He looks like his dad, moves with a similar gait, and Derek Parola boasts his dad’s athletic ability, too.
Parola has been playing stellar defense at second base and hitting the baseball hard as well for his dad, Mustangs coach Todd Parola, who played his high school baseball for Grayslake and then Indiana University.
Mundelein improved to 12-0 and 2-0 in the North Suburban Lake Division with Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Lake Zurich, as Derek fielded all five of his chances cleanly.
“He’s got better hands than me,” Todd Parola said with a smile of his son. “He’s got better skills. I was a little faster. Very similar, though. I really didn’t get my strength until my sophomore year in college, and I’m afraid he’s going to do the same thing.”
A junior, Derek is playing his third varsity sport this school year. Todd Parola is also Mundelein’s boys golf coach and has had his son on varsity the last two seasons. Derek was one of the Mustangs’ best players last fall, helping them win the North Suburban Conference championship for the second year in a row and earn a sectional berth.
In the winter, Derek, a 6-foot guard, was a key reserve for the basketball team, which won a regional championship.
As to whether Derek will follow his dad’s footsteps and play college baseball, that remains to be seen.
“I’m not even sure what he wants to do,” Todd Parola said. “He enjoyed golf. He loves basketball. ... I think golf is going to be his best sport eventually because he hasn’t played that much. We’ll see.”
Derek missed going downstate in golf last fall by 2 strokes.
Tough break: Mundelein will be without No. 2 pitcher Eric Davis likely until May after the senior righty stepped on a teammate’s foot and broke his own foot during pregame running at Rockton Hononegah last Saturday. Davis will be in a walking boot for four weeks.
“He wasn’t even going to play,” Mustangs coach Todd Parola said.
Davis threw a five-inning no-hitter against Lake Forest last week and has been a good complement to ace Mitch Schulewitz.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.