Yellow Jackets complete spring football workouts

With spring football practice over and summer workouts set to begin, Trousdale County coach Brad Waggoner said he was pleased by the overall results.

Waggoner said he saw a tougher and more disciplined team, which were two of the goals he had for the Yellow Jackets, who return much of last year’s 8-4 team.

“I thought the spring was a good indicator for us to see how far we’ve come,” Waggoner told The Vidette. “I saw the weight room, the strength carry over to the field.”

Waggoner said he saw great attitude from the players and “relentless effort.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Kobe Ford weaves through the Smith County defense during a scrimmage on May 16.

The Yellow Jackets closed spring practice with a scrimmage against Smith County on May 16 on the practice field.

“I was really pleased with our effort every day, working to get better,” Waggoner said. “I wanted to see us play with the toughness and physicality that Trousdale County is known for. I give the kids an A for that part.”

Waggoner said the Yellow Jackets experimented with tweaks to the offense and defense during spring workouts, and singled out sophomore Cameron Rankins for his performance at quarterback and assistant Davy Cothron for his work with each of the Yellow Jacket quarterbacks.

“There’s no question he can play that spot,” Waggoner said. “Cameron threw the ball very well in the scrimmage and I think that surprised just how good the passing game was.”

The coach also talked up the performance of some of the younger players, some of whom could start or see significant time in backup roles. Waggoner mentioned great improvements from sophomore linemen Mason Basford and Jevon Burnley.

Defensively, Waggoner singled out junior Jay’Dynn Hayward, a linebacker from Florida who moved to Trousdale County during the spring semester.

“He’s got a chance to be one of the best 11 on defense,” the coach said. “He’s very physical.”

On offense, Waggoner praised sophomore running back Sebastian Linarez and junior running back Kobe Ford for their hard work.

“(Sebastian) got better every day. When you’re playing every down, he really improved,” the coach said.

“Kobe is a tough, hard-nosed running back,” Waggoner added. “He really grew up and had a great spring.”

The Yellow Jackets will face Gallatin in the Tobacco Bowl Jamboree on Aug. 10 and will open the season on Aug. 17 at home against Lebanon.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Blake Satterfield named as Yellow Jackets’ defensive coordinator

Trousdale County football coach Brad Waggoner has announced the promotion of assistant Blake Satterfield to defensive coordinator.

Satterfield will replace Scott Booth, who resigned after one season to take a job in Mississippi. Booth, who coached for nearly 25 years in Alabama, reportedly wanted to be closer to his parents.

“Coach Booth did a great job for us,” Waggoner said. “It’s a little bit closer to home for him.”

Photo courtesy of Trousdale County Schools
Blake Satterfield will serve as the defensive coordinator for the Trousdale County football team.

In addition to his duties as defensive coordinator, Satterfield will also coach the Yellow Jackets’ defensive backs.

“I was looking for someone who was high-energy and could relate to these kids really well,” Waggoner said. “I also wanted someone who will run what I want on defense, a defense Blake knew.”

Waggoner said he envisions a 50 defense, also known as the “Oklahoma Defense” (one nose tackle, two defensive tackles and two defensive ends with two linebackers behind them). The coach said he felt that best suited the Yellow Jackets’ personnel.

“I’m excited about working with Blake. I feel he’ll bring an energy to that side of the ball and get what I want to get accomplished.”

Waggoner also said that Kyle Gregory has accepted an assistant’s job in Westmoreland. Waggoner said the move gave Gregory the potential opportunity to become an offensive coordinator down the line.

Waggoner said he hoped to hire one, perhaps two, assistants as soon as this week.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Jared Hawkins named as TCHS girls basketball coach

Jared Hawkins has been named as the new head coach for the Trousdale County Lady Jackets’ basketball team.

The announcement was made on May 16 by Director of Schools Clint Satterfield.

Jerry Richmond / For The Vidette
New TCHS girls basketball coach Jared Hawkins watches the action during tryouts last week.

Hawkins, 27, served as head coach of the Jim Satterfield Jr. Jackets this past season, finishing with a 10-7 record. The team also went 1-1 in the James C. Haile State Tournament. Hawkins also served as an assistant to TCHS boys basketball coach Ryan Sleeper.

Hawkins is a 2009 graduate of Anderson County High School and graduated in 2013 from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga with a double major in Secondary Education-History and Environmental Science.

While at UTC, he served as manager for four years and as a graduate assistant for one year under coach Will Wade.

