The People's Choice: Palmyra's Chris Parsons - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

The People's Choice: Palmyra's Chris Parsons

Chris Parsons led Palmyra to a district title and state quarterfinal appearance in his first season as girls basketball coach. Chris Parsons led Palmyra to a district title and state quarterfinal appearance in his first season as girls basketball coach.

PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -- Life was good for Chris Parsons in Sedalia, Missouri.

But it was about to get even better.

Last spring Parsons saw the Palmyra girls basketball head coaching position was open and the rest is history.

"You name (the sport), there's tradition here," Parsons said.

"The support of the fans I knew it was all here and I knew this was a job I wanted to take a shot at getting."

Senior guard Lexi Van Nostrand admits skepticism at the beginning.

"It was kind of hard at first with Coach (Parsons) because I didn't know what to expect. And he didn't know what to expect coming in (not knowing) 10 girls," Van Nostrand noted. 

"We've all been together and he kind of jumped right in, and he said 'OK, this is how we're going to do it,' and we kind of just jumped on board."

But it wasn't smooth sailing in Parsons first season. A loss to Unity resulted in a 3-4 start.

The setback meant it was back to the drawing board.

From that point on Palmyra won 21 out of its next 23 games advancing all the way to the Class 3 quarterfinals.

"I told them after that North Tech game, "We're going to look back for quite a while and know that we were two points away and we had a chance,'" Parsons indicated. 

"But when we look back at our overall season what we accomplished as a team, for the town of Palmyra, and the area, it's been nothing but positives."

Senior guard Megan Hooper was confident in Parsons from the outset.

"Once the season started I knew that we were going to go far," Hooper said. 

"I knew this year was going to be different. Coach Parsons really helped us with that, he really stepped up."

As successful as the Lady Panthers were on the court they were just as efficient off it.

Team chemistry was one of their biggest strengths.

"(Parsons) wanted us to mesh well together because obviously we spent four months together," Van Nostrand explained. 

"It helped out a lot because it showed on the court."

According to Parsons, "I can honestly sit here and say that there was not a moment this season where this group had an argument. This group stuck together through thick and thin, and at least not in front of me, had a negative word to say about each other."

The community has embraced Parsons so much so that hundreds of fans voted in his favor to win The People's Choice Award for WGEM High School Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.

"To see people rally around and vote for me that, as a coach, humbles you," he said. 

"I've told a ton of people this year wasn't about me. This was a group of kids that made me look good."

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