Patience Pays Off For Newsome Senior QB
TAMPA - Ken Hiscock apparently forgot how well Kyle Parker knew his offense. During a 7-on-7 contest this summer, Hiscock tried to tell his quarterback which receivers should be doing what on different plays. Finally, Parker cut him off. 'Coach,' Parker said. 'I've got it, I've got it. I know what I'm supposed to do.' He should, after all. Parker (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) spent two years as the junior varsity quarterback at Newsome before moving up to varsity last year. But he had to wait to play quarterback, with senior Keith Gosdoski in front of him.Parker knew he wouldn't play quarterback last season. So Parker volunteered to become a wide receiver and catch passes from Gosdoski, rather than sit on the bench and wait his turn. Hiscock probably didn't know that Parker had experience catching passes, too. 'That's what I played when I was little,' Parker said. 'I was 6 feet tall in the sixth grade. They would just throw it up to me and I would catch it. It was a little easier. No one was as tall as me. Everyone is bigger now.' Parker became one of Gosdoski's leading targets last season. Now his understanding of the relationship between the quarterback and his receivers has been forever altered. 'They the coaches showed me what to look for when I was running routes and keying on what I was seeing,' Parker said of last year. 'I know what I have to look for now.' To Hiscock, Parker's patience is being rewarded. 'He's ready for that role now quarterback, and he's going to do a great job,' Hiscock said. 'I believe he'll get it done for us this year.' Along with football, Parker is a left-handed pitcher for Newsome's baseball team. He has spent a good portion of his summer playing with the All-American Prospects, his local club team, along with his 7-on-7 work. Pitching helps keep his arm in shape for the fall, Parker said. 'A lot of baseball exercises help out with football too,' he said. But this fall will be Parker's last as a football player. He already has committed to play baseball at the University of South Florida next fall, and he plans to sign during the early signing period in November. So while every senior says their final year of high school is special, Parker hopes for more than just memories. He hopes for the playoff berth that eluded Newsome last season. Newsome ended the season in a three-way tie with Hillsborough and Freedom. In the FHSAA's district tiebreaker system, Hillsborough beat Freedom in one quarter of football, followed by Hillsborough's win against Newsome. Then, Freedom beat Newsome 3-0 to secure the other playoff berth. A sour taste leftover, perhaps? 'Oh, yeah, I'm ready to get out there this year,' Parker said. I think we'll do pretty well. We'd be the first football team in our high school to make the playoffs.' FAST FACTS How did Newsome miss the playoffs in 2006? After finishing tied with Hillsborough and Freedom, the Wolves lost both quarters in their playoff tiebreaker game. Ryan Gerena, one of the Wolves' top linebackers, can count his father, Steve, among the assistant coaches. Among the newcomers Newsome will turn to this season is freshman fullback Connor Powers. ABOUT THE WOLVES STADIUM: Newsome Stadium, 16550 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia CLASS/DISTRICT: 5A-7 COACH: Kenneth Hiscock (7-3, 1 year at Newsome) ON OFFENSE: The Wolves run the Wing-T, and the offense was productive in Hiscock's first year. The Wolves scored 30 or more points four times in their final six games last season after starting the season 1-3. The Wolves went on a 6-0 run, but failed to make the playoffs through the FHSAA's district playoff system. Quarterback Kyle Parker played receiver a year ago, but he has three years of experience in the program, two as a JV quarterback, so he knows the system. The offensive line will lean on Chris Beemer, a second-year starter, for leadership. ON DEFENSE: The Wolves defense improved last season in the final six games, allowing 21 or fewer points in five of their final six contests, including a shutout of Bloomingdale. The linebackers are probably the most experienced unit, with seniors Ryan Gerena and Abe Kazbour, plus juniors Dan Jackson and Trent Cornwall. The front is led by junior end Frank Marin. Kazbour and Gerena were second and third in tackles last season.