Troy Christian’s Alex Free, Parker Penrod make college choices


TROY — There was a special signing day recently at Troy Christian High School.

Two of their most prolific athletes made their college choices.

Parker Penrod and Alex Free were multiple sport stars for the Eagles in both soccer and basketball and the numbers speak for themselves.

In soccer, the Eagles were 59-20-9 in their four years, advancing to one regional semifinal and one regional final.

In basketball, they were 80-22, again advancing to one regional semifinal and one regional final.

Free, the son of Eric and Christy Free, will continue his soccer career at the University of Dayton.

Penrod, the son of Brad and Malia Penrod, will continue his basketball career at Ohio Christian University.

And both understand how impressive their high school careers were.

“I had a blast,” Free said. “It was a lot of fun and I couldn’t have done it without all my teammates.”

Penrod agreed.

“None of it would have been possible without my teammates,” he said. “I think it is impressive what we were able to accomplish.”

Alex Free

Free began his soccer career impressively, scoring 14 goals and adding 15 assists as a freshman.

His sophomore and junior years, he played a different role for the Eagles.

“My sophomore year, I moved to defense after three games,” Free said. “My junior year, I started out on defense and then moved up after seven or eight games. It was the first time I had ever played centerback, but it was a good experience.”

He went out with a bang his senior year, scoring a school record 35 goals and adding 15 assists.

“After my freshman year, I was hoping to get the record (for career goals),” Free said

Along with TRC Player of the Year and All-Ohio honors, Free earned All-American honors, the first high school All-American at Troy Christian.

“Being a high school All-American was a goal of mine,” Free said. “I wasn’t sure if I would be able to accomplish it, but I am happy that I did.”

He also averaged over five points and five rebounds on the basketball floor and the 6-foot-3 guard also led the team in assists with 5.0 as a junior and 4.5 this last season.

Free remembers getting started in soccer at an early age.

“Neither one of my parents played soccer,” he said. ‘My grandfather (Rick Stewart) was my first coach. He got me started and I have loved it ever since.”

He said the University of Dayton was an easy choice in the end.

“They were the first ones to contact me,” he said. “They weren’t really in the picture until the end. I wanted to stay close to home and they have a really good program.”

Free said college soccer will take his game to a another level.

“I am really looking forward to it,” he said. “Playing with all those good players and against the competition I am going to be playing against is going to make me better. I look forward to the challenge.”

Parker Penrod

Penrod was a key member of the soccer team all four years as a defender and scored nine goals and had seven assists in his limited opportunities on offense during his career.

But, it is on the basketball floor where he really shined.

Penrod averaged 9.3 points as a freshman, 13.2 points as a sophomore, 16.9 points as a junior and 19.5 points as a senior.

He is second on the all-time scoring list at Troy Christian and earned All-Ohio honors the last two seasons. He was also co-TRC Player of the Year this past year.

And it is basketball that is his true love.

“It has been a goal since I was a little kid to play basketball in college,” Penrod said. “I have always loved the game.”

And he said for himself, Ohio Christian University was an easy choice.

“I really liked it there (when he visited),” Penrod said. “I like the coaches and the players. They (Ohio Christian University) have always believed in me from the start.”

Penrod hopes to make an impact immediately.

“It is going to take a lot of hard work,” Penrod said. “But, I believe I can get on the floor (as a freshman).”

After both completed amazing high school careers and made their college choices.

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