Trousdale County falls 16-12 to Lebanon in season opener

Trousdale County fell victim to a pair of big plays in a season-opening 16-12 loss to the Lebanon Blue Devils on the Creekbank Friday night to open the 2018 season.

Lebanon came in looking for a bit of revenge after falling 10-6 to the Yellow Jackets last season on its home field.

“It was three big plays,” said Yellow Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “We gave up a long pass in the first half, a long touchdown run and one of our touchdowns was taken away.”

Photos by Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
A Lebanon player intercepts a fourth-down pass in the end zone late in the fourth quarter against Trousdale County. The play came after a Yellow Jacket touchdown was wiped out by a penalty.

The teams played a scoreless first quarter before Lebanon struck first. Quarterback Chandler Crite found receiver Jackson Stafford for a 58-yard touchdown. The Jackets had good defensive position but the 6-foot-4 Stafford went up for the ball and sprinted to the end zone with 9:12 left before halftime.

On the ensuing kickoff, Trousdale County’s Dyson Satterfield fumbled the ball and Lebanon recovered, setting up a 27-yard field goal by Christian Pena to make it 10-0.

The Jackets got on the board in the third quarter, driving the ball downfield and getting a 4-yard run from sophomore Sebastian Linarez. A bad snap on the extra-point attempt left it a 10-6 game.

In the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets drove the ball inside the Lebanon 10 and had appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown when sophomore Cameron Rankins hit sophomore Jayden Hicks in the end zone on a fourth-and-5 play with roughly four minutes left. But the play was called back because of a holding penalty. Rankins’ pass on fourth-and-20 was intercepted in the end zone.

On the ensuing possession, Crite all but sealed the game with a 70-yard run on third down to make it 16-6.

Rankins drove the Jackets back down the field and hit Hicks for a 24-yard TD to make it 16-12 with 29 seconds left. But the Blue Devils recovered a last-ditch onside kick and left with the victory.

“They’re a good football team,” Waggoner said. “I thought our kids fought and we had a chance to win the game. We just came up short.”

Sebastian Linarez (4) breaks through the defense to score a touchdown for Trousdale County against Lebanon.

Waggoner refused to blame the absence of two key players – Keyvont Baines and Kobe Ford – who each sat out because of disciplinary reasons.

“I don’t look at it that way; we have to go with what we’ve got,” Waggoner said. “Our two running backs (Satterfield, Linarez) played extremely well and Cameron was able to lead us on that last drive and left us with a chance for an onside kick. I’m proud of them.”

Trousdale County will travel to Friendship next week for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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

Previewing the 2018 Trousdale County Yellow Jackets

Fans of Trousdale County’s football team saw their Yellow Jackets win the region championship and reach the second round of the playoffs with an 8-4 record in 2017.

Those results have fueled great expectations for those who frequent the Creekbank as the 2018 version of the Yellow Jackets look to be a talented and experienced team.

Trousdale County is also receiving some preseason statewide recognition, as longtime high school football sage Murphy Fair has the Yellow Jackets as one of the top five teams in Class 2A to start the season, along with Lewis County, Meigs County, Peabody and Waverly.

The initial coaches’ poll ranks Trousdale County fourth behind Union City, Waverly and Peabody. Rounding out the top 10 are Meigs County, Columbia Academy, Tyner Academy, Marion County, Adamsville and Lewis County.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

The Yellow Jackets are a unanimous pick to claim the Region 4-2A championship again this year. The region title is perhaps even more important this year, as the bracket will set up to give the 4-2A champion home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Trousdale County is picked ahead of Watertown, Westmoreland, Jackson County, East Robertson and Cascade.

The Yellow Jackets return two seniors who earned All-State honors in 2017 in quarterback/athlete Keyvont Baines (6-foot-2, 185) and defensive end Jake Gregory (6-1, 210).

Lining up at both quarterback and running back, Baines led the team in rushing with 1,005 yards and 11 touchdowns while passing for 853 yards. He also kicked 13 of 20 extra points, two field goals and ran for four 2-point conversions in 2017.

Baines is currently under suspension for a violation of team rules committed during the offseason. He is expected to return to the lineup during the regular season, but when has not been determined.

Defensively, Gregory led Trousdale County with 125 tackles, including 20 for loss. He recorded two sacks, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble.

Also expected to play a key role for the Yellow Jackets is junior Tarvaris Claiborne (6-2, 215), who had 118 tackles from his linebacker position and a pair of extra-point blocks. Offensively, Claiborne caught six passes and scored four touchdowns. He is expected to play a bigger role in the offense in 2018 after the graduation of leading receiver Trace McGuire.