After leaving UTC, Hawkins spent one year as assistant coach for the men’s team at the University of North Georgia. His first head coaching job was at Dade County (GA), where he went 25-31 over two season and led the team to the state tournament in his final year.

“I am super excited to get ready and start working,” Hawkins said. “I have an incredible group of girls and we can’t wait for the season to start and the opportunity to start making some waves in the district.”

Hawkins’ task will be to improve a Lady Jacket program that has just two winning season over the last 17 years and has not won a district championship since 1993.

Baseball season ends with region loss at South Pittsburg

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets saw their 2018 baseball season come to a close with a 7-4 loss at South Pittsburg in the Region 3-A semifinals on May 14.

Despite the disappointing loss, it was the first time in five years that the Jackets had advanced to regional play.

Trousdale County trailed 5-1 after three innings but plated two runs in the top of the fifth and another in the sixth to make the Pirates sweat.

But the hosts put up two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth and the Jackets came up empty in the top of the seventh.

“We are so proud of these young men and all they accomplished this season. These men competed until the last out,” said TCHS coach Travis Humes.

Sophomore Kobe Pridemore went 1-for-2, scored a run and drew two walks to lead the Jackets. Seniors Logan Calhoun and Hunter Ford had hits, as did sophomore Chandler Barton. Ford drove in a pair of runs while Calhoun knocked in one.

The Jackets finished at 17-13, their first winning season since 2013.

Four seniors concluded their high school career: Calhoun, Ford, Dylan Gilpin and Logan Hewitt.

“Character over talent is a theme that as a staff we challenged our players with this season,” Humes added. “A challenge that these men met head on. We really wanted this season to be about more than us and when our backs were against the wall, we wanted to meet each challenge with love, passion and a desire to keep this season alive. I’m thankful that God has me coaching these men.”

Best way to avoid snakebite is being aware

I remember the time I got snake-bit, over 60 years ago, as clearly as if it were yesterday.

My cousin Jerry and I were wading in the spillway below his family’s farm pond when we saw a snake slither underneath a rock. Being normal five-year-old boys, we naturally felt compelled to catch it.

We devised a simple plan: Jerry would lift the rock and I would grab the snake.

Jerry lifted and I grabbed.

The snake, about two feet long, twisted around and clamped down on my finger. I let out a yelp and slung it away.

Submitted photo
Most species of snakes in Tennessee are harmless, like this one, but not all are and outdoorsmen need to be aware.

I don’t remember if the bite hurt or not – probably not. It was a harmless water snake, aggressive but non-venomous. I doubt that its rows of tiny teeth even broke the skin.

All I knew was that I’d gotten snake-bit, and it scared the daylights out of me. I had watched enough Westerns on TV to know what a snakebite meant: a one-way trip to Boot Hill.

I sat down on a log and waited for the end while Jerry went off and picked me some huckleberries to comfort my passing.

An hour later I wasn’t dead. My finger didn’t even hurt. I had somehow dodged the Grim Reaper. Relieved, Jerry and I got our cane poles and went bluegill fishing.

I was lucky. If the snake had been one of the three venomous species in Tennessee (cottonmouth, copperhead and rattlesnake) I would have been in trouble. Years after my experience a teenaged buddy was bitten on his finger by a copperhead and today – a half-century later – the finger is still stiff and unusable.

Springtime means snake time in Tennessee, and outdoorsmen need to be on the lookout. Experts claim that most snakebites occur when someone is messing with the reptile, trying to catch or kill it – as I can attest from my personal experience.

In Tennessee it’s illegal to kill any snake, whether it’s one of the state’s 30 non-venomous species or one of the three venomous ones. Wildlife officials make an exception if a venomous snake presents a clear and present danger.

There is an interesting story about snakes in the spring issue of Tennessee Wildlife Magazine, written by Brian Flock. I disagree with Brian one point, however: he states that “cottonmouths are found west of Nashville and primarily west of the Tennessee River.”

I grew up a hundred miles to the east, on the Cumberland Plateau, and cottonmouths were occasionally encountered around area waters. My uncle killed a monster while fishing on Daddy’s Creek one summer, and I discovered one coiled under an overturned boat on the shore of a swampy lake. It threw open its mouth, white as a cotton ball, before I dropped the boat and retreated.

