Yellow Jackets spring football recap: Part 1

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets recently completed their first spring football practice under first-year head coach Brad Waggoner.

Coach Waggoner sat down with The Vidette for an interview and gave his perspective on the Yellow Jackets’ performance. Look for Part 2 of Coach Waggoner’s remarks in next week’s Vidette.

Q: One of the comments I heard on the first day of practice was ‘We’ve done more hitting in this first practice than they’ve done the last couple of years.’ Was that an effort on your part?

A: Our goal this spring, and our goal going forward, is to be the most physical football team on the field every Friday night. In order to do that, you’ve got to practice that way. It’s not just going to happen on Friday night if you don’t practice that way. The tempo, from an effort standpoint, has got to translate. We’re pushing that same principle in the weight room, to how we do conditioning, to how we practice on the field.

Trousdale County football coach Brad Waggoner

I think to the people who played years ago here at Trousdale, it probably was always the standard. It’s been a different philosophy the last couple of years, but my philosophy, and the way I see the only way we’ve got a chance to be successful and win on Friday night, is we’ve got to be the most physical football team.

Q: How have the kids reacted to the toughness of practice?

A: The kids have been very receptive since January. We still have along ways to go, but I’m starting to see results. The effort’s there. I thought that over the nine days of spring practice, we got better and more physical from Day 1 to Day 9. I think it showed in the scrimmage. But I told them, there’s no question we got better, but we’re still a long ways away. The first day of summer workouts, everyone’s here, everyone’s ready to go, and we look better today. I tell those kids every day, ‘The only thing we can control is getting better today, then get better tomorrow.’ Every day we keep getting better. If we do that, then in November we’ll be where we want to be.

Q: How has the transition gone from running a spread offense the last two years back to the Wing-T?

A: I think it goes back to being physical, being tough. The transition has not been tough. A lot of these guys, especially the older guys, were all in it at one time, whether in middle school or when the seniors were freshmen. Believe it or not, I would say it hasn’t been a major transition. Are we where I want to be right now? No. But I think we’re getting there. It’s going to allow us to be where we want to be.

Q: On defense, do you have a particular plan on 3-4 vs. 4-3, or a little bit of both, or something else entirely?

A: We’re going to be different on defense. I’m going to be changing the defense from what we did last year. I want to be able to go back and do what I’m accustomed to doing. We’ll have a different defensive coordinator in that spot. We’ll know who that’s going to be soon. Right now, I’m doing both sides. On defense, I want to be simple but I want to be fast. I want to use our athleticism, to play our responsibilities, play quick, and not think out there. Just play our responsibilities. If we do that, we’ll be fine. But we’ve got to be good playing our base defense no matter what the situation.

Q: Do you envision hiring a replacement for Coach (Tony) Butler or bringing someone up from the current staff?

A: I envision bringing someone I know in. We haven’t posted the job yet, I think that will happen this week. But my vision is bringing someone I know. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll do some different things, but I will probably do a lot of it myself. It’s not quite ideal, but I want someone who can fix things the way I want them fixed.

Basford, Maddox named to TN Future Stars teams

Two Jim Satterfield football players will compete with and against the state’s best middle school talent as part of the 2017 Tennessee Future Stars competition.

Offensive lineman Mason Basford was named to the eighth-grade squad, while quarterback Mason Maddox was selected for the seventh-grade team. Eighth-grader Cameron Rankins was also named as an alternate.

“Over 500 players try out across the state of Tennessee,” said Basford’s mother, Misty Butler. “They pick about 50.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Mason Basford, who just completed the eighth grade, has been named to the TN Future Stars team.

Basford went through a tryout in Nashville in April and was chosen for the team as a center.

On June 14, the players will report to training camp at Austin Peay State University. Former Tennessee Vol Todd Kelly will coach the eighth-grade squad, while the seventh-graders will be under the direction of ex-Vol Chris Wampler.

“They get to stay on campus, eat there, train there,” Butler said. “They do three-a-day practices then play against Kentucky on Saturday (June 17).”

Basford played center/nose guard at JSMS and was an all-conference selection as both a seventh- and eighth-grader. JSMS has won the last three conference championships, compiling a 26-1 record over that stretch.

Asked whether he prefers offense or defense, Basford merely smiled and said, “Whatever helps the team most; wherever they need me.”

Basford began playing youth football at age 6 and said he “was pretty much born at the ball field.”

“My dad helped start the youth football league, and ever since I’ve been with him at every football game we can go to!” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Butler contacted The Vidette to clarify that it was Mason’s grandfather who started the youth league).

Basford participated in a limited version of spring practice along with the other freshmen-to-be at TCHS, and said he was looking forward to the upcoming season.

