Parker Ramsdell is showing a three-sport athlete at Ozark still exists and can even thrive. Remarkably, he is the only senior boy at Ozark to play three sports this school year.
“I figured there would have been somebody else who did it,” he sad. “Curt (Gracey) did it last year. He was a good three-sport athlete. You don’t hear much about that at Ozark anymore.”
While Gracey’s career was hampered by injuries, Ramsdell remained healthy as a wide receiver on the football team in the fall and as a point guard on the basketball team in the winter. He has been among the top three players on the golf team this spring.
Ramsdell earned All-COC Second-Team honors on the hardwood and will be remembered for his game-winning jumper at the buzzer that beat Republic at the Blue & Gold Tournament. He is fresh from medalist honors at both the Bolivar Invitational and Fremont Hills Invitational on the links last week.
He can’t help but wish there had been more team success.
“In basketball, we had a pretty good run this year and we had an undefeated COC run last year,” Ramsdell said. “Right now, though, I see the potential we had that was unfulfilled. I think last year we should have been a State team. But when I look back in five or six years, I’m sure I’ll think it was a good run and it was worth all those hot days on the field and all that.”
Ramsdell’s tentative college plans are to attend Missouri State and play intramural sports only. There could have been opportunities to shoot hoops at the NAIA level, but he hasn’t pursued such a path.
“I don’t think I want to play any sports in college,” he said. “After playing three sports for four years in high school, it might have burned me out a little bit. I don’t know if I could even go play anywhere, anyway. I haven’t put any interest out on it and haven’t got anything from anybody.
“I could probably go play basketball somewhere if I did work this summer and then maybe I could get some playing time next winter at a smaller school. But I don’t know if that’s what I want to do anymore. I’ve played a lot of basketball in my life. I’m said it’s over, but don’t know if I want to add any more games to it.”
The fact Ramsdell has held his own and then some in golf might rank as his most surprising accomplishment. A great portion of golfers do not play any other sports so as to devote as much time as possible toward reps with their swing and putting. Despite not picking up a club for stretches of several months, Ramsdell has consistently posted scores in the mid-40s over nine holes and was in the low 80s over 18 holes twice last week.
“I’ve been playing golf for four years and done the same thing four years in a row, so it's kind of like riding a bike,” he said. “I’m not trying to do too much with the club. I pretty much try to keep my swing as simple as I can. I’m not trying to swing too hard. I pretty much put the ball in play and go from there.”
The fact Ramsdell doesn’t put pressure on himself on the tee box, fairways or greens no doubt works to his benefit.
“There’s only so much you can do. If you have a bad hole, it’s over,” he said. “You have to keep going and don’t want to change your swing. Take it as it is and move on. That’s how you have to look at it.”