As Brian points out in his story, identifying the state’s venomous species is simple. They have vertical “cat’s-eye” pupils, while non-venomous species’ pupils are round. Venomous species have pits below their nostrils (hence the term “pit vipers”) and a distinguishing arrowhead-shaped head created by venom pouches in the jaws.

If bitten by a snake that you can’t identify (in the dark, for example, or in tall grass) you’ll know immediately if it is venomous. There will be two fang-puncture wounds – occasionally only one – and the pain will start instantly and become more intense by the minute.

Medical attention should be sought immediately. Don’t waste time trying to kill the snake for identification; it’s not required for treatment, and another bite might result. Also don’t attempt any home treatments such as cutting incisions over the bites, sucking out the venom or applying tourniquets. Such practices waste valuable time and can do more harm than good.

The best solution, of course, is to leave snakes alone and watch your step.

Assistant football coach Eden suspended after practice field incident

The Trousdale County School Board voted at its meeting Thursday night to certify a 53-day suspension without pay for assistant football coach Brandon Eden.

Eden, who also serves as head coach at Jim Satterfield Middle School, was suspended following an investigation by Director of Schools Clint Satterfield into an incident that occurred on the practice field on May 7.

According to results of the investigation, Eden “forcefully grabbed a student-athlete by the helmet and yelled profanity-laced criticism” at the player before the two were separated by head coach Brad Waggoner.

Photo courtesy of Trousdale County Schools

The investigation also revealed that Eden walked over to the fence and cursed a spectator. During a meeting with TCHS Principal Teresa Dickerson on May 8, Eden reportedly cursed her and walked out of the meeting.

Eden was suspended for conduct unbecoming a member of the teaching profession, inefficiency, incompetence and insubordination. The suspension took effect on May 9 and is for 53 instructional days, meaning he is currently ineligible to return to work until Oct. 1.

“In my opinion, these charges are sufficient to warrant a serious disciplinary consequence,” Satterfield said. “He responded with conduct unbecoming a member of the teaching profession, which is one of the charges.

“For those behaviors, I have recommended a long-term suspension for Mr. Eden.”

Eden was to receive a letter certifying the suspension on Friday. From that point, he has 30 days to appeal under state law. An appeal would first be made to an impartial hearing officer who would have no ties to any party involved. Under Tennessee Code Annotated 49-5-512, further appeals could be made to the School Board or in Chancery Court.

Under the terms of his suspension, Eden is not allowed on the school campus or at any school-sponsored event without Satterfield’s written permission, except for picking up or dropping off his children.

Satterfield said it was too soon to determine what, if any, coaching duties Eden would resume once the suspension ends. His suspension will likely cover most, if not all, of the middle school football season. Satterfield also said it was too soon to determine who would serve as an acting coach at JSMS.

“We’ll have to watch and see how things go,” Satterfield said. “He’s entitled to due process, so we want to be sure that we’re disciplining any employee within the bounds of the law.”

Per school board policy, the suspension is without pay.

Eden declined to comment when contacted by The Vidette. He has been a part of the TCHS coaching staff since 2007 and became head coach at JSMS in 2015.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Jared Hawkins named new TCHS girls basketball coach

Trousdale County Director of Schools Clint Satterfield named current TCHS assistant Jared Hawkins as the new head girls’ basketball coach early Wednesday, May 16.

Jared Hawkins

Prior to being named head coach, Hawkins served as the assistant high school boys’ coach and head middle school boys’ coach during the 2017-18 season. Coach Hawkins also served as the middle school softball assistant during the spring.

Prior to coming to Trousdale County, Coach Hawkins was the head boys’ coach at Dade County (Ga.) High during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, where his teams compiled an overall 25-31 record. His 2016-17 team reached the Georgia State Tournament. He was an assistant coach at University of North Georgia for one year and was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga prior to his first coaching job.

“We like everything about Coach Hawkins, from his classroom instruction to his basketball expertise. I am confident that Coach Hawkins will be a great asset to our girls and will develop our young ladies to their full potential,” Satterfield said in a press statement.

Coach Hawkins assumes duties immediately where the team will conduct try-outs on Friday, May 18, at 1 p.m. at Jim Satterfield Middle School. Coach Hawkins can be contacted at jaredhawkins@tcschools.org.

Remembering Mary Frances Woody

In the fall of 1964, I met a pretty little brown-eyed coed named Mary Frances Hill from Portland during our freshman year at Martin Methodist College. We hit it off, started dating and didn’t stop for the next 53 years.

