Coaching state tournament-contending girls and boys soccer teams at Hardin Valley Academy in recent seasons, head coach Jessica Stephens-Burkhart is coming home to her alma mater. Stephens, an All-state forward for the Farragut High School Lady Admirals (Class of 2006) who went on to play at Carson-Newman University, has been named FHS girls soccer new head coach, it was announced at the school Monday morning, May 1. Stephens-Burkhart, seated, was joined by her rising seniors for this fall’s team. Standing, from left, are Kennedy Renfro, Parker Willis, Lauren Leslie, Melina Herrera, Reeder Kappel, Malena Maier and Gabby Kalosieh. While Dr. John Bartlett, FHS principal, and Donald Dodgen, athletic director, praised her skills as a coach and as a highly successful former Lady Ads player, “She is all Admiral,” Bartlett said while addressing Burkhart-Stephens and most of her new team, who were just then learning about their new coach. “This is where I played my high school career; it’s where I fell in love with the game of soccer and learned to compete,” Stephens-Burkhart said to her new team.
“This is somewhere that’s been very, very special to my heart. I’m really excited to have this opportunity to be back here. ... It is time to get ready and go to work.” Resigning both the boys and girls jobs at HVA at season’s end to assume her new role at Farragut, Stephens-Burkhart is a first-grade teacher at Farragut Primary School.