Football: Tullman toughs it out for Raiders
Winnetka - Sam Tullman North Shore Country Day pressures the Rockford line. Rockford Christian Life visits the Raiders of North Shore Country Day for football. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 1, 2012 6:08AM
WINNETKA — North Shore Country Day co-head coach Fred Miller said he can count on star senior Sam Tullman to be on the field regardless of obstacles the linebacker/offensive tackle might be facing.
“No matter what it is, he’ll be ready to play,” said Miller, the former Chicago Bears offensive lineman. “He’ll find a way to get out there on the field.”
In Saturday’s season-opening, 29-6 win over Rockford Christian Life, in Winnetka, Tullman played with a cast on the left wrist he broke a few weeks earlier in practice. That didn’t prevent the 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior from taking his place at left tackle and middle linebacker, where he stabbed an interception.
Tullman is getting used to shrugging off bumps and bruises. He broke the right wrist as a sophomore, though he played in several games before realizing the full extent of the injury.
While Saturday’s 90-degree temperatures forced players to double over with cramps, Tullman showed few signs of fatigue. More remarkable, the Wilmette native is a diabetic and must check his insulin levels throughout the game.
Tullman said he must be especially careful when exerting himself on a hot day.
“It’s just another thing to think about,” Tullman said. “I try not to think about it when I’m on the field. But every time I get out (of the game), which is not that much, I always go straight to the (equipment table) and try to manage it. On a hotter day, I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“Sometimes I’ll take some Gatorade, sometimes I’ll have to take an insulin injection. At the beginning of the game, I gave myself some insulin.”
A fourth-year starter and third-year defensive captain, Tullman said he’s hoping to make more big defensive plays this season, which will help offset the loss to graduation of linebacker Carlos Hunter.
On the other side of the ball, Tullman is capable of playing tight end, receiver or running back, according to Miller. However, the Raiders’ No. 55 lines up where he is needed most, and that’s on the O-line.
“Whatever I need to do to help the team,” said Tullman, who already has a football offer from Bucknell of the Patriot League. “Realistically, we have more skill guys and we don’t have a lot of experienced offensive linemen. But I’ve played O-line for four years now. I just told (Miller) to put me wherever the team needs me.” ~.