Tutino aims for another record season at Ligonier Valley

September 1, 2018
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Ligonier Valley's Aaron Tutino works out Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, at the school's stadium.

Aaron Tutino’s statistics are eye-popping - 55 catches in each of the past two seasons for a combined 2,213 yards and 34 touchdowns.

He’s attended numerous camps, including the Mr. Pa. Football Camp at Bishop McDevitt near Harrisburg, where he shined against five defensive backs with NCAA Division I offers.

But the 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior wide receiver from Ligonier Valley has yet to receive an offer from any Division I college.

He admits his disappointment, but said he’s not going to let it bother him as he plays the 2018 season, which opens Aug. 24 against rival Homer-Center. Both teams were District 6 champions in 2017.

“It was a good camp,” Tutino said. “I just have to keep performing the way I do. I’ve had many Division I coaches tell me they want to see my senior film, so I have to go out perform and make it happen.”

Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel said Tutino will get that chance.

Beitel also is confused why his star receiver hasn’t received any offers, but said his plans for Tutino include another record-setting season. He already owns school career marks in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

“If things go as planned, he’s going to smash those,” Beitel said. “His assault on the record books this year will be something unrivaled.”

Tutino, a two-time Class 2A all-state receiver, helped lead the Rams to consecutive Heritage Conference, Appalachian Bowl and District 6 titles. The Rams are 27-2 the past two seasons.

In 2016, Tutino caught 55 passes for 1,183 yards and 18 touchdowns. In 2017, he had 55 catches for 1,030 yards and 16 touchdowns.

His freshman season was good, too. He had 30 catches for 544 yards and six touchdowns, giving him 140 career catches for 2,757 yards and 40 touchdowns.

“We have huge expectations for Aaron,” Beitel said. “He’s been a two-time all-state player. I don’t know how you get better than that.”

Tutino also ran the ball 34 times for 317 yards and five touchdowns in 2017 and has rushed for 607 career yards and scored 50 career touchdowns. Teams generally kick away from him in the return game.

He also has 14 career interceptions.

“We want to get the ball in his hands and see what he can do,” Beitel said. “We’ve know what he can do for the last three years as a starter, now he’s coming to his senior season, and he’s in the best shape of his life. He’s stronger than he’s ever been, and he’s extremely motivated, that’s for sure.”

But for Tutino, his goal, like every year, is to improve on his previous season.

“I just want to come out and perform like I always do,” Tutino said. “I definitely want to improve each season and make a name for myself.

“I’ve visited some schools. I just want to play on a football scholarship somewhere.”

Tutino said he went to numerous camps during the summer and worked on a lot of skills individually by doing drills.

He also said the team worked hard all offseason and bonded.

“We’ve been together since last football season,” Tutino said. “We’ve worked hard.”

And the drive and work ethic should pay off for Tutino and the Rams.

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