Rutherford getting set to play in same district with NBH, Bay and South Walton

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Let’s take another visit to an area high school football practice field, as teams in the region prepare for the start of the season, with regular season openers now just over two weeks away. Over at Rutherford coach Loren Tillman working with about 35 or so players on the varsity level. That as they get prepared to compete alongside Bay, North Bay Haven and South Walton in the newly formed 2-A Suburban class’s District Two. The Rams coming off a 4-6 season, with a lot of the players from that team coming back, not too many losses to graduation. So reason to believe the team will improve, given the past couple of years freshman and sophomores have dominated the roster. As for the mission these first two weeks of camp.

”I mean we’ve been going since spring.” coach Tillman told us. “So the game plan should be in. Now it should be just trying to get polished up and getting to game speed. We’ve still got some young men competing for different positions, you know who’s going to start, who’s going to back up. But at the same time, we’re pretty comfortable.”

Ask the coach who he will rely on for much of the production, on both sides of the ball, and he’ll tell you about some guys familiar with each other beyond football.

“The same ones at last year. You know we’ve got the two Schirmer (Keaton and Bryson) twins. You’ve got the Bentley (Patrick and Chris) brothers. The Waters (Ja’vyonn and Wy’kien) brothers. And you know we’ve got a couple of new kids that we expect to do well. Let’s see up front we return four of five starting offensive lineman. Quarterback will be a new position for us, but we’re comfortable with how far he’s come in a short period of time. But he needs a lot of game situations.”

That quarterback, Wy’kien Waters, just a sophomore. He and the rest of the Rams will get a few games in before heading into District play this season, and here’s coach Tillman’s thoughts on going back to the old style districts.

“The 2A has a large differential in student body. We’re right at 800 and South Walton is going to be right at 14-hundred or so and we’re still in the same district. So it’s a little bit different. Because basically you could take the old 3A, 4A and 5A and combine it into 2A. North Bay Haven, Bay, Rutherford will all be in 2A and all in the same district. So that means those county games and those district games, you know a little bit more important, more exciting than just a county game. "

The Rams will face Mosley in their preseason classic next Friday night and open the regular season on the road at Chipley on the 26th.

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