Escalon High School senior Parker Cosby has signed his name to play collegiate baseball, ready to move on after graduation to Bryan College in Tennessee.
The varsity catcher signed with the Bryan Lions on Saturday, Nov. 11 in a ceremony hosted at Performance Lab, the gym he works out of in Modesto. His family, EHS varsity baseball head coach Greg Largent and the gym owner were among those on hand for the ceremony.
“It’s a pretty small school,” Cosby said of the liberal arts college in Dayton. “I went to a camp there in October while I was visiting my grandparents.”
The coaching staff at the school was impressed enough with Cosby’s game that they were able to work out a scholarship offer, including both some athletic and academic aid.
“It’s about a 70 percent scholarship,” the senior explained. “I met with their head coach, Taylor Hasty; he is also their athletic director.”
Immersed in the game for years, Cosby is a strong presence behind the plate for the Cougars, often calling the games himself and Largent said he values the catcher’s opinions about what is happening on the field.
For his part, Cosby said it was kind of surreal to see all the hard work come to fruition with the signing of his letter of intent to play for the Lions over the weekend.
“There’s relief and I’m excited,” he said.
Relief, because he can go into his senior season with the Cougars concentrating solely on his team, not on who might be in the stands assessing his skills for a potential collegiate offer. Exciting, because he knows baseball will still be a big factor in his future.
“I just love how it’s small and everyone is playing a sport,” he added of the college, an NAIA school in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, playing in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
“They’re really good at baseball,” Cosby noted.
The school is about 35 miles north of Chattanooga.
Largent said it’s satisfying to see the hard work and talent get rewarded.
“His baseball IQ is way up there, all the hard work he has put in during the off season has paid off,” Largent said. “He’s got the will, the drive and the desire, a hard-working kid and he makes guys around him better. He’s like a player-coach out there on the field and we have a lot of trust in him.”
Cosby started out with the Escalon baseball program as a bat boy in his younger days, progressing through to become an integral part of the varsity team in high school.
“We’re very proud of him,” said Largent.
The school is a couple of hours away from his grandparents, but he is somewhat familiar with the area, having visited family there a few times. Dad Jerry Cosby, mom Tisha and younger sister Tess, a sophomore at EHS, were on hand Saturday to celebrate the moment.
Cosby will continue to play winter ball, move into his final high school season and then will head out to Tennessee in early August to start the next phase of his education and baseball career. He plans to go into nursing.