Mary Frances died last week after a courageous battle with dementia, leaving a scar on my heart that will never heal. But oh, what fun we had during all those years, and the memories come flooding back. (Visit marywoody.com to view a photo gallery.)

During our dating days Mary Frances was aware of my writing ambition, specifically outdoor writing, and after she accepted my marriage proposal it didn’t take long for her to realize what she had signed on for.

Photo courtesy of Larry Woody
Mary Frances Woody lands a fish during a trip to Hawaii in 1969, one of hundreds of outdoors adventures she shared with her husband over the decades.

She suggested having the wedding on Sept. 1. I said I couldn’t. That was the opening day of squirrel season. We got married on Sept. 2.

Our “honeymoon suite” was a fishing cabin on Kentucky Lake. I promised to take her to Paris someday, and I did – Paris, Tennessee, for some of the world’s best crappie fishing.

A year after we were married I received my Army induction notice and soon afterwards found myself in Vietnam as a combat infantryman. Every soldier got a week’s R&R – rest and recuperation – at exotic vacation spots where the spouse could meet. I chose Hawaii, and as soon as Mary Frances arrived we went deep-sea fishing. Spending a day on a smelly, rocking fishing boat, half sea-sick, was hardly a romantic getaway, but she never complained.

Likewise she didn’t complain when we spent part of a summer vacation at Reelfoot Lake. I’d go fishing each morning while Mary Frances sunned at pool-side. It would have been relaxing except for the fish-processing plant across the street.

Another summer we vacationed in northern Wisconsin at the lakeside cabin of an Army buddy. We divided our time between walleye fishing and musky fishing. At night we had fish dinners at a little road house whose walls were decorated with mounted fish. After a week, Mary Frances said she was starting to see fish in her sleep.

I introduced her to trout fishing at Bucksnort, and over the years she splashed along beside me in Mill Creek, Caney Fork, Sequatchie, and the Tellico River.

Our wildest outdoor adventure was a camping trip in the Canadian wilderness. It drizzled every day, but Mary Frances put on a poncho and gamely cooked over a smoldering campfire. The tent leaked and our sleeping bags were soaked. One night a bear wandered into camp, broke into the ice chest that contained most of our food and carried off our greasy cooking skillet as a souvenir.

We headed home after a week of mildewed misery, and as we sped through Chicago on the expressway our tent blew off from the top of the van when a strap broke. We didn’t stop.

Mary Frances enjoyed hiking, and over the years we spent countless hours touring state parks and natural areas around the state. We were walking along a trail at Long Hunter State Park one spring morning when a wild turkey – probably a nesting hen – attacked, pecking and flogging. As Mary Frances fended off the foul-mood fowl, I snapped photos of the encounter. I thought it was funny. She didn’t.

One summer at Lake George N.Y., a teenager came walking along the beach carrying a 7-foot boa constrictor. A crowd gathered, and on a dare Mary Frances let the kid drape the snake around her neck. She never flinched.

During a walk at Radnor Lake we met a young couple leading a pet pig on a leash. Mary Frances naturally stopped to pet it and I snapped a photo. Our granddaughter thought it was hilarious: Granny pets a pig.

Looking back, it WAS pretty amusing – like postponing her wedding for squirrel season, getting attacked by a berserk turkey, losing her skillet to a hungry bear and allowing a giant snake to be dangled around her neck.

Mary Frances had a great sense of humor, and was a good sport who never complained about any of our wacky misadventures. She was my constant companion for over a half-century and made each day special, fun and bright.

I miss my angel.

Yellow Jackets place second in district, advance to regionals

Trousdale County’s baseball team put together a run in last week’s District 6-A Tournament that they rode all the way to the championship game and a berth in the region semifinals.

The path was not an easy one, as the Jackets found themselves in the losers’ bracket early and had to beat tournament host Jackson County twice to advance.

The Jackets fell 3-2 to Jackson County on May 7 to fall into the losers’ bracket. Trousdale tied the game at 2 with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning, but the Blue Devils pushed the winning run across in the bottom of the seventh.

Submitted photo
Trousdale County platers and coaches pose with the runner-up trophy after placing second in the District 6-A baseball tournament.

Senior Hunter Ford and sophomore Ben Chumley had the only hits for Trousdale, which also committed six errors.

The Yellow Jackets would rally with three consecutive wins, the first of which came on May 8 with a 7-1 victory over Pickett County.

