SUFFERN – Back on Wednesday, Baley Parrott was helping run a lacrosse camp for youngsters at Suffern High School as a counselor, the same one that she participated in herself when she began playing the sport in the fifth grade, teaching the fundamentals of the game.
Now a recent graduate from the high school, the midfielder leaves Suffern as a five-year starter, one of the top two-way players in the state, as well as this year’s Journal News Rockland girls lacrosse Player of the Year.
“When I first started playing lacrosse, I never thought I would make it this far,” Parrott said. “It’s definitely a great feeling to have an accomplishment like this.”
Going into this season, Parrott was a key part of a Suffern team that was considered to be one of the best in the state and a contender for the state title.
In the end, while Suffern’s bid for the championship came up just short in a heartbreaking 10-9 loss to West Islip in the final, it did little to diminish the dynasty that Parrott and her teammates had built, with the program having won the last three Section 1 titles.
“We knew how much we had worked, and it was a devastating feeling to know that the game could go either way, it just didn’t go in our way that day,” Parrott said. “But we were able to look back on our careers, all of the seniors, and know that we did something great.”
While Parrott has emerged as one of the best players of the team, she got a later start than many of her teammates. While they picked up the sport in either the second or third grade, Parrott didn’t begin playing until fifth grade, when her friends convinced her to give it a try.
“I think when I was younger, I just started getting into sports. I tried a lot of different things, and I ended up falling in love with it,” she said. “I think its just a fun game to play. Its very fast-paced, you’re moving a lot. All my best friends were doing it, too.”
Parrott quickly improved and caught up to her peers, and by eighth grade, was starting for Suffern’s varsity program, alongside many of her friends.
“I was very intimidated when I first started playing because all of my friends were amazing,” Parrott said. “But I think playing around them, they made me so much better. I owe a lot of my success to them.”
By the time Parrott and her friends were sophomores, Suffern became the area’s dominant team, winning the first of three straight sectional titles that season.
Parrott said she takes most pride in her speed, hustle and endurance. Her skill and playmaking ability, along with her being a lefty, also led to her quarterbacking the offense from behind the net at times, a role often reserved for an attacker rather than a midfielder.
“I think being able to get the trail check and the turnover, I take a lot of pride in my ability to recover if I make a mistake,” Parrott said. “If I turn the ball over, I’m usually right on the girl, chasing her tail and trying to get the ball back.”
While Parrott initially thought she might be able to play at the Division III or club level in college, that changed at the start of her freshman year, when she was mailed a questionnaire from Ohio State.
She considered other Division-I schools, but in the end, decided to become a Lady Buckeye. With her father being an Ohio State graduate, she was familiar with the area and the tradition.
“It’s kind of a far away school, but I know I have the comfort of family out there too, so that has a lot to do with it,” Parrott said. “I’ve been surrounded by the Ohio State traditions since I was little.”
Before leaving to start her college career, Parrott said she will play in a seven-on-seven league over the summer with many of her high school teammates. As a counselor in the camp, she might very well have been an inspiration to a younger player in attendance.
“We have a lot of girls that are excited to get on the field and try to do the same thing that we did, and maybe even make it further,” Parrott said. “A lot of people are looking at fifth and sixth graders, knowing they are going to be the ones that could win a state title in a few years.”
The rest of the Journal News All-County first-team
Tara Blinn, Sr., Nyack
Mikaila Cheeseman, Jr., Suffern
Alyssa Conklin, Jr. Suffern
Maggie Davin, Sr., Pearl River
Erin Kelly, Sr., Clarkstown South
Dana Gisonno, Sr., Suffern
Gianna Guerra, Jr., North Rockland
Kaitlyn Gutenberger, Jr., North Rockland
Caitlin Leary, Sr., Suffern
Briana McCleary, Sr., Tappan Zee
Coach of the Year: Greg Borchers, North Rockland
Caroline Dolan, Sr., Pearl River
Jennifer Farrell, Sr., Nyack
Elizabeth Fox, Fr., North Rockland
Jenna Fox, Jr., North Rockland
Allison Iodice, So. Suffern
Tonianne Magnelli, Sr., Suffern
Danielle McIvor, Sr., Clarkstown South
Kerri O’Rourke, Sr., Tappan Zee
Angela Rendina, Sr., Pearl River
Regina Sharp, Sr. Suffern
Carolyn Spatta, Sr., North Rockland
Maddie Buechli, Jr., Clarkstown South; Jordan Drab, Jr., Suffern; Mairead Durkin, Fr.., Albertus Magnus; Aileen Kelly, Fr., Clarkstown South; Amy McNally, Sr., Suffern; Kayla Moreau, Jr. Pearl River; Alexa Nutovits, Sr., Clarkstown North; Tatayana Petteway, Jr., Albertus Magnus; Shannon Salemo, Sr., Nyack; Lindsey Stephen, Jr., Pearl River; Elizabeth Trojan, Jr. Suffern; Keira Young, Sr., Nanuet
Sunday, June 28: Baseball
Monday, June 29: Softball
Tuesday, June 30: Tennis
Wednesday, July 1: Golf
Thursday, July 2: Girls track
Friday, July 3: Boys track
Saturday, July 4: Girls lacrosse
Sunday, July 5: Boys lacrosse