Players of the Pine Belt: Heidelberg senior QB/Safety Dee Parker

Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 11:23 PM CDT
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HEIDELBERG, Miss. (WDAM) - There is optimism in Heidelberg after the football team returns after winning its first region title since 1994.

“A lot of excitement coming back,” said second-year head coach Jimbo Nowell. “The kids are hungry, they’re expecting us to be better this year. We’re expecting to be better this year.”

Nowell lost seven seniors from a season ago but is excited about Heidelberg’s depth and the senior leadership Dee Parker will provide.

He’ll have the ball in his hands a lot more as he takes over at quarterback.

“I’ve just been trying to do the best, lift a lot of weights, do a lot of drills and stuff,” Parker said. “Try to keep the team up, keep the energy up, things like that. Keep everybody’s head up when they’re tired.”

“First and foremost, Dee has good leadership skills,” Nowell said. “Kids look up to him and really respect him and they’re going to follow his lead, obviously. But he’s an athlete, he’s a playmaker. If something breaks down, he can make something happen.”

That athleticism not only going to pay dividends for Heidelberg’s Wing-T offense, but Parker will also reprise his role at safety.

“I can read the quarterback and I can really tell where he going,” Parker said. “With me being safety, I’m behind everybody on defense so it’s really easy.”

Of course, the summer hasn’t been easy in Jasper County. The sweltering heat is molding the Oilers into a tough football team.

There’s one message coach Nowell’s drilled into his players heads.

“There’s three intangibles that can make or break your program,” Nowell said. “And on the back of our shirts is ‘EAT’ - which is effort, attitude and toughness. And if you think about it, it takes no God-given ability to do those three things. Show up every day and give tremendous effort, outwork everybody, have a positive mental attitude. Those are the things we really try to focus on moving forward.”

Here’s a look at Heidelberg’s 2022 schedule:

  • 8/26 - vs. Southeast Lauderdale - 7:30 p.m.
  • 9/2 - vs. Quitman - 7:30 p.m.
  • 9/9 - at Bay Springs - 7:30 p.m.
  • 9/16 - at Newton - 7:30 p.m.
  • 9/23 - vs. Northeast Lauderdale - 7:30 p.m.
  • 9/30 - at North Forrest* - 7:30 p.m.
  • 10/7 - vs. Stringer* - 7 p.m.
  • 10/14 - at Mize* - 7 p.m.
  • 10/21 - at Amory - 7 p.m.
  • 10/27 - at Collins* - 7 p.m.

*Indicates Region 8-2A opponent

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