Senior Logan Calhoun went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and classmate Logan Hewitt added a pair of hits. Chumley and sophomores Kobe Pridemore and Chandler Barton also had hits in the victory.

Pridemore scattered nine hits and struck out seven batters to pickup the victory.

Shortly afterward the Jackets faced a rematch with Jackson County, this time coming away with a 3-2 victory. Trousdale scored one run in the first and two in the fifth.

Freshman Elijah Henderson was 2-for-2 and also drew a walk. Henderson also earned the win on the mound, going 5-1/3 innings with four strikeouts and allowing just one earned run.

Ford, Chumley and Pridemore each had a pair of hits while Calhoun had one.

On May 9, Trousdale County again faced Jackson County in an elimination game, again beating the Blue Devils 3-2 while outhitting the tournament hosts 8-4.

The Jackets scored runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings to eliminate the Blue Devils.

Pridemore, Barton and sophomore Will Holder each had two hits for the Jackets, while Calhoun and Hewitt also had hits.

Hewitt tossed a complete game on the mound, recording eight strikeouts.

In the championship game on Thursday in South Carthage, the Jackets gave up a triple on the first pitch of the game in an 11-0, five-inning loss to top seed Gordonsville.

It was the Jackets’ sixth straight loss to the Tigers, who have reached the state tournament each of the last two years.

The Jackets got hits from Calhoun, Chumley, Barton and junior Stetson White, but also committed five errors.

Trousdale County traveled to South Pittsburg on Monday for the region semifinals, their first appearance after a four-year absence. The Yellow Jackets lost 7-4 to end their season. Details were not available at press time.

Lady Jackets place third in district softball tournament

The Trousdale County Lady Jackets went 3-2 during last week’s District 6-A softball tournament, good for a third-place finish.

The young Lady Jackets team finished with an overall record of 11-12-1, the team’s best mark since going 12-14 in 2014 and advancing to the sectional round.

The Lady Jackets started their tournament run on May 3 with an 11-0 home win over Clarkrange.

Trousdale then had to face top-seeded Gordonsville on May 7 but came away with a 12-2 loss. The Lady Jackets gave up two runs in the first, second and sixth innings and four in the fifth in dropping their 21st game in a row to the Tigerettes.

The Lady Jackets had more errors (six) than hits (five) in the defeat.

Freshmen Faith Winter, Rebecca Chapman, Makayla Crook, Kirsten Eversole and Kinley Brown had hits for Trousdale County.

The next day, TCHS recorded a 15-5 win over Jackson County, beating the Lady Blue Devils for the third time this season.

Freshman Hannah Hailey earned the win on the mound, recording eight strikeouts over five innings.

Meanwhile, Winter went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Freshmen Sidney Gregory, Katie Crowder and Brown each had two hits, while Chapman, Crook, Eversole and Hailey also had hits.

On May 9, the Lady Jackets again faced Clarkrange and wasted no time in downing the Lady Buffaloes 16-1.

Crook and Hailey had two hits each while Winter, Chapman, Gregory, Crowder, Eversole and freshman Erin Hix all had hits. Hailey also got the win, striking out two and allowing just three hits.

The Lady Jackets then faced Red Boiling Springs in an elimination game on Thursday, but dropped their ninth consecutive game in the series by a 7-1 score.

Crowder went 1-for-2 and scored the Lady Jackets’ only run, while Crook, Winter and junior Camyron Hurd had the other hits.

“We are taking strides in the right direction of creating a culture that incorporates acting and training like a champion every day,” said first-year coach Blake Satterfield.

The Lady Jackets will return the entire lineup next season.

Yellow Jacket Golf Classic is June 2

The 10th annual Yellow Jacket Golf Classic will be held on Saturday, June 2, beginning at 8 a.m. at Long Hollow Golf Course in Gallatin.

The entry fee is $400 for the four-person scramble.

For more information, call Ben Johnson at 615-417-5170 or Brad Waggoner at 404-680-9573.

Wilhelm ousted as TCHS girls basketball coach

The Trousdale County girls basketball team will have a new coach on the sideline next season after coach Jeremy Wilhelm was informed Friday that he will not be retained in that position.

Wilhelm was informed of the decision by Director of Schools Clint Satterfield.

Jeremy Wilhelm

In his nine seasons with the Lady Jackets, Wilhelm had a 93-157 overall record and went 33-49 in regular-season district play. His teams went 4-11 in district tournament play and 1-5 in region tournaments. That one win was a home quarterfinal upset of Clarkrange in 2011.

