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Woodward High School junior Parker Schmitz says sportsmanship means giving his team his best effort, no matter what. 

“To be a character athlete for me is to give the team my best effort and best chance to win every time we take the field and in practice,” Schmitz said. 

Ensuring that his team always had their best shot at victory meant dedicating himself not only to playing well, but communicating well, Schmitz said.

“It has taken dedication and hard work of course to be successful in sports, but also being a good teammate and communicator,” he said.

Schmitz has had plenty of time to hone that philosophy: his baseball and football careers began playing teeball and in third grade Pee Wee leagues, respectively. 

These days Schmitz is a running back and defensive back in football and a catcher in baseball, though he occasionally plays middle infield.

Schmitz’s baseball coach Zach Warner called the Woodward junior the team’s “everyday catcher.”

“He’s a guy that you know will give you max effort every day,” Warner said. “He handles our pitchers well and is starting to understand the game and the little things that come with the position better.”

Warner said Woodward’s pitchers trust Schmitz to get hold of their pitches regardless of how they’re thrown.

“Parker will be able to handle them whether making them look like strikes or blocking balls in the dirt,” Warner said. “He definitely brings a trust factor with the coaching staff knowing we will get his best every day.” 

In turn, Schmitz said coaches like Warner were some of his most important mentors. 

“Some of my biggest influences and role models have been my coaches and upper classmen that I have played with that have believed in me and gave me a chance to play and step up,” Schmitz said. 

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