Diary: Preseason over for Peterman

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A few of Tennessee's football commitments have agreed to work alongside InsideTennessee.com to diary their senior seasons and final year of high school.

Nathan Peterman and his parents were among the first who volunteered to share some thoughts about the quarterback's life with our readership. Read below to see what the Peterman's had to say in their first entry as he and his Bartram Trail (Fla.) High School teammates open their season at Nease tonight at 7.

Nathan Peterman

We had our preseason game last night against Mandarin. It was almost equivalent to an NFL preseason game as the starters were only scheduled to play the first half and maybe some in the second half.

We ended up coming out and playing pretty well the first half, but nowhere close to expectations we have for ourselves. Like I said before, our theme this year is "Pursuing Excellence" and we were definitely far from our best.

We went into halftime up 14-7 but were really disappointed with our play in that first half. We felt we had missed a lot of opportunities to capitalize on some things and wanted to make it better.

We got the ball to start out the second half and the coaches made the decision to give us one last series before putting the back-ups in. We were very happy to have this chance because we wanted to try and clean ourselves up from the performance in the first half. We came out and methodically drove down the field and scored, but again we saw things we could improve on. Coach then took all of the starters out to give some of the younger guys some playing time.

We ended up winning the game 33-7, but definitely felt that we could have done better in a lot of areas. With all of this said, our team is chomping at the bit and ready to get back after it at practice on Monday as we continue to chase perfection. The game was very motivating to us and I honestly think it was the best thing for us, to humble us and get us to just work even harder.

This week we will be playing Nease, one of our big-time rivals and Tim Tebow's old school. It is always a fun game against them so we are looking forward to it, but as always, pursuing excellence.

Chuck Peterman (Dad)

It was great to finally get the season started. Mandarin is a rival 8A school, and we got bumped up to 6A in the new classification system. It's always fun to play them. We had a lot of extended family at the game and many friends and church family with Vol colors on, but we are still toting mostly Black, Blue and White — Bartram Trail colors. It's time to focus on Nate's last season.

 The nostalgia is rich, thick and emotional as I recall Nate's first TD (an 8-yard hitch to the corner of the end zone as a 14-year-old freshman on this very field.) How can it really be his Senior year? And how can this be my youngest?

The eagerness to see the playoffs and a run at state was clearly in the air this year. There were a lot more out to the game than usual for a scrimmage. The last time I sensed this aura was when Nate's older brother Aaron was a junior on the football team, and Kyle Parker (former Clemson QB) was the senior quarterback that year. We made a run at the top, but got beat in overtime the game before the state championship weekend.

It would be great to be in Orlando the third weekend of December this year and make history for this young program. But we have to take it one game at a time. Right now Nease is the obstacle in the way of meeting the goal. Nease split about a dozen years ago to form Bartram … Friday couldn't come fast enough.

What's my opinion about last Friday's game? Well… I have to agree with Nate's assessment, but chalked it up to preseason bugs to be worked out. The potential is clearly there for a monster season for everyone!

I went up to the O-line after the game and thanked all the guys. Told them a steak dinner was coming in October and talked to the position coach about lining it up. I'm going to be in trouble… those 300-pound big boys can surely put some meat and potato's down the hatch.

Also, several Vol fans came up to introduce themselves after the game. Nate was cheered by a picture with little Eli, a 6-year-old bundle of energy, enthusiasm and fanaticism, all decked out in Vol attire while toting his Vol football. That's an aura as significant as a run for the playoffs!

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