Falcons’ Parton to continue career at ESU
The East Stroudsburg University football team’s coaching staff was the only school that came to watch Salisbury’s Chad Parton for a full practice during last offseason. That left a lasting impression on the Falcon senior.
Parton recently signed a letter of intent to continue his football career at Division II ESU, a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
“They were the only school to actually come to a practice and watch the whole thing,” Parton said. “That was before the Notre Dame (Green Pond) game of the first week…They also came a second time for a practice.”
ESU wasn’t the first school to contact Parton, but the visit from head coach Jimmy Terwilliger certainly had an impact on his decision.
“[Slippery Rock] was the first school that said they were going to give me an offer,” Parton said. “From there, after that, I put it out there on Twitter. I had a lot of coaches contacting me, and the dominoes just started to fall. Other coaches contacted me and I got recognition from that.
“[Coach Terwilliger] is just such a good guy. It’s a family atmosphere up there. His dad is a coach and has been there for a while. A lot of the coaches actually came from ESU. They came to my practices and watched the whole thing. That says a lot about him.”
Parton also had scholarship offers from Bloomsburg, Lake Erie, Shippensburg and West Chester. His three finalists came down to ESU, Slippery Rock and Shippensburg, with the Warriors becoming the choice for Parton due to the coaching staff, the offense they run and the school’s proximity to home.
Terwilliger led ESU to a 6-5 record during his first full season at the helm, and Parton is one of 12 highly anticipated recruits that expect to build off that 2019-20 season. Personally for Parton, he can’t wait to get back to work. He’s currently working on his footwork and route running at Moravian College.
Parton was also drawn to Terwilliger’s past. He is a former ESU quarterback himself who was the 2005 Harlon Hill Award winner, which is given to the Most Outstanding Player at the Division II level each season. He holds countless Division II passing records, so naturally as a wide receiver Parton is intrigued to learn from such a gifted offensive player and coach.
“I’m really excited to just pick up the system as fast as I can,” Parton said. “I want to learn the plays fast so I can get in right away. I’m excited. I can’t wait.”
Ever since Parton started playing flag football, he wanted to one day play in high school and eventually college. That aspiration became more and more likely as he grew up, especially after he burst onto the high school scene as a junior.
Parton recorded 57 catches for 872 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns as a junior to open eyes around the state. He took another leap during a shortened senior season in which he finished with school records in receptions (58), receiving yards (1,052) and receiving touchdowns (12).
“Once I got to like sixth or seventh grade, I knew this is something I wanted to do,” Parton said. “I wanted to continue playing football. That was my goal.
“It was definitely my junior year. I started getting contacted by coaches. They started personally contacting me and talking to me after my junior year because that was my breakout year.”
Despite the success over the past two years, Parton never took anything for granted and understood the difficulty of playing in college.
“I’m definitely grateful,” Parton said. “The percentage of people that play at the college level is really slim. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m so happy that I’m going to ESU. It’s something special.”