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By: Aaron Gunn

Mount Juliet High School

e l e t l t Baatt it Out B

MJ Bands By: Abbie Winfree

Issue 3 December/January

Bear Pride Idol

Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) held its sixth annual Battle of the Bands at MJHS on Jan. 19. Initially FCCLA sponsor Lynn Ritter’s Economic class started Battle of the Bands as a junior achievement project. It was also used as a fundraiser for FCCLA’s state competitions. Because of the popularity of the event, Battle of the Bands continued not only for FCCLA but also for local bands to showcase their talents and compete Joseph Sydlo performs solo. for prize money. “I love to see students being able to perform their talents,” commented Ritter. MJHS’ most talented singers took the stage in a three part Seven bands competed for the first place prize title, howcompetition, resulting in a first place win for junior Emily Hinkle, ever only one band came out on top, Monroe. Band members, followed by junior Joselyn Manness and third place winner, drummer Cameron Reed, singer Aaron Johnston, lead guitarsenior Kristian Hawkins. see page 3 ist Wacey Barnett and bassist Tyler Shather brought down the house with their three original songs: Loose Strings, Up Right, and Changes Perspective. URVIS ICKED FOR ALE When asked about their unique sound, bassist Shather said, “Aaron Johnston, Gidian and the Ghost Inside inspired our band.” Runners up IC3 and Keep This Close, second and third places respecOACH OF THE EAR


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MJHS LEADS By: Lena Ayoub



Five of MJHS’ finest juniors and outstanding leaders, Shelby Brown, Zach Duncan, Nicholas Guye, Jesse Lonchar and Colleen Madden, were selected to participate in Youth Leadership Wilson. Each year, Youth Leadership chooses 31 energetic and creative juniors from all of the Wilson County schools, Friendship Christian Academy (FCA) Juniors Nicholas Guye, Shelby Brown, Jesse and McClain Christian Academy Lonchar and Colleen Madden. Not pictured: to discover their potential leaderZach Duncan. ship skills. The students selected attend a class once a month until April covering topics such as education, community service, careers and government. At this point, the teenagers have attended four of the seven classes. The first gathering was an ice breaker, so the students could become more of a family. With the new bonds, they discussed and brainstormed ideas for Rachel’s Challenge. The second class, Education Day, the students visited other schools to compare them. “We toured FCA, which is like one family because the school is small. Although MJ is so much bigger, we are still like a family,” said Lonchar. Doing this allowed the students to witness other cultures of schools and take inspirations back to their own school. Youth Leadership provides an insight to only a few students, but it is expected that those students will pass the torch to their fellow peers.



By: Savannah Wilson

Head baseball coach, Mark Purvis, is greatly enthused to be honored with the TSSAA A.F. Bridges Male Coach of the Year Award. On Nov. 10, Purvis humbly received this prestigious award from TSSAA’s first secretary for his achievement and integrity. Being selected from all coaches in Middle Tennessee, Purvis stood out among the rest by showing his true character and his love for baseball making him the perfect candidate for this award. Although this is the first time to have been given the award, Purvis is definitely not a newbie when it comes to coaching. Purvis did not always want to be a coach, but he found his love for it during his senior year of college while coaching for Cumberland University. His biggest motivations to keep coaching are his team and the feeling after winning a big game. “There is nothing like that rush when the team wins. It is unbeatable,” says Purvis. His team is also supportive of him and is proud to have the male coach of the year as their very own baseball coach. Purvis is excited for what this season holds. He is also grateful to win this award and hopes he is lucky enough to win it again in the future. Along with Purvis, Mike Davis, Wilson County Director of Schools, was also recognized and awarded with the A.F. Bridges Award for School System Administrator of the Year. Congratulations on such prestigious recognition.



Good Riddance to Remedial By: Jordan Steakin

Recently, four year colleges and universities have done away with remedial classes, expecting that their future students should enter college with the ability to read, write, and solve math problems on a middle and high school level. Tennessee, along with other universities across the U.S., agreed to rid their campuses of remedial and developmental classes. Sixty percent of students who enter college in Tennessee enroll in remedial classes, which is disappointing to college administrators since students should be prepared for college and have the ability to do college level work if they have earned a high school degree. Students earning below the designated benchmark score in each of the

subcategories on the ACT, have in the past, automatically been enrolled in these remedial courses. While students receive no credit for the course, they must pass it in order to enroll in the required entry-level courses. Now, those who must take the remedial courses will have to do so at a community college. This will consist of separate registration and acceptance from the university where the student is enrolled. With remedial classes being stripped from universities, students will be reminded to take their education seriously and do well on the mandated tests. ACT English: 18 College Reading:21 Readiness Math:22 Scores Science: 24