“It’s going to be difficult, but it’ll be all right,” he said.

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

Butler resigns as TCHS defensive coordinator

Tony Butler has resigned his teaching and coaching positions at Trousdale County High School after serving as defensive coordinator for the Yellow Jackets football team for the previous two years.

Tony Butler

Butler has accepted a position at Battle Ground Academy, where he will serve as assistant athletics director and assistant football coach for the Wildcats.

“I am very appreciative to the administration and staff at Trousdale County Schools for the opportunity to coach the Yellow Jackets for the past two seasons,” Butler said.

New tick disease should make you cautious

A new tick-borne disease that is more serious than Lyme disease is prompting warnings from health care officials for outdoorsmen to take precautions.

The virus is called Powassan and is spread to humans through tick bites. Tick bites commonly cause redness, itching and swelling, but the symptoms are greatly compounded by a bite from an infected tick.

In addition to the Powassan virus, tick bites can infect the victim with Lyme disease – in which symptoms of lethargy and aching joints may not develop for weeks – and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Tiny ticks can be dangerous.

Most tick bites are not dangerous. Once the tick is removed, the bite can be treated with a common antiseptic or rubbing alcohol. If the bitten area becomes infected or inflamed and remains so for more than a couple of days, medical attention should be sought.

When removing a tick, it is important to make sure the head does not break off from the body and remain imbedded in the flesh. That is the cause of most infections.

The best way to remove a tick is with tweezers, grasping it as close to the head as possible and making sure the head is removed with the body.

During warm weather ticks thrive everywhere outdoors in Tennessee. They are particularly prevalent in grassy and brushy areas. They lie on weeds and other low-growing vegetation and attach themselves to animals or humans that brush against them.

After returning home from an outdoors excursion it is prudent to inspect for ticks. Check especially close around waistbands and socks.

Larger ticks are dark brown and can be easily spotted. Smaller ticks, however, can go undetected until they bite and cause a red, itching bump.

A hot, soapy shower or bath can remove ticks that are not latched on, but won’t dislodge ticks that have already mired into flesh.

There are a number of precautions that can be taken to lessen the chances of picking up a tick, starting with using a good insect repellent before heading outdoors. Liberally spray ankles and legs, where most ticks latch on, along with other area of the body. Re-spray every couple of hours.

When walking through thick weeds and grass, long pants will help keep ticks off, especially if the pants legs are tucked into the tops of socks. Wearing light-colored clothing makes hitchhiking ticks easier to spot.

Once home from the trip, immediately wash the clothing that was worn; leaving it on the floor or in a clothes hamper will allow any ticks aboard to drop off and perhaps latch on later.

After a hot, soapy bath or shower to get rid of any ticks that haven’t latched on, conduct a thorough body-search to look for any attached tickets. If found, remove with finger tips or – preferably – tweezers.

Treat the bite with antiseptic or alcohol and check periodically over the next few days for spreading redness and swelling that could indicate infection. In such an event, seek medical consultation.

Lyme disease, while not fatal, can be painful and debilitating and some patients require months to recover. Rocky Mountain spotted fever can likewise be serious, and the newly diagnosed Powassan virus even more so.

A tick bite is nothing to trifle with.

Rotary Club holds annual golf tournament

The Hartsville Rotary Club held its annual golf tournament Saturday at Gallatin’s Long Hollow Golf Course.

The annual event raises funds for the Rotary Club, which uses the funds to provide college scholarships, as well as for local projects in the community. Among this year’s projects is funding for school supplies for recipients of the Summer Backpack program, which provides food for children who might otherwise go without.

The winning team at the Rotary golf tournament was comprised of Steve Wilmore, Mike Wilmore, Sam Wilmore and Cory McDonald.

After dealing with rain and/or cool temperatures the last two years, Saturday proved a gorgeous day to be on the golf course, as 19 teams comprising 76 players came out to tee up for an 8 a.m. start.

According to early estimates, the tournament was expected to net around $8,500 after expenses, which would be the most ever for in the tournament’s 13-year history.

The winning team was comprised of Steve Wilmore, Mike Wilmore, Sam Wilmore and Cory McDonald, as the foursome shot a 58 in the scramble format. Each player received a $100 prize. Second place went to Greyson Painter, Greg Barton, Drue Jolly and Chris Meyers, while third place went to Dustin Dillehay, Jackie Dillehay and Taylor Dillehay.

The winning team in the second flight, with a score of 63, was Bobby Enoch, Caleb Enoch, Marty Carr and Jeff Linville.

