Parker Chastey has earned this recognition from coaches across Minnesota this past high school season. Parker has 15 goals and 11 assists from midfield across 19 games this season.
When Parker was asked what this meant to him, he responded, "It’s a huge honor to be nominated as a Mr. Soccer finalist. To be recognized by the state as one of the five best players in our class is a great feeling, and it’s good to know that all my hard work throughout the years is being acknowledged.".
Then he was asked about his highlights for the season and anything else he wanted to say to which he responded, "A few highlights from this season would be our 5-3 win against Hermantown, where I scored three and assisted 2, and also winning in the Semifinals against Hermantown on penalties.
I have played for Gitch since I was seven years old and learned so much about the game through Gitch and through my dad, Barry Chastey, who has been my coach for my whole Gitch career. I developed skills playing for Gitch that enabled me to thrive in High School Soccer. Gitch has helped me massively in my soccer career, and I can honestly say that I would not be in the position I am in today without it.
I also want to thank Scott Anderson, my high school coach, and all of my teammates in Gitch and Denfeld. Scott has not only taught me how to be a better player but also how to be a better person. As for my teammates, I would not be the player I am without my teammates constantly pushing me in practice and working as a unit in games.".
Scott Anderson, head coach of Denfeld, said, "Parker grew up around soccer. With his dad being the head Men's Soccer coach at the College of St. Scholastica and the director of coaching for Gitchi Gummi Soccer Club, he was around the game a lot. Imagine being just a youngster and getting to watch high-level players and being able to kick the ball around with a bunch of college guys; you're going to learn a thing or two. And thankfully, that thing or two were good soccer habits.
Parker joined the Denfeld program as a 7th grader on JV. One season later, he found himself on the varsity roster. I remember that first year and his first goal on the pitch up in Proctor - a shot from about 30-35 yards out that went up and into the goal. He hasn't looked back since. That year, we made it to State on the backs of other great players. We were in the Section 7 A or AA Finals all five years of Parker's career, reaching State twice – though one of those was the Covid-19 year with "mythical" State games.
We played him at the 6, or CDM spot for the first three seasons with us. He would help our defense from there, of course, but he also found himself getting the ball up to other players, including his older brother Keegan, a Mr. Soccer finalist in 2020. If we could count the 2nd assist like hockey does, his stats would be even better.
After his brother graduated, Parker got to shine a bit more. He got into more of an offensive role as more of an 8, a between-the-boxes midfielder. He could both defend and get more into the attack that way. In his first three years, he scored just six goals and 14 assists, then over the last two seasons playing as the 8, his totals jumped to 13 goals and 15 goals, respectively, plus 8 and 11 assists for a career of 31 goals and 33 assists.
I think Parker is one of the most attentive students of the game that I've coached. He's able to read the field and situations like few others can. So much so that I would trust him to adjust on the field to where his teammates were playing.
Through everything, he’s been a humble player too. He was never the flashy, look-at-me kind of kid – even though a year ago, one of his teammates created the Parker Chastey fan page where he would get interviewed and put up on social media. He would shyly answer the questions in his quiet voice, but people loved it. I think he did too.
Parker has been a tremendous part of our program and its growth. I’m proud of how he’s grown over the last six years as a player and student, and for being the upstanding young man, he is. He most definitely deserved recognition as a Mr. Soccer finalist.".
Barry Chastey, Parker's dad, Gitchi Gummi coach and director of coaching at Gitchi Gummi, said, "I am absolutely delighted for Parker to be recognized by the High School Coaches across the State for his quality of play and leadership on the pitch. I have a different perspective on Parker. I have seen all the additional time, work, and effort that has gone into his game over the years firsthand. The amount of extra time he has spent on the pitch outside of all the training sessions we had through Gitch was massive. Parker’s game understanding is at an elite level, and he has the technical ability with his range and quality of pass to cause all teams real problems
At Gitch, Parker played with some great players and was a leader. He played a vital role in the team and showed his team-first mentality. Parker always played up throughout his time with Gitch, and his team played at the highest level in the State against some top-quality players. As a holding midfielder, his positioning is exceptional. He would break up so many of the opponent's attacks and then start our transition to attack.
Parker’s likable personality and love of the game meant he had complete respect from his teammates. He used this to help the team succeed on the pitch, as he often directed and instructed his teammates throughout games.
The Gitch highlights probably occurred last year as Parker and his team lifted the top-flight U19 USA CUP trophy with a dramatic Final win in the dying seconds after beating a team from Sweden in the knockout stages, a first for the Club at that age and level.
Gitch continues to develop top-quality players who make a massive difference on their High School teams. The level of play Parker and our other players from Gitch play from January through July is the reason Gitch players have such success locally with the High School programs. It is no coincidence that the top players in the area play Gitch. I am proud of the person, and player Parker has become as he has used the “5 Pillars” to guide him.
As the coaching director for Gitch, I am also filled with enjoyment when I see all our players dominating High School soccer.".