Belchertown QB Cam Otto on verge of 1K season entering Thanksgiving tilt with Pathfinder

  • Belchertown senior quarterback Cameron Otto (11) hands off to junior running back Sam Winston (2) in the fourth quarter of the Orioles’ 8-7 Intercounty League win over visiting Frontier on Sept. 6. Otto and the Orioles visit Pathfinder at 10 a.m. on Thursday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

For the Gazette
Published: 11/28/2019 8:53:18 AM

BELCHERTOWN — When Belchertown visits Pathfinder for its annual Thanksgiving Day football game, the Orioles will be led by quarterback Cam Otto.

At one point early in the season an injury threatened Otto’s season, but the senior returned to the field. On Thursday, Otto can deliver a second-straight winning season for the Orioles (5-5) with a win against the Pioneers (2-8).

“Yeah, I’m ready to sling it,” Otto said.

The senior quarterback is 18 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season through the air, despite having broken his wrist on his off hand in the second game of the season against South Hadley. Otto was running out of bounds in that game when he was hit after the whistle and went crashing down in front of his team’s bench.

Rather than let his senior year come to an end on that Friday night, Otto was determined to carry on.

“It’s tough sitting and watching the game. I knew right away that I wanted to get back in as soon as I could,” Otto said.

Two weeks later, he was back on the field with a cast that he wore for the majority of the season. Since then, he has progressed back to the level of play he is capable of. In his previous game against Palmer on Nov. 20, Otto threw for 220 yards and a touchdown, and added two rushing touchdowns in a 23-6 win.

“Right before halftime I figured that it was his time to shine and I let him call the plays in the two-minute drill,” Belchertown coach Ed Wyzik said. “I think when you feel that your quarterback is confident, not only in himself but in his teammates as well, then you can let him run the show so I gave him that opportunity.”

At 6-foot-3, Otto uses his height to see over his offensive line and his arm strength to uncork deep passes.

Otto threw a 75-yard pass to Hunter Klingensmith last week. He also threw an 84-yard pass to longtime friend Cal Daskam against South Hadley.

Otto said he wouldn’t be where he is now skillwise without the offseason work he put in at Excel Sports Academy, based out of East Longmeadow.

“You have to flick your wrist the right way,” Otto said. “You can feel it when it snaps out of your hand, you have to rotate your hips fast, your back leg has to come through. It’s definitely not all in the arm.”

The Thanksgiving Day game will kick off at 10 a.m.


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