OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Parker Burleson

Parker Burleson

Sports Editor

It was something that placekicker Parker Burleson had done in practice several times.

When East Webster head coach Ron Price put Burleson into last Friday night's game against J.Z. George to attempt a 47-yard field goal in the third quarter, the junior kicker wasn't worried about the long distance.

"It was just about sticking with my mechanics and just putting the ball through the uprights," Burleson said. "To me, for a kicker, there is no better feeling than to see the ball go through the uprights - no matter how long it is - much less if it's a long field goal like that. It feels real good.

"I was glad we got the win and glad I could contribute any way I could."

The career long make for Burleson was one of one of three field goals and he also had four extra points in the 43-6 victory.

For his outing, Burleson was chosen OCH Regional Medical Center/SDN Athlete of the Week.

Price was glad to see Burleson rewarded with a good performance because he has worked to get better.

"Nobody works harder on our team than Parker," Price said. "He puts a lot of time in on the weekends. He'll come back after practice and kicks on his own. He deserves any award he gets because he truly puts in the time and effort.

"He's probably one of the most competitive players on our team. He wants to win and wants to be successful and hopefully that will carry over and influence his teammates."

Burleson had made four out of five field goal attempts this season and 16 out of 21 extra points.

Eight of his 18 kickoffs have resulted in touchbacks and he has also punted 24 times for an average of 35.8 yards.

When it comes to achieving success in special teams, Burleson knows it is more than just about him.

"It's a lot of credit to my line because without them, the ball doesn't leave my foot without getting blocked or anything," Burleson said.

Burleson began kicking in the seventh grade and worked his way into a starting position this season for East Webster. He wants to keep improving enough one day to get an opportunity in college.

Right now Price is just happy that Burleson is on his side.

"It's a difference maker when you can control the special teams," Price said. "You want to win all three phases of offense, defense and special teams and I feel like Parker gives us an advantage in the special teams area.
We struggled there early in the season just with so many new kids with a new snapper and everything. I feel like that unit has improved as the season has gone on. For Parker to come out and play the way that he did, hopefully that will give him and all of those guys on that unit some confidence going into district play."

The Wolverines (3-3) have enjoyed two impressive wins in a row over J.Z. George and Strayhorn 46-0.

With Friday's Maroon Bowl against Eupora looming to start Class 2A, Region 2 play, Burleson hopes the momentum build with back-to-back victories carries over.

"I'd like to go out and put out a good performance against Eupora, do what we can and try to get a win," Burleson said.