Yellow Jackets blank Cascade, secure region title

Trousdale County came into Friday night’s game in need of a pick-me-up after the Yellow Jackets had dropped two of their last three games.

The Yellow Jackets got that and more, defeating Cascade 42-0 before a Homecoming crowd that filled the home half of the stadium.

Trousdale (6-3, 4-0 4-2A) got another boost shortly after the game ended, as Watertown’s 31-14 win over Jackson County secured the Jackets’ first region championship since 2014.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Dustin O’Saile (57) and Jake Gregory (52) bring down Cascade running back Mason James (7) during Friday’s game. The Yellow Jackets won 42-0 before a homecoming crowd.

“It’s big; we haven’t won the region since 2014,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “That was our very first team goal starting back in January. We want to be undefeated in the region, so we still have one game to go against Jackson County.”

Trousdale jumped ahead early on Cascade (0-8, 0-4) with touchdown runs from Isiah Harper and Kobe Ford to take a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.

The Yellow Jackets added three more scores in the second quarter on runs from Harper, Ford and Keyvont Baines to take a commanding 35-0 lead into the locker room.

“Our kids did a great job of preparing during the week. We had a great practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” Waggoner said. “The kids were focused. They came out tonight and dominated all four quarters.”

Cascade managed just 120 yards of total offense, much of which came on a late drive against Trousdale’s backups.

The Yellow Jackets used the passing game Friday more than they had in recent weeks, with Baines completing eight of 12 passes for 112 yards, including a 44-yard score to sophomore tight end Tarvaris Claiborne.

“We’re going to have to throw the ball to win in the playoffs,” Waggoner said. “We were able to work on our two-minute offense, but we have a ways to go on fundamentals.

“Tonight was the first night we’ve had our starting backfield since the Lebanon game (season opener). We’ve had different pieces out, but we saw good things from them tonight.”

Trousdale County will have its bye week next Friday before hosting Jackson County to close the regular season on Oct. 27. The region championship means Trousdale will host in the first round of the playoffs and in the second round should the Jackets advance.

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

Yellow Jackets fall at Whitwell on late field goal

Trousdale County came up on the short end Friday night against Whitwell, falling 17-14 in a battle of two teams ranked in the top 10 of their respective classifications.

The Yellow Jackets (5-3) lost on the last play of the game as senior Austin Nunley kicked a 20-yard field goal for the Tigers (7-0).

“I was very proud of our kids’ effort Friday night against a good Whitwell team,” Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner said. “It was a game that came down to three or four plays and they just made one more play than we did.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Tarvaris Claiborne (7) kneels over Whitwell’s Trace Condra (22) after making a tackle.

The Jackets got on the scoreboard first on their second possession with a 2-yard run from sophomore Kobe Ford. Junior Keyvont Baines was wide left on his kick but the Jackets were up 6-0 and the Tigers trailed for the first time this season.

On the first play of the second quarter, Whitwell scored on a fourth-down pass from senior Dawson Holloway to junior Hudson Petty. Nunley’s kick put Whitwell on top at 7-6.

The Tigers would increase their lead midway through the third quarter as Petty caught another fourth-down pass that resulted in a 37-yard touchdown. Nunley’s kick made it a 14-6 game.

Trousdale County had an answer as the Yellow Jackets put together a long drive that culminated in a 5-yard scoring scamper from Baines. The junior added a 2-point conversion run to tie the game at 14 with 1:53 left in the third quarter.

Both teams traded possessions in the fourth quarter, with each having some success with their respective ground games but unable to push for a score.

The Yellow Jackets tried to convert a fourth down from just across midfield, but Baines’ pass for Ford was overthrown and Whitwell gained possession with 3:41 remaining to play.

The Tigers started the drive at their 45 and went to a Wildcat formation with Petty taking shotgun snaps. After some modest gains on the ground, Petty found senior tight end Garrtt Shrum downfield for a 32-yard gain. Trousdale senior Isiah Harper made a touchdown-saving tackle, but the play set up Whitwell inside the Trousdale 5.

Whitwell let the clock run down then called timeout with 3.2 seconds left to set up Nunley’s kick. The Jackets called their own timeout in an effort to ice the kicker but to no avail.

Baines led the Jackets’ offense with 17 carries for 85 yards and his touchdown.

Junior defensive end Jake Gregory led the defense with 12 tackles, two for loss. Sophomore linebacker Tarvaris Claiborne followed with nine tackles while junior Xavian Seay had seven tackles and Ford six.

“Even though we lost the game, I thought our kids competed better than they have since the Friendship game,” Waggoner said. “Both of their scores came on fourth-down plays where we were in position, but their guy just made the play. We will learn from it and move on. I think this game will help us come playoff time.”

Youth football wins Senior Division title

Submitted photos

Trousdale County won the Senior Division championship of the Tri-County Youth Football League on Saturday with a 25-7 victory over Gordonsville at Clay County.

