We are in Wilson County this week as Lebanon travels to Mount Juliet and these two teams renew their rivalry as a district game for the first time since 2019.
(All rankings referenced are from MaxPreps computer generated algorithmic rating system for Tennessee schools)
Lebanon Blue Devils
MaxPreps Tennessee Rank: 55
Head Coach: Chuck Gentry
2023 Record: 5-2
2022 Record: 9-3, Lost in the second round of the playoffs to Oakland
After an extremely successful 2022 campaign with a disappointing end at the hands of the eventual state champion Oakland, Lebanon lost some talent such as Jaylen Abston and Anthony Crowell, but the Blue Devils are still right in the thick of the race for 6A Region 4 and the chase of 7-0 Mount Juliet. This game is huge for Lebanon in that chase as a loss here would most likely put them out of range of the Golden Bears.
Mount Juliet Golden Bears
MaxPreps Tennessee Rank: 38
Head Coach: Trey Perry
2023 Record: 7-0
2022 Record: 9-3, Lost in the second round of the playoffs to Page
Mount Juliet is a team that had success last year and got older. They are riding the momentum they built last season, despite a second-round playoff exit, into a 7-0 start to this season. A win this weekend would leave just Green Hill in the way of a district title for the Golden Bears with a de facto championship game in The Mayor’s Cup on the docket for the final week of the regular season.
While I think rivalries can make for closer games and unexpected outcomes with crazy plays, I also think Mount Juliet is the better team this season and they are at home. The Golden Bears are averaging around nine points a game more than the Blue Devils while their defense is only allowing one point per game more than their Wilson County rivals. That offense for Mount Juliet should be the difference on Friday night.
Prediction: Mount Juliet 45 Lebanon 38