Parrott’s evolution from freshman to sophomore year has Bearden football in great position


Photo courtesy of Tammy Kregel

Bearden quarterback Drew Parrott leads a touchdown drive to close the first half against Maryville. The sophomore has had a breakout second season as the Bulldogs’ starter.

Being the starting quarterback playing at the most competitive level in Tennessee high school football isn’t easy for any player – especially not for a freshman.

Drew Parrott, however, did exactly that a year ago, and the experience has helped him improve into a better quarterback in his second year as the starter. His sophomore season numbers – and Bearden’s record – offer plenty of proof for Parrott’s evolution.

Barely halfway through the season, he already has more passing yards than he did last season, and the Bulldogs have already equaled last year’s win total.

“I’ve gotten smarter,” he said. “I’ve tried not to turn it over as much. My teammates have helped me with that as well by giving me advice on what to do, as well as coaches.”

Parrott and the Bulldogs (4-2, 1-1 Region 2-6A) have an opportunity to take a big step toward solidifying their place in the playoffs when they host Bradley Central (5-0, 2-0) on Friday at 7 p.m.

A win would put them into a tie for second place in the region. The top two seeds in the region host first round playoff games, while the third and fourth seeds still qualify, but have to travel for the first round.

Two weeks ago, Parrott won 5StarPreps player of the week after Bearden beat South Doyle 56-21. He finished the night 19-of-23 for 228 yards and five touchdowns.

“I feel like Drew has a very high ceiling, and this is just the start of what he can do,” said junior wide receiver Sam Tummins, who caught two of Parrott’s touchdown passes against South Doyle.

Bearden Coach Josh Jones said that Parrott has a number of skills that make him such a successful quarterback, including his footwork, his growth in his responsible use of possessions and protecting the ball, and his mobility in the pocket.

Coach Jones also pointed out that it’s clear from Parrott’s mentality that he is a coach’s son. Parrott’s dad is Bearden boys basketball coach Jeremy Parrott.

“Drew being a coach’s kid gets it,” Coach Jones said. “He’s always in it all the time.

“There’s never any motivational speaking needed for him to get him to do his best. He is there all the time, practice or game. No matter what the situation is, he wants to perform at the highest level he can play at. I always joke and say no one is harder on Drew Parrott than Drew Parrott himself.”

Parrott hopes to get the opportunity to continue his career in football out of high school. He aspires to complete the goals that he has set up for himself including leading Bearden on a playoff run.

The Bulldogs last made it out of the first round of the playoffs in 2019.

“Ï do wanna play in college,” Parrott said. “I will go to any college that will accept me and wherever I get the chance to play.

“I don’t care where it is; it’s just wherever will give me the opportunity.”