A portable light burned out, suspending play during the second half of the Sept. 25 night game between Hicksville and Baldwin. Hicksville was angry to be trailing, 1-0, and the delay in play made the Comets angrier. A new light was brought in and it shined brightest on Timmy Parker. He took over the game in the final 20 minutes, scoring a hat trick to win the game for the Comets.
"That was the first time I said 'wow this kid is above anything I've seen,' " Hicksville coach Scott Starkey said.
Parker, Newsday's Long Island Player of the Year, took over a lot of games, scoring 24 goals to go with five assists to lead the Comets to an undefeated regular season. The versatile four-year starter and two-year captain played forward and midfield even though his natural position is on defense.
"For school ball it's a lot more fun to get to play ," Parker said. "When it comes down to either scoring the goal or driving back to defense you have to be willing to sacrifice for your team."
Parker, the New York State Player of the Year, led a Hicksville team with high expectations after it won the county championship in 2009. He failed to score a goal in just three games for the Comets (16-1) who were defeated by Farmingdale, 2-1 in penalty kicks, in a county semifinal.
"It's a missing part of our season; we thought we could have gone to states and won it all but we have to be happy with what we achieved," Parker said. "We started off very serious and we wanted to repeat everything that we successfully got last year. Me and a couple of the other seniors really strived and pushed ourselves to go as far as we could and along with how far we pushed ourselves came success for us."
Parker's dominant play made him a target with many opponents assigning multiple defenders the task of marking him.
"It frustrated me a little bit but I knew you couldn't mark me for 90 minutes and there were going to be times I would get free or someone else would get the opportunity to score a goal," Parker said.
Drawing extra defenders also meant Parker was subjected to more physical play. Starkey said he would take Parker out of games once the lead was secure in order to prevent his star player from getting unnecessary yellow cards.
Parker committed to play at St. John's, where he will join former Hicksville teammate Tyler Arnone, prior to the season because he did not want his college selection to be a distraction once play began.
"St. John's was a close fit to home," he said. "It provides one of the top programs in the country and definitely develops players to go on to the next level and that's what I'm really looking for."