Second- and third-place teams received $45 and $25 prizes respectively, with prizes awarded for first flight and second flight. Closest-to-the-hole prizes of $40 were won by Benny Johnson and Jim Grantham.

The Hartsville Rotary Club wishes to thank its corporate sponsors: CoreCivic, Advanced Propane, Citizens Bank, Compliance Enginering, Hartsville Cabinet, Huff Appliance LLC, Trousdale Medical Center, Blankenship Collision, Hartsville Tractor Company, Powell & Meadows, Dr. Bien Samson, Tri-County Electric, Trousdale Comfort HVAC, Wilson Bank & Trust, WTNK and The Hartsville Vidette.

The Club also thanks those businesses who advertised in the tournament, as well as everyone who played.

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

Bledsoe Fort fair offers look into history

Earlier this month I wandered into a time machine, with the dial turned back to the 18th century.

Shaggy-haired long-hunters lounged about in greasy buckskins, leaning on their slender flintlock rifles. Women in homespun dresses tended pots and skillets over smoky campfires, and youngsters clad in frontier garb romped around log cabins.

The occasion was the Colonial Fair at Bledsoe’s Fort, an annual celebration of life and lives during the 18th century at one of Middle Tennessee’s first permanent settlements.

The period begins in 1750 when long-hunters and other adventurers ventured into the area, eventually followed by homesteaders and their families.

A visit to the Colonial Fair is a step back into Tennessee history.

The Bledsoe Fort area could be called Middle Tennessee’s cradle of civilization. The site was originally known as Bledsoe’s Lick, because of the nearby salt lick that for centuries had attracted wild game and the primitive hunters who pursued it.

The area was a prime hunting ground for Indians, whose mounds, caves and other archeological sites still exist. The natives fiercely resisted the intrusion of the whites, and battles were frequent and deadly. Indians killed the fort’s founder, Isaac Bledsoe, along with his brother Anthony, and both are buried in the ancient cemetery near the fort site.

Down the road is a monument to Bigfoot Spencer, among the first long-hunters to venture into what is now Castalian Springs. The monument sits on the site where Spencer survived a winter living in a hollow sycamore tree.

Later on, the historic homes of Wynnewood and Cragfont were built. The well-preserved structures offer guided tours. But the lavish frontier mansions of Wynnewood and Cragfont came long after the rough log cabins and lean-tos used by the first settlers, whose daily hardships and constant struggle for survival is a tribute to the human spirit.

That’s why the Colonial Fair is not just about daring adventurers and Indian fighters, but testament to the rituals and rigors of daily family life, represented by historic re-enactors.

The daily task of carrying water from the spring in the hollow below the fort, for example, was not just back-breaking, but meant risking one’s life from lurking Indians.

The mossy rocks of the 250-year-old spring house where butter and milk were stored for cooling are still there. You can dip your hand in the same pool of clear, icy water from which buffalo, Indians and frontiersmen drank centuries ago.

The Bledsoe’s Fort Historical Park, located 20 miles north of Lebanon on Highway 25 between Hartsville and Gallatin, is open year-round and free to the public.

For three days every spring, the Fort’s past comes alive. The Colonial Fair features 18th century musicians, dancers and other performers; a weaver producing linen on a primitive loom; traders and merchants plying their wares; a village blacksmith at his forge; frontier arts and crafts; muzzleloader shooting; and replicas of long-hunter camps.

Long-hunters, in whose tribute Long Hunter State Park is named, got their name from one of two ways: One theory is that they were named for their long flintlock rifles, which stood as tall as the average hunter. The other is that their name refers to the long hunts they went on, often lasting several months.

The Colonial Fair celebrates not just these hunters and adventurers, but their equally-undaunted families who followed them into the wilderness and – amazingly – survived and endured. Their story is ours.

Yellow Jackets baseball falls in district tournament

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets saw their 2017 baseball season come to a close last week with two losses in the District 8-A Tournament at Watertown.

The Jackets fell to Goodpasture 15-7 on May 8 and remain winless against the Cougars since they joined the district four years ago.

In an elimination game the next day against Watertown, the Jackets took a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning and led 6-5 in the eighth, but eventually lost 7-6 in nine innings to the Purple Tigers.

It was the Jackets’ fifth straight loss to Watertown and put TCHS’ record at 9-16 for the season.

After nine consecutive trips to the region tournament, the Jackets now have failed to reach regionals the last four years.

Trousdale County will bid farewell to five seniors: Wiley Barton, Dylan Coker, Colton Gammons, Tanner Lannom and Jordan White.

Football players show off strength at Lift-a-thon

The Trousdale County High School football team put on a display of strength Friday night as part of 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 this week.

