INDIANAPOLIS — Someday down the line, someone will write the history of East Noble football. It will be pretty hard to do it without mentioning Bailey Parker.
The East Noble senior quarterback was named the winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award winner in Class 4A football after the Knights’ 21-3 loss to Evansville Memorial in the state championship.
Parker joined Jeff Wedding, who won in 2003, as another Knight quarterback to win the award.
“I hope down the line he realizes and everybody realizes how prestigious and how big that is to get that award. There’s so few kids that are ever honored with that on this stage,” East Noble head coach Amstutz said. “He’s absolutely very deserving, a phenomenal kid and had a phenomenal career. He’s one of the all-time greats for us and (will be) tough to replace. We’ll miss him. I’m very proud of him.”
“I’m just glad I got to come to, my senior year, play at Lucas Oil Stadium, because that was my dream,” Parker said. “I hope I left a good mark on the underclassmen and set a good example in leading them, so they can come here next year and the years to come.”
Parker is the son of Jim and Cheryl Parker, who joined him on the field to accept the $1,000 scholarship presented by the Indianapolis Colts. Each year the IHSAA Executive Committee selects a senior player who was nominated by his principal and coach and was determined to have the best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. The award was named in honor of the IHSAA’s third commissioner from 1962-76.
Parker is in the top 5% of his senior class and has been on High Honor Roll for all four years at East Noble High School. He’s on various committees at the high school and volunteers around the community.
The senior didn’t have his best game on Saturday night, throwing four interceptions and being sacked twice. He was finished with 99 passing yards on 7-of-23 throwing. He rushed for 55 yards on 15 carries.
Parker finished his career with 4,856 passing yards, 56 passing touchdowns, 2,208 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns. On defense, he ended up with 11 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries in his career.
He didn’t give any hint to what his future might hold, as far as a college choice. He has offers from various schools, including a preferred walk-on offer from Indiana University.
After the game, Parker said he was just going “to live in the moment.”