Brandon Tillmon is good at multi-tasking.
The River Bluff senior showed that this season, as he played three sports at a high level in his senior year of high school. On the football field, Tillmon became the school’s first Shrine Bowl selection, as he played both quarterback and linebacker.
Tillmon added basketball back to his schedule after taking a year off and was an all-region selection and hit the game-winning shot against rival Lexington.
On the baseball diamond, Tillmon excelled as a pitcher and outfielder, helping the Gators to their second straight region title. He hit .451 with an area-best 44 RBIs to go along with his area-tying six home runs.
Tillmon also had a .780 slugging percentage and was 6-2 on the mound with a 2.79 ERA. He earned all-state state honors, was picked for the NC-SC Select Game (although he couldn’t play in it) and is The State’s Baseball Player of the Year.
“It definitely was hard but you learn how to manage my time and work hard at everything, rest when I can,” Tillmon said. “I added basketball because I didn’t want to look later on that and no regret. It was fun and worth it but it wasn’t much rest though.”
Rest and his ability to juggle two sports will be at a premium as Tillmon heads to Liberty to play football and baseball. He’s already on campus to take part in summer session while also getting ready for football season.
“Definitely going to be a lot tougher and going against a lot tougher competition,” Tillmon said. “But I am just going to have to up my game, work that much more and work that much harder.”
Tillmon knows eventually he will have probably have to chose between sports but doesn’t relish that moment.
River Bluff baseball coach Mark Bonnette called Tillmon the best athlete at the school since it opened three years ago, and hopes to see him succeed at both sports during college.
“It’s a huge jump trying to play both sports in college with the time demands,” Bonnette said. “Physically he can handle it. I just they will give him the time he needs.”
Bonnette, who’s also Tillmon’s godfather, said it has been special seeing him develop as an athlete and person off the field. He remembers his three-sack performance as a freshman when he was at White Knoll and his three-run blast in the seventh inning to beat South Aiken this season.
“I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for him,” Bonnette said.
As for Tillmon, he said he’ll miss the bonds and relationship he developed at River Bluff, where he helped put the Gators on the map. The baseball team finished this season ranked ninth in the state.
“This is one of the close-knit teams I have been a part of,” Tillmon said. “It was special getting our name out there and getting respect for our school was amazing. To be able to start the program off the right way and hand it over to the juniors and sophomore coming up is special.”