By Donovan Stewart:
Mt. Juliet Golden Bears
City– Mt. Juliet
Last Year’s Record– 9-3, lost to Ravenwood in second round
Head Coach– Trey Perry (24-21 in four years at Mt. Juliet)
Offensive Coordinator– Zach White
Defensive Coordinator– Greg Abner
Assistant Coaches- Roger Perry (Director of Football Operations), Curtis Grah (Head Strength, Assistant head coach/OL), Chase Howland (DL), Reggie Grimes (DB), Tim Williams (WR), George Nwokoji (RB), Matt Rocchetti (Co-Freshman HC), Colt Carver (Co-Freshman HC/QB), Trevor Holden (Freshmen), Justin Brown (Freshmen), Ricky Martin (Freshmen), Courtney Perry (Communications Director), John Carey (Chaplain)
Returning Starters on Offense and Defense– 15 (5 Off/10 Def)
Last Playoff Appearance– 2016
Key Returnees– Aidan Raines (RB, Sr.), Tony Thompson (LB, Sr.), Lawson Rich (WR, Sr.), Marcello Walton (RB/LB, Jr.), Tyreece Stone (OG, Sr.), Cade Hoppe (OG/DL, Sr.), Evan Angle (DE, Sr.), Chris Humphreys (LB, Sr.), Jesyah White (FS, Sr.), Colton Reeder (LB, Sr.), Keaton Mang (SS, Sr.), Michael Ruttlen (DB, Jr.), Jeremiah Birdsong (DB, Sr.), Conner Ruzek (WR/FS, Jr.), Reggie Grimes (RB, Fr.), Braden Costley (H-Back/DE, Sr.), Cody Glass (QB, Sr.), and Alvin Mixon (QB/WR, Jr.), Tristan Kilmon (DL, Jr.)
Key Losses– Mason Earls (QB), DJ Delfendahl (OL), Justin Satterfield (OL), Drew Tompkins (OL), Colt Jones (DL), Jordan Fryer (LB), Jaylan Jones (DL), Aaron Weist (DL), Jacob Parker (OL), Trey Pruitt (H/TE), Jacob Bailey (PK), Jacob Shanks (DL), Braden Lovett (WR/PR)
After back-to-back Class 6A second round playoff losses, Mt. Juliet is primed to make the next step.
Mt. Juliet returns 15 starters (including 10 on defense) from their 9-3 team in 2016 and Mt. Juliet has improved every season under Trey Perry who will start his fifth season as head coach of the program.
The Bears were recently ranked No. 7 in the tnhighschoolfootball.com Class 6A Spring Top 10 released in May.
The Golden Bears will have several big time playmakers returning on defense evidenced by seniors Tony Thompson (94 tackles, 13 for loss, four interceptions, two returned for touchdowns), Chris Humphreys (62 tackles, two sacks) and Colton Reeder (43 tackles).
Seniors Cade Hoppe (16 tackles) and Evan Angle (43 tackles, four sacks) return to stabilize the defensive line and will be joined by junior Tristan Kilmon (eight tackles) to complete the front in the Bears 3-4 defense.
The Mt. Juliet secondary will return several experienced players in junior Michael Ruttlen (78 tackles, three sacks, two fumble recoveries) and senior Jeremiah Birdsong (21 tackles) at the cornerback spots. Keaton Mang (38 tackles, three interceptions) will return at strong safety and Jesyah White (52 tackles, three interceptions) will roam the field at free safety.
Senior Aidan Raines and junior Marcello Walton will both return to lead the Bears ground game as Raines rushed for 1,261 yards and scored 16 touchdowns and Walton contributed 509 yards on the ground while scoring three touchdowns. The pair will be joined by freshman Reggie Grimes while Braden Costley will line up at H-Back.
Senior guard Tyreece Stone will join Hoppe as a leader on the Bear offensive line while fellow senior Lawson Rich (12 catches for 155 yards, two touchdowns) will return as the most experienced receiver on the roster.
Juniors Conner Ruzek (four catches, 75 yards) and Alvin Mixon will also line up at wide receiver for the Bears as well.
Mixon will play wide receiver when not at quarterback where he is in competition with senior Cody Glass (four for eight passing, 85 yards, two touchdowns). Both quarterbacks will play in 2017.
Mt. Juliet Since 2010:
58-27 overall record, 6 playoff appearances
By The Numbers:
33- Number of seniors on the Bear roster this season
4,274/51- Total offensive yards and touchdowns scored for the Bears in 2016 with 3,524 yards on the ground and 750 yards through the air
Mt. Juliet In the Playoffs:
Total Number of Playoff Appearances- 15
Playoff Record- 17-15
Deepest Playoff Run- Made 6A Semifinals in both 2011 and 2012 and 5A semifinals in 1997
Coach Perry’s Thoughts:
“With 33 seniors on this roster and several back with experience from a good football team a year ago, we are very optimistic about what we can accomplish this year. The problem in 6a is really good, so there is about 15 other teams and the margin of error in this class is extremely small. The good news is, I don’t have to remind this group of that, they remind each other”.
August 18- Glencliff
August 25- at Nashville Overton
*September 1- at Lebanon
September 8- Gallatin
*September 15- Wilson Central
September 22- Clarksville Northwest
*September 29- Rossview
October 6- at McGavock
October 13- OPEN
*October 20- Station Camp
October 27- at Hendersonville
*Denotes Region Game