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Excel softball starts with new coach
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
August 07, 2013 09:31 AM | 1836 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Coach Chad Parker watches freshman pitcher Aliza Baker during a scrimmage earlier this summer.
Coach Chad Parker watches freshman pitcher Aliza Baker during a scrimmage earlier this summer.
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With the first game a week away, the Excel Christian Academy softball team is preparing to begin its new season with a new head coach, Chad Parker.

Parker is not only the head softball coach, but also the head baseball coach and the athletic director after the departure of former AD Jon-Michael Nickerson.

Parker is a Bartow County native and while he has no prior experience coaching softball, he has a long history with baseball at the collegiate and minor league levels — including being the field manager for the minor league Normal CornBelters in Normal, Ill., and the Joliet Jackhammers in Joliet, Ill., where Parker won two manager of the year awards.

“I come to Excel with a wealth of experience in collegiate and professional baseball. I am excited about coaching softball for the first time and definitely see the differences in the two sports and also the similarities of the two,” said Parker.

While softball and baseball do have their differences, Parker said he is “excited to learn the nuances of softball” and he also seeks to “implement the baseball culture into softball in a positive way.”

During the summer, Parker was able to work with his new players and said it went well.

“Our summer has gone good with individual workouts and development,” Parker said.

Unable to win a single game last season, Nickerson knew there was still hope for the Lady Eagles in the future and it looks like Parker has seen the same thing.

Last season, in September, Nickerson praised a “very talented young crop of eighth-graders that are very excited to be able to come in next year and provide us with some skill and positive energy.”

It’s next year and Parker is now coaching those players as freshmen.

“We have a strong group of young girls, with the majority of our talent coming from our ninth-grade class. So we are really excited about our future,” he said.

Parker said the goal for this season is to “build a championship foundation” for the future of Excel Christian softball.

With all the experience that Parker possesses and brings to the Lady Eagles, he is optimistic about the future of Excel softball and the individual success of his players at the college level as well.

“We feel that we can cultivate an atmosphere at Excel Christian Academy that can prepare kids for college at the highest level,” said Parker.
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