New Orleans native Parker enjoying life at JCJC
Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Submitted: 2010-09-22 15:17:08
By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – Antonio Parker has taken a long route to arrive at Jones County Junior College.
But the starting field cornerback is thrilled to be playing for the Bobcats right now.
“Jones is so beautiful and nice. The atmosphere they have is great with the people,” he said. “It’s like family. They have a big fan base and everybody is into the Jones Bobcats’ football team.
“We have a lot of fan support and I really like that fact. We have a lot of people come out and watch us. It was packed the other night.”
Parker and the Bobcats dropped a 31-24 decision to the top-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Bulldogs last Saturday before an estimated 6,000 fans at Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field.
Parker is a 5-foot-11, 185-pound freshman from Destrehan High School in New Orleans. He signed with Tulsa University out of high school and was placed at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
He redshirted there last year and then transferred to JCJC.
“I had a little bump in the road in Coffeyville,” Parker explained. “I signed with Tulsa out of high school, so they wanted me to be a little closer to them. The transition coming here has been a nice, smooth transition. I like it here.
“Actually, I love it out here. We have good eating and they take care of us here. It’s going real good.”
And what about the difference between the city life of New Orleans and the lifestyle in Ellisville?
“It’s little bit different,” he said laughing. “It’s more slow and more country. But I’m an adapter and a survivor.”
Parker is the starting field cornerback playing for defensive coordinator and secondary coach Steve Boyd. He enjoys taking the field for the Bobcats in the secondary.
“The season is going good for me. I don’t like personal accolades because I’m for the team, but I’ve got two interceptions in the first three games,” he said. “I’m looking for more of those interceptions because I am an ‘interception’ kind of guy.
“It’s second nature for me. I like the scheme Coach Boyd sets up for us. He has me at the field cornerback position and I’ve been working on those deep routes. So if they they throw it up and try me, that’s their loss.”
Parker picked off a pass on the next to the last play of the first half in last week’s loss to Gulf Coast. He also had an interception against Mississippi Delta in JCJC’s 34-3 victory in the season opener.
“Gulf Coast was trying to do a ‘Hail Mary’ and I took advantage of it,” he said. “I didn’t want anybody else to try and get it, so I just jumped up and it seemed like nobody else wanted to jump, so I just took it from them.
“Against Mississippi Delta, there was great pressure by our defensive line and the quarterback really had no one to throw it to. He just took a shot downfield and I took advantage of the opportunity.”
Parker, who has nine solo tackles and two assists, has also been used as a punt and kickoff returner. He says the speed of the game on the juco level has caused him a few problems so far.
“Right now, it’s kind of shaky for punt returns,” he said. “As far as punts go, I am still trying to get into the swing of the college punt return game. It’s not like high school where nobody is really running downfield after you and you just have fun with it.
“It’s way different at this level.”
Parker knows the Bobcats had a chance to knock off Gulf Coast last week. He said the team played hard and will have to put the loss behind them.
“We are really disappointed right now, but not too disappointed to where we cannot bounce back from a tough loss like that,” he said. “We put our all into that game and it was a big game. They won 31-24, but right now we are working on Co-Lin. We are striving for better and greater things coming up in the season and we are planning not to lose.
“We came up just a little short. We could not score on offense in the second half and on defense, we could not get the stops we needed.”
JCJC, 1-2 overall and 0-1 in South Division play, turns its attention to the undefeated and 15th-ranked Co-Lin Wolves this week. Co-Lin is 3-0 overall and 1-0 in league play.
“Co-Lin is doing pretty good, so it’s going to be another tough one,” he said. “They spread it out and pass the ball. Our defensive line has got to do well. As far as our secondary, we have to step up and make sure we get it done when they have third and long situations because they will stay in that spread formation.”
Still, Parker believes the Bobcats have a chance to have an excellent season if they can bounce back vs. Co-Lin.
“I think we are having a better connection and we are coming together,” he said. “As far as me personally, I am really not looking for anything other than for the team to come out with a good season.”
Thursday’s game begins at 7 p.m. Airtime is 6:30 p.m. and fans can listen to the game at www.jcjc.tv and on WGDQ-FM, 93.1 Lance Pittman will call the play-by-play and Mark Easley provides commentary. The game will also be webstreamed at www.colinathletics.com.