Home Local Sports Tomorrow’s Talent: Evan Hodges and Ella Parker

Tomorrow’s Talent: Evan Hodges and Ella Parker

Hamlet's Evan Hodges (left) and Rockingham's Ella Parker (right).

With 2021-22 school year now over, area high school sports fans have a couple of months off before the Richmond Raider sports teams are in action again. 

For those that do not follow middle school sports, the Richmond Observer will take a look at some future Raiders that you may or may not know about.  Today’s featured female and male middle school athlete are Ella Parker of Rockingham Middle and Evan Hodges of Hamlet Middle.

Evan Hodges

Hodges kept busy during his final year at Hamlet Middle School.  The rising freshman participated in four sports as a Red Ram, earning awards from the school in three of them.

Hodges spent time as the football team’s quarterback, he played for the basketball team, ran cross country, but most notably, he was a key contributor to the conference champion Red Rams baseball team.  He was honored with the Cross Country most-improved award, the football offensive MVP award and the baseball MVP award.

On the diamond, he also plays with the Sandhills Stingrays and with the Richmond Renegades summer baseball program.  Hodges spent time on the mound for the Red Rams this season but was always a threat at the plate. One of his favorite moments was a three-run homer against cross-county opponent Cordova.

“Evan Hodges is a fantastic athlete,” shared Hamlet Middle baseball coach Anthony Hailey. “I am thankful I had the opportunity to coach him his final year of middle school. He is a leader on and off the field. I believe he has a bright future in not only baseball but whatever he chooses to do in life.”

Even though the Red Ram basketball team had its own set of stars, Hodges efforts during the winter season still caught the attention of Hamlet basketball coach Keith Parsons.

“Evan has an understanding of the game which really is second to none,” said Parsons. “He has the ability to see two or three plays ahead, which is a coach’s dream. He’s a very talented shooter, too, and his ability to make shots helped us win several games this past season.”

Hodges plans to play both baseball and football at Richmond Senior High.

Ella Parker

When Ella Parker’s eighth grade school year came to an end, the Rockingham Middle athlete wasted no time trading her orange and black for Richmond’s signature green and gold.  Just a week after the last day of school, Parker was on the basketball court competing with the Richmond girls basketball team at the high school’s first ever girls basketball jamboree.

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Some other rising freshmen joining Parker in the event were fellow Lady Rockets Kamora Watkins and J’Nasia Neal, as well as Hamlet’s Olivia Brown and Ellerbe’s Parker Rhyne.  During the interview with Parker, Richmond Senior girls basketball coach Teddy Moseley chimed in on the new players.

“We have several middle school girls coming up,” said Moseley.  “It’s a learning experience for them. I try to explain to them that the game at this level is a lot faster.  They see it a lot in practice, but in this event, they get to see it against other teams.  It will be an adjustment, but they’ll be fine.”

This year’s Lady Rockets basketball team finished the year 11-0 and won a 34-32 nail biter against Carver Middle in the conference championship game to claim the conference title.  Parker received the Coach’s Award for basketball during the school’s recent athletic awards ceremony.  

“Ella tries every day to get better,” shared Rockingham Middle girls basketball coach Teresa Mason.  “She works hard and constantly asks what she can work on because she wants to improve. She will continue to get stronger because she has the drive that it takes to become a better basketball player.”

While Parker does enjoy her time on the court, she is really looking forward to the start of the running sports at Richmond Senior.  In additions to basketball, she plans to try out for cross country in the fall (also being coached by Moseley) and track in the spring.

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