Jim Parker has experienced it all as a coach with the Big Valley Christian baseball team.
He was there for the inception of the program in 2003, when there were more coaches (five) than players (three) at the first practice.
Now in his final season, Parker, a Davis High graduate, has added the crowning jewel to his coaching career – a league championship.
Big Valley Christian (13-5, 12-2) left no doubt en route to its first-ever Central California Athletic Alliance championship.
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The Lions won their final seven games, including the last three by margins often found on the football field. BVC topped Sierra Ridge/Rite of Passage (of San Andreas) and Stone Ridge Christian High (of Merced) by a combined score of 79-2.
On Wednesday, left fielder Brighton Briseno triggered an on-field celebration with an athletic catch in the gap, sealing a 27-1 victory over Stone Ridge Christian in their league finale.
With the win, Big Valley Christian tied the program record for wins with 13.
“That final out was awesome,” Parker said. “He capped off a perfect season, a season with guys filling spots all over the place.
“The boys went out and started jumping on top of (Briseno), doing the celebration thing. It was a team win.”
Parker said the championship is shared by the players, present and past. He thanked the alumni for providing the stepping stones. The mountaintop did not come easily or without great sacrifice.
And though is retirement has become a storyline to this historic season, Parker insists the championship is a testament to the players’ attitude, effort and talent.
“It’s always about the players. Coaches don’t coach because they want to create records for themselves,” Parker said. “They do it for the kids.
“When I was at Davis, we won a championship in 1998 and I wanted our program to feel what it felt like to win a baseball championship of their own. Any good coach will tell you that it’s about the kids. Every kid that has come through the program is a part of the culture that has got us where we’re at today.”
Big Valley Christian will enter the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII tournament on May 16 as the CCAA’s No. 1 seed.
Last season, CCAA champion Brookside Christian received a first-round bye and won the D-VII title.
The Lions will close the season with non-conference road games at Hilmar Saturday and Woodland Christian Monday.