New coach Brad Waggoner said he could already see the results of the players’ hard work since he took over the Yellow Jacket program in January.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Award winners pose after Friday’s Trousdale County Football Lift-a-thon. Pictured from left are: Travaris Claiborne (Sophomore award), Steve McClain (Attendance), Isiah Harper (Attendance, Pound for Pound), Cameron Rankins (Freshman), Xavian Seay (Ironman – overall winner), Jake Gregory (IronJacket), Brison Mince (Senior), Cooper Belcher (Junior) and Braden Hawkins (Most Improved).

“They’ve come a long way since January and we still have a ways to go,” Waggoner said. “They have done a really good job of working hard to this point.

“The next phase starts with spring practice and we have to make that core work on the field now. We’re headed in the right direction.”

Players competed to lift the most weight in both the clean and press on Friday, after having been measured on squat earlier in the week.

The Ironman award, presented by Bobby Joe Lewis to the player with the highest combined total in all three lifts, went to rising junior Xavian Seay, who totaled 1,130 pounds.

The Pound-for-Pound award went to senior Isiah Harper, while junior Jake Gregory won the IronJacket award as the No. 2 finisher in the pound-for-pound category.

Class awards went to senior Brison Mince (1,060 pounds), junior Cooper Belcher (1,035), sophomore Travaris Claiborne (930) and freshman Cameron Rankins (815).

Senior Steve McClain joined Harper in being recognized for attendance at every workout session thus far. The Most Improved award went to junior Braden Hawkins for gaining at least 50 pounds in each lift since January.

Waggoner thanked sponsors V&C Manufacturing, Citizens Bank, Wilson Bank & Trust, Hartsville Pharmacy, Tri-County Electric and Donoho, Taylor & Taylor for their support of Trousdale County football.

The Yellow Jackets will host the annual Tobacco Bowl Jamboree on Aug. 11 before opening the 2017 season at Lebanon on Aug. 18.

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

Hewitt tosses no-hitter for Jackets

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets needed a win in their home play-in game against Red Boiling Springs on May 3 in order to advance to the double-elimination District 8-A Tournament.

It was mission accomplished for the Jackets as junior Logan Hewitt tossed a no-hitter and recorded 17 strikeouts in a 4-0 victory over the Bulldogs.

The Jackets scored two runs in the first inning, one in the third and another in the fifth in recording their 17th consecutive win over the Bulldogs.

Junior Hunter Ford led the Jackets at the plat, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Junior Logan Calhoun, sophomore Keyvont Baines and freshman Kobe Pridemore had the other three hits for the Purple and Gold. Senior Dylan Coker and Pridemore each had RBIs as well.

The Jackets were to face Goodpasture on Monday in the district semifinals at Watertown.

Softball: The Lady Jackets saw their season come to a close with an 11-1 loss at Red Boiling Springs on May 3 in their district play-in game.

The Lady Jackets finished 0-13 on the season and will say farewell to four seniors: Makenzee Dixon, Ally Gregory, Taylor Simmons and Callie White.

JSMS teams end season with victories

The Jim Satterfield Jr. Lady Jackets concluded their 2017 softball season on May 2 with a 16-0 victory at Red Boiling Springs.

The visitors had just five hits but took advantage of eight errors by the Jr. Lady Bulldogs.

Hannah Hailey had two hits while also tossing a shutout with seven strikeouts. Makayla Crook, Erin Hix and Kinley Brown also had hits for JSMS. Kirsten Eversole recorded three RBIs while Faith Winter and Katie Crowder each drove in two runs.

The Jr. Lady Jackets finished with a 12-3 record under second-year coach Blake Satterfield and were not shut out in any game.

Baseball: The JSMS Jr. Jackets concluded their season with two wins at Westmoreland on May 2.

The Jr. Jackets won 9-5 and 3-1 to finish with a 6-4-1 record for second-year coach Davy Cothron.

First frog hunt in decades was one to remember

When Lebanon’s Tim White invited me to go on a recent frog hunt I jumped at the chance. I was hopping with excitement.

Tim is a veteran biologist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the author of a feature about frog hunting in the current issue of Tennessee Wildlife Magazine.

I wrote a newspaper column about Tim’s excellent article, and how it brought back memories of my frog-hunting days as a kid. I mentioned that I had not gone frog hunting in over a half-century.

Tim White, left, with Michael Bobel and son Caleb after a successful frog hunt.

Tim sent me an email inviting me to break that drought.

We were joined on our hunt by Tim’s friend Michael Bobel, manager of the Old Hickory Wildlife Management Area, and Michael’s 11-year-old son Caleb, one of the brightest youngsters I’ve met in a long time.

