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MJCA drops opener in Whitwell, 31-21 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Mt. Juliet Christian Academy Saints crossed over Monteagle Mountain for its season opener in Whitwell against the Whitwell Tigers.  

Monteagle turned out to be much less of an obstacle than the Tiger running backs which led Whitwell to a 31-21 victory over the Saints.

After taking the opening kickoff, the Saints moved swiftly down field until quarterback, Ric Vanmali, was intercepted setting up Whitwell’s first touchdown followed by a two-point conversion.  

The Saints countered with a score of its own but failed on the two-point conversion resulting in an 8-6 score at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw Whitwell begin to use a ball-control offense with a combination of inside and outside running plays to dominate time-of possession and stretch their lead to 16-6.  

However, the Saints prevented another Tiger score just before halftime with an incredible goal-line stand as time expired.

The second half was all Whitwell. The Tigers continued their relentless running attack to stretch the lead to 31-6. However, the determined Saints kept fighting and scored second-half  touchdowns highlighted by a one-handed diving catch at the back of the end zone by tight end, Zach Jones, and a long touchdown run by running back, Noah Wilson, to narrow the final scoring gap to ten. 

The Saints have a bye week this week and will take on Middle Tennessee Christian in its home-opener on September 6th under new lights which have just been installed at Edward Suey Field on the Saint’s campus.

Heat fall to St. Andrew’s-Sewanee, 34-28 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

David Watkins

Chronicle Correspondent

Football returned to Mt. Juliet a week sooner than most people realized.  

This past Friday night, the Middle Tennessee Heat (0-1) took on St. Andrews-Sewanee (0-0) at the Mt. Juliet Middle School football field.  These two teams are part of the Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference (MTAC) which is an association of 28 smaller schools from across Tennessee and Kentucky that compete in 11 different sports.

The Middle Tennessee Heat is a local team made up of home schooled students who live in and around Mt. Juliet. Because of the smaller size of the schools, they compete using 8-man football versus the 11 man football that people are more used to watching.

The game started with St. Andrews-Sewanee receiving the kick and marching down the field.  On the eighth play of the drive, Sewanee was on the Heat’s 1-yard line with still three downs to score. The Heat stacked the line and caused a fumble with Hughston Kirkpatrick recovering the ball on the 4 yard line.  The Heat, who suffered from fumbles all night, fumbled the ball on the next play, giving the ball back to Sewanee who then scored taking a lead of 8-0.

The next drive was all  Heat. Jonah Fettig had a great return to their 47 and a 43 yard rush tied the game at 8-8, only taking a little over two minutes to do so.

Sewanee took their next possession down the field and scored again, but were unable to convert the 2-point conversion, so they only led 14-8.

Sewanee wasted no time on their next possession as they took the ball for a touchdown the first play on a 63 yard run. The Heat again crashed the line and stopped the two point conversion. Sewanee now led 20-8.

Seeing that halftime was growing near and that Sewanee was getting tired, the Heat spread out the field and went to the sidelines with Jonah Fettig scoring from 10 yards out.  They failed on the 2-point conversion and brought the score to 20-14 where it still was at the half.

With the way the half ended it had the feeling that the momentum had shifted towards the Heat, and the game might come down to who had the ball last.  The two teams did not disappoint in the second half and the Heat took the opening drive 65 yards on nine plays to tie the game at 20-20.

Sewanee was not counting themselves out as they took the kickoff back for a touchdown retaking the lead 26-20.

On their next drive the Heat saw a mismatch in the secondary and QB Hughston Kirkpatrick hooked up with Nathan Krebs for passes of 29 and 41 yards and a TD. The Heat regained the lead 28-26.

Sewanee then went on a 5-play, 58 yard drive that took three minutes off the clock to take the lead for good with a score of 34-28.

The Heat had one last drive but was forced to punt. Sewanee got the ball on their 15 and slowly marched down the field running 20 plays and getting seven first downs to run out the clock for a final score 34-28

High School Sports recap, Aug. 20 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MJ girls soccer start season with 1-0 win

Mt. Juliet girls soccer got the season off right with a 1-0 win over LaVergne. 

Riley Wendling scored the only goal 14 minutes into the first half. 

Morgan Houser had seven saves. 

“We played really well in the first half and had multiple chances to score,” said Head Coach Ryan Hill. “In the second half Lavergne had chances and had one goal called back because of offsides. Overall our defense played really well tonight.”

Mt. Juliet plays their first district 9-AAA game Thursday at Beech, starting at 5 p.m.

Central golf beats Gallatin, falls to Station Camp

The Wilson Central  boys and girls golf teams defeated Gallatin, but were beaten by Station Camp in a District 9-AAA match Tuesday at Pine Creek Golf Course.  