Trousdale County also returns its second-leading rusher from 2017 in junior Kobe Ford (5-9, 175), who ran for 544 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Sophomore Cameron Rankins (6-2, 230) is fully recovered after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the fourth game last season. He will be called on to play key roles on offense as a quarterback/running back and at linebacker on defense.

Rankins impressed the region coaches enough that he was still named honorable mention all-district as a freshman despite missing two-thirds of the season.

Trousdale County looks to be as solid and experienced in its line play as fans have seen in some time with Gregory, seniors Cooper Belcher (5-11, 250), Noah Hrobsky (5-11, 240), Xavian Seay (5-10, 270) and sophomore Mason Basford (6-2, 265) battling in the trenches.

The Jackets enter the season with over 40 players dressed out for the first time in several years, including 11 seniors.

Coach Brad Waggoner enters his 12th season of coaching high school football and his second season in Hartsville. He has two new coaches on his staff in defensive coordinator Blake Satterfield, son of longtime Jackets coach Clint Satterfield, and linebackers coach Matt Dyer.

Trousdale County will open the 2018 campaign at home against Lebanon on Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets won 10-6 in Lebanon last year, with Rankins scoring a touchdown and intercepting a pass in the end zone on the final play of the game.

Trousdale County will open region play at home on Aug. 31 against Watertown.

“We want to be hitting on all cylinders by the time region play begins,” Waggoner said. “We have two very tough games (Lebanon, Friendship) that we hope will prepare us for that big one.”

Yellow Jackets set to host Lebanon in season opener

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets will open the 2018 football season Friday with a 7 p.m. matchup on the Creekbank against Class 6A Lebanon.

The Blue Devils are picked to finish second this year in Region 4-6A. In 2017, Lebanon lost its first three games before winning five of its last seven to reach the playoffs.

Second-year coach Chuck Gentry looks to have his program moving in the right direction and has a number of college prospects.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Dyson Satterfield (21) pushes teammate Keyvont Baines aside during the Tobacco Bowl Jamboree against Gallatin.

The most notable of those is senior lineman Zion Logue (6-foot-6, 285 pounds), who has committed to the Georgia Bulldogs. Senior quarterback Chandler Crite (5-11, 175) also returns and has started to receive attention from colleges.

Lebanon has plenty of experience with 20 seniors and 28 juniors on its roster.

“They will dress over 100-something players and will be much bigger than we are,” said Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “It’s imperative we win the little things such as conditioning, special teams and controlling the clock and not giving up big plays.

“We will look at all their scrimmages we have on film and put together the best game plan to give our players a chance for success.”

Last year, the Yellow Jackets went to Clifton Tribble Field and came away with a 10-6 victory that came down to the last play, when Crite threw a pass into the end zone that was intercepted by then-freshman Cameron Rankins. Rankins also recorded 10 tackles and scored Trousdale County’s only touchdown, while Tarvaris Claiborne blocked an extra point.

The Blue Devils have not played in Hartsville since 1970, when the Jackets won 24-0. In that game, junior quarterback Billy Linville ran for two touchdowns and threw another to Stan Robinson.

The game can be heard live on WTNK 93.5-FM/1090-AM and streamed online at funradiotn.com. Live updates will also be available via the free ScoreStream app.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $6 on Thursday at the high school from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

JSMS: The Jim Satterfield Jr. Jackets’ scheduled season opener at Stone Memorial was postponed last Thursday because of the threat of inclement weather. The game has been rescheduled for Sept. 24.

The Jr. Jackets were to travel to Walter J. Baird on Tuesday, then will have their home opener next Tuesday against Macon County at 6:30 p.m.

Watch for deer when behind the wheel

Although autumn is the most hazardous time of year for deer/auto collisions, a recent fatal encounter served as grim reminder that Middle Tennessee motorists need to be on the lookout year-round.

According to Dickson County law enforcement officials, a deer bounded across the road in front of a vehicle, was stuck, and hurtled back into the windshield of a trailing vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle was fatally injured.

The state’s deer herd is increasing, especially in suburban areas where the animals cannot be hunted, and with more and more cars on the roads, collisions are inevitable.

Submitted photo
Motorists should slow down and remain alert when driving through areas frequented by deer.