It was a magical night to be outdoors, with a pale half-moon shimmering high above and fireflies flickering in the dark. However, I wasn’t sure the frogs would cooperate. Recent heavy rains had raised the water level in the ponds we planned to hunt, and the night was a tad nippy with temperatures in the low 60s.

As we approached the first pond, my concerns ceased. The deep bass boom of big bullfrogs echoed from the marshy banks. It sounded like we had stumbled onto a bullfrog convention. And the hundreds of frogs we heard represented only half of them – only the males make the booming, harrumphing calls.

Back when I hunted frogs with my boyhood buddies our gear was simple: a carbide lamp and a three-pronged gig on a cane pole. We waded in shorts and old tennis shoes.

This time Tim equipped me with chest waders and an electric light mounted on my cap. His metal gig is mounted on a plastic expandable painting pole. The gig is wicked-looking: four barbed prongs with an un-barbed fourth prong in the middle.

Tim sharpens the points of the prongs before each hunt. When he gigs a frog, it stays gigged. Well, usually. Sometimes a big bullfrog can still kick free. Tim’s technique involves keeping the gigged frog pinned down until he removes it from the prongs.

The frog is quickly dispatched and placed on a stringer run through its lower lip, like stringing a fish.

You get a workout when you go frog hunting. The chest waders are hot and bulky, and the heavy boots become mired in the underwater muck with each step. You have to negotiate around submerged logs and brush, all the while trying to hold down the splashing – waves can spook the frogs.

You sweep your light along the reedy banks looking for the reflective shine of a frog’s eyes. When you spot one, you keep it fixed in the light as you ease within striking distance – a few inches from prongs to frog. I nailed the first five I tried, got cocky, and missed my next two. Michael and Caleb had about equal success with their swings and misses. I think Tim batted .1000.

We took only the biggest bullfrogs and left the smaller ones. Around 11 p.m., leg-weary and sweat-soaked, we decided to call it a night. We had 34 frogs on the stringer. (The limit is 20 per person.)

We divided them up and the next night I had mine for supper. I’d forgotten how delicious fried frog legs are. The only thing more enjoyable than hunting them is eating them.

I’ve already dropped a hint for another hunt.

Wiley Barton signs with Cumberland University

Trousdale County’s Wiley Barton will get the opportunity to continue his baseball career at the collegiate level after signing with Cumberland University on Wednesday.

The TCHS senior was joined at the signing by his parents, Greg and Allison Barton, his siblings, Chandler, Laney and Audrey, and coaches and teammates.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Wiley Barton, front center, is joined by parents Greg and Allison Baron, brother Chandler, sisters Laney and Audrey, and Cumberland’s Woody Hunt after signing a baseball scholarship Wednesday.

Barton said Cumberland provided a unique opportunity for him.

“It’s a great school with a great chance to have academic success there,” Barton said. “It’s a great scholarship and great academics.

“I love the coaching staff and they have a wonderful program.”

“He’s a strong character young man who has baseball ability,” said Cumberland Coach Woody Hunt, who attended on behalf of the university. “He’s the kind of kid you’d like to have in your program. He fits our profile very well.”

Hunt said he was unsure yet whether Barton would be utilized as a pitcher or outfielder. He filled both roles for the Yellow Jackets during his career at TCHS.

The left-hander is the third player to sign with a college during Coach Travis Humes’ tenure at TCHS. Stats were not immediately available for Barton, a four-year player for the Yellow Jackets.

“I’m so proud of Wiley and his family,” Humes said. “This is a great opportunity for him and one that he deserves. He’s a hard worker; he’s passionate about the game. Cumberland’s getting a great baseball player and a great person.”

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

Jackets baseball bids farewell to senior class

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets baseball team concluded their regular season last week with three losses.

At Gordonsville on April 24, the Jackets came up short in a 5-1 loss.

From left: TCHS seniors Tanner Lannom, Colton Gammons, Wiley Barton, Jordan White and Dylan Coker

The following day at home against the Tigers, the Jackets gave up four runs in the third inning of a 6-0 loss. Three runs scored after a dropped fly ball that would have ended the inning.

It was the Jackets’ third straight loss to the Tigers.

Trousdale County had just four hits, turned in by juniors Logan Calhoun, Logan Hewitt and Hunter Ford and sophomore Houston Stafford.

Gordonsville pounded out eight hits, while the Jackets committed four errors.

On Thursday, Coach Travis Humes’ team held its Senior Night before facing Smith County. The Jackets recognized Wiley Barton, Dylan Coker, Colton Gammons, Tanner Lannom and Jordan White.

