Sevier County’s freshman quarterback rises to the occasion

High School

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It’s just shorts and shirts during Sevier County’s Thursday walk-through practice. It’s still easy to see how comfortable freshman quarterback Cam Burden has become.

“It’s pretty rare to see a freshman handle himself with the poise that Camden has done,” says Burden’s father PJ.

For most, being a high school freshman is hard enough. But Cam is starting to make it look easy.

“After the first game, the nerves were really out the door,” admits Cam. “Then I could just do my thing.”

The new Smokey Bears quarterback rolled up 405 yards of total offense (232 passing, 173 rushing) and three touchdowns in Sevier County’s 41-24 win over South-Doyle in Week 5. Just weeks ago, he wasn’t even on the QB radar.

“He did not want to play quarterback in high school, he was pretty adamant about that,” says PJ Burden. “He wanted to be receiver. But he did what was in the best interest of the team.”

Shortly before the season, projected starter Noah Webb quit the football team after committing to the University of Tennessee for baseball. Jeffrey Bersch was set to be the next man up, but a sprained shoulder the week before the season thrust Cam into the starting job.

“I was really, really, really nervous at first. All the pressure’s on you.”

So far, the freshman has risen to the occasion.

“I think he’s matured with his reads and making plays. He’s stepped in really well and filled the shoes great,” says junior wide receiver and defensive back Colin Russell.

Cam also plays safety, where PJ Burden can keep a close eye as Sevier County’s defensive backs coach.

“His mama thinks I’m hard on him, but I think I’m pretty fair.”

All while the Smokey Bears 1999 State Title defensive MVP gets a front row seat to his son’s growing achievements.

“It’s a diehard mentality around here. We’re so proud of their tradition and everything that goes into it. And to see him be successful in this program, it’s a blessing.”

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