Sometimes they can’t be avoided: a deer suddenly darts out of roadside foliage directly into the path of a vehicle. It happens in a split-second, and the driver doesn’t have time to hit the brakes or swerve.

Sometimes, according to traffic experts, it’s better to simply brace for the impact rather than try to swerve to miss a deer. Depending on speed, road conditions and oncoming traffic, swerving to try to avoid hitting the deer could result in a more serious accident than if the deer were struck.

During the fall mating season is when deer are most active, as bucks chase does with reckless abandon. They don’t hesitate to dart across roadways, ignoring traffic.

Contrary to some media reports, that increased autumn activity has nothing to do with hunting season. The running deer are not being pursued by hunters; the same sort of frantic activity can be witnessed in parks and other wildlife sanctuaries where no hunting is allowed.

The recent accident reinforces that fact; obviously no hunting was taking place in mid-summer to prompt the deer to dash across the road.

About all motorists can do to hopefully avoid a collision is slow down and remain vigilant when driving through areas in which deer are abundant. Deer are most active in early morning and late afternoon, but their movements are not restricted to those times; sometimes they cross roads in the middle of the day.

Deer frequently feed along roadways where the grass is lush. When a browsing deer is spotted, slow down. It could bolt into the road at any moment.

This time of year look out for fawns. They may follow their mother across a road, completely oblivious to roaring traffic.

If one deer darts across the road, slow down and look out. Chances are another one or two will follow.

If you hit a deer, don’t stop in the road if your vehicle is drivable. Drive to where there is ample room to pull over, out of the way of other traffic.

Don’t approach an injured deer. The thrashing hooves of even a small deer can be dangerous.

In the event of vehicle damage, contact the highway patrol or local law enforcement officials. The accident report will assist with insurance claims.

Slowing down and staying alert is about the only way to avoid hitting a deer. And sometimes even that’s not enough.

Trousdale County defeats Gallatin 20-14 in Tobacco Bowl Jamboree

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Kobe Ford (2) celebrates his touchdown run with teammate Tarvaris Claiborne (7) during the Yellow Jackets’ 20-14 win over Gallatin in the Tobacco Bowl Jamboree on Friday.

Trousdale County gave itself a boost of confidence headed into next week’s season opener as the Yellow Jackets defeated Gallatin 20-14 on Friday night in the 30th Tobacco Bowl Jamboree.

The Yellow Jackets’ first-team offense scored all three times it had the ball, with runs by Jayden Hicks, Cameron Rankins and Kobe Ford.

“Our offense did a really good job of setting the tempo. I think we had some good runs,” said Yellow Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “We had some great blocks too.”

“We just need to keep getting better. We’re nowhere near where we want to be yet.”

Waggoner said he loved the energy his Yellow Jackets played with but said he wants to see that effort sustained for four quarters against Lebanon next week.

“The competition gets much tougher. Lebanon is going to be a very tough football team. If we have a great week of preparation, hopefully we’ll put ourselves in position to win the ballgame.”

Trousdale County will host Lebanon next Friday to open the 2018 season. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.

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

Yellow Jackets set to host Gallatin in Tobacco Bowl Jamboree

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets will have their final scrimmage of the preseason when they play the Gallatin Green Wave on Friday in the 30th annual Tobacco Bowl Jamboree at 8:30 p.m. on the Creekbank.

“We look forward to getting back to work and having one more scrimmage to work on things we need to work on before we start the real thing in another week,” said coach Brad Waggoner. “It’s been a good summer, but it’s about that time to get the season started.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Dyson Satterfield breaks through the Portland defense on his way to a touchdown during last week’s scrimmage.

The jamboree will get under way at 5:30 p.m. Friday when Red Boiling Springs takes on Station Camp’s freshman squad.

At 6:30 p.m., the Clay County Bulldogs will go up against Gallatin’s freshmen. At 7:30 p.m., the Smith County Owls will take on Station Camp’s varsity.

Admission to the jamboree is $5.

Scrimmages: Trousdale County had two scrimmages last week against Portland and BGA.

The Yellow Jackets pretty much had their way at Portland on July 30 but lost 24-12 at home to BGA on Friday.

“They were good scrimmages that allowed us to work on ourselves,” Waggoner said. “We saw some good things and some things we have to work on, which is typical for scrimmages.”

JSMS to start season: The Jim Satterfield Jr. Jackets will kick off their 2018 football schedule with a trip to Stone Memorial in Crossville on Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. start.

The Jr. Jackets are being coached by Matt Dyer and Hayden Williams.