Parker Clemmons scored three touchdowns for the Jackets, while Cole Gregory also reached the end zone.

Rob Atwood and Kobyn Harper each had interceptions for the ages 10-12 team.

In the Junior Division (ages 7-9), Trousdale County finished as league runner-up with a 10-0 loss to Gordonsville.

Yellow Jackets to face Cascade for Homecoming

Trousdale County will return home for region action on Friday when the Yellow Jackets host the Cascade Champions for Homecoming.

Cascade will bring an 0-7 record to the Creekbank, with losses to Moore County (20-7), Jo Byrns (34-0), East Robertson (45-8), Watertown (41-0), Community (52-17), Jackson County (35-9) and Grundy County (27-14).

“We turn our attention to Cascade this week,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “Our main goal right now is to prepare and get better this week. This game could determine the region championship this week. I think that alone will motivate our players.

“Cascade will come to the Creekbank just like every other team has and will give us their best shot. We just have to be focused and prepare and get better each day. Right now the only thing we are concerned about is Cascade and winning our region.”

Trousdale County and Cascade have met once previously, with the Jackets winning 35-14 in the second round of the playoffs in 2010.

The Homecoming Queen will be senior Baylee Huffines, who will be crowned at halftime. Attendants will be Q’Londa Maynard, Whitney Dansby, Tori Simmons and Ashton Scott.

Trip to Rugby is a walk through living history

Anyone who enjoys history and the outdoors owes it to themselves to visit the quaint little community of Rugby, founded as an English-style colony in 1800, parts of which remain unchanged today.

It is a village frozen in the amber of time.

Located on the border of Scott and Morgan counties, Rugby is easy to get to: take I-40 East to Highway 127 north, go through Clarkrange, and follow the map through a few miles of rolling, scenic countryside.

In addition to miles of hiking trails, Rugby offers tours of original buildings from the 1800s, such as this church.

Suddenly you come around a bend and run smack into the 1800s.

Several of the Rugby Colony’s original buildings remain unchanged, including a library, schoolhouse and church. The library, which contains thousands of books from the era, is open to public visits, and the church remains active.

I suggest starting at the Visitor’s Center/Museum. A fascinating video is presented in the Center’s theater chronicling Rugby’s intriguing history.

The museum contains a collection of artifacts, photographs and documents. Some of the items belonged to Rugby founder Thomas Hughes, an Englishman who dreamed of forging an “an experimental utopian colony” in the Tennessee wilderness.

Approximately 400 well-to-do Englishmen and their families joined Hughes in building the settlement in 1800. They constructed ornate Victorian-style homes and public buildings, and enjoyed reading, playing tennis and swimming in the “Gentlemen’s Swimming Hole.”

However, their efforts to sustain a viable economy – including raising tomatoes – failed.

Some of the settlers died in a typhoid outbreak and are buried in a cemetery on the edge of the colony. Others gave up and moved to Boston. A few stayed on, gradually joined by other settlers who were venturing into the area.

One family of settlers was the Massengales, and the remains of their homestead can be found on a nearby hilltop. The stone spring house, in which butter and milk was stored for cooling, remains intact in a hollow below the cabin site.

Taking the one-mile hike to the Massengale cabin site is part of the lure for outdoors photographers, naturalists and wildlife-watchers. The hike is part of miles of trails that wind through and around the remote Rugby area, part of which lies within the Big South Fork park.

The trails take hikers along clusters of wildflowers, towering fir trees and thickets of mountain laurel in which black bears are sometimes sighted.

One of more interesting hikes begins at the old Rugby cemetery and leads down to the “Gentlemen’s Swimming Hole” on the Clear Fork River. Photographs in the Rugby Visitor’s Center show residents in the early 1880s swimming and frolicking in the emerald-green pool at the foot of a falls – exactly as it remains today.

A word of caution: the swimming-hole trail is two miles round-trip, part of which is over rugged terrain. There are other, less challenging hiking trails available.

Before visiting Rugby check to see what days the Visitors Center and tours are available – some operate only Thursday-Sunday, and the village’s lone restaurant keeps odd hours.

A Rugby website lists updated information and also special events such as a May Day arts and crafts festival and an Old English-themed Christmas. Both are fascinating.

Equally fascinating is the study of the day-to-day lives of Rugby’s hardy founders, and the unchanged enchantment of the area that drew them there.

Yellow Jackets rally late to edge East Robertson

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets gave their fans some anxious moments Friday before rallying in the fourth quarter for a 36-22 victory over East Robertson.

The Jackets (5-2, 3-0 4-2A) trailed 22-21 early in the fourth and were struggling to contain the ground attack by the Indians (3-4, 1-2). But Trousdale’s defense was able to force two late fumbles that set the stage for a come-from-behind victory.

GALLERY: Trousdale Co. vs. East Robertson

“I was really proud of how our kids battled four quarters Friday night,” said Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “It wasn’t a pretty game, but sometimes you have games like that and you have to dig down and find a way to win.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Jake Gregory (52) and Houston Stafford (23) bring down East Robertson’s Jaden Crouch in the fourth quarter Friday. The Yellow Jackets won 36-22.

