Some people might not know but home schoolers in the Lebanon/Mt. Juliet area have a football team. They are the Middle Tennessee Heat (2-2).Instead of playing the style of football that is most common, 11 vs. 11, they play 8 vs. 8. On offense this typically means they have two less linemen and one less receiver. On defense they also have one less on the line, one less linebacker, and one less cornerback. The Heat field a 24 man roster.
This is the Heat’s 4th season in existence. They are part of the Middle Tennessee Athletic conference which has 11 teams this year made up of home school teams and smaller private schools. At the end of the year the Heat participate in the National 8-man football playoffs that are held in Dayton, TN.
This past Friday the Heat played the Western Kentucky Warriors from Paducah, KY. The Heat won in a blow out 54-0. The Heat only had one reception complete, but it was a 27 yard pass from Jeurmell Hendrix to Jackson Starling for a touchdown. However, the Heat racked up over 315 yards on the ground. They were lead by Seniors Josh Bates and Joey Campopians who had 87 (2 TD’s) and 85 (3 TD’s) yards respectively. Also carrying the ball were Hendrix, Houghston Kirkpatrick (was was QB for much of the game and had 1 rushing TD), Jamie Savley, and Rudy Sparks. They scored 7 TD’s in all and converted six 2-point conversions.
Defensively the Heat had 13 different players post tackles, several for a loss including one sack.
The Heat are coached by Steve Herndon. When asked about the benefits and draw backs of playing 8-man football, Coach Herndon stated that it is harder on the guys because they play on the same size field, but only have 8 players. However, the guys get more playing time and many get playing time on offense and defense.
The Heat also have guys/girls basketball, volleyball, baseball, coed bowling, golf, and cheerleading.
Their next home game is October 5. They play at Mt. Juliet Middle School and the game starts at 7 PM. If you want to find out more about the Heat or the other sports they play visit their website at http://tnheatsports.com.