MJHS Students Step Up to Help Others

By: Chris West

All over the school, students are going above and beyond their normal schedule in order to help others, whether it is in the community or abroad. Sophomore Savannah Wilson is involved with the organization Hands On Nashville, a program that arranges volunteer opportunities such as planting neighborhood gardens or working with the Second Harvest Food Bank. “It’s extremely humbling,” said Wilson. People interested in joining Hands On Nashville can do so by visiting Senior Hunter Steinmetz reached beyond the doors of MJHS and even beyond the U.S. border when he went on a mission trip with his church to assist in passing out backpacks filled with supplies to underprivileged children. “It was great to be a part of something bigger than yourself and put aside your luxuries to help others,” said Steinmetz. Recently, he has volunteered his time to help the Mt. Juliet Health Care Center and the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center. “Everybody should be a part of some sort of community service and have a passion for helping other people,” said Steinmetz. Individuals are not the only people stepping up to help out the community. Student Council and National Honor Society have both organized canned food drives. Youth in Government has collected $5 from each member to sponsor three families in providing them with food, toys and other necessities for Christmas. ROTC, FFA and National Honor society came together to start a schoolwide clothing and food drive for West Wilson County’s Big Brothers to help out Mt. Juliet families in need the previous holiday season. The whole school came together for the Pasta for Pennies fundraiser and raised thousands of dollars for leukemia and lymphoma research. Whether it is through individual effort or together with a club, MJHS students are taking time out of their schedules to help the community and the less fortunate.

MJ Cooks Up Money for Leukemia By: Brookelynn Weaver

This year MJHS held its first Pasta for Pennies competition sponsored by Olive Garden, with Amber Gailbreath’s third block class raising the most money. For three weeks, students brought in coins in hopes of having their class donate the most. All of the money raised, $4,321, went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Gailbreath’s class as well as Mary Elizabeth Vitucci’s received a free lunch from Olive Garden of salad, pasta and bread sticks. “I’m so excited; my students did so good,” said Gailbreath. Although her class raised the most money, $1,057 total, many other classes raised high amounts of money, too. Vitucci’s third block class raised $413.98. Other classes who went above and beyond with this fundraiser are those of Samantha Davenport, Natalie Lutz and Sandy Elliot. Pasta for Pennies is just one more opportunity MJHS students took advantage to help those in need. MJHS is proud of the extreme generosity of its students.

Behind the Scenes: Drama Department

By: Savannah Wilson

The drama department makes the glitz and the glamour look like an easy task, but behind all the lights, camera and action, the work that is required to put on every production is far more than what meets the eye. Rodney Parks, head of the drama department, successfully brings each production and each theater class together piece-by-piece every year. But Parks has never been a one man show. He knows where he needs assistance and seeks help from a few of the many talented faculty members and students here at MJHS. “I am so grateful to have such a wonderful staff such as Dottie Springer, Tony Cox, Sandy Elliot, Joe Martin, Jamie Watson and many others,” says Parks. But a staff is not complete without actors and actresses who bring every production to life. The students are truly the ones who shed the blood, sweat and tears to make each show a success. The drama department has a place for everyone, and Parks works hard to make sure that each student finds his or her perfect fit. Upon entering the program, each one of the cast and crew goes through rigorous training to see where he or she will excel. Whether it is acting, singing, dancing, lighting or set design, each student is given his challenge and then the fun really begins. Senior drama student Jessica Karsten is definitely not a newbie to stage life at MJHS. Having been in drama every year of high school, she is a well seasoned veteran to the trade but learns something new with every single production. “I have enjoyed every minute of each show that I was privileged enough to be a part of, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be Grease,” says Karsten. She hopes this year will be just as fun, if not more. As is tradition, Bear Pride Idol has come to a close, and now singing its way to us is the spring musical, “Hairspray.” Bear Pride Idol began with 24 contestants, narrowing down the competition each week until a winner emerges. Each contestant showed off his or her skills, and thanks to the drama department that was all possible. The annual spring musical is what every drama student waits for just hoping they will land a spot in the production. Drama students take great pride in these musicals, but this year, “Hairspray” holds a very special place in everyone’s heart. All of those who attended Rachel’s Challenge will easily see exactly why this message of this musical is so important. Rachel Joy Scott is a prime example of the message that “Hairspray” sends. Scott believed in equality and treating people with the respect they deserve, as does Tracy Turnbladd, the leading character in “Hairspray.” Parks did not think there was a better fit. “There is a role for everyone, and no one can put a price on the inspiration “Hairspray” gives,” adds Parks. “Hairspray” will make its MJHS debut on May 17, running through the 19. Auditions for the musical were held on Jan. 23-24 with many students biting their nails waiting for the cast list. The drama department is excited about the success of its fourth annual Bear Idol and is excited to get “Hairspray” underway even if it requires a great deal of effort. Members of the drama department never said it would be easy but promised it will be well worth the effort.

