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Redwood Bark

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Sports Spotlight: Laret eyes excellence

Parker Laret receives the signals from his coach as he crouches behind home plate.

Parker Laret is untouchable. As a sophomore, he is among the MCAL leaders in every offensive statistical category, a resume that includes a league leading two home runs and a gaudy slugging percentage of .724.

But he’s not satisfied. “I want to lead the league in every statistical category,” he said recently. “I want to bat over .600 and hit at least five home runs by the end of the season.”

On the field, he plays with a sort of raw, instigative aggression. When base running, he slides hard into defenders to break-up potential double plays. When batting, he glowers at opposing pitchers. When crouched at his primary position behind home plate, he mutters affronts at players as they settle into the batting box.

“I think overpowering whoever you are facing off against is the best feeling you can have on a baseball field. If you’re hitting and you’ve gone two for two off the guy and he looks like an idiot, that’s the best. I think making your opponents look absolutely stupid is the best,” Laret said.

Laret’s tenure on the varsity team began with an unprecedented decision. As a freshman, Laret refused to join the varsity team when offered a spot, a judgment that head coach Jeff Packman told him hadn’t been made by any freshman in 25 years.

After beseeching the star to join the struggling squad, Packman was rewarded when Laret overcame his reservations about leaving his friends on the freshman team to join an unfamiliar dugout.

In 11 games, he posted a .235 batting average that, although modestly productive, fell short of the criteria with which he assesses his own play.

“I think everybody has critics but I know I am my biggest hater. Every day when I go to practice, if I mess up once that means to me that I messed up one hundred times and that means I have to make up for it.”

After undergoing a gueling training regimen that included daily practices with four different coaches over the offseason, Laret hopes to see his work come to fruition both individually and collectively – though he approaches the latter with a qualified skepticism.

At 4-4 in MCAL play, the Giants have the sixth best record in league play including a key victory against Marin Catholic – but Laret thinks the team has the potential for more if senior leadership emerges.

“I think that some seniors think that as you get older, as you go from junior year to senior year, even if you don’t work, you’ll get better. But that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

“When we realize that it’s not just going to come easy, then we’ll start to get the performance that we’re capable of.”

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About the Contributor
Blake Alm, Author