In the game, the Jackets fell 9-5 to end the regular season at 8-14 overall and 2-6 in District 8-A.

The Jackets were scheduled to host Red Boiling Springs on Tuesday in a district tournament play-in game.

Softball: The Lady Jackets went 0-3 last week, falling 11-2 to Watertown, 12-2 to Clay County and 13-4 to Red Boiling Springs.

Try to practice common courtesy while boating

A couple of buddies and I were fishing for white bass on the Cumberland River earlier this spring when a boat came roaring up the river toward us.

It got closer and closer. We kept expecting it to slow down and swing around our boat, but it didn’t.

Instead, the driver went flying wide-open between us and the bank, right through where we were casting. Our boat rocked, waves sloshed the bank, and the school of white bass we had been working disappeared.

I’ve had similar encounters on Old Hickory Lake and Percy Priest Lake, especially during the peak spring fishing season, when every cove is jammed with an armada of boats.

TWRA officials patrol area lakes but can’t oversee every boat.

But that morning on the Cumberland we were the only two boats on that stretch of the river. The other boater clearly saw that we were fishing that particular spot, and he had the rest of the river to go around us – but we still got run over.

As Middle Tennessee becomes more and more crowded and congested (what our tax-addled politicians like to call progress) we’re seeing an increase in such inconsiderate incidents, resulting in flaring tempers.

On the highway it’s called road rage. I fear we’re on the brink of a similar epidemic of water rage.

Nowadays in addition to sunscreen, you need to pack your blood pressure pills.

I’ve about given up trying to fish Priest on spring weekends. I fish for enjoyment and relaxation, and there’s nothing enjoying and relaxing about fighting boat-ramp traffic jams and dodging a growing fleet of reckless, bone-headed boaters.

Then about the time spring fishing starts to taper off, the water skiers, pleasure boaters and personal-watercraft riders take over. Urban lakes like Priest become watery rush hours – without speed limits, stop signs or traffic cops.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency patrols the waterways looking for drunk, disorderly and dangerous boaters, and it does as well as can be expected with limited resources. But it can barely make a dent in the escalating problem.

Besides, law-enforcement personnel can’t enforce civility – there’s no law against being rude and inconsiderate.

About all that can be done is to remind boaters to be respectful of others, starting at the boat ramp: don’t back the boat onto the ramp, THEN start loading stuff aboard and getting out the life jackets and other gear. Do all of that before backing onto the ramp; there’s usually a line of other boaters waiting to launch.

You’d think boaters wouldn’t have to be reminded of such basic courtesies. But many do – and they still ignore them.

Another basic point: if you arrive at your favorite fishing spot and someone is on it, move on. Don’t barge in on top of them and start casting around them. Likewise, don’t go roaring past other fishermen – slow down and swing around.

Every year in Middle Tennessee more boaters are crowding onto the same amount of water, and with the growing congestion comes increased aggravation, frustration and temper tantrums.

I don’t know any solution to the overcrowding, but a little common sense and common courtesy would help the situation.

JSMS softball goes 4-0 last week

The Jim Satterfield Jr. Lady Jackets played four games last week, winning each one to improve their record to 11-3.

The week started with an 11-1 home victory over Tucker’s Crossroads. Hannah Hailey, Faith Winter and Kirsten Eversole had the hosts’ three hits, with Winter and Eversole each driving in two runs. Rebecca Chapman, Erin Hix and Kinley Brown each added an RBI.

JSMS also picked up a 10-5 home win over Red Boiling Springs as Winter had two hits, followed by hits from Hailey, Eversole and Wix. Winter drove in three runs as well while Katie Crowder had two RBIs. Hailey, Eversole and Brown also drove in runs.

On Wednesday, JSMS traveled to Gordonsville and returned with a 10-5 victory.

The Jr. Lady Jackets had six hits: two from Brown, along with Winter, Makayla Crook, Eversole and Sidney Gregory.

Crook and Brown each had two RBIs while JSMS got one each from Winter, Hailey and Eversole.

On the mound, Hailey and Crowder combined to strike out eight batters.

On April 27, the Jr. Lady Jackets banged out nine hits in a 14-3 win at Friendship Christian.

Winter paced the visitors with two hits and three RBIs, while Brown added two hits. Hailey, Chapman, Eversole, Gregory and Kyla Zachary had the other hits for JSMS.

Brown had two RBIs as well, while Hailey, Crook, Chapman, Zachary and Gregory each drove in a run.

JSMS was to conclude its season on Thursday with a visit from Southside.

Baseball: The Jr. Jackets fell 8-7 in 10 innings at Macon County on April 25.

The visitors led 5-1 in the fifth inning before committing four errors that helped Macon County tie the score.

