner, Parris has plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in the fall. He’ll go in as an exercise science major with hopes of making a career as being a physical therapist.
“I really like the location of the school,” Parris said of the beach-based university. “And their health and human services school has a really good reputation. I’m looking forward to graduating high school and rooming with my teammate Michael Evan Hudson.
“Physical therapy sounds fun,” he added of his career choice. “I want to be able to help people recover after severe injuries, which I think would be a big accomplishment.”
Athlete of the Week Stats: Parris has served as the Raiders’ No. 1 pitcher all season and has racked up a team-high six wins on the spring campaign. Toeing the rubber for his ninth start of the season, Parris threw against West Brunswick in the second round of the Beach Diamond Invitational.
Although the Raiders would fall by a final score of 1-0 to the Trojans, Parris put together another solid outing on the hill. He would toss six complete innings, strike out eight batters and limited West Brunswick to just four hits. The lone run he allowed came in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder’s choice bunt that scored Trojan pitcher Dylan Jeffries.
The five and one-third innings of scoreless baseball against West Brunswick followed Parris’ pattern this season. Of the three Richmond starters who have thrown at least 25 innings, Parris leads the club with 54 innings pitched and a 0.91 earned run average. He won his first six decisions, and has gone the distance in seven of his nine starts.
Parris, who plays a more defensive role for Richmond than offensive, also has two complete game shutouts this season, shutting down Purnell Swett and Lumberton high schools in his starts against them. In his nine appearances, Parris has struck out a team-high 50 batters and has walked just 11 of his 215 batters faced.
Hunter Parris (7) deals a pitch against West Brunswick in the Beach Diamond Invitational.
RAPID FIRE – FAST RESPONSES
1) Explain what has led to your success on the mound this season. What is your mentality when pitching?
“I just try having confidence in myself and my teammates behind me,” Parris explained. “I’ve also been playing with a lot more enjoyment than ever before. My mentality is to throw strikes, don’t walk batters and don’t give up home runs. I’m dialed in and don’t pay attention to the crowd in big games.”
2) How would you describe this year’s team with 12 seniors? What has been the best experience of your Raider career?
“We have a solid group of seniors,” Parris grinned. “The leadership has really come out this season, and the talent level has come along with it.
“My best experience was throwing a complete game against Pinecrest to get a win,” he added of the 6-1 win earlier this season. “I’m also proud of myself for leading the team with six wins and helping us get those victories.”
3) What are some team goals for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs?
“We want to win as many games as possible,” he concluded. “At this point in the season, if you lose, you’re done. We want to win the conference tournament and do well in the state playoffs.”
Coach’s Corner: Young explained how Parris has consistently put the Raiders in a position to win, all while having fun during his senior campaign.
“Hunter has had a phenomenal year for us on the mound,” Young said. “He’s pounded the strike zone and given us a chance to win every time he goes out there. He’s competed his butt off for us, and I couldn’t be more proud of the way he’s pitched all season.
“He’s like the rest of the seniors,” Young added. “They’re a tight-woven group who work hard and bring their best. It’s really been a fun group to coach.”
Richmond will begin SAC tournament action on Tuesday when it hosts No. 7 Lumberton High School at 7 p.m.