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Plant City Observer Thursday, May 17, 2018 6 months ago

Athlete of the Week: Joey Parrillo

Parrillo is Strawberry Crest baseball’s starting catcher.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

Strawberry Crest’s playoff run has been the most successful in program history, and part of that comes from junior Joey Parrillo’s solid play. The Chargers’ catcher went 2-for-2 with a home run, two RBI, one run scored and a walk in the team’s district championship win over Wharton, then scored two runs in last Tuesday’s 6-4 regional quarterfinal win over Gainesville-Buchholz. Parrillo made the 2018 Western Conference National Division first team and leads the Chargers with a .408 batting average, 23 runs scored and 31 hits.

Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at [email protected] by the Friday before the next issue.


How do you feel about this postseason as a whole, being part of maybe the best baseball team in your school’s history?

It’s a great feeling. We have a bunch of boys that worked hard all season to be able to get to this point…it feels great to finally start making history and do something for this school.


You’ve had a pretty good season. Did anything change from last year to this year that’s made you a better player?

I’ve been more confident. I’ve been doing more stuff on the side now rather than just letting my skill take over. I’ve been hitting a little bit at home here and there. Other than that, my mentality’s changed and I’ve gotten more confident.


What advice have you gotten that helped your confidence?

Just be you. One of my catching coaches always said, “Control what you can control, which is to work hard.”


How long have you been playing baseball?

I started playing with my best friend, Derek Barone. I’ve known him since I was born. We’ve been playing together since we were three years old.


Do you play any other sports?

Does NHL on PS4 count?



I play that. I’m pretty competitive with the Lightning. For competition, I like the Stars in order to not have an OP (overpowered) team.


Any college prospects right now?

Not right now. I have a couple junior colleges interested in me.


What are you looking for in a school and a program?

They’ve got to have a good program. I’m looking to go into physical therapy, physical science and that, so they’ve got to have a good program. I’ve got to like the coach and what he’s doing over there with the program, and all the work ethic of the kids and stuff.

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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