Diary: Coping with defeat

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A few of the Tennessee 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 family had to say after Bartram Trail (Fla.) High School lost an early lead and fell 26-10 to St. Augustine last week. Peterman completed 18 of 35 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown with his first two interceptions of the season. Coach Darrell Sutherland's Bears (7-1) head to Samuel W. Wolfson on Nov. 4.

Nathan Peterman

Well, this week was a pretty tough one. 

We played St. Augustine, our county rival and the team we had to beat to win a district championship. It was a huge game, but we tried to just go into it with the thought that it was just another bump in the road to our ultimate goal, which is very true. 

To sum the game up very shortly, we didn't execute at the level we know we can, and they beat us. This loss is probably one of the most painful I have ever had. I felt like I could have done so much better personally and it sickened me. The history of this game has a lot to do with this, too. 

As a young school, we have never beaten St. Augustine in our 11-year history, and we have lost to them four times in the last two seasons. They knocked us out of the playoffs both times, and last year it was a one-point difference in the loss. So this game had a little more weight than just a district championship, which is big in itself.

The thing we as a team have to remember now is that this loss will not define us. If we win out, we will be in the playoffs and will hopefully get to face them again in the second round. 

Like I said before, it is just a bump in the road. It's a pretty big one, yes, but just one that we have to get over and stay on course. 

I know this will just increase the work ethic, for me personally, and the team.  I have never been so motivated before to face a team again, which is surprising to me even, given the past games with them. I didn't really think I could want to beat them more, but I guess I could.

We are going into our bye week this week, which will be a good time to rest and heal from injuries for some of our team, but also to get a lot better and work so much harder. 

I will also be making my official visit to Tennessee this weekend as they face off against South Carolina. I am very excited for this and look forward to finally get the chance to watch a game in the amazing atmosphere of Neyland Stadium!

Dana Peterman

From a mother's heart, this week's game was painful.  It hurts deeply to fall short of the goal we all wanted so badly. However, I am still very proud of all the Bears. 

I know Friday night was extremely disappointing, but we will not give up because of one game. There were some incredible plays to celebrate and moments of learning as well.

After the game, I went and hugged as many of the players as I could and told them, "We are still proud of you…the goal is still there…don't give up!" The State Championship is not out of sight yet. They can still get there, and we will most likely face St. Augustine again in the playoffs.

We trust this is an opportunity for the Bears to grow closer and stronger as a team. We believe their focus will sharpen as they work even harder and bond together even more.  The team needs our faith, support and unity more than ever now. We know the Bears have the heart, passion, skills and talent to win every game between now and the state championship on Dec. 16. GO BEARS…Keep pursuing excellence!!! 

The victory will be even sweeter now. We were blessed to have more family visiting from Tennessee and so thankful for their love, prayers and support!

This week is Bartram's bye week, so we are planning to have the O-line players over for a steak dinner Tuesday night. They have become a mighty fortress and we want them to know how much we appreciate them and believe in them for the task still at hand. It should be a fun time.

We are also excited for our official visit to Tennessee this coming weekend!  I look forward to seeing the fall leaves changing colors on the road trip as well at the incredible Vol game day experience in Neyland Stadium! Can't wait to see the sea of Orange and White!

Chuck Peterman

As much as I dislike the short-term feelings of losing and adversity, I admit I like the long term results it usually brings physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and socially. I know Tennessee is feeling the same feelings right now short-term but I'm excited about the future for the young team at Rocky Top!

Lessons are being learned right now individually and team-wise that will play out for the positive when needed for big wins in the future.

I'm not sure why the team seemed "out of sync" with playing "their" game in this important district matchup. The area papers pointed out that beating St. Augustine has even eluded the likes of Tim Tebow and Kyle Parker. Fortunately for them, St. Augustine wasn't in their district those years.

We don't have that luxury if we want to go as far as they did in the playoffs. The road to state will have to go through this hornet net unfortunately if our dreams will be realized.

I was so proud of Nate from many angles before and after the game. I appreciated the comments from the opposing coach (Joey Wiles) before and after the game. One of our coaches called me Saturday as well with some things that parents like to hear.

Nate seems to have a much better perspective than I did at the age of 17 about what's really important in life. He handled the pressure beforehand with good preparation and mental poise. He handled the disappointment and leadership responsibilities afterward even better.

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