The Lady Jackets finished the most recent season at 9-17 overall and 6-8 in District 6-A before losing at Clay County in the district quarterfinals.

“Coach Wilhelm is an outstanding employee in our school district, for which we value his service to students,” Satterfield said. “Under much thought and reflection, I have decided to reassign his coaching responsibilities for 2018-19.

“Coach Wilhelm will remain as a teacher and a coach in our school district, but will no longer be responsible for high school girls basketball.”

Satterfield said the district would be accepting applications for the coaching vacancy through May 11 and had a goal of having a new coach in place by May 18.

Yellow Jackets football to practice against Smith Co.

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets will conclude their spring football practice next week with a practice against Smith County on May 16.

“We are looking to practice against someone else so that we can hit somebody else other than ourselves and work to get our guys better as we head into the summer part of our program,” said coach Brad Waggoner.

As of press time, no start time had been set for the event, which will be held on the practice field at the TCHS football facility.

Golf tournament: The 10th annual Yellow Jacket Golf Classic will be held on Saturday, June 2, beginning at 8 a.m. at Long Hollow Golf Course in Gallatin.

The entry fee is $400 for the four-person scramble.

For more information, call Ben Johnson at 615-417-5170 or Waggoner at 404-680-9573.

TCHS softball beats Clarkrange to open district tournament

The Trousdale County Lady Jackets concluded their regular season last week with two district losses before advancing with a win to open the District 6-A Tournament.

The Lady Jackets (9-9-1) faced the Clarkrange Lady Buffaloes to open tournament play and were untested in an 11-0 home victory in five innings. Coach Blake Satterfield’s girls scored three runs in the first inning, four in the second and four in the third.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Camyron Hurd lays down a bunt single against Clarkrange.

Freshman Hannah Hailey tossed a one-hitter and recorded nine strikeouts.

At the plate, freshman Makayla Crook was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Junior Camyron Hurd was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and scored three times. Hailey added a hit as did classmates Faith Winter, Rebecca Chapman and Kirsten Eversole.

On April 30 at Gordonsville, the Lady Jackets gave up five runs in the first inning, one in the second and seven in the fourth of a 13-0 loss to the Tigerettes. The Lady Jackets committed seven errors in losing their 20th game in a row to Gordonsville.

Hailey had two of the Lady Jackets’ five hits, while Winter, Hurd and Crook also had hits.

The following day at Red Boiling Springs, the Lady Jackets allowed six runs in the third and fourth innings and fell 13-4 to the Lady Bulldogs, the eighth straight loss in that series.

The Lady Jackets had more errors (six) than hits (four) in the loss. Hailey, Crook, Chapman and freshman Sidney Gregory had the hits for TCHS.

Jackets baseball beats DeKalb Co., Pickett Co.

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets ended their regular season with a win last week before opening the District 6-A Tournament with a victory as well.

Sophomore Ben Chumley went 2-for-2, walked twice and also was the winning pitcher for the Jackets in their 7-2 victory over Class AA DeKalb County in Smithville.

The Jackets had just four hits but took advantage of six errors by the Tigers.

Sophomore Kobe Pridemore and freshman Elijah Henderson had the other two hits for TCHS. Pridemore also had three RBIs and scored a run.

In their first-round tournament game, seniors Logan Hewitt, Hunter Ford and freshman Taylor Ellis combined to toss a no-hitter in a 13-3 rout of the Pickett County Bobcats on Friday. The Jackets (14-9) had 12 hits and committed three errors.

Senior Logan Calhoun went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and also scored a pair of runs. Pridemore also went 3-for-4 and scored a run. Ford had two hits while Chumley, Hewitt, Henderson and sophomore Will Holder had one hit each. Ford and Hewitt each drove in a pair of runs.

TWRA eyes going back to original ‘antlerless’ deer rules

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has proposed returning to the former definition of an “antlerless” buck – one with antlers less than three inches long – and if passed, the new rule would be in effect for this fall’s deer seasons.

The TWRA proposal was made during last week’s meeting of the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission which makes the final decision on regulations. Generally, however, the Commission supports the proposals of the TWRA which is in charge of enforcing the game laws.

The new antler rule is expected to be finalized at the Commission’s next meeting, May 17-18 at TWRA headquarters in Nashville.

Submitted photo
It’s impossible to see antler nubs on this little button buck.