Hunters trying to keep coyote numbers in check

The coyote population continues to explode in Middle Tennessee, and expert predator hunter Marc Larese says now is the perfect time to reduce the pack.

“This is the most effective time of the year to hunt coyotes,” says Larese, a representative of FoxPro Game Calls and CamoBoy hunting clothing.

“There are a lot of young coyotes who haven’t been hunted, and the older coyotes are very protective and territorial. When they hear a call in their area, they respond to it.”

Submitted photo
Marc Larese bagged these coyotes on a recent hunt.

The summer pelts of coyotes are scruffy and of no commercial value, unlike the prime pelts harvested during last winter’s predator hunt hosted by Larese and the Wilson County Coon Hunters club. The coyotes and bobcats killed during that hunt were collected by a furrier who processed the pelts.

But Larese points out that the main purpose of hunting coyotes is to reduce the population of the nuisance animals. That’s why the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency allows coyote hunting year-round, with no limit.

“Anyone who enjoys deer hunting or watching deer and other wildlife should be in favor of reducing the coyote population,” Larese says. “This time of year, coyotes wreak havoc on fawns.”

Larese says earlier this summer a friend installed a trail camera near a coyote den to observe their actions.

“In just one month the coyotes in that single den killed nine fawns,” he says. “And that’s just the fawns they brought back to den. No telling how many more were eaten where they were killed.”

One wildlife study found that coyotes killed approximately 50 percent of fawns in some areas.

“They don’t prey only on fawns, but also on other wildlife,” Larese says. “In addition to wildlife, they will kill cats and small dogs if they get the opportunity. They are the ultimate predator, and they’ll prey on whatever they can catch.”

How dense is the coyote population in this area? Larese says he recently killed five coyotes on three short hunts on a Smith County farm.

“On one hunt I called in three coyotes, shot one, and the other two ran off,” he says. “That gives you some idea of how many there are – I killed one out of three. You’ll never get rid of them by hunting; all you can do is try to control the population. And even that’s hard, because the size of coyote litters fluctuates, based on population. In an area where the population is reduced, the size of next year’s litters increases.”

Larese adds with a chuckle:

“It’s nature’s way of making sure we always have plenty of coyotes.”

Since migrating into the Southeast from the West and Southwest some three decades ago, coyotes have become common sights, even in urban areas. They are at home in suburbs where they cannot be hunted, and where leg-hold traps are generally banned. A cunning coyote is almost impossible to catch in a live-trap.

Residents are advised not to leave pet food or garbage outdoors because it will attract any coyotes in the area. Once they eat the garbage, the family pet may be next on the menu.

With the increase in coyotes, predator hunting has grown in popularity, including competitive hunts such as the one conducted by Larese last year. He plans to hold another hunt this winter.

“Hunting is the only way to control coyotes,” he says. “If they aren’t controlled they’ll impact every other wildlife species.”

Lebanon shoot raises $3,000 for woman

The Crystal Brown Benefit trap shoot recently hosted by the Cedar City Gun Club drew over 60 shooters and raised more than $3,000 to aid the Lebanon woman’s battle with cancer.

The Cedar City Gun Club was joined by the Nashville Gun Club and the Cross Creek Clays of Palmyra.

Additional donations can be made through the Cedar City Gun Club.

For information about club memberships, upcoming events and the Wilson County interscholastic trap-shooting team, contact Kerry Hale at 615-519-2934.

Elk raffle: Aug. 15 is the deadline for purchasing a raffle ticket for this fall’s elk hunt. The $10 tickets can be purchased on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation website.

The raffle permit winner, along with winners of the TWRA’s blind-draw permits, will be announced in coming weeks.

Elk watching: An “elk cam” has been set up for viewing elk on an East Tennessee Wildlife Management Area. The cam can be accessed on the TWRA website, tnwildlife.org

Friends of NRA: The annual Wilson County Friends of NRA banquet/fundraiser will be held Sept. 22 at the Expo Center. Advance tickets can be purchased at The Reloader’s Bench (615-754-7178), The Gun Room (615-453-6030) or from Eddie Kirkus (615-553-8721).

Hunter Ed: hunting seasons are coming up, and anyone born after Jan. 1, 1969 must complete a Hunter Education Class in order to get a hunting license. Information about the classes, including on-line, is available at tnwildlife.org

A special license, with certain restrictions, is available for those who don’t complete the class in time for hunting season. Detailed information is listed in the Tennessee Hunting Guide, available at most outdoors outlets.

