BY: Shawn O’Brate
RIVERTON – Local golf phenom Parker Paxton, who was busy celebrating his second straight state championship on Monday afternoon, has done what many juniors in high school do when they are as sought after and touted in their respective sport: commit to a college for after high school.
Paxton has had plenty of success so far in his high school career, both in basketball and in golf, but the bulk of his trophies and notoriety have all come from the latter. Individually he has won multiple tournaments across Wyoming, he’s won state two years in a row, he’s played at the High School national tournament, and he’s been ranked #1 in the state–and #10 nationally–for most of the past two years.
But, if you ask Paxton, it’s not about him at all.
“These guys I get to play with they’re really good,” Paxton said about his team before traveling to Pinehurst earlier this year, “If it weren’t for them I don’t know where I’d really be right now.”
Obviously Paxton is the ultimate team player, he has helped other players on the team and learns from the seniors and juniors that came before him, but now he’ll have soon have another team to learn from and help bring national championships–The University of Colorado Boulder.
“It was a crazy recruiting process,” Paxton said earlier this week, “it really was a day-to-day process that changed everyday.”
Ultimately Paxton selected the Buffalos because “they were there from the beginning” and that he was “their guy” from the get-go.
“It came down to how special they made me feel,” Paxton explained.
Not only did Paxton feel special but he knew that Colorado’s Athletic Director, Rick George, worked as the President of the PGA Champions’ Tour from 2003-08 which solidified that Paxton’s golf team and golf exposure would be a major focal point.
“Not only that, there’s less sports at Colorado so every sport gets more attention and NIL [“Name, Image & Likeness] are more abundant,” Paxton explained before getting to the root of why he chose Boulder, “Overall their [scholarship] offer was just the best and I really was their guy from the beginning.”
Paxton’s older brother Easton made his decision, much like Parker did, in his third year of high school after dominating in the golf game for the Wolverines. Easton selected NC State where he had much success, so much so that he is currently playing on the Canadian PGA tour.
Now that Riverton’s golf season is over, and the firetruck ride down Main Street and around Riverton has ended, Paxton can get back to focusing on his studies–as well as basketball season–which will hopefully lead to learning more about what he wants to major in when he’s in Boulder, Colorado.
“They have a really good business school,” Paxton hinted at.
The entire town of Riverton will be watching Paxton’s career with great interest but for now everybody at WyoToday Media wishes Paxton a successful, solid school year and basketball season before picking the clubs back up next Spring.