If so, it will return to the 3-inch antlerless definition that had been used for many years. That definition was changed last year, restricting “antlerless” to only deer on which the antlers don’t protrude above the hairline. A little buck with any visible antler – even just a nub – was considered antlered. If killed, it counted as part of the two-buck season limit.

Some hunters complained that it is difficult to discern such a barely-visible antler on little button bucks, and wanted to return to the 3-inch definition. Apparently their concerns were heeded by the TWRA.

The reason behind last year’s change in the antlerless definition was simple: the TWRA wanted to let more little spike bucks grow to “trophy-size.”

Under the 3-inch rule a hunter could – and probably will be allowed to again – kill a virtually unlimited number of spike bucks since they won’t count against the two-buck limit.

The limit on does – or technically, “antlerless” deer – is three per a day, seven days a week, throughout a deer season that runs from last September to early January. Although obviously no hunter would kill 21 deer a week, week after week, under the law it would be legal. And likely staring this fall, little bucks will once again be permitted to be included among that virtually unlimited harvest.

What’s my take? I don’t care one way or the other.

I’m not a trophy hunter, and haven’t been since I killed my first deer in 1963. I take the first legal deer that comes through. To me, each one is a trophy.

Under the old 3-inch rule I seldom killed more than two bucks a year anyway. After I got two I let further little bucks go, to grow bigger antlers for my trophy-hunting buddies. I was content with does.

Last year I killed a little button buck that I mistook for a doe when it walked into a field just at dawn. It never occurred to me to walk off and leave it to waste – a concern voiced by some hunters who advocated for the rule change. I took it home, dressed it and packaged it for the freezer.

The way I look at it, if a hunter is really worried about shooting a button buck by mistake, don’t shoot.

My only concern from the start of these dueling definitions was that the TWRA would eventually impose a statewide “trophy rule” like the one in effect on the Catoosa WMA that allows only bucks with big antlers to be taken. I adamantly oppose that.

But as long as I’m allowed to shoot whatever size buck I choose – up to two per season – I’m satisfied.

The trophy hunters can fight over the rest.

Football team shows off work at Lift-a-thon

The Trousdale County High School football team displayed its offseason efforts in the weight room Friday night during its annual Lift-a-thon.

The players drew encouragement from the crowd at Jim Satterfield Middle School and from each other in preparation for spring practice, which began Monday and is scheduled to end with a scrimmage against Smith County on May 17.

Photos by Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Award winners from Friday’s Lift-a-thon are pictured here. From left: Cameron Rankins, Jake Gregory, Braden Hawkins, Xavian Seay, Cooper Belcher, Tarvaris Claiborne, Noah Hrobsky, Mason Basford and Sebastian Linarez.

Coach Brad Waggoner said he was impressed with the results of the players’ hard work thus far, with six players totaling over 1,000 pounds in the clean, press and squat. By comparison, three players broke the 1,000-pound mark last year.

“It was a great night at our team’s Lift-a-thon,” Waggoner said. “Congratulations to all our winners and while I wish we could have recognized all the players that made huge gains and personal bests, I am proud of each and every one of them.”

Award winners were as follows:

Best Bench – Noah Hrobsky (335 pounds);

Best Clean – Jake Gregory (335);

Best Squat – Cooper Belcher (500);

Best Max – Xavian Seay (500 squat);

Pound-for-pound – Jake Gregory (1,150 total);

Junior Award – Braden Hawkins;

Sophomore Award – Tarvaris Claiborne;

Freshman Award – Mason Basford;

Most Improved – Sebastian Linarez and Cameron Rankins.

In addition, Waggoner presented a special award Monday to Gregory as the best overall lifter of the offseason program. The award also came with a $100 prize, courtesy of an anonymous donor.

“I owe a big thanks to coach (Brandon) Eden, who works with me every day in the weight room,” Waggoner said. “These kids have worked hard and we look forward to starting spring practice.”

The Yellow Jackets will host the annual Tobacco Bowl Jamboree against Gallatin on Aug. 10 before opening the 2017 season at home against Lebanon on Aug. 17.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Yellow Jackets baseball wins big on Senior Night

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets finished their regular-season district schedule last week, winning and losing one game each to finish in fourth place at 6-4 in District 6-A.

On Friday, the Jackets hosted Clarkrange for Senior Night and came away with a 10-0 victory in six innings.