Yellow Jackets scrimmage with Upperman, Portland

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets practiced in full pads last week and worked in a scrimmage with Upperman on Thursday night.

The Yellow Jackets also traveled to Portland on Monday evening for the second of three planned scrimmages.

Amanda Gregory / For The Vidette
An unidentified Trousdale County running backs breaks through the Upperman defense for a touchdown during last week’s scrimmage.

“Scrimmages give us a chance to evaluate where we are and things we need to work on,” said coach Brad Waggoner. “It was good to see us line up against someone else, but like I told the kids, we have lots to work on to get where we want to be.”

The Jackets will host BGA on Friday at 6 p.m. for the third and final scrimmage. The Wildcats went 11-2 in 2017 and could contend for the Division II-AA state championship. Standout linebacker Chico Bennett (6-4, 215) has committed to Georgia Tech.

“We look forward to getting back to work this week and improving our fundamentals,” Waggoner said. “We have less than three weeks before the season and we have a lot of work to do!”

Trousdale County will play Gallatin in the 30th annual Tobacco Bowl Jamboree on Aug. 10 and opens the 2018 season at home on Aug. 17 against the Lebanon Blue Devils.

1993 champs to be honored: Trousdale County will mark the 25th anniversary of its 1993 Class A state championship at halftime of the Sept. 14 game against Westmoreland.

All members of the 1993 team, along with coaches, managers and cheerleaders will receive free admission to the game.

High school sports teams conducting various fundraisers

Both the Trousdale County football and baseball teams are currently conducting fundraisers.


The football team is selling discount cards for $20, with offers including Sonic, La Quesadilla, Papa John’s and Early Bird Café. Cards may be purchased from any member of the Yellow Jacket football team.

The baseball squad is holding its first “Haulin’ Butt & Ribs Around the Diamond” event and is selling racks of ribs or Boston butt roasts. The cost is $15 per rack or $25 per roast.

They will come fully cooked and vacuum packed courtesy of Gino’s BBQ, Inc., and can be picked up on Aug. 30 from 6-8 p.m. at the baseball field.

For more information, call Rene Pridemore, 615-655-4549, Kim Chumley, 615-374-1204 or Jenesia Ellis, 615-633-7352.

Additionally, the TCHS volleyball team is selling popcorn, per Facebook posts.

Marching Band to hold Saturday roadblock fundraiser

The Trousdale County Band Boosters will be conducting a roadblock and car wash fundraiser on Saturday morning in Hartsville.

Band members will be at both traffic lights along Highway 25 from 8 a.m. until noon collecting donations. Also, a car wash will be held at Citizens Bank to also raise money for the high school band.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
The Trousdale County High School Marching Yellow Jackets debuted their new uniforms and won top honors during Saturday’s Christmas Parade.

“Our fundraisers help with getting instruments, extra instruction when needed, and many others things that the band and kids need to make our band great. We have in the past been able to get them new uniforms partly from our fundraisers,” said Janet Boles, whose husband Martin is the new president of the Band Boosters.

According to band director Rob Joines, there are 49 students participating in band this school year – one of the largest numbers in recent memory.

The annual Marching Yellow Jacket Invitational, which serves as the largest fundraiser for the band, is also scheduled for Sept. 29. In past years, the Hartsville competition has been among the largest in the state with up to 30 bands attending.

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

Yellow Jacket Golf Scramble winners

Submitted photo

The foursome of Bobby Enoch, Bill Beene, Kaleb Holland and Jerry Richmond won the Yellow Jacket Golf Scramble last Saturday with a total score of 15-under 56.

The tournament serves as a fundraiser for the Yellow Jacket football team.

Jerry Thompson was Hall of Famer as fisherman and friend

Jerry “Tub” Thompson, famed newspaperman, TV personality and one of my favorite fishing buddies, will be posthumously inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame on Aug. 7 in Murfreesboro.

I was honored with an induction last year, along with Wilson County resident Leon Alligood, a longtime friend and fellow newspaperman. It will be special to be joined by Thompson and the other inductees, including Frank Gibson, Dan Whittle, Randy Smith and Channel 2’s Bob Mueller, all great guys and personal pals.

If you thought it was fun to watch Thompson’s features on Tennessee Crossroads, or read his newspaper columns – which could make you laugh one minute and cry the next – you should have shared a fishing boat with him.

Submitted photo
From left: Bob Sherborne, Larry Woody and Jerry Thompson on a long-ago Louisiana fishing trip.

