By Donovan Stewart:
Middle Tennessee Christian Cougars
Last Year’s Record– 7-4, lost to Wayne County in 1A first round
Region– Division II-A East
Head Coach– Fred Shambaugh (22-10 in three years at MTCS)
Offensive Coordinator– Fred Shambaugh
Defensive Coordinator– Kent Pippenger
Assistant Coaches– Kevin Glover (OLB), Kyle Turnbow (OL/LB), Bob Robertson (WR/DB), Craig Harris (DL), Jacob Johnson (OL)
Returning Starters on Offense and Defense– 10 (5 Off/5 Def)
Last Playoff Appearance– 2016
Key Returnees- Mason Williams (OL/DL, Jr.), Matthew Swift (OL/DL, Sr.), Logan Brady (WR/DB, Sr.), Andrew McConnell (RB/DB, Sr.), Stone Basham (OL/DL, Jr.), Will Cole (OL, Sr.), Daniel Templeton (OL, Jr.), Kemari McGowan (RB, Soph.), Jackson Green (QB, Soph.), Grant Pickard (DB, Sr.), Josh Letzler (DB, Sr.), Wilson Lovinski (DL, Sr.)
Key Losses– Joseph Peck (QB/DB), Taylor Gardner (WR/DB), Lucas Dale (WR/DB)
Streak Going Into 2017– 3 game losing streak
Middle Tennessee Christian will be heading to play in Division II-A after competing in Class 1A the last couple of seasons.
They head into Division II with renewed enthusiasm after returning to the playoffs after missing them in 2015.
The program continues to improve under fourth year head coach Fred Shambaugh and the Cougars look to improve on their 7-4 season in 2016.
Five starters return to each side of the ball as both the offensive and defensive lines will be the strength for the Cougars.
The offensive line will be stout as it returns juniors Mason Williams, Stone Basham and Daniel Templeton and will look for senior leadership from Will Cole and
Williams, Swift and Basham will be two way lineman as they will start on the defensive line as well alongside side senior Wilson Lovinski.
Kemari McGowan returns at running back after rushing for 888 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns as a freshman and senior Andrew McConnell (502 rushing yards, three touchdowns) will add to the Cougar backfield.
The biggest position change will be at quarterback as sophomore Jackson Green will make the switch from wide receiver (nine catches for 182 yards, one TD in 2016).
Besides the nine catches at wide receiver, Green completed three of six passes for 39 yards but did have four rushing touchdowns.
Senior Logan Brady (24 catches, 474 yards, five touchdowns) leads the way at wide receiver as well as Grant Pickard (seven catches, 114 yards, two touchdowns) and Josh Letzler (six catches for 107 yards).
All three players will also double as starters in the Cougar secondary as well.
MTCS Since 2010:
36-39 overall record, four playoff appearances
By The Numbers:
1- Number of Playoff wins for MTCS
5- Number of head coaches since 2005 for MTCS
1975- The year MTCS added the high school
MTCS In the Playoffs:
Total Number of Playoff Appearances- 6
Playoff Record- 1-6
Deepest Playoff Run- Made second round of playoffs three times, twice in 1A in 2009 and 2010 and 2A in 2014
Coach Shambaugh’s Thoughts:
“Our offensive and defensive lines will be a strength this year. We have some sophomores who will need to step up and make significant contributions.”
August 18- at Lighthouse Christian
August 25- Grace Christian Academy- Franklin
*September 1- The Kings Academy
*September 8- at Concord Christian
*September 15- at Ezell-Harding
*September 22- at Mt. Juliet Christian
*September 29- DCA
October 6- OPEN
October 13- Clarksville Academy
*October 20- at Friendship Christian
*October 27- Chattanooga Grace
*Denotes Region Game