Hard Work Pays Off By: Aaron Taylor Gunn

On Dec. 1, 2011, Dan Fessler, professor at Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tenn., and two former MJHS graduates, Kara Ladas Fitzgerald and Ryan Lloyd, spoke to Theresa Hill’s accounting class and Natalie Lutz’s AP calculus class about job opportunities in the field of accounting, auditing and taxation. At the end of the speeches, there was a quick competition. Whoever could correctly answer the most questions received $50. Sophomore Hailey Stover and junior Connor Gannon were the lucky winners. “He had a lot of great information, and I learned a lot,” said Stover, who would like to persue a career in ac-

counting. They learned that paying attention really pays off. Both deposited their prize money in the bank to save for future use. By having guest speakers encouraging students, students are better able to explore their post high school options.



Contestants Sing to Top MJHS Students Show Up Vanderbilt At Do Deutsch Initiative By: Paige Brenner & Kristian Hawkins

Competitors in the MJHS Bear Pride Idol sang in front of their peers in a span of three weeks, and after three grueling and intense rounds, Emily Hinkle became this year’s Bear Pride Idol. The competition began with 24 hopeful contestants, but by the end of the night only 12 would be allowed to move on. Rodney Parks, Stacey Faircloth and Jenna Ellsberry were selected as the three judges who would make the final decision. For only two dollars at the door, the MJHS auditorium was filled with family and friends in support of their respective competitor. Seniors Kelsey and Ashley Robertson kicked off the show with “Hell on Heels” by Pistol Annie’s to promote a new category of the contest starting next year, the duet section. A few competitors later, junior Renee Lancaster stole the show with “I’ll Stand By You” by the Pretenders. Also introducing a new section of the show was sophomore Tanner “Nova” Primm who did an original song, “Good Day, Good Night” becoming the first rapper in the competition’s history. “It was an honor to be the first rapper and I hope others will try out for next year’s show.” Sophomore Emilie Shannon had the judges and crowd in awe when she performed a clever medley of “Bust the Windows Out Your Car” by Jazmine Sullivan and “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. The Brissette sisters, closed out that round of the contest with “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perry. After a few anxious moments of deliberation by the judges, it was announced that due to a tie 13 students moved on to the next round. Shannon, Hinkle, Dane Law, Kayla Petrielle, Steven Griffin, Abbey Thacker, Emma Atkins, Aubrey Thompson, Nicole Wright, Kristian Hawkins, Ali Howard, Joselyn Maness and Brea Sands were asked to step to the front of the group and were told that they were chosen to meet back in a week for the second round of Bear Pride Idol. The show commenced the next Monday with the Brissette sisters doing a duet of “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood. Later, Hinkle made one of the judges comment that she had “stolen her breath” with the soulful “I Know Where I’ve Been” from the Broadway sensation Hairspray. Thacker later gave a heartfelt performance when she sang “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert with her father on guitar. Maness then sang “You and I” by Lady Gaga in which her powerhouse voice had one of the judges commenting on her “it” factor. Last, but not least was Sands who sang “Love the Way you Lie” by Rihanna. After the intense round, six talented contestants, Hawkins, Wright, Hinkle, Thacker, Maness and Griffin, were chosen to move on to the next round. The finals were filled with tension. Each contestant had to choose two songs and perform their hearts out. Hawkins started off the night with Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love.” Thacker showed her grungy side with “Gun Powder and Lead” by Miranda Lambert. Hinkle brought the house down with her phenomenal rendition of “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. She even started off a cappella and ended with a note that sent chills down everyone’s spines. After much deliberation and beautiful singing, the judges and the audience helped in choosing the next Bear Pride Idol. Host, Jessica Karsten, narrowed down the competitors to Maness and Hinkle. In the end, Hinkle prevailed and became this year’s Bear Pride Idol. MJHS is filled with amazing and talented musicians who want to show

MJ Bands

e l t t Ba it Out ...continued from front page

tively, also played their hearts out. The bands were judged by guitarist Dusty Belew and music Dave Belhu, lead guitarist lover Jennifer and back up vocals for Keep Carr. This Close. The Battle of the Bands had many great performances and was a rockin’ success for both the band and FCCLA.