I did for many years, usually joined by cohort Bob Sherborne. Thompson never allowed fishing to interfere with his fishing trips, and some of the hijinks are priceless.

During one overnight trip to Kentucky Lake, all Thompson and Sherborne could catch were drum, considered inedible in most of the civilized world. Not ones to allow civilization to stand in their way, Thompson and Sherborne decided to try some.

The drum smelled delicious while cooking, but when time came to eat them, the fish had the texture of rubber. He suggested they throw out the drum and cook a tennis shoe instead. He said it would be easier to chew, and probably taste better.

We were fishing on Kentucky Lake one night when a snake dropped into the boat from an over-hanging limb. Thompson tried to climb out one side of the boat and Sherborne the other. I managed to flip the harmless water snake out of the boat before they capsized us.

On another trip to Kentucky Lake, Thompson was speeding across the water when the boat hit a wake, flipped upside down and went sailing through the air. He said he knew he was in trouble when he opened his eyes and instead of sky, he saw water.

He lost all his fishing tackle, but he didn’t get a scratch. The same couldn’t be said for the boat.

At the start of one trip, Thompson and his brother Ronnie launched the boat, and it slowly began to sink. Ignoring the sinking boat, Jerry and Ronnie stood on the ramp and engaged in a heated argument over who was supposed to have put in the drain plug.

Thompson, Sherborne and I spent a week fishing in Louisiana one summer. Thompson knew some wild Cajuns who lived back in the bayous. They took us out fishing every day and out partying every night. A Cajun party lasts until sunrise, when it’s time to resume fishing. I think we caught some fish, but I’m not sure; the entire trip is still kind of fuzzy.

He was a sucker for fishing gadgets. He once purchased something called a Scale-o-Matic – a wire basket inside which jagged teeth twirled as it was pulled through the water. The instructions said to put your fish in the basket, tow it around, and the spinning turbine-like teeth would scale the fish.

We tried it out during a trip on which we caught a batch of big crappie. Thompson dumped them into the Scale-o-Matic, closed the lid, and roared across the lake, towing the contraption on a rope behind the boat.

After several minutes Sherborne suggested they might be done, but Thompson wanted to make sure, and kept going. Finally he stopped, hauled in the Scale-o-Matic, and dumped out the contents. All that was left of the fish were assorted bones, fins and eyeballs. Our prize catch had been chewed to bits.

“Well,” shrugged Thompson, “it worked. There’s not a scale left on them.”

We lost Thompson a few years ago after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Fishing – and life in general – hasn’t been nearly as much fun without him.

Yellow Jackets put on pads, prepare for scrimmage

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets went to full pads for practice this week and will welcome Upperman to town for a scrimmage Thursday at 6 p.m.

On Monday, the Jackets will travel to Portland for another scrimmage. The time on that one has yet to be determined.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County linemen go through agility drills during workouts on Monday.

“I look forward to seeing our guys compete and where we are at this point,” said Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “We have some competition at several positions and I am looking to see which guys step up to the challenge.

“These scrimmages allow us to work on things and see our players compete.”

The Jackets had 43 players dress out this week for practice.

Golf tournament: The 10th annual Yellow Jacket Golf Scramble will be held on Saturday 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.

Bass hybrids make for a fun fishing challenge

I’ve made several trips to Percy Priest Lake in recent years trying to catch some of the hard-fighting hybrids – technically, Cherokee bass – that live there, with no luck.

I’d talk with fishermen who claimed to have loaded boat with schooling hybrids, but it was always, “You should have been here yesterday.”

Finally, yesterday arrived.

While fishing with Chuck Campbell the other day, we finally found them. Actually, Chuck and some of his buddies had been hauling in hybrids on several trips, but never when I was along.

The jinx came to a jolting halt after about a half-hour on the water when I cast a weighted spoon toward a school of bait fish skipping on the surface and a chunky hybrid tried to snatch the rod from my hand.

Submitted photo
Chuck Campbell hoists a Percy Priest hybrid.

The fish peeled off line, reel screeching, as it made a dive into the 35-foot depths. I fought it alongside the boat, thrashing and splashing, but before Chuck could slip the net under it the line popped.

I re-tied and resumed casting, and minutes later had another hard strike. This time the line and my luck both held, and I managed to get the fish in the boat. It weighed just under four ponds.

For the rest of the morning we caught fish. Chuck landed the biggest, a 7-pound, 11-ouncer. Most of the others were between three and four pounds.