The Jackets received the opening kickoff and needed just five plays to reach the end zone as senior fullback Braison Raney ran the final four yards for the score. Junior Keyvont Baines’ kick gave the hosts a 7-0 lead.

East Robertson held the ball for the next 9:14, going on a 17-play drive that was capped when sophomore quarterback Cameron Swift ran six yards to pay dirt. Junior kicker Justin Russell added the extra point for a 7-7 tie.

East then recovered an onside kick that Trousdale was unable to control, setting the Indians up at the Jackets’ 45-yard line.

Eleven plays later, Swift scored on a 4-yard run as the Indians took a 14-7 lead.

Trousdale would waste little time answering the challenge with a drive that was capped by Raney’s second TD run, a 5-yarder. The Jackets elected to go for two and Raney ran it in once again to take a 15-14 lead into the locker room.

The Indians received the second-half kickoff and put together a 17-play drive that lasted nearly 9½ minutes and ended on a 2-yard score by senior fullback Johnny Lyons. East coach Chad Broadrick opted for a 2-point try, which Swift pulled off to give the Indians a 22-15 advantage.

With 8:03 left to play, Raney’s third touchdown run of the evening, a 6-yard effort, brought Trousdale to within 22-21. The Jackets elected to go for two but a fumbled snap denied the effort and left them with a 22-21 deficit.

That drive was set up when junior safety Houston Stafford stripped the ball carrier and jumped on the loose ball.

The Trousdale defense provided another turnover when sophomore linebacker Tarvaris Claiborne forced a fumble that was recovered by junior Jake Gregory at the East 24.

The Jackets needed just two plays to take the lead, as Baines darted through the defense for a 21-yard run. Baines added a 2-point run to put Trousdale ahead 29-22 with 3:59 left on the clock.

On the ensuing possession, East Robertson gave up the ball on downs inside its 10 and Trousdale took advantage with a 3-yard touchdown scamper by Baines. His kick made it a 36-22 game.

Gregory led the Trousdale defenders with 14 tackles, four for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Claiborne had 12 tackles and a forced fumble while Stafford had 11 tackles, two for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

The victory kept Trousdale County as the only undefeated team in Region 4-2A. Watertown and Jackson County are each 2-1, Westmoreland is 1-2 and Cascade sits at 0-3.

“Bottom line, our goal was to stay undefeated in region play and move closer to the goal of winning the region,” Waggoner said. “East Robertson gave us their best shot and it was a tough game, but I’m very proud of how our kids finished the game.”

Yellow Jackets travel to undefeated Whitwell

Trousdale County will have its longest road trip of the season thus far on Friday when the Yellow Jackets travel to play the Whitwell Tigers.

Whitwell is 6-0 and ranked third in Class 1A, having beaten Boyd-Buchanan (36-0), Bledsoe County (22-3), Copper Basin (51-0), Signal Mountain (43-0), Lookout Valley (56-6) and Polk County (41-6).

The Tigers are also coming off their bye week, but had a potential distraction last week when two players were kicked off the team after a hazing incident, according to media reports.

“Whitwell is a very experienced and tough team,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “They are 6-0 and ranked in the top three in the state in Class 1A. Going on the road and playing at their place will be a challenge. It will be a great experience for our team to be like a playoff atmosphere.

“We look forward to the challenge and we will be prepared and ready to go Friday night.”

This will be the third time Trousdale County and Whitwell have met on the football field, with each team winning once previously. Both games were during the playoffs, with the Yellow Jackets winning the most recent meeting 29-0 in the first round in 2014.

Whitwell is located in Marion County at 200 Tiger Trail and is in the Central Time Zone.

Camping out with friends never grows old

We sat around the campfire watching sparks drift up, wink, and die in the darkness. A pale sliver of moon hovered high above, and the only sound was the lonesome call of a whip-poor-will off in the distance.

If there’s anything more relaxing than a deer camp, I haven’t found it.

Awhile back some old friends invited me up for their annual deer-season kickoff at their camp located near the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area. Of the dozen or so who attended, only one planned to hunt the next morning. The rest of us claimed it was too hot – or some such excuse.

Truth is, after a long, late evening of reminiscing and yarn-spinning, it’s hard to roll out at 4 a.m. Besides, it WAS too hot.

Last night’s campfire has died, but not the chatter.

The campsite is nestled on a parcel of paradise owned by Steve Selecman, who was joined by brothers Bill and Mark in hosting the cookout. Steve directed traffic, Bill roasted the ribs and I assisted Mark with beverage-control.
Speaking of Mark, his son Ben added a celebrity touch to the gathering. In a couple of weeks he will wed Mattie Jackson, daughter of country music superstar Alan Jackson. Maybe Alan will join us next year and bring his guitar.

