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NCS Wins First State Championship
December 4, 2015 will forever be remembered at Nashville Christian School as the day our football team made school history. The Eagles traveled to Cookeville for their first-ever appearance in a state championship game and then sealed the deal with a decisive 42-14 win over Greenback.
It was a week full of activity as the team, families and fans made plans for the trip. On Wednesday, the senior football players enjoyed a delicious steak dinner with all the trimmings courtesy of the Nashville Christian faculty and staff in celebration of their trip to the championship game. Coach Poppy Keeton, who Keeton field is named for, spoke words of encouragement to the team at Thursday's final practice, and expressed how proud he was of all they had accomplished.
Everyone from the preschool on up was invited to the pep rally sendoff, and the gym was full of fans, families and alumni showing their support. Patrick Sheehan created another inspiring video that really got everyone pumped up for the big game.
The morning of the championship couldn't have been more beautiful with blue skies and cool temperatures as everyone gathered at the pre-game tailgate organized by the Eagles Parent Association. After circling up to pray for the team, the fans headed over to the stadium with their shakers and signs, smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes.
"The whole championship experience was so memorable for the players, coaches and entire school community. It was great to see our people so full of joy. Our players were able to have a college game style experience, and the city of Cookeville did a remarkable job of making the trip special for each player. The memories of that day will be with the players and NCS family for a lifetime," said Head Football Coach, Jeff Brothers.
Students, families, fans and alumni filled the stands making what was probably the largest crowd to ever attend a Nashville Christian School football game. Alumni football players who paved the way with their love and dedication were so proud to see everything come together on this historic day, and the Eagles didn't disappoint as they dominated the field and secured the gold ball.
Class of '78 quarterback Dennis Wilson said, "Being a part of the school since the beginning, I have always known what a special place this is, and I am proud of all the things the school has accomplished, but being able to say we are State Champs is an unbelievably special feeling. After three years of being one game short of playing in Cookeville and now getting the Gold Ball makes me so happy for the coaches and players and all of the hard work they put in to accomplish their goal. I am proud to be able to say I am a part of the NCS family."
After the game, senior Mareio McGraw was awarded Offensive MVP and sophomore Jesse Watson was named Defensive MVP. Finally the moment came for the team to take the gold ball and hold it high as the crowed waved their flags, shouted in support, and hugged one another in celebration.
We continued to celebrate the win here at NCS with a follow-up pep rally, a trophy presentation at halftime of a basketball game, and senior quarterback Kyle Tidwell was chosen as the Titans Player of the Week. There will be more celebrations and a ring ceremony to come, but for now the Nashville Christian community is simply grateful for an incredible finish to what has been a difficult season at times, and certainly one that we will never forget.