That’s far from the Percy Priest Lake record hybrid (20 pounds, 10 ounces) caught by David Lawrence in 2016, or the state record, a 23-pound, 3-ouncer caught in the Stones River below Percy Priest dam in 1998 by Ray Pelfrey. But a hybrid that pushes four pounds will give you a fight to remember. When you start catching them in numbers, they will also give you arm and wrist cramps. Pound-for-pound, there’s not a harder-fighting fish.

Percy Priest’s hybrids are another in a long line of success stories for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Biologist Todd St. John says the Agency began stocking hybrids in Percy Priest Lake in 1981, and since then the Agency has stocked approximately 100,000 a year.

Hybrids are a cross between a striped bass (rockfish) and a white bass. They do not naturally reproduce; all are hatchery-raised. Along with Percy Priest, Times Ford Lake is the other Middle Tennessee lake that receives an annual hybrid stocking, along with some East Tennessee waters.

The hybrids are 2-3 inches long when released in June each year, and in three years the fingerlings grow to about 20 inches. That makes them legal on Priest, which has a 15-inch minimum for hybrid keepers. After that their growth slows, length-wise, but the fish continue to grow broader and ticker.

The life span of a hybrid is believed to be around 10 years. St. John says that lack of longevity could be due to the fact hybrids are voracious feeders and can be readily caught by knowledgeable anglers. In other words, most hybrids succumb to a hook in the jaw before reaching old age.

The majority of hybrid fishermen practice catch-and-release, but St. John says the population on Priest is stable and can withstand harvesting a two-fish daily limit.

Hybrids, like rockfish and white bass, are an excellent table fish if prepared properly. That includes removing the reddish-brown membrane found between the skin and flesh. Once rinsed and soaked in salt water, the fillets are delicious when baked in a saucepan swimming in a pool of melted butter with dash of lemon juice. That’s where mine ended up.

Yellow Jackets go through 7-on-7 football workouts

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets took part in the Riverdale 7-on-7 competition on July 12 and finished with a 2-3 record on the day.

The highlight for the Jackets was a victory over Columbia Academy, which lost in the Class 2A semifinals last year to eventual champion Union City.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
A Smith County defender (4) breaks up a pass in the end zone for an unidentified Trousdale County receiver during 7-on-7 workouts last week.

The Jackets also brought in Smith County on Friday for some 7-on-7 competition.

“It was a great two days of work with 7 on 7,” said Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “We got to play all our players and got a lot of work with our younger guys as well. We rotated games with older and younger guys and different quarterbacks. So it was a great experience for our players.”

The Jackets will begin practice in full pads on Monday and will host Upperman for a scrimmage on July 26. A time had not been determined as of press time.

Golf tournament: The 10th annual Yellow Jacket Golf Scramble will be held on Saturday, July 28 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.

Summer provides a music all its own for those who listen

Garrison Keillor, in his classic “Lake Wobegon Summer of 1956,” calls it Summer Music.

He reminisces about the familiar sounds of summer, some of which we first heard as kids and nostalgically remember for the rest of our lives: the drowsy drone of a lawn mower in distance, the swish-swish-swish of a lawn sprinkler, the creaking of a rocking chair on a front porch, the contented sigh of an old dog dozing under the steps.

I thought of one we don’t hear any more: the squeak-squeak of a handle being cranked on an old-fashioned, wooden ice-cream bucket. Fidgeting while waiting for the homemade ice cream to become frozen in its bed of rock salt whetted the appetite. When the lid was finally opened and the ice cream dipped out, we ate so much so fast our heads ached.

Submitted photo
Take time to enjoy the music of summer.

Nowadays nobody hand-cranks an ice-cream bucket. It’s done electronically, and the hum of a motor somehow doesn’t sound as delicious.

Re-reading Keillor’s book for the umpteenth time the other day got me to thinking about summer music of the outdoors variety. Since this is an outdoors column, here’s some I came up with:

The gurgle of a summer brook. In the summertime the creek behind my house is reduced to a trickle, and that trickle over the rocks sings a gurgling lullaby – a far cry from the rushing cascade when the creek is wintertime high.

The trill of a mockingbird. Every summer mockingbirds set up housekeeping in a bush outside our bedroom window. For the first 30 summers their constant nighttime chirping kept me awake. Now I can’t sleep without it. Our granddaughter named one resident Mr. Sing-Along.

