Jerry Parker, a 1959 graduate of Taylorville High School, will be inducted into the Taylorville High School Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet to be held at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auditorium, Saturday, May 14, 2011.

    Parker moved to Taylorville in 1957, the beginning of his junior year in high school, and immediately made an impact on the Tornadoes athletic program. A three sport athlete, Parker showed not only his athletic ability, but also his leadership in helping guide the Tornadoes to winning seasons in every sport.

    During his Junior year, Parker started at offensive end on the coach Jim Lovin’s first football team at THS. The Tornadoes finished 5 and 4 that year and he was described in the yearbook as a “steadying influence on the team”. As an immediate starter on the basketball team, Parker contributed 236 points to the 21 and 7 Tornadoes. In baseball Parker was a pitcher/outfielder and helped lead the Tornadoes a 19 -3 season that ended with a loss to Olney East Richland in the IHSA Quarterfinals.

    In 1958 Parker was elected as a co-captain on the 8-1 football team that rolled up 303 points (an average of nearly 34 points a game) while allowing only 68 points. As a forward on the basketball team, Jerry Parker, along with his Tornadoes’ teammates were the last Taylorville Team to advance to the “Sweet Sixteen”. Ending the season with a 24 – 7 record, Parker added 315 points to his career total of 551 in just two seasons with the Tornadoes. Other than advancing to the “Sweet Sixteen”, the highlight of the season was a 44-42 win over eventual state champion Springfield High School, handing them their only loss of the season. During the baseball season, Parker again pitched on a Tornadoes team that advanced to the IHSA State Quarterfinals and ended their season with an 18-4 record.

    Jerry Parker graduated 2nd and was selected as Class Speaker in the 1959 graduating class and after declining an appointment to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Division I, The University of Tulsa.

    As a freshman, Parker was a starter on the Golden Hurricanes 32 -1 freshman basketball team. Freshman were not eligible to play on the varsity, but the next year, Parker earned a starting position as a sophomore until a knee injury sidelined him. After recovery, he became the “6th man”, the first off the bench, as he contributed to the Hurricanes’ for three seasons and earning letters each of those years

    Parker completed his Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree and later earned his Masters of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Beth currently live in Cary, North Carolina.