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Pascagoula High School Kylon Parnell signs with Mississippi State baseball

Pascagoula High School Kylon Parnell signs with Mississippi State baseball

When Pascagoula’s bi-sport superstar Keilon Parnell was just a freshman, he made his verbal pledge to Mississippi State Baseball. Now a senior, a former student-athlete on News 25 for a week is finally making that commitment after nearly three years.

“Having made a commitment, that relieves some tension. But signing and making it official, you feel part of the team and you can start building relationships in this team starting now.”

989 days after the Bulldogs are selected as the freshman, Keilon Parnell selects them again as the senior student on National Signature Day. “The state invited me to a camp and as soon as I saw the campus, he sold me there. I started a relationship with the coaches at that camp, and from then on, coach Jake Gutro and I kept in touch with Lemonis, and hilariously, they made me sell. They sold me.”

Between then and now, Diamond Dawgs gave Parnell plenty of reasons to chant Hail State, after winning the 2021 College World Series in the summer before his junior season. “Winning the softness, yeah, put the cherry on top there. They had an extended cut they posted on YouTube. I probably watched it like a week in a row, seven days a week.”

Nothing quite like Omaha, but Parnell was part of some very big moments during his time as a Cheetah, going all the way to the 5A South State Football League game in 2020 and then all the way to the 5A State Championship Series for baseball six months later. “Seniors, what the 2021 class did, I am trying to do exactly the same but more. I have to get one step closer to that state championship. I am trying to put the ring on my finger.”

Parnell’s “us before me” attitude has been contagious, ever since he transferred to college for baseball in the eighth grade. Baseball coach Richie Tillman said, “Killon was always a guy among the boys, and now he’s turned into just an exceptional leader, a guy that people love to follow. He just brings energy. He just makes everyone better. There aren’t that many of those guys in this world. Think about Michael Jordan, he’s one of those guys. Keilon is one of those special people who make everyone around him better.”

Not only is playing in the middle, Parnell says, but the quarterback gave him a crash course on Driving 101. After calculating 65 touchdowns on Friday nights, the newest Bulldog has hung his shoulder pads for good. “I just thought about it, and it was a tough talk with me and my dad, and it came literally a week before this, and we just talked about it and said baseball, it’s just going to be a baseball game.”

A tough choice, but perhaps the right one, at least based on his last full season as a sophomore, where Parnell hit .414 with 39 innings, 32 RBI, 14 doubles, five triples and two home runs.

Now a senior, his final season will be coach Richie Tillman’s final season as both sides hope to recreate some of the same tiger magic from 2012. “We’ve got to give it to him, man. He’s been working hard. He’s shown me his true colors through these years.” The four. He’s a good guy, a great guy. He’s a clown. That’s the kind of coach you need.”

“Hopefully they’ll be in the College World Series so that I can get free tickets one day. But for sure, when you play for the SEC, no matter what school, it’s the top level in college baseball, so that’s a huge achievement.” .

Parnell says he will major in wildlife sciences, fisheries and aquaculture when he arrives in Starkville in July.





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