The scores were: 

Central boys - Hayden Bramble 81, Josh Wiseman 83, Casey Brandon 85, Kevin Robertson 85. Total - 334. 

Station Camp boys -     79, 80, 80, 82 - 321

Gallatin boys - 85, 89, 95, 103 - 377

Central girls - 76, 86 - 162 (Lisa Malherbe 76, Kaitlin Hutchinson 86)

Station Camp girls    78, 81 - 159

Gallatin girls - 119, DNF - n/a.

Central football season passes available 

Season passes are on sale in the main office during school hours for Wilson Central football games. Regular season passes are $25, Reserved chair back seats are $45 and parking passes are $15.

Kittrell joins MJCA Athletic Department PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mt. Juliet Christian Academy announces that Mike Kittrell, a well-known football and baseball coach in the Mt. Juliet community,  has been hired as an Assistant Athletic Director at the Class A school.  

Kittrell began his association with the school 3 years ago when MJCA started a 5/6 grade football team and asked him to serve as the volunteer head coach.  “We fell in love with MJCA from the start.  My kids love going to school here and my wife, Tammy, and I felt like we were part of a big family from the first day we set foot on campus.”  Kittrell eventually assumed head coaching duties for the Saints’ middle school football and baseball teams.  

Athletic Director, Paul Christensen, says the move is a major plus for his program.  “Mike is just such a class guy and the kids really love playing for him.  We were in the process of adding staff in the Athletic Department and were extremely blessed that Mike was considering a career change at the same time.  Not only is he a great coach from a technical perspective, he has a genuine love for kids and that makes it easy for the kids to relate to him.”  

Kittrell formerly worked for the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, MHC Kenworth, and for the past 4 1\2 years was employed by Central States Bus Sales.  Among his other Athletic Department duties, Kittrell will coordinate football, baseball and softball development camps, as well as off-season baseball and softball tournaments for AAU and Travel Clubs on the MJCA campus.

Kittrell says he is thrilled to be part of the MJCA program.  “This is a dream come true for me.  I never thought I would have a full-time job doing what I love to do.  Sports, and being able to use it to make a positive influence on kids, is my passion – and now I get to do it all the time!  

Coach Kittrell can be reached through the school office at 758-2427 and by cell phone at 615-587-8288.

Johnson named FCS boys basketball coach PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Officials at Friendship Christian School (FCS) announce today that Ben Johnson has been named the new head coach of varsity boys basketball for the 2013-14 season.  

FCS Athletic Director John McNeal stated, “We are excited to announce that Ben will rejoin the FCS Family. He brings to our program strong Christian values and an incredible work ethic. He was one of my favorite players to coach when he played at FCS and has had success as a coach over the last decade.  He will be a positive influence on our students.  I look forward to working with him.”

Johnson joins FCS from Westbury Christian School where he served the last nine years as an assistant coach of the varsity basketball programs and helped lead the team to four state championships, two state runner-up, and two final four appearances.

“My family and I are very excited to join the Friendship Christian Family and it’s a great honor to come back home to my alma mater,” said Johnson. 

Johnson has a strong basketball background. He graduated from Friendship Christian School, where he was a member of the varsity boys basketball team from 1995 to 1999.  

During his time at FCS, he helped the Commanders win a District Championship in 1999 and a Sub-State appearance in 1997.

He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in business education in 2004.

Johnson’s coaching experience began in 2001 with the Friendship Christian School 5th/6th grade boys basketball team for one year and junior high baseball head coach for two years. He then went on to be the head coach for the Westbury Christian School junior high baseball team for seven years where they captured a conference championship.  He served as an assistant coach of the varsity football team, head coach of the junior high basketball team for four years where they captured three conference championships and head coach of the junior varsity basketball team for two years with a 23-8 record.  

FCS President Jon Shoulders stated, “We warmly welcome Ben, his wife Becky, and their son Marshall into the Friendship family.  He has an incredible reputation for leadership with class and character.   We are excited to have him share his passion for the game and to partner with us as we continually strive to instill strong minds and strong faith in our students. I am excited for our school and community to have the opportunity to work with Ben and to get to know his wonderful family.”

About Friendship Christian School


Founded in 1973, Friendship Christian School ( is a nondenominational, college preparatory, coeducational day school in Lebanon, Tennessee.  The mission of Friendship Christian School is to provide an excellent education in a Christian environment.  Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Friendship Christian School educates students in grades K3-12.  To learn more about Friendship Christian School, or to schedule a private tour of the 50-acre campus, please call 449-1573 or visit  Choice Matters. Choose Friendship.

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