By: Brooke Bolus

Janine Zahuczky’s German classes and club competed all day on Oct. 27 against Vanderbilt students in the “Do Deutsch” initiative sponsored by the German embassy in Washington, D.C. “Do Deutsch” is a nation-wide contest in which students compete in one of five categories: Essay, Film, Poetry, Visual Arts and Engineering. Each category is split into even more concentrated divisions such as sculptures and small artwork in Visual Arts. Students represented one of three themes (immigration/migration, contributions to American society, and change/innovation) within their category. They presented their works to a panel of judges made up of Vanderbilt professors and teacher’s assistants. MJHS students placed in every category and each of these students won cash prizes. Winners’ names were sent to the German embassy where the national winner will be chosen. The first finalist will be sent on an all-expense paid trip to Berlin. POETRY ESSAY English: sophomore Kyle Houser, English topic 1: freshman Dylan Arfirst place, $25 senault, first place, $25 freshman Jason Geese, secEnglsih topic 2: freshman Caroline ond place, $15 Cowan, first place, $25 German: junior Jacob Segroves, $25 sophomore Cole Carroll, second sophomore Gary Lamberth, place, $25 second place, $15 junior David Taylor, third place, $25 Songwriting: senior David Belhu and English topic 3: sophomore Joshua sophomore Logan Smith, first place, Lane, first place, $25 $25 German topic 2: junior Amber CarTwitter-Poem: freshman Cole Ellis, penter, first place, $25 first place, $25 FILM Dramatic: “The Average Life of an American and German” by freshmen Mariah Adcock and Hannah Huckaby, first place, $30 “East Nach West” by Carroll and junior Brett Frashier, second place, $25 Documentary: “Germany: American Edition” by senior Katie Roach, first place, $30 “Eddie Hutchison Portraying Ken Roczen, a German Motorcyclist” by senior Autumn Patterson, $25

VISUAL ARTS Posters: “Brandenburg Gate” by freshman Erin Walsh, first place, $25 “Ken Roczen” by Patterson, second place, $15 “Wer Bin Ich?” by junior Alma Chavez, third place, $15 Sculptures: “VW Bus” by sophomore Josh Lane, first place, $25 Small Artwork: “Berlin Wall” by freshman Jimmy Stewart, first place, $25 “Ich Bin Deutscher” by freshmanMichelle Baynor, second place, $20

ENGINEERING Speed: junior Hunter Hinshaw and Frashier, first place, $40 juniors Logan Salter and Sam Baird, second place, $30 freshman Tanner Dixon and sophomore Joseph Roberts, third place, $20 Weight: Hinshaw and Frashier, first place, $40 juniors Rachel McCord and Niko Guye, second place, $30 juniors Ory Schultheis and Brayton Hurley, third place, $20

their passion to the rest of the community.

E x c h a n g e S t u d e n t s


Exchange Students!

rite Favo

“Zermatt, Switzerland”


“Maroon 5” -Lisa Schwabauer

‘The Backstreet Boys”


-Cherry Zhang

-Yiu Kumagai


-Petra Chow

“Johnny Cash”

-Lisa Schwabauer

“Turkey, mashed potatoes, and fresh fruit”

rde Wei

-Petra Chow

-Lisa Schwabauer

“Orange Chicken”

Who are your favorite American Musicians?

My Favorite Vacation Spot is...

What is your favorite American Cuisine?

-Cherry Zhang

“The Ocean”

“Leona Lewis”

-Yiu Kumagai

-Petra Chow

-Cherry Zhang



If someone visited your country, what would you tell them to do?

-Lisa Schwabauer

“Fried Oreos” -Yiu Kumagai

What is your favorite music genre? “Japanese Pop” -Yiu Kumagai

“Hip Hop”

-Lisa Schwabauer

“The individual should tour Wuhan, China.” “I think they should -Cherry Zhang visit Universal Studios in Japan.” “They should take a trip to Bejing and Shang Hi.” -Petra Chow

“Country” -Cherry Zhang

“Chinese Pop” -Petra Chow

-Yiu Kumagai

“The person must take a vacation to Berlin.”

