Diary: Extending the season

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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 defeated Columbia 27-24 in a FHSAA Class 6A regional semifinal last Friday. Peterman completed 16 of 25 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Coach Darrell Sutherland's Bears (11-1) host Pace on Friday night at 7:30.

Nathan Peterman

Our team had a great win this week against Lake City Columbia. They were a very good team and the game came down to the final seconds. 

We were ahead in the first half and a couple plays went their way in the second half and they made a comeback to tie the game up at the very end. 

We got the ball back with around 30 seconds left to go around our own 30-yard line and attempted two plays unsuccessfully.

We then called timeout to talk about our next play. We decided to take a shot down the field and try a double move on the outside.  We ran the play and I rolled out left and saw our receiver, Jared Crump, getting a little separation on the outside and I let it fly. Jared then did the rest of the work and jumped up between two defenders and made an unbelievable catch on the 20-yard line. 

We then called timeout with five seconds left to go and our kicker, Cole Leininger, trotted onto the field. He kicked the first one and I couldn't tell if it was good or not and the refs made no inclination as to either outcome, but the opposing coach had called timeout right before the play so it didn't matter.  He then kicked the second one right down the middle and we won the game with no time left. 

It was an unbelievable story-book ending and I couldn't have been more overjoyed. It was very fitting with Thanksgiving Weekend and I was very thankful to God. 

I don't know if God cares about the winning and losing part of football much, but I gave Him all the praise and thanks anyways because I do know that He is sovereign over all. We are very excited to be playing for the regional championship this week for our last home game and we will be preparing hard so as to not make it our last game ever.

Chuck Peterman

We had a wonderful Black Friday! The Black Bears came out with the ferocious attitude of frenzied shoppers over a bargain Walmart Christmas special! Only for them, there was so much more at stake than a disappointing Christmas… and as a result they fought their hearts out! I'm so proud of all the guys.

We were exhausted emotionally as we watched the clear momentum we had going into the half fizzle to a drizzle in the opening minutes of the third quarter. I'm so proud of the way the defense responded to this very physically strong team.

Mark Leininger, our kicker's dad, was in front of us and we were praying hard and hoping with everything we had that the final play would go our way.  When the football went through the uprights I don't think I have ever quite had the sensation at a football game that we had at that moment.  When it went through we were hugging Cole's dad first of course, but then everyone was just going crazy with cheers and hugs. 

Several parents told me their legs felt like rubber after the game… indeed… so did mine. Not a good game for heart patients either!! 

Only the second game of the season Nate has been needed all four quarters.  I like that he played the whole game. However I admit I'm hoping for a rest emotionally this Friday and more cushion in the scores.  I know, I know… "Wake up—it's the play-offs!"

I watched some of the heart-breaking loss for Tennessee. It's so unfortunate we won't get to watch them in the postseason. But we're really looking forward to an in-home visit from coach Dooley and coach Hinshaw this week! Looking forward to a great Vol Nation future, Lord willing.

Dana Peterman

What an amazing win by the Bears Friday night!

I am so very proud of the whole team…they never gave up!!! The fans in the stands were super-charged and it all began with a "Surprise Send-Off" by family, friends and fans at the school as the team loaded the buses. Led by the BT cheerleaders, we formed what was officially the first "Bear Walk" complete with cowbells, noisemakers, cheers and signs that read, "WE BELIEVE" and "GO BEARS!"

It was awesome to see the look on all the players' faces as they walked through.

The excitement continued throughout the game and even on the charter bus ride home. We were all so excited to have spent the most memorable "Black Friday" ever…now the Bears advance and play at home this week.

It will be an incredible night as Nate and all the Seniors play in the Bears' stadium for the last time! Time for the state regional championship…LET'S GO BEARS!!!


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