Buchholz football signs five on National Signing Day 2017
By Jack DaSilva
The Buchholz Bobcats’ football team had a successful season last fall, winning eight games before advancing to the second round of the 8A state playoffs where they eventually lost to Bartram Trail (St. Johns) to finish 8-3.
BHS had an older, experienced team with six players signed to play football at the next level. On Wednesday, February 1st Buchholz held a gathering for five seniors to sign their letter of intent to play college football.
Those five players included Luke Whittemore who signed with Troy, Jared Bruce (University of North Florida), Chris Rumph (Duke), Terrance Coley (Jacksonville University), and Xavier Marshall (Warner Southern).
Wide receiver, Luke Whittemore led the team with 11 games played, 55 receptions, 945 reception yards, and 7 touchdowns. Averaging around 17 yards per catch and nearly 86 yards per game, Luke Whittemore was a vital part of the 2016 Buchholz football team and should perform well at Troy.
“I put in a lot of work over the years since middle school and it just feels really good to sign [to Troy],”said Whittemore, pointing out that the rest of his teammates helped him have success on the field.
Whittemore also mentioned how the coaching was key in his decision to commit to Troy because the coaching staff was “player-first” which was important to him.
Defensive end Chris Rumph II was another member of the BHS senior class who signed with Duke University on National Signing Day. He had 77 total tackles with three of those being tackles for loss.
Rumph also led the team with 18 sacks totaling an incredible 100 yards lost from sacks over the course of the season. He also added a single interception to his great stat line.
I asked Chris why there was so much talent on this team and what helped them have a great season and he said, “You got to give credit to the seniors before us—they laid the foundation. They taught us how hard work gives you success and we took advantage of that.”
Coach Mark Whittemore had a message for each of his seniors who took part in National Signing Day and then gave each player to give their statement before celebrating with friends and family.
The 2016 Buchholz football team had a great year but it won’t be long before its time to get back to work.
“We are losing quite a few,” he said. It’s going to be a rebuilding year for us next year, a smaller junior class and a real big sophomore class. It should be a fun year rebuilding.”