KNOXVILLE Johnson University’s men’s basketball team finished this season earning the title of 3rd in the nation the highest title in Johnson history at the National Christian College Athletic Association DII Men’s Basketball National Championship in Greenville, SC, March 7-9.
The Royals played their first championship game against the #6 team, Trinity Baptist College, winning 76-60, on March 7.
On March 8, the team lost to the #2 team, Grace Christian University, 75-51.
The Royals played their final game of the season, March 9, against Maranatha Baptist University, to compete for third place. They succeeded in winning, beating MBU 101-86.
The Johnson Royals have advanced to the finals of the Mid-East Regional tournament with a win over #1 seeded Grace Christian University.
The Royals came into the game as the 4th seed in the tournament having already defeated the 5th seed Welch College. Both teams played with extreme intensity right from the opening tip. The Royals played some of their best basketball on both sides of the floor for the entire first half. Coby Jones (SO/Hampton, TN) was able to put up 16 points and gather 4 rebounds to lead Johnson in the first half. Even with this effort, the Tigers were able to keep up.
By halftime, the teams had matched each other almost perfectly. Johnson had 16 rebounds, 37 points, and gave up 8 turnovers. Welch had also given up 8 turnovers with 17 rebounds and 32 points. This 5-point lead for the Royals was the largest of the half for either team.
The second half continued to be high intensity with non-stop action at both ends of the floor. Until the 4-minute mark, the teams stayed within 5 points of one another. With 3:45 remaining in the game, Taylor Gilpin (SR/Bloomington, IN) drilled a three-point shot with an assist from Coby Jones and the Royals’ momentum took over. They went on an 11-0 run over the next 3 minutes to cap off the game. Though the Tigers tried until the very end, their efforts were no match for the play of the Royals.
The Johnson Player of the Game was Coby Jones. Jones recorded a team-leading 31 points, shooting 10-17 from the field and 4-9 from behind the arc. He also had 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. His 31 points put him into the One Thousand Point Club at Johnson in only his 3rd semester with the team. Coby agreed to an interview after the game:
KNOXVILLE There was a full crowd for Saturday night’s Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour’s stop in Knoxville at the Thompson-Boling Arena. Dylan Smith, a 19-year-old from Ararat, Va., wrangled in his first win of the season.
45 cowboys mounted bulls and competed to move onto the short round, in which the top ten scoring riders would compete for first place. Only 17 of the 45 riders in the long round met the required time of 8 seconds the time necessary for a qualifying ride for which the judges then award them points.
Smith rode ‘Switch Hitter’ in the long round for a ride score of 89 points, putting him at
Knoxville’s 2019 winner, Dylan Smith, during his 89 point ride on the bull, Switch Hitter.
the top of the leaderboard in the long round.
Smith’s ride was accompanied by the Tennessee favorite, ‘Rocky Top’. When asked what he thought about this song being played during his winning ride and if he’d seen a better crowd, Smith said he had not.
“This is the most fun I’ve had at a bull ride ever,” Smith said. “I’m just blessed to be here, for sure.”
There were no qualified rides in the short round, so the scores from the long round determined the night’s victors.
Smith left Knoxville with a check worth $6,400, as well as the opportunity to compete at one of PBR’s elite tour stops, in Los Angeles, on Feb. 22-23.
Ouncie Mitchell, a competitor from Fresno, Tx. , placed 2nd with an 88 point ride on ‘Last Chance’ . He received a check for $4,700.
Jason Mara of Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia, attained 87.5 points on ‘Blood Money’. He took home $3,000.
East Bernard, Tx. native Bryan Titman placed 4th with a ride worth 86.5 on ‘Striker’ and received a check for $2,000.
The top five winners were rounded off by Lindomar Lino of Anapolis, Brazil. He had an 86 point ride on ‘How Bout It’ and was awarded a check for $1,140.
4th place winner Bryan Titman said he enjoyed the competition in Knoxville.
“It was awesome,” Titman said. “The crowd was awesome. Y’all just filled the place in here. It’s phenomenal. It’s a blessing to be here.”
Knoxville’s hometown cowboy, Cody Clint Brewer, had a successful 82 point ride atop ‘Ring of Fire’ as his home crowd roared in the stands. He ranked 16th in the event overall.
The next stop for the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour is in Edinburg, Tx. on Feb. 9.