-Lisa Schwabauer

Lisa Schwabauer By: Hannah Ryan

Lisa Schwabauer, a foreign exchange student from Saxony, Germany, came to MJHS at the beginning of the school year because she wanted to experience a new culture. While many of the things Schwabauer enjoys here are similar to what she does in Germany, such as hanging out with her friends and going to the movies, she also found there were some major cultural differences between the two countries. The friendliness and openness when meeting new people in America was definitely a pleasant surprise to Schwabauer, as opposed to the way

people in Germany keep to themselves. Another major difference is transportation. In Germany, most people opt for riding their bikes to get where they need to go, whereas Americans rely mainly on cars. One other thing that has taken some getting used to for Schwabauer is American cuisine; her least favorite food so far is barbecue. Another new American experience for Schwabauer was Thanksgiving, which she greatly enjoyed because of how it brings families together and especially because of the food. Despite the various cultural

differences she has experienced, Schwabauer is looking forward to spending more time in North America. So far, Tennessee is the only state other than Florida that she has visited, but she plans to visit Hawaii in February. “I like America because of how different it is. Everything is so big, and the people are so friendly,” said Schwabauer. Though she has experienced many new things that she will never forget, Schwabauer is still excited to see her family and share her experiences.

Chinese New Year

By: Summer Adams

The Chinese New Year is a celebration similar to New Year’s Day in the United States that rings in the upcoming year; however, in China they adhere to the lunar calendar which changes the date of celebration every year. This year it fell on Jan. 23. The celebration can last up to a month. It is a stark contrast to the one day of

New Year’s Day celebrations in Western cultures. Every year, Chinese New Year is associated with one of twelve animals represented on the Chinese Zodiac. This year happens to be the year of the dragon. Holiday festivities include fireworks, family feasts and the Lantern Festival. During the Lantern Festival, streets are decorated with hundreds

of painted lanterns; some are adorned with flowers, animals or scenes from legends and historic events. The highlight of the Lantern Festival is the Dragon Dance. Locals make a giant dragon that parades through the town while confetti is thrown and fireworks are shot.

Yiu Kumagi By: Savannah Wilson

Japanese foreign exchange student, Yiu Kumagi, has started her year long stay here in the states where she is living out everyday life as a traditional American teenager. Kumagi recently packed her bags and left her friends and family in Osaka, Japan to broaden her horizons with North American culture. Stopping in California and Las Vegas, Nev. along the way, Kumagi landed in the small town of Mt Juliet experiencing day to day life with the D’Olympio family whose daughter, Brooke D’Olympio, attends MJHS. Although this is her first time in the U.S., Kumagi has picked up on American tradition rather quickly. Kumagi learned to adapt to American teenage life by making friends faster than she expected at MJHS. “Everyone here is so friendly and welcoming,” said Kumagi. She also has continued swimming here in the states a hobby she started back home. She hasfallen in love with curly fries too,

but still misses her mother’s cooking. Kumagi enjoys America so far, but like any young person would, she misses her parents, her friends and her old school. She also surprisingly misses her school dress code, which consisted of a knee length dress skirt, knee socks, uniform shoes, a dress shirt and a blazer. But she definitely is not missing her strict teachers. For the rest of her remaining stay in the U.S., she plans on visiting New York City and adding to the three languages she already speaks by taking up Spanish. Kumagi is greatly looking forward to the rest of her stay and will miss all of the friends she has made along the way, but is anxious to be reunited with her family and friends. MJHS cherishes every moment that Kumagi and the other four exchange students have here and hopes to impact them in a positive, uplifting way.

Cherry Zhang

By: Olivia Thompson

Petra Chow

By: Summer Adams

Senior exchange student, Petra Chow, came to the states from Hong Kong on Sept. 10 to experience North American culture in person. Chow speaks four different languages: Mandarin, English, Taiwanese, Cantonese and some Spanish. He learned Mandarin, Cantonese and Taiwanese at a very young age because his entire family speaks all three. At age ten Chow began learning English and just this year began learning Spanish. Though he misses his family, friends and food in China, he is also enjoying his new found freedom in school life. “Chinese schools are much stricter. Girls are not even allowed to wear makeup,” said Chow. The differences between schools were a big shock to him. As a senior, Chow is looking at colleges. “I really want to go to either Yale or University of Pennsylvania,” said Chow. During Christmas break, Chow will visiting his sister in Pennsylvania. He will not be back in Tennessee long before he heads off to Tampa, Flo. with his liason and another exchange student, Yui Kumagai. In Chow’s free time he likes to sing karaoke, watch movies, ice-skate and shop. Chow will be returning to Hong Kong in June, but until then he will making the most of his time here.