A couple of regulars were absent. My boyhood buddy Tom Thurman and Bill’s longtime pal Mike Bohannon both were under the weather, but expected back soon.

Last year Mike brought along his two faithful old hounds and they spent the evening dozing by the fire, sighing, whimpering and twitching as they dreamed old dogs’ dreams.

It’s not just old dogs who nod off by the fireside. Old campers do too. We generally just don’t whimper and twitch so much.

It seemed like just yesterday when Tom, Bill and I were kids, lazing around a campfire on the banks of the Thurman’s farm pond with the rest of our gang, Tony and Ralph, listening to a chorus of bullfrogs and katydids while pondering the mysteries of the cosmos and Mary Sue Wattenbarger.

We grew up and went our various ways. Tom became a nationally renowned district attorney who prosecuted several of Nashville’s most high-profile criminal cases (and always won). Tony became a vet and went to Africa for mission work. Bill became a dentist, Ralph joined the postal service and I meandered into the ink-stained ranks of newspapermen.

Bill’s left pinkie remains stiff, a souvenir of a copperhead bite he got while clearing stumps from a field as a teenager. The bum finger hasn’t kept him from being the most popular dentist in Crossville for a half-century.

Another camp regular is my cousin Jerry Hedgecoth, a retired Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer and an expert turkey hunter. (Jerry once took Irlene Mandrell, of the famous Mandrel Sisters, on a successful turkey hunt, and seemed more intrigued by the big gobbler Irlene bagged than by the lovely Irlene.)

Jerry, Tom and I were walking down an old logging road when I killed my first deer in ’63. I dropped the leaping little forkhorn with a lucky shot, while Jerry and Tom supplied supporting fire. That couldn’t possibly have been 54 years ago, could it?

Jerry’s wife Carolyn delivered a batch of her prize-winning cornbread to the camp, then she and my bride Mary Frances raced away on Jerry’s four-wheeler like Thelma and Louise, leaving us to our Guy Stuff – gnawing ribs and burping, pausing in-between to chuckle over another bygone adventure, tell another tale, spin another yarn.

Occasionally the circle would grow silent, mesmerized by the flickering firelight and the distant whip-poor-will’s plaintive serenade.

If that’s not heaven, it’s mighty close.

Yellow Jackets rally past East Robertson

Trousdale County came into Friday night’s matchup with East Robertson looking to take control of the Region 4-2A race.

The Yellow Jackets (5-2, 3-0) managed to do so, but needed a 21-point fourth quarter to escape with a 36-22 victory over the Indians (3-4, 1-2).

Quarterback runs hampered Trousdale defense for the second straight week, as East sophomore Cameron Swift carried the ball 47 times for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Jake Gregory (52) and Houston Stafford (23) bring down East Robertson’s Jaden Crouch in the fourth quarter Friday. The Yellow Jackets won 36-22.

“Their line was the big difference,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “They were a lot bigger than us up front and did what they had to do to try to win the game.

“The first half, we didn’t do a good job of stopping them. The second half, we did better besides that first drive; got a couple of big turnovers.”

Trousdale took an early lead as fullback Braison Raney scored the first of his three touchdowns with 9:46 left in the first quarter.

East Robertson methodically drove down the field, relying almost solely on Swift, who tied the game at 7 with 32 seconds left in the quarter.

Swift would add a second TD in the second quarter before Trousdale responded with Raney’s second scoring run. The senior added a 2-point conversion run to give the Yellow Jackets a 15-14 halftime lead.

East Robertson dominated the third quarter with a scoring drive that lasted 9½ minutes and was capped by Johnny Lyons’ scoring run as the Indians took a 22-15 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Yellow Jackets started to turn things around in the fourth quarter, driving for Raney’s third score, which cut the deficit to 22-21. The drive was helped by a 21-yard catch by senior Isiah Harper on a fourth-and-14 play. Harper had missed the prior five games with a toe injury.

“(Raney’s) athletic, he made some big plays for us,” Waggoner said. “Isiah made a big play. It helps getting some of these guys back from injuries.”

Trousdale attempted to go for two, but the snap was fumbled and the attempt failed.

On East’s next possession, junior Houston Stafford pried the ball from Swift to set Trousdale up at the Indians’ 24-yard line.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Keyvont Baines heads for what would be the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 36-22 win over East Robertson.

“It gave us our energy back,” Waggoner said of the turnover, “and we scored right after that.”

That go-ahead score came on a 21-yard scamper by Trousdale quarterback Keyvont Baines with 3:59 left.

Trousdale got the ball back on downs in the final minutes and Baines added a 3-yard score to secure the win.

“Trying to win a region championship, you’re going to win ugly games like that,” Waggoner said. “Luckily our defense came up with some big turnovers and saved us.”

Trousdale County will travel to Whitwell (6-0) next week for a non-region matchup.

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

Yellow Jackets fall to Macon County

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets were riding a three-game winning streak, but their fortunes changed significantly Friday night with a 42-20 loss at Macon County.