Each team scored twice in the seventh inning before Macon County won the game on a squeeze play in the 10th inning.

TCHS basketball teams hold awards banquet

Photos by Jerry Richmond / Hartsville Vidette

Coach Jeremy Wilhelm and Coach Chip Sparkman held their 2016-17 Trousdale County High School basketball awards banquet at Cherokee Restaurant on April 19.

Coach Wilhelm handed out the following awards: Offensive Award, Makenzee Dixon; Defensive Award, Katelyn Fergusson and Jamey McKoin; Freshman Award, Chloe Donoho; Academic Award, Kaylynn Dalton; Most Improved, Josie Garrett and Haylee Holder; Lady Jacket Award, Karissa Goss; and Coach’s Award, Tori Simmons along with Heath Chasse.

Coach Sparkman gave out these awards: Freshman Award, Kobe Ford; Most Improved, Keyvont Baines; Offensive Award, Braison Raney; Defensive Award, Trysten McGuire; Jacket Award, Austin Ford; Coach’s Award, Colton Gammons; Leadership Award, Trace McGuire; and Captain’s Award, Jacob Woodard.

Relay For Life plans Big Fish Tournament

Trousdale County Relay For Life is planning a Big Fish Tournament to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

The tournament is scheduled for Sunday, April 30, from 6 a.m.-1 p.m., with launching at Zigglers Boat Ramp at Bledsoe Creek. The entry fee is $50 per boat.

Bill Scruggs had the idea for a fishing tournament, and his Relay For Life team is organizing the event, which is being held in memory of Roy Ray and John Riddle.

“Roy and John were good friends of mine. Roy was a mentor to a lot of fishermen in Trousdale County,” Scruggs said. “I decided a bass tournament was a good idea to honor them.

“If cancer hasn’t touched your life or your family’s life by now, you’d better consider yourself lucky.”

There will be cash prizes and commemorative plaques for winners. Only bass will be counted and the biggest fish caught by each boat will be weighed.

For more information or to sign up, contact Scruggs at 615-374-3827, or Eric Sullivan at 615-388-3643.

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

Moon Pies add to allure of writers’ conference

This week’s Outdoor Writers Conference, an annual event hosted by Lebanon guide Jim Duckworth on area lakes, has become a spring tradition in which scribes from across the Southeast converge to fish, feast and fellowship.

And this time, to also eat some Moon Pies.

Jim, the ultimate promoter, always has a lineup of sponsors for the event. They generally consist of tackle companies that manufacture the gear and lures he endorses, such as Road Runner spinners and Bandit crankbaits.

Jim Duckworth hosts an annual Writers Conference that attracts outdoor writers from the region.

This year he added Moon Pies to the list.

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the iconic confections produced by the Chattanooga Bakery, and Jim talked the company into signing on as a sponsor.

“Every product I endorse, I personally use,” Jim said. “Like every country boy I grew up eating Moon Pies, and I still enjoy them. Each one is individually wrapped, which makes them convenient for fishermen and other outdoorsmen to pack in their lunch.”

And so it came to pass that this year the writers’ goody bags contained, along with the usual assortment of lures, gear and gadgets, a supply of Moon Pies.

As Jim says, he never plugs a product unless he personally tries it and approves of it. That goes for every sponsor on his list, from Moon Pies to Edgar Evans State Park – where some of his anglers are headquartered while fishing Center Hill Lake – to Driftmaster Rod Holders and Sure Life Labs, whose chemicals keep bait fresh and frisky.

His fishermen can net their catch with a versatile Stowmaster Net and cook it in a Cajun Cooker. Jim uses a Cajun Cooker for the fish fry that kicks off the annual Writers Conference. The Cooker comes in a variety of sizes to handle everything, from a small family cookout to a whopper fish fry that feeds the multitudes.

In addition to such old reliable and versatile lures as Road Runners and Bandits, other bait sponsors include Heddon Lures and Big Hammer Swim Baits. I tried one of Jim’s BnM Rods several years ago, and now that’s all I fish with. I prefer light tackle, and BnM rods are perfect for crappie, white bass and moderate-sized channel cats.

Jim makes sure he never overlooks any sponsor who pitches in, right down to Lebanon Walmart and Mt. Olive Pickles. He makes no apology for being an unabashed promoter of his promoters.

“I believe in helping the folks who help me, and without my sponsors the Writers Conference wouldn’t be possible,” he said. “The writers go home and write stories that promote fishing and the outdoors. Hopefully they’ll mention some of the sponsors’ products if they like them, and convince other fishermen to give them a try.”