Sophomore Kobe Pridemore went 2-for-3 and scored a run to pace the hosts. Senior Junter Ford added a pair of hits, while classmate Logan Hewitt hit a home run and drove in three runs. Senior Logan Calhoun, sophomore Will Holder, sophomore Chandler Barton and freshman Elijah Henderson also had hits for the Jackets.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s baseball team held its Senior Night before Friday’s game against Clarkrange. The Yellow Jackets recognized four departing seniors, from left: Logan Calhoun, Hunter Ford, Dylan Gilpin and Logan Hewitt.

Calhoun earned the win on the mound, pitching five innings with nine strikeouts while allowing only four hits. Sophomore Ben Chumley pitched the final inning and struck out the side.

On Thursday at Jackson County, the Jackets had a disappointing 14-1 loss to the Blue Devils.

Coach Travis Humes’ boys finished their week with a 10-4 victory at Antioch on Saturday to raise their overall record to 12-9.

Hewitt led the Jackets with three hits while adding an RBI and scoring two runs. Ford, Calhoun, Chumley and Holder each had two hits while Henderson added one.

Pridemore got the win, going five innings with five hits allowed and four strikeouts.

Trousdale County will open play in the district tournament against Pickett County on Friday in a game to be played at Jackson County. The start time was not available at press time.

Softball: The Trousdale County Lady Jackets had two games postponed last week because of bad weather, but did take part in four games at a tournament in Gallatin.

The Lady Jackets went 0-3-1, falling 16-1 to White House, dropping a 12-2 decision to Westmoreland and losing 10-8 to Station Camp. Trousdale tied with McEwen 4-4.

The Lady Jackets are scheduled to open play in the District 6-A Tournament this week. The opponent and date had yet to be determined at press time.

Larry Woody: A successful start to turkey season

During last spring’s turkey season I drove approximately 1,100 miles on 11 hunts and spent around 7-8 hours per hunt, counting travel time. I killed one bird. You can calculate the hours per gobbler.

This season I’ve been on one hunt. It lasted about 25 minutes.

Roy Denney invited me on an early season hunt on his Gladeville farm where he had already bagged a long-beard. He said there were more where that one came from.

We met at his pasture gate at 5:15 a.m. and walked across the field to a distant wood-line where he had set up a pop-up blind earlier in the week.

Submitted photo
It took only a few minutes to collect this early-bird gobbler.

By the time we arrived at the blind and Roy got a decoy situated 20 yards out front, a faint glow was appearing on the eastern horizon. It was 5:45.

About 15 minutes later the first spine-tingling gobble rattled the woods, followed by two more across the way. Roy held up three fingers. Three gobblers.

The dueling gobbling continued, growing louder and more intense. A couple of hens chimed in with sleepy yelps. Roy replied with some soft come-hithers on a slate call.

Peeking through a shooting flap in the blind, I could see one of the gobblers silhouetted in a treetop against the graying skyline. As it gobbled it began to fidget around on its perch.

Suddenly it flew down, massive wings beating. As soon as it landed in the field, two more gobblers sailed down and joined it. They began to fan and strut, wattles and heads glowing red and white, as they quick-stepped toward to the decoy.

All three were good-sized gobblers with 9-10 inch beards. I’m not a trophy hunter; I take the first legal – i.e., bearded bird – I get a shot at. One unlucky gobbler won the race to the decoy, and before it had a chance to wonder why the silent stranger just stood there not moving a feather, I shot.

The gobbler flopped a couple of times and lay still on the frost-tinged stubble.

I glanced at my watch: 6:10.

A mere 25 minutes had elapsed from the time we got settled into the blind until I shot.

Interestingly, hunting buddy Clarence Dies had emailed me a couple of days earlier to tell about a gobbler he bagged at 6:15 a.m. He said that was the earliest he had killed one in decades of turkey hunting.

When I got home I sent Clarence a message saying I had beat his early bird record by five minutes.

The spring turkey season runs through May 13 and I’d like to hunt again if family obligations permit. No matter how many gobblers you bag – my tally is around 50 – every one is a special thrill.

The excitement is not making the shot. The excitement is watching a long-beard as it works its way toward you, gobbling and strutting, the first rays of sunlight glistening off bronze feathers.

Sometimes times it takes an hour or more for a bird to meander into shooting range. And  occasionally, as happened on my recent hunt, it takes only a couple of minutes.

I’m not complaining about such a short-lived hunt. I’ve learned to appreciate tagging a turkey any way you can.

After last season’s frustrations, it was kind of nice to be home in time for breakfast.