The Dakota County Blue Knights were a means to an end for Parker Savard.
Having done his part, the second baseman and graduate of Bishop Alexander Carter Catholic Secondary School will move on from the two seasons that he spent with the junior college based out of Rosemount (Minnesota), committing to the St Cloud State University Huskies just recently.
"I don't know that I would say that I had any more skill than anybody who was there that I was fighting for a position, but every day, I went in and worked as hard as I could, and it paid off," said Savard.
A "AAA" hockey talent growing up and Sudbury Wolves' selection in the 2017 U18 draft, Savard quickly found a home near the top of the order for the Blue Knights, enjoying an impressive rookie campaign that featured a batting average of .342, on-base percentage of .449, all while leading the conference in runs (33), doubles (9) and walks (14).
"It really helped with me being comfortable with my surroundings," stated the 19 year-old product of the Sudbury Voyageurs baseball program. "My first year living with my aunt and uncle really helped me get more comfortable with the area, get myself into a routine that I followed throughout my first and second year there."
And while his sophomore campaign was cut short by the current pandemic, Savard was convinced that his development had continued in the right direction. "I think my maturity surpassed where I was in first year, for sure," he said.
"I put on a little more muscle, a little more meat. I matured both on the field and off. On the field, I am more vocal, I get it more, I know where I am supposed to be in this situation, or know what pitch is likely to come in this count."
"Off the field, my time management improved, with school and practice every day, just being able to manage that."
Though his production at the plate and his solid play defensively in the infield certainly aided the recruitment process to the Huskies, Savard acknowledged a pair of other factors that worked in his favour.
"It helped with me being in Minnesota, being so close (90 minutes) to St Cloud," he said. "And our pitching coach (Dana Kiecker) is a graduate of St Cloud State and played with the (Boston) Red Sox (1990-1991)."
About to receive his diploma in Exercise Sport Science from Dakota County, Savard has enrolled in the Education program at St Cloud State, where he hopes to play out his remaining three years of NCAA eligbility.
"They have a second baseman who is graduating, so that opens up a spot," said Savard. "I think I am the only JUCO middle infielder that they brought in. They are bringing in three other high school kids, so it's up for grabs, for sure."
Competing in the NCAA Division II Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, St Cloud State has historically boasted a squad that could go toe to toe with the best of them, capturing the regular season title in both 2013 and 2015, and the year-end tournament crown in 2011, 2015 and 2016.
"I will need to make sure I have good at bats in the fall, that they see that," he added. "I will need to make every routine play in the field and be a leader, just as I've been the past two years at Dakota."
And from there, Parker Savard is fully prepared to let the chips fall where they may, knowing that he's done his part.