Senior Cherry Zhang is an exchange student from Wuhan, China who was inspired to come to the United States because of the diverse cultures that make it up. Since the beginning of her stay last November, Zhang has only visited Los Angeles, Calif. and Mt. Juliet, Tenn. She loves Mt. Juliet because of all the different people she has met and their different backgrounds. Zhang also likes the freedom U.S. teenagers have in comparison to China. “Back home teenagers are not allowed to get their license until By: Oli 18, and girls are not allowed to wear makeup in high schools,” said via Th ompson Zhang. A Chin ca Zhang has also enjoyed her new high school experience, not colorf lled the Mo ese holiday ul f on only because of the freedoms, but also because of the change in mode rn Ch estival that Festival is a i brin n br atmosphere. In es Amer Chinese c e customs. gs Chang E ight and u i “I could not believe that students can pick their own class c l r tradi a t u n re, the Thank on the tions M s g L o to i e schedules,” said Zhang. v o g i n ng an end o Chine Festiv d f s w a e C l e f h i o s s a t l Zhang appreciates the laid back, relaxed classroom n e a k Houy rn Ch s imp g Er w lore. A i. o r she ac Houyi was ccording t ho is consi istmas. Th rtant as environments found at MJHS versus those in her hometown. e holi o lege dered cepted rewar da n d t her w These conditions help teachers relate better to their pupils and ill and . After drin ed with a s d, she was he moon g y is based m o k p w i dd ec ar ng as kep positively affect the students’ grades by encouraging classroom Some t there the elixir, ial elixir th ried to a C ess in C h i n at he hinese Chang Chang ese pe away f discussions and note taking, according to Zhang. off o h E E r traditi r dancing ple believe om her hu r soared u ered to his ero, Zhang has enjoyed making new friends at school, but uses on the sband that d onal c p to th w urin usto for mo e moo ife and of the Skype to keep in touch with the friends and family she has back n agai reunio ms of mak on. To cele g the festiv eternity. nst home. Anoth n of lover ing moon brate the f ities, celebr e s c a e , s a t r t a o k i gre nd val es, rs Once Zhang goes back to Wuhan, China, she cannot wait to from all ove at cultural singing son a small pas , people pa can see a r t r g s take in r tell her family and friends about her American adventure. Despite p s y C ec th with o c h th ne ano ina celebra t of the M at describe ake that is all the fun she is having in experiencing new things, she misses her symbo e te the oon F ther u the m and ea e f lic n o s e tiva der stiv on. t the p family and authentic Chinese food. One thing Zhang will bring opula the moonl al by spend l is romanc rm igh e. The M in back to Wuhan is the need for more independence for youth. oon F oon cake. t. Couples g char ming Lovers e o s da in Ch ften d Zhang’s American legacy will be to leave the Mt. Juliet community inese tival is an e rink w tes c x ultu citi ine the need and desire to practice more Chinese traditions, such as cultur re that acc ng celebrat e’s ind ion entuat celebrating the Moon Festival. ividua es the lism. Overall, Zhang loves the U.S. and would love to come back in the future.




E x c h a n g e S t u d e n t s



boys basketball slam dunks

By: Brookelynn Weaver

The MJHS boys’ basketball team is dominating the court with a 19-3 record this season, while also growing closer as a team. The players practiced over the winter break focusing on different skills like rebounding to prepare for their tournament which resulted in a win against Father Ryan. The season is not over yet, but once it is, the team will lose five seniors: Caleb Chowbay, Brandon Shepard, T.J. Bell, Chandler Fraizer and Anthony Casciani. Chowbay, Casciani, Shepard, and CJ McEwen are amongst some of the star players, according to head coach Troy Allen. After all these years, the bonds created between the players are strong. “Hanging out with the guys is the best part,” says Shepard. After their big win against Wilson Central High School, the team became number one in the district, a feat that has not been accomplished in many years. They are practicing often and improving on their weak points in hopes of going all the way and winning the championship, which has never been done at MJHS. MJHS’ boy’s basketball team is a hard working group of talented athletes, that the MJHS students and faculty are proud of. The students are cheering them on and wishing them the best of luck on the rest of the season.

