By DONOVAN STEWART
Lipscomb Academy, Middle Tennessee Christian School and Notre Dame are taking the plunge as all three schools have announced their intentions to move to Division II for the 2017-20 school cycle.
All announced their move before the Friday deadline, as Lipscomb and MTCS both announced in a parent letter and Notre Dame head football coach Charles Fant confirmed that the Fighting Irish would be going Division II while Franklin Grace a relative newcomer to the TSSAA announced that they would remain in Division I.
“After much discussion and meetings with coaches, administrators and others involved in our athletic program, a move to Division II appears more favorable than at any other point in our school’s history. Based on the current landscape and through prayerful consideration, the recommendation of the administration is to proceed to move from Division I to Division II. Lipscomb University President Randy Lowry has endorsed this decision with support from the Board of Trustees,” the Lipscomb Academy parent letter stated.
“Our decision to make this move comes after much prayer, thought, consideration and discussion with staff, faculty, coaches and board members,” MTCS President Matt Tiller said via parent letter.
“We believe this is a good move for our current MTCS family as well as those that will join us in the future.
“It will not only help us stay true to our values of education students in Spirit, Mind and Body but also enable us to improve the accessibility of the excellent Christian education we provide.”
Lipscomb, MTCS and Notre Dame join a growing list of private schools opting to join Division II as Boyd Buchanan, Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK), Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA), Chattanooga Christian, Chattanooga Grace, Goodpasture, Jackson Christian, Nashville Christian and Silverdale have already declared for Division II.
Franklin Grace joins a small group consisting of Clarksville Academy, Columbia Academy and Trinity Christian as private schools that will remain in Division I.
“We have decided to stay Division I,” Franklin Grace Athletic Director Lenoir McKnatt said. “It was a tough decision but we felt it would be unwise to make another move at this time since we have only been in the TSSAA for 14 months.”
That leaves only Concord Christian, Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville and Knoxville Catholic as private schools that have not announced their intentions yet, they have until the Friday deadline to report to the TSSAA.
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