KNOXVILLE Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour will stop in Knoxville for the second year in a row, on Feb. 2, at the Thompson-Boling Arena. Bryan Titman, a bull rider in the PBR, is ready to compete in Knoxville.
Bryan Titman, PBR competitor.
Titman, a Texas native, was raised in a bull riding family with his dad and grandpa having competed in the sport. He turned down a football scholarship to pursue bull riding instead and said that he does not regret it.
“I don’t see myself getting any bigger and I’m a pretty small guy when it comes to muscle wise, so I didn’t feel like I wanted to get hit and lift a bunch of weights every day,” Titman said. “My dream was always to ride bulls so I figured I’d follow that one. Football, I just happened to be pretty good at, but it really wasn’t what I wanted to be.”
He said the most complicated aspect of bull riding is keeping your mind clear and focused.
“The most difficult is your head,” Titman said. “You can’t get through it without your head… You’re not gonna make it very far. Your head’s a big thing in bull riding.”
Titman said he hopes to win the event in Knoxville, but he is also excited just to compete there once again.
“I mean, I’m excited to be there,” Titman said. “I just love Tennessee. Texas born – Tennessee couldn’t get any better.”
The tour’s stop in Knoxville will mark a little over two weeks since the death of Mason Lowe. Lowe was a competitor in the Velocity Tour. He was bucked off of a bull, and then stepped on, at the PBR event in Denver on January 15. He later died at the Denver Health Medical Centre due to the injuries.
Titman said that this loss does affect those who competed with and knew Lowe.
“It’s a bit rough but he wouldn’t want us to be down and low,” Titman said. “He’d always been a happy person so he’d like us to just keep spurring and doing the riding for him, so that’s what we want to continue to do and just push forward. It’s a sad day but we all know what we what we gotta do just to push on, and just thank him, and he won’t be forgotten.”
This one night event will be held at the Thompson-Boling Arena on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. The doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
KNOXVILLE Senior sermons are held throughout each Fall and Spring semester for chapel services. This gives the seniors a chance to demonstrate their spiritual gifts and share a message from God’s word.
The first senior sermon of the Spring semester will feature Jacob Leimeister,as he delivers his senior sermon before graduating this May. It can be a daunting task to prepare to speak in front of a crowd like those who attend Chapel in the Phillips-Welshimer gym every Tuesday and Thursday. He talks about his feelings as time approaches closer to that 9 a.m. starting time on Jan. 31.
“This is a big opportunity to preach in front of a whole bunch of people,” Leimeister said.
With the campus community along with those who watch the livestream elsewhere, this serves as a great way for the speaker to make a positive impact on a larger scale. A person giving a senior sermon has the opportunity to use this opportunity to gain experience as a preacher as they transition into the careers that God calls them to pursue.
Jacob has been interacting with others that serve as mentors, so that he correctly interprets Luke 5:1-11 in order to create the sermon in which he will be preaching.
Jacob’s senior sermon will be held this Thursday during the 9 a.m. chapel service located in the gym of the Phillips-Welshimer building.
Knoxville — The Harvesters group at Johnson University is hosting a night of prayer from 9 p.m. to midnight, Saturday in the PW gym.
Brielle Smith, the President of Harvesters, said that the theme of the night is based on Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Students will participate in different styles of creative prayer to understand this scripture.
“We all get stressed out and like overwhelmed with school and so sometimes it’s good to just like take time to be still and be with God,” Smith said.
Smith said that the night is meant to be a night of refreshing for students to come together and connect with God through a long period of prayer.
There is no need to sign up for the event and there will be snacks and coffee for those who choose to attend.
StellieMay Whitesides is the prayer coordinator and will be helping to lead the event.
Many different styles of creative prayer will take place throughout the night. There will be corporate prayer, individual prayer and prayer stations.
Knoxville — In the busyness of the day, sometimes dinner preparations get put on the back burner. Pioneer Dining Services is introducing new specials and advertising old ones to make non-traditional and commuter students’ lives easier.
Every Tuesdays in the River Grill, all meals are $4 for non-traditional and commuter students. Every Thursdays, dinner costs $5 for adults and $2.50 for their children in the Gally.
The special in the Gally has been running for years, but the new discount in the River Grill will hopefully attract more students.
“It will benefit [non-traditional students] because they will have an even more affordable option for lunch or dinners on campus that fit into their class schedule,” Jordan Durant, director of Pioneer Food Services said.