It was Macon County’s second-largest margin of victory in 75 games with Trousdale, after a 58-0 win by the Tigers in 1941.

Macon quarterback Seth Carlisle dominated the offensive attack, totaling 269 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 28 carries for the Tigers.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Macon County quarterback Seth Carlisle (15) waits for a hole to open in the Trousdale County defense. Carlisle rushed for 269 yards and five touchdowns as the Tigers defeated the Yellow Jackets 42-20.

Trousdale (4-2) was not sharp in any facet of the game, as evidenced by its seven penalties for 45 yards and a season-worst three turnovers.

“It was a tough loss,” said coach Brad Waggoner. “Macon County was a one-man show and (Carlisle) dominated the game. They played a nearly perfect game and they deserved to win the game.

“We have got to learn from this loss and how to deal with adversity better. We have no time whatsoever to dwell on that game.”

The two teams traded punched in the first quarter as each scored touchdowns on their respective opening drives, leaving the game tied at 7 after the first quarter.

The Jackets would take the lead early in the second quarter at 14-7 by putting together a seven-play, 81-yard drive that was capped by senior Braison Raney’s 7-yard carry.

Carlisle gave Macon County (4-1) the lead right back with runs of 36 and 54 yards as the Tigers took a 21-14 halftime lead.

With Trousdale set to receive the ball to start the second half, Macon reached into its bag of tricks by successfully recovering an onside kick. The surprised Jackets quickly yielded Carlisle’s fourth TD run, a 4-yard effort, as Macon took a 28-14 lead with 9:56 left in the third.

Trousdale responded quickly as junior Houston Stafford broke off a 65-yard run down the visiting sideline to get in the end zone and bring the Jackets within 28-20.

On Macon’s next drive, Tigers coach Nathan Wilson reached deep into his playbook, calling a halfback pass on fourth-and-1 that worked like a charm. Junior running back Noah Likens found junior receiver Chris Oliver for a 19-yard score.

Two late interceptions by Jackets quarterback Keyvont Baines snuffed out any hopes for a comeback, as Carlisle’s fifth TD run came with 3:22 left on a 23-yard effort. The senior also finished 4-of-9 passing for 45 yards.

Junior defensive end Jake Gregory led the Trousdale defense with 13 tackles, one for loss. Sophomore linebacker Tarvaris Claiborne followed with eight tackles and Baines had five.

Despite the loss, the Jackets retain a big edge in the series, with 55 wins against 20 losses in a rivalry that dates back to 1927.

“While it hurts to lose to anyone, we have got to get back our focus and get ready for a big region game with East Robertson,” Waggoner said. “Hopefully we can get some of our injured players back over the next few weeks. We just have to keep working.”

Football Player of the Week: Week 3

Submitted photo

The Wilson Bank & Trust Player of the Week for Trousdale County High School football is Kobe Ford.

Ford was selected for his performance in the Sept. 1 win over Watertown.

He was presented with a commemorative printed football by WB&T Assistant Office Manager Seth Thurman.

Yellow Jackets to face East Robertson

Trousdale County returns to Region 4-2A play this week when the Yellow Jackets host the East Robertson Indians.

East Robertson is 3-3 on the season, having beaten Richland (45-24), Cascade (45-8) and Clay County (29-25), to go along with losses to White House (35-0), Jo Byrns (40-28) and Jackson County (28-14).

“East Robertson is a good team,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “They are huge up front on the line of scrimmage and have a young, talented quarterback.

“This will be a huge test for our football team in how we respond to the loss this past week. We have a lot of work to do to get ready for them and we will be ready Friday night. This game is even more important because it’s a region game.”

The teams last met in the 1992 playoffs, when Trousdale County won 20-0 on the Creekbank in the second round.

Tucker remains humbled by record buck

Earlier this year I received one of the most enjoyable magazine assignments I’ve ever had. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency asked me to write a story about Stephen Tucker, the young Gallatin hunter who last November killed a world-record non-typical deer.

I had interviewed Stephen, a 27-year-old farmer, a couple of times previously and found him to be polite and humble, gracious and well-spoken, an excellent representative for hunting and hunters.

The most recent interview was no exception. Stephen promptly returned my phone call, and we spent a half-hour reliving his historic hunt and discussing how it has impacted his life.

Stephen Tucker shows his world-record antlers to Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission Chair Jamie Woodson of Lebanon, right, and another commissioner.

The story appears in the current edition of Tennessee Wildlife Magazine, which also contains articles that involve a number of Wilson County residents. More on that later.

Stephen killed the giant buck last Nov. 7, the third day of muzzleloader season. He missed a chance at the deer on opening day when his muzzleloader misfired, but connected on his second chance two days later.

The massive 47-point rack easily eclipsed the state record and, after a mandatory 60-day drying period, was also declared a new world record.

