Parsons prepared to lead the Vulcans


Jeff Helsel

Shatara Parsons recorded her 1,000th point in a Vulcans jersey against Bloomsburg University.

Rachael Kriger, Editor In Chief

Shatara Parsons knew immediately that California University of Pennsylvania was the right school for her.

According to the four-year senior, she didn’t choose Cal U, but “Cal U chose me.”

Back at Central Dauphin High School, two coaches contacted her, yet her goal was to go play at a Division I school. However, her plans soon changed.

“One day, I told my mom I wanted to go to Cal U,” Parsons said. “I don’t know why, but it was the best decision I ever made.”

Four years later, Parsons is a leader on the team, on and off the court. In fact, Parsons just reached her 1,000th point as a Vulcan against Bloomsburg University.

Along with Seairra Barrett, Parsons is one of two seniors. However, with Barrett out with an injury, Parsons has stepped up to the plate.

In regards to Barrett’s injury, Parsons said this is the first time since joining the Vulcans that she had to feature on the court without her.

“It’s very challenging to say the least,” Parsons said. “She’s the ying to my yang. We play amazing together. But it’s helping me become a better leader on and off the court. Being the only senior and having to be the best I can be every day for [my teammates], is a challenge that I love. I learn new things about myself. My teammates and coaches have no idea how much the impact my life.”

The Vulcans have a new look this year, with many starters from last season gone, due to graduation or injury.

A big task for the Vulcans coaching staff was finding a replacement playmaker for Miki Glenn, Cal U’s All-American point guard, who graduated last spring.

Parsons said that junior Natalia Casals has stepped up to the plate, noting that every practice she’s learning and getting better.

“Losing Miki in the first round of PSAC playoffs was one of the worst and best thing that happened to us,” Parsons said. “It allowed our younger guards that I now play with to have experience. They had some of the best experience that prepared them for the season.”

“Without Miki our younger players stepped up and we made it all the way to the PSAC championship and the Regional championship. It was hard, but we did it.”

This season, Parsons’ goal is to leave everything she has on the court, personally. Her team goal is for her and her teammates to be “the best we can be, work hard, play hard and the blessings will follow.”

“We are very young this year and have a lot of new people,” Parsons explained. “Being the only player with true experience is very complicated. But, we are getting it done. We are slowly but surely getting there, and the best is yet to come. I’m excited to see our growth throughout the season.”

So far this season, the Vulcans have a winning record of 5-1, with their lone loss coming against Ohio Dominican University on Nov. 29.

The Vulcans’ next three contests are all PSAC match ups, with the Vulcans traveling to face Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg and Shippensburg.

Parsons has faith in her team, and her coaching staff whom she is close with. She counts coach Jessica Strom as one of her biggest supporters.

“She has taught me so much about myself and life,” Parsons said. “If I need anything or anyone I know I can call her or text her at any time of the day or night! I consider my coaches family. Our relationship is like no other!”

The same attitude goes toward her teammates, as well.

“I love my girls and my girls love me!” Parsons said. “With every relationship you go through your ups and downs. But, at the end of the day it’s all love. They know I will go above and beyond for them whether it’s on the court or it’s off the court. The new players are awesome! I love all of them. They always put a smile on my face.”

Vulcans fans can catch Parsons and the Vulcans when they return home after their Eastern Pennsylvania swing on Dec. 17 against District of Colombia University.

The game will be held at the Hamer Hall court, beginning at 1 p.m.