Jim cites Edgar Evans State Park as a good example: “It’s my favorite park because it’s located on a great fishing lake and has everything a fisherman needs, from comfortable cabins to a great boat ramp,” he said. “The park is scenic and full of wildlife, and the rangers who manage it are a pleasure to work with. I recommend it to everybody.”

At a time when outdoors media coverage is shrinking, events like Jim’s are increasingly important. They promote the outdoors, encourage conservation, and emphasize the prudent use of our state’s natural resources.

And the Moon Pies are delicious.

JSMS baseball splits two games

The Jim Satterfield Jr. Jackets came away with a split of their two games last week.

The Jr. Jackets scored early and often in a 16-3 rain-soaked road victory at Red Boiling Springs on April 18.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Pitcher and catcher return to their positions after a conference on the mound during JSMS’ game against Winfree Bryant.

The Jr. Jackets scored five runs in the first inning and four in the second to set the tone.

Garrett Rieger dominated the Jr. Bulldogs on the mound, not giving up a hit until the third inning. Carsey West came on in relief in the final inning to close out the game.

Brady Eden, Cooper Helson and Robert Butcher all had RBI doubles for the Jr. Jackets.

On Thursday, the Jr. Jackets hosted Winfree Bryant but came up on the short end of an 8-2 score.

The Jr. Jackets are scheduled to host Westmoreland on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

High school: The TCHS Lady Jackets traveled to South Carthage on Thursday and left after a 10-0 loss to Gordonsville.

Senior Callie White, sophomore Cameron Hurd and freshman Karissa Goss had the only three hits for the visitors.

The Lady Jackets have now lost 17 consecutive games to the Tigerettes. They are scheduled to host Clay County on Thursday, travel to Red Boiling Springs on Friday and then have their last home game against Gordonsville on Monday.

In baseball action, the Jackets dropped a doubleheader at Watertown by scores of 15-5 and 17-4. No further information was available.

Frog hunting takes both patience, skill

There’s a great story by Tim White in the current edition of Tennessee Wildlife Magazine about frog hunting. Reading it brought back some fond froggy memories.

Growing up in the country, there were numerous ponds and lakes within walking distance, and warm summer nights would throb with bass-singing bullfrogs along the marshy banks.

Hunting them required a certain amount of skill. One hunter would shine a light on the frog while another eased within striking distance with a pronged gig. The gigger had to be fast and accurate – he got only one chance.

Hunting bullfrogs can be a challenge.

Froggers also had to keep a lookout for snakes. The swampy banks were teeming with them – they liked to dine on frogs too – and there’s nothing like having a big, ugly water moccasin slither between your feet to liven things up.

A summer night is an enchanting time to be outdoors in the countryside. The smell of new-mown hay drifts in the air, along with the trill of whip-poor-wills, the hooting of owls and the mournful call of a distant train whistle.

Being out on a star-sprinkled night with your boyhood buddies gives you a chance to contemplate the mysteries of the cosmos, as well as the mystery of Mary Jane Wattenbarger in Algebra class.

On a good night we might bring home a couple dozen bullfrogs. Actually we brought home only their legs, which are delicious fried. I haven’t frog-hunted in a half-century, but I still enjoy a platter of fried legs when I find them on a restaurant menu.

Contrary to legend, frog legs don’t jump out of a hot skillet, although when fresh, the muscles sometimes twitch.

Frog hunting made the news a couple of years ago when PETA mounted a publicity-stunt protest over a frog hunt in DeKalb County. The hunt was organized by a civic club for youngsters in the community.

PETA said it was cruel to hunt frogs. Of course, PETA considers it cruel to hunt anything. It believes we should subsist on leaves and sprouts. Sometimes I think PETA has confused humans with hamsters.

Anyway, PETA managed to ignite a frog furor and as far as I know, no other hunts were scheduled.

That’s unfortunate. I’d much prefer youngsters be out at night hunting frogs, getting some fresh air and exercise, than hanging out on a street corner, lounging in front of a TV, or turning into an iPad zombie (I think that’s what those gadgets are called). I’ve never heard of a kid getting in trouble while frog hunting.

As for PETA, judging from the malnourished appearance of some of its models, they ought to dig into a big platter of crispy fried frogs legs. Maybe it would improve their disposition and stop their incessant croaking.

Tennessee Wildlife Magazine subscription: Speaking of the Tennessee Wildlife Magazine, subscriptions are available through the Tennessee Wildlife Agency. The magazine is mailed free to holders of a Sportsman License or Lifetime License.

A one-year subscription costs $10, and includes the TWRA calendar. It’s a great gift for every hunter, fisherman, conservationist or wildlife enthusiast.