The TWRA christened the deer the “Tucker Buck” in Stephen’s honor, and as word spread through social media and other outlets he found himself an overnight outdoors celebrity. He was a guest at a meeting of the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission where he posed with officials; he appeared at outdoor expos and other events; he was interviewed on TV, and his photo appeared on the cover of national magazines.

Inquiries about the world-record buck came from as far away as London.

Various outdoor-gear companies sought Stephen’s endorsement, and some estimates place the value of the antlers at $100,000 – perhaps more, depending on the market.

Asked if he has reaped a financial windfall, Stephen demurs:

“I’m still working every day, just as I always had,” he says with a chuckle, “and (wife) Caitlyn is still teaching kindergarten.”

Stephen, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat on the leased Sumner County farm where he killed the deer, has been taken aback by the nationwide – and even worldwide – attention.

“It’s been amazing,” he says. “I never imagined anything like this. It’s like a dream.”

“Stephen is a nice young man and a great representative of our state’s hunters,” says Ed Carter, Executive Director of the TWRA. “This couldn’t have happened to a better person.”

Locals featured: I contributed a second feature to the current issue of Tennessee Wildlife, assisted by Lebanon’s Roy Denney. The story about fall squirrel hunting is accompanied by two photos of Roy in action.

Lebanon’s Tim White, a veteran TWRA biologist and frog-hunting buddy, has an excellent story in the magazine about youth-oriented outdoors activities. Tim explains why they are vital to the future of hunting and fishing.

Chris Richardson, a Lebanon resident and TWRA official, is included in an informative feature about big-game poaching and the huge fines that can result – as much as $10,000 per animal.

Tennessee Wildlife Magazine and the information-packed TWRA Wildlife Calendar are free to holders of Sportsman’s Licenses and Lifetime Licenses. Others who want to subscribe can call 615-781-6502. Subscription rates are $10 for one year, $17 for two years and $25 for three years.

Yellow Jackets can’t contain Carlisle in loss to Macon

Trousdale County has seen the last of Macon County’s Seth Carlisle, and fans of the Yellow Jackets won’t be sorry about that.

The senior quarterback rushed for 269 yards and five touchdowns Friday night as the Tigers (4-1) handed Trousdale, ranked third in Class 2A, a 42-20 loss.

As a freshman, Carlisle ran for three scores, including the game-winner, in the teams’ previous meeting – also a Macon County victory.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Macon County quarterback Seth Carlisle (15) waits for a hole to open in the Trousdale County defense. Carlisle rushed for 269 yards and five touchdowns as the Tigers defeated the Yellow Jackets 42-20.

“He’s a good player,” Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner said. “We knew going in where he was; we just didn’t do a very good job of stopping him. He was the difference in the game.

“Credit them, they pretty much whipped us in every aspect of the game.”

The Yellow Jackets (4-2) traded scores with the Tigers in the first half and went into the locker room trailing 21-14 but hopeful as they were set to receive the second-half kickoff.

Trousdale’s hopes were quickly deflated as Macon County successfully pulled off an onside kick and drove for Carlisle’s fourth touchdown to take a 28-14 lead.

Houston Stafford responded for Trousdale County with a 65-yard run down the visitors’ sideline to cut the deficit to 28-20. Stafford led the Yellow Jackets with 94 rushing yards on 12 carries, while Braison Raney rushed for a score and caught a touchdown pass.

Macon would respond with a drive of its own, capped by a halfback pass from Noah Likens to Chris Oliver for a 19-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-1 play.

The pair of trick plays seized the momentum and put it squarely on Macon County’s side.

“The onside kick wasn’t a surprise; their guy just made a play and our guy didn’t,” Waggoner said. “The fourth-down play, tip your hat, it was a great call.”

Any hopes of a fourth-quarter comeback were dashed as quarterback Keyvont Baines threw a pair of interceptions, one early in the fourth quarter.

“We just didn’t respond real well,” Waggoner said.

Trousdale County will return to Region 4-2A play next week when the Yellow Jackets host East Robertson.

“As bad as it hurts, it has no bearing on a region championship or playoff spot,” Waggoner said. “We’ve got to go back to the drawing board.”

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

Yellow Jackets clip Westmoreland

Trousdale County took command of the Region 4-2A standings Friday night with a decisive 42-6 victory at Westmoreland.

The Yellow Jackets now stand at 4-1, 2-0 as the only unbeaten team in region play. East Robertson, Jackson County, Westmoreland and Watertown are all 1-1, with Cascade looking for its first region victory at 0-2.

The Jackets’ ground game plucked the life from the home crowd, amassing 457 rushing yards on a very wet ground at Eagle Stadium.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Houston Stafford slams Westmoreland’s Daniel Mizrahi (14) to the turf during Friday’s game.

Junior Keyvont Baines took snaps at quarterback and tailback, leading the visitors with 145 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. Sophomore Kobe Ford followed with 111 yards and two TDs on 12 attempts.

“It was another great team win,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “I was very proud of the players’ effort and doing what it took to win a very important region game.

