FOR THE

eing around athletics while growing up in Seymour, Parker Criswell knew he wanted to play several sports when he enrolled at Trinity Lutheran High School.

Criswell has had a lot of success in soccer and golf.

The senior was on two soccer teams that won sectionals, and he was a regional qualifier in golf last spring. Earlier this year he was medalist at the Cougar Cup.

He has been Trinity’s No. 1 golfer for most of the past three seasons, and his freshman year he filled either the No. 2 or No. 3 position.

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Criswell said he tries to concentrate more on his game than what his opponents are doing.

“One through five is just a number,”Criswell said. “Golf is an individual sport because it is you vs. the course. In the end it’s not the number you started in; it’s the number you put on the board.”

For Criswell, playing on the greens is a strong suit.

“I feel very confident with my putting,” Criswell said. “I’ve always been told I have a good putting stroke, and I agree with that. I think putting is definitely my strongest point.

“My chipping is up and down. I’ve definitely been a long hitter a lot. Occasionally I’ll stray from left to right, but a majority of time I tend to play the ball straight.”

His career lows are 36 for nine and 75 for 18, both at Shadowood Golf Course in Seymour.

Last year Criswell qualified for the regional but was unable to play in it because of a trip to England.

“I definitely have regional as a goal,” Criswell said. “I have other goals of wanting to go under par for nine holes, along with 18 holes.”

This season, Criswell has been working on his drives to push past the competition.

Criswell’s soccer career started with a recommendation from a fellow classmate.

“Toby VanLiew’s brother, Chad, had played soccer, and Toby said ‘Let’s try it,’” Criswell said. “I hadn’t played soccer since I was 4 or 5 years old. I went out, played my freshmen year, and I loved it.”

He played center back his senior year at Trinity after playing left back the prior three years.

As a defender all four years, Criswell invites contact.

“I love the physical part of soccer,” Criswell said. “The best part of soccer, almost, is I’m not the most skilled person at soccer, but I make up for it by standing strong on defense, and playing physical and getting the ball to players like Bobby Tabeling, who is pretty good at soccer.”

Criswell said he has enjoyed athletics throughout his career.

“Sports have always been in my life, from kids’ soccer kicking the ball around to T-ball, to golf,” he said. “I just love competing. And I also love getting close to some kids through sports.

“The important thing about golf is, I try not to worry about my score throughout. Sometimes the guys will ask, ‘What did you shoot?’ and I say ‘I don’t know.’ It’s the aspect of one hole at a time, and it’s a game.”

Early in his career, Criswell learned how important practice is to achieve success.

“In T-ball I had a coach talk to me about practice,” Criswell said. “I’ve always believed ‘practice makes perfect.’ You practice the way you play, and that comes in soccer. If you sit there in soccer practice and just screw around it’s not going to get you anywhere.

“My freshman year I couldn’t dribble a ball without stumbling over my own feet. My senior year I actually feel I was very good. I was even a captain of the team, and that was all through practice.”

Practice especially translated to Criswell’s golf game.

“In golf practice and everything, I was able to gain more distance, make my irons straighter and more accurate,” Criswell said.

Criswell said you have to keep a positive outlook in any sport you play.

At a glance

Name: Parker Criswell

School: Trinity Lutheran

Parents: Shane and Amy Criswell

Siblings: Noah, Chloe

Sports: soccer 4 years, golf 4 years, basketball 2 years

Athletic honors: golf – two-time MVP, regional qualifier; soccer: two-time sectional champion

Organizations: National Honor Society, Dance Committee, student government, Chess Club, student ambassadors.

Favorite away course: Champions Point or Bell Tara

Favorite away soccer field: New Albany

Attending TLHS: “I really think I made a good decision. Trinity is just a whole different attitude than other schools. The classes are good. I like the smaller size because the teachers are able to work with you one-on- one and I’m close with a lot of my teachers, and I look forward to staying in touch with them through college.”

“There are some classes I wish we had that bigger schools have, but I still think that we have all the courses you want to take going into college. I think Trinity does a very good job of offering multiple classes, and getting you ready for college.”

Plans after high school: attend Indiana University Purdue University major in mechanical engineering

Favorite food: steak or seafood

Favorite TV show: family Guy

Favorite movie: “Seven days in Utopia”

Favorite athlete: Adam Scott

Favorite team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Favorite book: American Sniper

Favorite quote: “Resolve never to quit, never to give up, no matter the situation.” – Jack Nicklaus

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.