He said only a handful of non-traditional and commuter students take advantage of the discount in the Gally.
On Thursdays, the Gally has a variety of rotating dinner options, including fried chicken, spaghetti, and usual options like pizza and subs.
The River Grill has more specialized options like quesadillas, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and salads.
Jan. 22 was the first day of the special at the River Grill and Durant said the response was positive.
“We doubled our sales [in the River Grill] from last week,” Durant said.
In addition to the meal discounts for some students, Durant said his crew is preparing for a new cookie delivery service.
“It will be open to all campus residents alike, nontraditionals, and faculty and staff,” he said. “The start date will be next Wednesday.”
He said more details about this upcoming service will be released to the campus body soon.
This past week, two JU students and a professor had the opportunity to attend the United States Naval Academy Leadership Conference in Annapolis, Md.
The theme of this year’s conference, “Inside Out Leadership”, was primarily focused on helping leaders know themselves first so that they could better lead those they’re in charge of. There were a multitude of speakers and panels covering the various facets of leadership.
Some of this year’s speakers were former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Peter Pace, and President of Operations at NPR Loren Mayor.
“(The speakers) were excellent,” sophomore Elijah Muller said. “They gave me a lot to think about when it comes to my leadership abilities.”
This was the largest attendance the conference has ever had with over 400 delegates coming from over 120 institutions around the world. The delegates were allowed to discuss the information they were learning at the conference as well as get leadership tips from one another in discussion groups that were moderated by midshipmen at the academy.
“One of the most enjoyable parts of the conference was getting to interact with the other delegates,” Dr. Daniel Overdorf said. “Getting to meet with students from other universities and military academies and also seeing the caliber of the students at the Naval Academy was amazing.”
Throughout the week, the delegates from JU got to explore the grounds of the Naval Academy, tour a patrol boat, and explore downtown Annapolis.
Dr. Gerald Mattingly, who helps coordinate the trip for the JU delegation every year hopes that the students and professors that go will return and use what they learned at the conference to better JU.
KNOXVILLE On Jan. 22, Johnson University senior Taylor Gilpin scored his 2,000th point of his college basketball career.
This was a big accomplishment for Gilpin, who only scored 100 points during his high school career.
“I’ve been averaging 18 points a game, so I knew I’d be on pace for it, and I felt pretty good about it coming into the game,” Gilpin said. “I was confident I’d get it today.”
Brandon Perry and Taylor Gilpin after Tuesday night’s game
Gilpin attributes all of his accomplishments thus far to God.
“It was crazy,” Gilpin said. “I mean, I couldn’t help but just thank God for all that He’s done. I came from high school, where I didn’t play very much…Going from 100 to 2,000 [points] in college, it’s just crazy to see all that God’s done. I can’t take any glory; it’s all been God. And I’m just super thankful for that, just the way He’s used me.”
Head Coach for the Johnson Royals men’s basketball team, Brandon Perry, is very proud of Gilpin’s accomplishments, including but not limited to this particular achievement.
“This marker is not really a definer of the type of player he is, but it’s an announcement to everyone else that says…‘oh my goodness, this guy is something special’,” Coach Perry said. “I’ve known it from day one, and for me to get to see that, to be a part of his life for four years all this stuff from basketball, it’s great but it’s the way that he loves my son and the way that he’s been a part of my family, the way he has led our team for four years. For him to score 2,000 was great, but all of that stuff is even better…He’s just been amazing. I don’t even know that I can say the right words.”
Gilpin is very grateful to everyone who has helped him reach this point in his career.
“I just wanna thank my team. It’s all my team that has allowed me to get here; they’ve been the ones that have pushed me, that have helped me get to this point, and that have encouraged me,” Gilpin said.
Gilpin also said that his family and his coach have played a major part in getting him to where he is today.
“My coach has just been awesome. He’s built confidence in me to be the player I’ve become,” Gilpin said. “My parents my dad he always spends time with me in the gym. Growing up, we’d spend countless hours just shooting hoops in the gym and in the driveway. My family, which is my team, and my coach have all been super amazing, and I’m thankful for them and having them in my life.”
Perry predicts that Gilpin still has great things ahead of him. He said if Gilpin has more games like Tuesday’s, he has the potential to push his way from being 5th in scoring to being 2nd . If the team makes the national title game, Gilpin has a good shot at placing 1st.