“We had a great night running on the ground and with the poor field conditions, we just decided we would keep everything on the ground and we got some great effort by our running backs and offensive line.”

Baines opened the scoring in the second quarter with scrambles of 50 and 56 yards from his quarterback spot. Both conversions came up short with a missed kick and a failed run as Trousdale County led 12-0 at halftime.

The Yellow Jackets would add to their lead early in the third quarter as Ford took it in from 40 yard out on the first play of the half. Ford would add a two-point run to give Trousdale a 20-0 lead.

On the next possession, Ford weaved through the Westmoreland defense, using multiple cutbacks to score on a 31-yard run and give the Jackets a 26-0 lead.

Westmoreland (2-2, 1-1) got on the board late in the third quarter on a 25-yard run by senior quarterback Blake Eakle. The touchdown snapped an Eagles’ scoreless streak against the Jackets that had reached eight quarters.

The Yellow Jackets held the Eagles to 181 yards of offense and recorded two takeaways – an interception by sophomore Tarvaris Claiborne and a fumble recovery by junior Hayden Hailey.

“It was another great job by our defense in shutting them down throughout the game,” Waggoner said.

Trousdale would add two more scores in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard run by senior Braison Raney, who moved to fullback for the game, and a 5-yard carry by freshman Sebastian Linarez. Two-point runs were converted after each score, with junior Austin Satterfield jumping on a fumble in the end zone on the second try.

Claiborne led the Yellow Jackets’ defense with 10 tackles and his first career interception. Junior defensive end Jake Gregory added six tackles, including one for loss. Junior Xavian Seay had five tackles with one for loss. Junior Dyson Satterfield and Ford had four tackles apiece.

“Trousdale is as good as advertised,” said Westmoreland coach Steve Harris. “Typical Trousdale, their team speed is just so impressive and they have good size to go with that.”

Trousdale County now leads the series 12-10 and has won the last five meetings with Westmoreland.

Football Player of the Week: Week 2

Submitted photo

The Wilson Bank & Trust Player of the Week for Trousdale County High School football is Keyvont Baines.

Baines was selected by the Yellow Jacket coaching staff for his performance in the team’s Aug. 25 game against Friendship Christian.

He was presented with a commemorative printed football by WB&T Assistant Office Manager Seth Thurman.

TWRA hopes fishermen develop taste for carp

Call it a “carp coincidence.”

Last week the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency issued a press release about a partnership with some businesses around Kentucky Lake to encourage the commercial harvesting of Asian carp.

A couple of days later my wife and I visited the Tennessee River Folk Life Museum at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park, and among the exhibits was a can of carp from bygone days.

The caption said canning carp and other species of fish was a common practice decades ago among river folks.

Canned carp on display at the Tennessee River Folk Museum at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park.

TWRA biologists claim the flesh of Asian carp is delectable. Most of us have to take their word for it; we’ve never sampled carp.

I’d try one if I could catch one, but it’s almost impossible to do on sport-fishing tackle – aside from snagging them in tailwaters – because Asian carp don’t feed on minnows or other types of bait.

The carp subsist on plankton, and that’s where the concern lies. Fry and other small fish depend on plankton for their forage, and if it is depleted, the bottom of the food chain will suffer. That translates to problems at the top for larger game fish.

So far the situation is not critical, but if the Asian carp population continues to explode, biologists warn that the invasive species will create major problems in the future.

The only practical way to remove large numbers of Asian carp is by commercial netting – one million pounds were hauled out of Kentucky Lake last year – but the venture has to be made economically viable.

As I understand the plan, the Asian carp currently netted from the Tennessee River are processed for pet food and fertilizer, and the TWRA hopes to expand that market. If, in addition, a new market could be developed for human consumption, the economic potential would be dramatic.

Long before I came across the canned carp exhibit at the Tennessee River Folk Life Museum (a fascinating tour everyone should make), I was aware that some folks eat what are commonly referred to as “trash fish” or “rough fish.”

Growing up in the country I heard about “carp cakes,” which consist of diced or ground carp meat mixed with various herbs, spices and other ingredients to make something akin to salmon cakes.

One of my uncles pickled river herring, cutting the fish into chunks and canning them in brine. The brine dissolved the bones, much the same as it does with sardines and mackerel. My uncle’s canned herring resembled the canned carp on exhibit in the river museum.

I’ve never tasted a carp cake or a picked herring, but lots of folks have – dating back over a century.

Considering all the advancements in the culinary arts, it seems like it wouldn’t be too difficult to turn a carp into a delectable dish. It works for sushi, doesn’t it?

If someone will put carp on the market, I’m willing to give it a try.

If it doesn’t work out, my fur-trapping buddy Clarence Dies can use it for bait.

Yellow Jackets hit road to face Macon County

Trousdale County will travel to Lafayette this week as the Yellow Jackets will take on the Macon County Tigers in a non-region tilt.

Fifth-year coach Nathan Wilson has his Tigers at 3-1 this season. Macon has defeated Westmoreland (10-7), White House-Heritage (28-26) and Cumberland County (49-13) after opening with a 39-22 home loss to Smith County.

