Archbishop Spalding junior Jacob Parker is a true three-sport athlete and an old-school gamer.
When asked which sport he most enjoys playing — football, wrestling or lacrosse — Parker says: "Whatever the season is."
Right now, he's on the wrestling mat and looking to build on a successful sophomore season. Wrestling at 182 pounds, Parker went 47-14 with 25 pins last year. He placed third in both the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and Maryland Independent Schools tournaments before finishing eighth at the National Preps event.
This season, he was named a team captain and won his weight class at the Glenn Jones Charger Classic at Lackey High School in Charles County on Saturday.
Parker maintains a weighted 4.07 grade point average, and as a member of the National Honor Society, he is a volunteer tutor in math and science at Spalding.
What goals do you have for this year with wrestling?
I'd love to be a state champion, if not more, this season. So, it's just keeping up the hard work in the practice room, keep my conditioning and see where I can go with it.
What do you enjoy most about wrestling?
I love the individual aspect. With football and lacrosse, it's all about the team — do this for the team and do that for the team. In wrestling, you have an individual aspect of it, while it's still do this for the team and that for the team.
As a team, what's it going to take for the Cavaliers to have another successful season?
We just have to continue the tradition of hard work and focus in the practice room. We can have our fun, but we need to get down to business when we need to.
What's it like being a team captain?
It's a lot more responsibility. You have to lead the guys, especially by example. If you want the work ethic to continue, you have to show them that work ethic. And you've got to tell them this is how hard you have to work to be successful.
How special is the camaraderie within the wrestling team, and how does it differ from other sports you play?
There's just something about it — you're like brothers, you really are. I don't know if it has to do with sitting at a tournament for 12 hours together every weekend for three months of the year or what, but it's amazing. They say in football and lacrosse you're like brothers, too, and you really are. But wrestling is something that's taken to another level.
How has wrestling helped you in other aspects of your life?
Wrestling has definitely taught me values. You have to be disciplined — and it helps, especially with my studies. You've got to be able to find a balance between your family life, your school work and your practice.
Christmas is coming next week. How is the day special for you?
At our house, we always have a small Christmas. So, it's really nice to be able to spend time with the family. My brother is a three-sport athlete as well, so we're always on the go, busy and we don't really see each other that much. Just being able to spend the whole day together is really nice.
What's the best Christmas present you received when you were younger?
I think it was back in fourth or fifth grade when I got a brand new bike. It was the best day. And it actually happened to not be a cold day that Christmas, so I went out and rode it for hours.
During Christmas dinner, what's the first food on which you get seconds?
I love mashed potatoes.
twitter.com/GlennGrahamSunCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun