Parkwood High School

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Parkwood High School
Conference: Rocky River Class 2A
Coach: Rocky Richar
2016 Record: 23-9, lost in Class 2A Regional Finals.
Players to Watch: Justin Bose (Sr.,LHP), Owen Harley (Soph., SS/P), Jordan Harley (Jr., C), Sid Williams (Sr., 2B), Jesse Harkey (Soph., P/OF/C, 6-0, 180)
Between the Lines: Parkwood is the two-time Rocky River Conference defending champion. … The Rebels lost in the Regional Finals last season. … Parkwood has just two seniors on the roster.

Parkwood High will have a new look this season but coach Rocky Richar is optimistic that the Rebels can make another deep post-season run.

Parkwood was 23-9 and advanced to the Regional Finals last season but eight key players graduated from that team and the Rebels have just two seniors on the roster.

“We graduated a lot of guys, and most of them are playing in college right now,” Richar said. “We have three or four guys that are returners. But the majority of our guys are either new to us or up from jayvee. It’s going to take some time to get some experience under our belt.”

And Parkwood will be tested by the time conference play begins as the Rebels’ schedule is dotted with regional powers, including Marvin Ridge, Cuthbertson and Weddington.

“We play a lot of schools in our area that are traditionally pretty good,” Richar said. “Our first two weeks are loaded, and we are going to take some lumps because of it. At the end of the day when we get to conference, we will be battle tested and ready to compete in the Rocky River Conference.”

Justin Bose and Jesse Harkey are two of the Rebels top returning players and both will seen considerable time on the mound.

Bose was 2-0 with a 2.28 ERA last season and the senior had 21 strikeouts and gave up just four walks in 28 innings of work. Harkey was 2-2 last year and had 32 strikeouts in 28 innings of work and the sophomore batted .306 with 16 RBI.

“Justin is a left-hander that is going to sit in the low 80s,” Richar said. “He does a good job pounding the strike zone. The sophomore played up all last year as a freshman, and he is a mid 80s guy. They are going to be our one-two punch at the top.”

Owen Harley, Grant Bartlett, Jordan Parr, Rickey Hines, Mason Stickney and Daniel Craig will also spend time on the hill for Parkwood. “Those guys will all eat some innings for us,” Richar said. “We are trying to develop those third, fourth and fifth arms.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at