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 as he and his Bartram Trail (Fla.) High School teammates host Ponte Vedra on Friday night.
Monday, Aug. 29
Nathan opened up a surprise box sent from some family in Tennessee today…and discovered a UT care package! They showered him with Vol gear including Vol cups, Power T license plate, UT playing cards, UT pasta salad, soft miniature UT football, UT pen and a UT back scratcher. We are definitely feeling the Orange and the White.
I must admit my favorite item was the orange and white kitchen decorative towel they included for me that says, "Tennessee Girl!" Nate's decision to commit to the Volunteers is extra special since I was born in Tennessee and we have lots of family who live in the state. Rocky Top will always be "home sweet home."
Friday, Sept. 2
Opening Game of the season — Bartram Trail played Nease at their stadium. Many BT friends and our Florida family crowded with us into the guest team bleachers, leaving standing room only for many Bartram fans. It didn't seem to matter as everyone was pumped up with team spirit while anticipating kickoff. We were especially excited to have all of our Florida family (Nate's grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins), our oldest son, Ryan, and daughter-in-law Kaley, along with our middle son, Aaron, who just arrived from college at Kentucky Christian University for the holiday weekend.
Marching band, cheerleaders, players in new uniforms and beautiful weather filled the air with fun and expectation!
The game was quick-moving with Bartram Trail scoring 27 points in the first quarter. We were especially proud of BT's No. 3, Jolen Briggs — defensive back and team captain, who had a pick-six and total of two interceptions. He had an awesome game. Way to go, Jolen!
The entire team played very well together and ended up winning 39-0, including time for the second- and third-string quarterbacks to have playing time as well. It's a great start to the season!
The team was filled with celebration but still do not consider themselves to have arrived. This is just one step on their journey of pursuing excellence. The focus on diligence and discipline.
The Bears prepare for "Shark week" against Ponte Vedra with practice Monday.
The Nease game was very fun as they are one of our main rivals and the series has been back and forth between us over the past decade. For our senior class specifically though, it was a great way to end off a perfect 3-0 varsity record against them. The trophy stays with us again this year.
The game went pretty well, though as we scored 27 points in the first quarter. We only had two drives in the second quarter and one ended in a field goal and the other was unfortunately stalled by a few penalties. Just more motivation to work harder in practice.
We came out in the second half and were backed up on our own 2-yard line (or as we like to call it, the "plus 98") and unfortunately went three-and-out.
Our special teams came up big, as they forced a muffed return and we recovered it.
We got it going again and then I was taken out mid-drive with the score 30-0 to give our backups more experience.
Overall the team did great, though. Some of the highlights were, first of all, the offensive line. They had a great performance and we had no sacks that night and they really cleared the holes open. We also did great defensively and Jolen Briggs led with two picks, one for six, and an unreal amount of decleaters.
We also did good special teams-wise as our star punter/kicker Cole Leininger had a fantastic 60-yard punt that pinned them on their own 2-yard line.
It was great to see the team play so good as a whole, but we are still not completely there.
As I keep saying, we are really chasing perfection this year and there were still things we could have done a lot better. We want to be a very special team this year and realize that it is going to take a very special effort. So as always, we are back to work on Monday and back to "Pursuing Excellence".
The season is underway, and the first "W" is in the books. I expected a little more of a contest from Nease than we experienced. We jumped to a 27-0 lead in the first quarter fairly quickly. Got great field position on each possession as well, so didn't have to go many yards to score. Three of Nate's first five passes were touchdowns. There was less intensity after that... still room for improvement.
Nate only played half a game again (just half of a series in the third quarter). Some teams in our area run up the scores and stats so that their team status and players are more known on the state and national level I guess. That's never been the style of coach Sutherland for the last 7 years I've been watching.
It was good to see the other kids (second and third team) get to play and gain the experience for pretty much the whole second half.
On Friday morning before the game, the St. Augustine paper (The Record) came out with major articles and pictures on Bartram Trail setting up a lot of hype before the season started.
I had a few mixed feelings about that. I grew up in North Pennsylvania (Yes… a Steeler and Joe "Pa" fan). I've emphasized one of Joe Paterno's quotes with Nate for years. "Publicity is like poison; it doesn't hurt unless you swallow it."
That was important after his first game during his sophomore year. A last minute 20-second drive the length of the field led the team to victory. There was a lot of hype after that! I think as a result he has preferred not to know his stats or read the paper unless it is about one of his fellow players.
Still anticipating a great season, and even greater future with Tennessee.