Rutherford football team set to get back on the field Friday amidst serious damage

SPRINGFIELD, FL (WJHG/WECP) The Rutherford football is yet another example of a local sports team that is down, but not out, in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

Rutherford a school certainly among the hardest hit in our area, in terms of damage from the storm.

I was able to spend a little time Tuesday afternoon with Rams head football coach Loren Tillman, who is like many teachers, coaches and administrators throughout the different school districts in our area, are doing double-duty!

They're working on their own damaged homes, and those of family and friends. And they're trying to work back into some routine when it comes to school, and for the coaches, high school athletics.

Tillman and his cohorts at Rutherford dealing with badly damaged buildings and facilities, like the new and old gyms, the equipment room and even his practice field, where the goal posts are bent. And the field has huge divots from large recovery trucks driving on it.

On top of all that, the coach tells us he still has kids scattered all about, with many unable to return!

"We have kids in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Pensacola, Orlando, Destin." coach Tillman told me. "We have them pretty scattered. Right now, we left, we played Arnold on a Friday night we had 43 on the varsity roster. And today we had 25 at practice."

So that begs the question, why did he work to schedule a game Friday with Marianna? He tells us he only made the decision after consulting with players and their families.

"You know it's three weeks after the storm." says the coach "Everybody has been able to evaluate homes and family. But we need...these young men have invested a lot of time and effort. Yes there's still more to be done at home, everybody still has tarps on (their roofs) and trees down. And some still have trees in their homes. But at the same time, we're trying to get moving back forward."

Coach Tillman says it especially important for the seniors, they'll have some sort of senior night for them. And oh by the way, the Rams still playoff eligible with a win!

That game Friday at Chapman Field-Tommy Oliver set for 6 o'clock.