“We have another big opportunity against as very tough Macon County team,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “It’s basically the sixth straight tough game for us and I know we will get their best shot, especially being at their place with a huge crowd being that this is a rivalry game.

“They have one of the best quarterback/athletes that we will play in the Carlisle kid. He is very tough and he basically single-handedly beat us the last time they played Trousdale County.

“So we are looking forward to the opportunity and we need a great week of preparation and focus to get ready for Macon County!”

The will be the 75th meeting between the teams, with the Yellow Jackets holding a 55-19 advantage.

The Jackets were riding a seven-game winning streak over the Tigers before losing the last meeting 27-21 in double overtime on the Creekbank on Aug. 22, 2014.

In that game, senior Kenyan Harper had over 100 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown, in the first half before suffering a knee injury in the second quarter.

Macon County quarterback Seth Carlisle, then a freshman, scored the game’s final three touchdowns, including the game-winner in the second overtime period.

Middle school: The Jim Satterfield Jr. Jackets will not defend their conference championship after a 62-22 loss at Upperman on Sept. 12.

The loss put the Jr. Jackets at 3-3 on the season entering Tuesday’s season finale with Watertown. Results were not available at press time.

Yellow Jackets ground out win over Westmoreland

Trousdale County ground out another victory Friday night as the Yellow Jackets rushed for 457 yards in a 42-6 victory over Westmoreland.

Keyvont Baines led the Yellow Jackets (4-1, 2-0 4-2A) with 145 yards on nine carries, while Kobe Ford added 111 yards on 12 carries. Baines scored twice in the second quarter on runs of 50 and 56 yards as the Yellow Jackets took a 12-0 lead into the locker room.

“The first half, we shot ourselves in the foot. We had some penalties, miscommunication on the line of scrimmage,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Kobe Ford (2) weaves through the Westmoreland defense on his way to one of his two touchdowns Friday in the Yellow Jackets’ 42-6 victory.

Trousdale’s defense continued its strong play, holding Westmoreland (2-2, 1-1) to 181 total yards while forcing a pair of turnovers. Much of that came on the first drive of the game as Westmoreland drove to within the 20 before turning the ball over downs.

“Our defense did a great job after that first drive,” Waggoner said.

Ford helped the Yellow Jackets pull away with a pair of third-quarter touchdowns, including a 40-yarder on the first play of the second half. He would add a 31-yard run that saw hit make multiple cuts through the Westmoreland defense.

“It’s always great to get a win, and we’re glad the kids did what it took,” Waggoner said. “The field conditions were horrible, but our kids responded.”

A muddy field may have led to an injury, as Trousdale senior receiver Trace McGuire was helped off the field after sustaining an undisclosed leg injury on a punt return in the second quarter.

The loss of McGuire came one week after freshman standout Cameron Rankins suffered a season-ending knee injury against Gordonsville.

“Losing guys is tough, but the next guys have to step up,” Waggoner said. “We had guys tonight who were put in different spots. We’ve just got to get better every week.”

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

Yellow Jackets get revenge on Gordonsville

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets were looking for another win and some revenge in the process last Friday when they hosted the Gordonsville Tigers.

The Jackets earned both with a 42-0 victory at John Kerr Field.

Still somewhat smarting from a 9-0 loss at Gordonsville last year, the Yellow Jackets scored 14 points in each of the final three quarters to get the job done.

Trousdale County has now won 24 of its last 26 meetings with Gordonsville and owns a 53-14-2 advantage in the series.

“Very proud of our players’ effort and preparation this past week,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “I knew after practice on Wednesday that our players were ready.”

The Yellow Jackets rolled up 393 yards of total offense, 247 on the ground and 146 in the air, while holding the Tigers to 202 yards.

Junior quarterback Keyvont Baines went over the 1000-yard rushing mark for the second game in a row with six carries for 104 yards and a touchdown, during which he leapt over a Gordonsville defender. Baines also completed seven of 15 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, both to senior Trace McGuire.

McGuire had the best game of his career, totaling five catches for 112 yards and touchdowns of 12 and 56 yards.

The Yellow Jackets also scored their first special-teams touchdown of the season as senior Braison Raney picked up the second-half kickoff at his own 42-yard line and raced 58 yards for his first score of the season.

Freshman kicker Heath Chasse also got in on the scoring, hitting the last two extra-point attempts for the Jackets.

Sophomore Tarvaris Claiborne led the Trousdale defense with 14 tackles, including one for loss. Junior defensive end Jake Gregory had 11½ tackles, two for loss, and sophomore Ben Chumley grabbed an interception.

“It was a great team win and I was very proud of our defense getting a shutout,” Waggoner said.

The Jackets also shut out the Tigers on the Creekbank in 2015, winning that game 35-0.

Trousdale County improved to 3-1 on the season with the win, while Gordonsville fell to 1-3.