HomeBlocksFront-GridSan Marino High School Athlete Parker Wilson Masters Multitasking

San Marino High School Athlete Parker Wilson Masters Multitasking

As players on the San Marino High baseball team wrapped up their showdown with Monrovia earlier this spring, one Titan was gearing up for another competition.

Parker Wilson, then a freshman, swapped out shoes to go from the diamond to the track at Monrovia High, shifting focus to compete in his first track and field meet.

“We finished the Monrovia [baseball] game super early and there was a meet there, so I was able to go to the meet right after,” said Wilson who started high jumping in seventh grade. “It was my first time ever wearing track shoes. I cut my leg. I just jumped and somehow got second place.”

The cut also didn’t stop the very busy young man from finishing up the spring and a jam-packed freshman year.

The 15-year-old was part of four Titans sports teams, and not only played, but excelled at the varsity level in each.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Wilson, who played football, soccer, baseball and track and field all during his freshman year. “Sometimes it was hard to manage all the time, but I think I did pretty well. I just make sure that I’m well prepared for every game I’m playing.”

Photo courtesy Daisy Wilson San Marino High athlete Parker Wilson, pictured during a track and field competition, participated in four varsity teams during his freshman year.

Wilson played football in the fall and stepped in as the starting quarterback multiple times during the Titans’ eight-win season that saw them clinch a share of the Rio Hondo League title and earn a spot in the playoffs.

In the winter, Wilson starred on the soccer team as a consistent scoring threat at forward. In the spring, Wilson slid right into the role of starting varsity catcher for a Titan squad that would win the Rio Hondo League crown outright and a playoff game. If that was not enough in the spring, when he could find time, he also competed in the high jump as part of the high school track and field team.

“I think it’s my speed and my agility,” said Wilson of the traits that allow him to excel at a variety of sports.

In the midst of juggling with four varsity-level sports, Wilson maintains his focus on his studies, finishing the second semester with a 3.8 GPA.

Although Wilson had played football starting around when he was “5 or 6,” he did not play a single snap as quarterback before heading into high school.

“In the summer, in like the first practice, we didn’t have a quarterback for JV, so I was like, ‘I guess I can throw,’ so I decided to be a quarterback,” Wilson said.

Fast-forward into the season, injuries to the veteran players opened the door for Wilson at the varsity level. Suddenly, it was Wilson taking snaps, but, naturally, that first play, even though it was just a handoff, was a little nerve-wracking.

“I was just thinking, ‘Don’t drop the snap.’ That was all that was going through my head,” Wilson said. “I was just like, ‘Catch it and hand it off. That is all you have to do. Don’t drop the snap,’ and then it went pretty smooth and I was like smooth sailing from there.”

On his second snap, he threw his first pass and it was a memorable one.

“My first completion was against La Cañada with like one second on the clock [at the end of the first half],” Wilson said. “Coaches just told me to throw it as far as I could. I just got it and threw it. It was a terrible throw and I just see it bounce off of Coleman [Morning]’s hands and it landed in Sid [Danenhauer]’s hand for the touchdown.”

Wilson plans to continue on the gridiron, staying at quarterback, but also possibly playing some running back and definitely adding defensive responsibilities at free safety.

The bond between teammates is one of the many appeals football has to Wilson, who will enter his sophomore year in the fall.

“We just have such a close connection within the team,” Wilson said. “I also love winning games and scoring touchdowns.”

Photo by Raymond Quan / When injuries hit the Titans football team, Parker Wilson stepped into the quarterback role.

As a fan, Wilson’s favorite football team is the Green Bay Packers, which features his favorite player, Jordan Love.

Up next was soccer, a sport where his favorite player is Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It wasn’t always my main sport, but it was really fun so I always played it,” said Wilson of soccer, which he also has played since a very young age. “It’s a sport I can just play for fun and not have so much pressure. I can just go out and try my best.”

It was not an easy season for the Titans on the soccer field. Wilson recalled the Titans’ lone win of the campaign, when they beat La Salle 1-0, as a highlight.

“It was our first win in a few years. Everyone was so used to losing, it felt like we won the World Series, to be honest, when we got that win,” Wilson said.

In his memory, he highlights the goal he scored against Blair as his favorite.

“It was so satisfying,” Wilson said. “I was just running [and] it was like a perfect pass in between the defenders and an easy shot into the goal.”

Wilson, however, does not plan to play soccer in his sophomore year and will turn his attention more to winter baseball.

Baseball is another sport he has seemingly “always” played. Wilson served as the Titans opening day catcher for John Franklin’s baseball team.

“I like it because it is unique and you are in on every play,” Wilson, who loves playing defense, said. “At catcher you have to focus on every play and you are the only person who is not in the baselines so you are looking at everyone on the field, so you have to be a leader.”

Photo courtesy Daisy Wilson / A 6-year-old Wilson grew up playing in the San Marino National Little League, from T-ball through juniors. He was part of the all-star team that reached the state competition.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a willing backstop, but Franklin had no such problems with Wilson, who has always manned the position. Franklin thought Wilson could’ve been an all-Rio Hondo League second-team selection for his efforts during the baseball season.

“He had the highest batting average of every catcher in the Rio Hondo League,” Franklin told the Tribune in a conversation in May. “He’s a freshman, but he’s a great, great defensive guy. I hope that gives him a little bit of motivation to get on that list next year.”

Franklin encourages his players to participate in other sports as long as it doesn’t interfere with the team’s schedule. With the benefit of a flexible baseball schedule, Franklin said Wilson was able to practice and compete in track and field events whenever possible.

Wilson’s favorite team is the hometown Dodgers and his favorite player Mookie Betts, whom he happened to have an encounter with a while back.

“I actually met him at a Chick-fil-A. It was a few years ago and I was like 5-foot-6 and he was barely taller than me. I was like, it’s amazing that he hits 450-foot home runs and he’s that small,” Wilson said. “He’s very unique. That’s what I like about him.”

Despite not being a full-time participant during the track and field season, Wilson still excelled at the field event, finishing one spot out of advancing to the finals at the CIF Southern Section prelims.

“I don’t even practice. I just showed up to like three meets and somehow qualified for CIF,” Wilson, who has the goal of breaking 6 feet next season, said.

Wilson thinks playing varsity across the board at such a young age has yielded benefits for the future.

“The seniors this year were really good leaders,” said the rising sophomore of playing with so many upperclassmen in his first year. “I think playing up not only made me a better player, but also know how to become a better leader.”

Wilson’s older brother J.J., a junior last academic year, also played with Parker on the football team and later starred on the baseball team with his younger brother. Both received year-end baseball awards, with Parker earning Rookie of the Year and J.J. the team MVP.

There also promises to be more Wilson boys adding to the family legacy at SMHS, with Parker’s younger brothers Cooper (13) and Miller (10) waiting in the wings.

“When we are on the field, we are not brothers, we’re teammates. We just go out and play,” Wilson said. “We don’t treat each other differently, but it’s cool to have that bond.”


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