girls basketball runs the court

By: Summer Adams

MJHS’s girls’ basketball team is beginning its season with a bang with a record of 20-2 so far. The 2011-12 team is full of seniors, giving it an advantage. “With that many seniors, the team holds a lot of experience,” said assistant coach, Coach John Simms. Head Coach Chris Fryer says the number of seniors sets this year’s team apart from his previous teams. “I’ve never coached this many seniors at one time.” The starting five consists of three seniors: Caya Williams, Paige Baugher and Helen Mitchner. Baugher is considered the team leader. “She’s vocal. She lets everyone know what’s going on,” says senior Barianne Taylor. However, Baugher is not the only leader. “Paige is more of a vocal leader, but Helen is a silent leader,” says Fryer. The starting five also includes sophomore Sally McCabe and freshman Jmasha Jackson. “Our team will do whatever it takes to win. We just need to work hard and focus,” said Jackson. Unfortunately, the team lost to Sciencehill in the Greenville tournament championship. The Lady Bears placed runner-up. At the Lebanon High School game on Jan. 13, sophomore Latyia Waller suffered a concusion, and the team is eagerly waiting for her return. With all the dedication the team shows, it will continue to make MJHS proud.

Larry Grah Managing Partner

40 Old Pleasant Grove Rd. Mt. Juliet, TN 37122 Phone: 615.758.3340 Mobile: 615.3976475 Fax: 615.758.3341


Brett Dillard Exceeds On the Field and in the Classroom

By: Tanner Primm

The MJHS Football team’s very own left tackle Brett Dillard has accomplished a lot during this year’s football season. He is being recognized as a Top 3 finalist for the Mr. Football Award, a competition that requires excellent grades along with great athleticism. Two MJHS football players have been recognized for this same award in the past: Reed Gurchiek and Antwan Majors. Although he is still exploring his options, Dillard is contemplating an offer to play football for the University of Tennessee at Martin. However, he is certain that he wants to play football at the next level. Dillard has also been invited to the Tennessee Toyota East vs. West All-star Game, along with some of his teammates: seniors defensive back Josh Shelton, wide receiver Kaceem Street and alternate defensive lineman Jacob Wrye. The game was played at Carson-

Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn. at 1:00 pm EST, Dec. 10. Dillard played for the East all-star team. Dillard says the number one thing he will miss most about playing for MJHS is what he calls the “Friday Night Lights”. In other words he will miss the packed stands with Bear fans and the lights shining down on the field as the team plays. Dillard has done more than just excel on the field, as evidenced by his Mr. Football nomination. He has also performed well in the classroom, earning a 4.25 GPA. He says what makes him want to excel the most is just the simple fact that he wants to be the best at whatever he does. When Dillard leaves, he said he will miss his team and coaches but is grateful for everything that he was able to accomplish. Congratulations to the MJHS football team for its successful season.

MJHS Bears

End WIth Amazing Season

By: Tanner Primm

The MJHS football team had a great run this year, but sadly, it came to an end on the Bears’ home turf. After having an outstanding regular season: finishing 10-0, becoming district champs for the first time since 1995, and beating every team by 20 or more points, the Bears entered the playoffs. The playoffs were a hostile environment this year giving the Bears their first competition all season. In the first three rounds, the Bears played Oakland, Segiel and Brentwood. Struggling to win each game, the Bears got to the last round of the postseason and faced White-Haven. The match-up was supposed to be one of the best of the year, but White-Haven came out on top 44-10. Despite the heartbreaking loss, this was the most successful season in MJHS history. “Breaking records and becoming the first team to hit the 13-0 mark was the highlight of the season,” says head coach Roger Perry. Although the Bears are losing 27 seniors this season, they will still approach the up-coming season with the same attitude: the desire to go undefeated, become district champs and enter a state championship. Besides having a saddening loss to end the season, the MJHS football team appreciates all of the fan support and is excited about the following seasons to come.

7 Girls’ Softball

Scores Home Run With New Coach By: Summer Adams

A new era has begun for the MJHS softball program with the introduction of the team’s new Head Coach Brad Rowlet and his two assistant coaches. Coach Rowlet may be new to the team, but he is not new to the game. He has been coaching for over 25 years, with 13 years as head coach at Lebanon High School. Also new to the team this year are two new coaches, Kevin Costley and Annmarie O’Daffer. “Mr. Brown suggested possible assistant coaches for me, and I knew I needed at least one woman on my coaching staff. It also helps having someone who has played college ball,” says Rowlet of O’Daffer. Although Rowlet and Costley are long time friends, the two men never coached together. The three coaches have set a high bar for the Bears this season. The Lady Bears have always been a state tournament team and the team’s new coach could give them the push the team needs to win it all. A home game against McGavock High School on Mar. 13 will start off the season. MJHS softball is sure to go even further this year with their new head coach and his staff.

