While it undoubtedly was an unconventional final year on the links — due to COVID-19 — for Belfast Area High School golfer Thomas Parker, the Northport resident made the most of his opportunities.

And, the fruits of his labor are to continue to play a sport he loves at the collegiate level next season.

Parker, a senior at BAHS, recently signed his national letter of intent to attend Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. and play on the school’s Division II golf team.

Parker is a three-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference selection, a four-year varsity starter and played out of the number one position for the Lions for the majority of that time.

“Thomas has been my number one [golfer] for most of the last two seasons,” said Belfast coach Scott Benzie. “He comes from a rich golfing background. Peter Hodgkins, longtime PGA professional and famous high school coach in Maine, is part of his extended family. Thomas has been a junior member at Northport Golf Club for many years. He played this past summer in MSGA junior events, where he was spotted by college coaches. Thomas has a great upside and I can see him becoming a standout member of the Belmont Abbey program.”

Parker also qualified for the individual state schoolboy championships in recent seasons, including finishing ninth (83 for 18 holes) his senior year and 14th (90) as a junior.

Parker said he chose Belmont Abbey “because they gave me the chance to continue my golfing career as well as get a great education” and “I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work on my game all year long and receive a good education at the same time.”

“During my junior career I wasn’t able to play in as many tournaments as I would’ve liked but by living close to my home course I was able to make up for not competing by practicing,” said Parker. “In preparation for college next year playing in as many competitive tournaments as possible next summer is going to be extremely important. Playing golf the past two years for Belfast has been great. The coaching and teammates couldn’t have been much better and there was always enough competition and helpful criticism to push myself to be better.”

In MSGA events, Parker carded a third-place finish at an event at Sunday River Golf Club in Newry and a second-place finish in an event at Hidden Meadows Golf Course in Old Town.

Parker is the son of James and Jennifer Parker of Northport.

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