West Marion senior Mason Parrett became the third Trojans baseball player to sign a scholarship Tuesday morning, inking a letter of intent to play at Hinds Community College next year.
Parrett said to have the opportunity to play at the next level means the world to him.
“I’ve always wanted to play college ball and go pro — that’s every kid’s dream — and this is step one of that dream,” he said. “I went into the year not having anything. I had a couple colleges text me or show up to a game or two, but I wouldn’t hear anything from it. So I just went into my senior season, thinking it was my last season, and went out there wanting to play the game. I wanted to enjoy it because I thought it would be my last year, so I guess that’s the mindset I need to keep.”
Trojans head coach Derrick Jerkins said he knew Parrett was discouraged he had not been offered going into the season, but he knew if Parrett kept working hard, the opportunity would arise.
“I knew Mason had it in him,” he said. “Hinds is a good place to go. I think he’ll go to Hinds, play two years and have an opportunity to play four years after that. It’s our third one this year, so it’s big for our program to keep this going.”
Not only did Parrett’s play as a senior draw an offer from Hinds, he was also offered by Copiah-Lincoln and had a walk-on opportunity at Pearl River. But when he visited the Raymond campus and met the coaching staff, he liked how the program was run and that it was a program that has a winning tradition.
“I can continue on with a good, winning team and be able to have a spot at the same time,” he said.
Parrett spent most of his West Marion career behind the dish, but during the early portion of his senior season he saw time in the infield. Hinds plans to keep him at catcher, but he said the coaches have told him he might see time in the outfield as well to get his bat in the lineup.
“He is super athletic (behind the plate),” Jerkins said. “Even if during his freshman year he’s not catching, he has the versatility to play other positions as well.”
Throughout his high school career, Parrett was more of a singles hitter who utilized his speed on the base paths. While speed remains a big element of his game — he stole 32 bases as a senior — he hit for much more much power with 11 extra-base hits, including five home runs. He credited assistant coach Don Clanton, who helped Parrett with his swing and showed him how he could get his hands to the ball quicker.
“I would like to thank coach Don Clanton for helping me with my swing and teaching me a new way to look at the game, to play it and have fun with it,” he said. “And I’d like to thank my dad. He’s always been there for me, and he’s always told me to play small ball, have fun with it and enjoy it because at the end of the day, it’s just a game.”
Parrett batted .407 with 33 RBI and 31 runs scored as a senior to go along with five doubles and his five homers and 32 stolen bases. He said he hopes to secure an opportunity to play at a four-year school after Hinds, ideally Ole Miss.
The senior is joined by fellow teammates Jayden Duncan (Southwest Mississippi Community College) and Josh Boone (Copiah-Lincoln Community College), who signed prior to the season.
Mason is the son of Brandon and Shanette Parrett.