Bowling Team Strikes Up Stellar Season

By: Chris West

The MJHS bowling team has experienced a whirlwind season thus far. With players going to the State Individual Championships, a 10-4-1 record and the whole team taking a trip to the District Championships on Dec. 6, it has been a season to make a first year coach proud. This year, the bowling team was composed of seniors Jenn Fitzgibbons and Nick Blevins, juniors Matt Gudlin and Melodie Keaton, sophomore Elisabeth Giacobbi and freshmen Hanna Hayes and Nicholas Bergin. The small size of the team has forced it to be the only co-ed team in the district. These problems have not stopped the team from posting an excellent record, especially after suffering two hard losses in the first two games of the season. Head coach George Ogilvie is proud of the squad’s third place placement in the district. “They have been outstanding this season, especially after pulling back from those first two losses. They’ve also been extremely competitive,” said Ogilvie. Ogilvie says that as a first year coach, he has learned from his squad and has gained experience to better his coaching for next year. Bergin was another new arrival

to the team, having joined because of his passion for bowling and the desire to try something new. “I’ve fit in very well; everybody’s real open. We cheer each other on, and it’s just a great environment,” said Bergin of his inaugural year. Bergin says that he has gotten better over time, and he hopes to continue being on the team and to improve along the way. The performance of the team’s two seniors and co-captains, Fitzgibbons and Blevins, stood out. With her average of 204, Fitzgibons tied for the prestigious title of best bowler in the state and went to the State Individual Championships. Blevins, playing the cooperative program as a student from Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, also had an excellent average himself with a 203. “These two will be missed tremendously next year,” said Coach Ogilvie. Overall the team had a great season and while the seniors will be missed everyone is looking forward to another great season next year. Coah Ovilvie is nothing short of proud to call the MJHS bears’ bowling team his own.

8 By: Kristian Hawkins

BEARS COMING HOME Spirit Not Foreign at MJHS

To help get MJHS students riled up for Coming Home on Jan. 20, the students celebrated by dressing up for Foreign Country Day and ended the week in a pep rally to cheer on both basketball teams. Because of the snow day on the previous Friday, MJHS did not have a chance to start spirit week until Thursday which is a first for MJ. On Thursday, Foreign Country Day was a chance for the students to express themselves representing traditional dress-wear from other countries. “It was nice to roll out of bed and put on a bed sheet,” said senior, J.J. Johns who was spotted wearing a toga. On Friday, the students showed their true Bear Pride by dressing up in black and gold. To finish the spirit week with a bang, MJHS had a pep rally to celebrate the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams and Coming Home. The pep rally was filled with excitement. Assistant Principal Mike Duncan senior Robert Luther and senior Charlie Koudelka raced electronic cars with Luther coming out on top. The cheerleaders flipped and twirled to entertain the MJHS students and the dance team mashed up with the step team to show an attitude filled dance. To finish the pep rally the Coming Home court was presented. The MJHS students stand by their school teams and peers with Bear Pride.

By: Hailey Hicks


All Hail King T.J.

Being chosen by peers to represent a class’ “Bear Pride” is one of Mount Juliet’s highest honors. The senior class chose four gentlemen who are the epitome of MJHS, one of whom was crowned king the night of the game. The 2012 court included Ben Mabry escorted by Bonny Baker, Brandon Shepard escorted by Jordan Lamberson, Sean Hatcher escorted by Miranda Buyna, and the Coming Home King T.J. Goodman escorted by Raven Myhand. “Bear Pride is what this great nation was founded on,” laughed Goodman. “Winning was unexpected, but I’m very grateful.” The ceremony also included the underclassmen: junior representative Brant Richmond escorted by Hannah Turks, sophomore Mason Dimitroff escorted by Kelsey Wyatt, and freshman Justin Winters escorted by Aurora Carlisle. The crowd roared as the basketball teams took the victory from Station Camp, girls 56-41 and boys 61-46, and the attendents strutted across the court in their formal attire. Everyone at MJHS can agree that this year’s Coming Home was overflowing with Bear Pride.

MJHS Golden Ray January 2012  

The Mt. Juliet High School Newspaper, The Golden Ray

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