Bullfrogs. As teenagers we used to hunt bullfrogs as they sang bass in the reedy banks of farm ponds beneath the glow of an amber moon. Frog hunting was mostly just an excuse for my buddies and me to get out at night and ponder such cosmic wonders as homecoming queen Mary Jane Wattenbarger.

Whip-poor-wills. Old folks claimed their mournful cry signaled an imminent death. Last summer during trip back home to visit an aging relative I heard my first whip-poor-will in many years. It made me sad. How did it know?

Train whistle. I guess it’s not technically an “outdoors” sound; I used to listen to a train moan off in the distance as I lay in my bed at night and imagined all the exciting places it was bound for. But we also could hear the lonesome wail during camping trips, so it counts.

The pop and crackle of a campfire. Speaking of summertime camping trips, we didn’t need a campfire for warmth, but it was a requisite for heating beanie-weenies and providing atmosphere.

Summer rain. Whether it is whispering through overhead leaves or pattering on a tin roof, a summer rain is different from a winter rain. A winter rain is drumming and harsh. A summer rain is gentle and soothing.

Katydids. The most nostalgic of all summer music. As a kid I used to listen to them argue outside my open window at night: “Katy did!” “Katy didn’t!” “Yes she did!” “No she didn’t!”  I wondered who Katy was, and what she was accused of doing that had those little green bugs in such a dither.

Now decades later I sit on the porch on warm summer evenings, like those so long ago, and listen to the katydids’ serenade. And I still wonder…

Yellow Jackets resume summer football workouts

The two-week dead period has come and gone, and now the Trousdale County Yellow Jackets have begun ramping up their preparations for the upcoming 2018 football season.

After resuming summer practice on Monday, the Jackets will travel to Riverdale on Thursday as one of 26 teams to participate in a 7-on-7 passing event.

“We look forward to competing at Riverdale this Thursday in their annual 7-on-7 camp,” said coach Brad Waggoner. “It will be a great opportunity for us to get a lot of work in.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Coach Brad Waggoner, left, works with Trousdale County lineman on blocking drills during practice on Monday.

On Friday, the Jackets are scheduled to conduct a morning practice while also getting in some 7-on-7 work against Smith County. The start time of the 7-on-7 event had not been determined as of press time.

“I view these 7-on-7 days as practice days to get better with our route running and timing with quarterbacks and receivers, and defensively to make sure we are dropping in correct zones and our linebackers and secondary are fitting together,” Waggoner said.

“I am looking for effort and looking for guys to make plays.”

The Jackets will hold the 30th annual Tobacco Bowl Jamboree on Friday, Aug. 10 and will open the 2018 football season on Aug. 17 at home against Lebanon.

Yellow Jacket Golf Scramble to be held July 28

The 10th annual Yellow Jacket Golf Scramble will be held on Saturday, July 28 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.

Black bear sightings reported in Smith County

Facebook reports of a black bear in Smith County were circulating on social media earlier this week.

On Monday morning, the Smith County Insider reported that a resident of the Defeated community had spotted a bear running across the road and had posted two pictures to Facebook.

Residents of Kempville, near the Smith/Jackson County line, reportedly saw the bear in their area on Sunday morning.

Photo courtesy of nps.gov / J.Mills

A number of bear sightings have been reported in the Cookeville and Livingston areas since early June.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has been informed of the sightings in Smith County.

The TWRA website instructs Tennesseans to remember that, while bears are usually tolerant of humans, they are still wild animals and should be treated with caution and respect.

The TWRA also provides these guidelines intended to help “minimize many unnecessary and potentially dangerous encounters” with black bears:

  • Never feed or approach bears!
  • If a bear approaches you in the wild, it is probably trying to assess your presence.
  • If you see a black bear from a distance, alter your route of travel, return the way you came, or wait until it leaves the area.
  • Make your presence known by yelling and shouting at the bear in an attempt to scare it away.
  • If approached by a bear, stand your ground, raise your arms to appear larger, yell and throw rocks or sticks until it leaves the area.
  • When camping, keep all food stored in a vehicle and away from tents.
  • Never run from a black bear! This will often trigger its natural instinct to chase.
  • If a black bear attacks, fight back aggressively and do not play dead! Use pepper spray, sticks, rocks, or anything you can find to defend yourself.
  • If cornered or threatened, bears may slap the ground, “pop” their jaws, or “huff” as a warning. If you see these behaviors, you are too close! Slowly back away while facing the animal at all times.

The TWRA encourages the reporting of any bear sightings via its website: tn.gov/twra.