Trousdale County football prepares for modified summer workouts

Student-athletes in Trousdale County were beginning to resume their respective sports this week with tryouts scheduled for basketball, volleyball and cheerleading.

Of course for Yellow Jacket fans, wondering what would happen with football has been a subject of intense interest.

The Vidette spoke with second-year coach Blake Satterfield, who said that summer workouts were ready to begin as well, but with restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re under those same regulations,” Satterfield said. “We get to start on May 26. Now, we have to be in groups of 10 and only two coaches per 10.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County football staffers measure and weigh seniors Heath Chasse (seated, left) and Jayden Hicks (on scale, right) on Tuesday.

Players were coming in this week by class in order to be measured for height and weight, have headshots taken and pick up equipment.

Satterfield said his staff would bring in 10 players at a time throughout the day once practice begins, “maybe a group of linemen and maybe a group of skill guys.”

Incoming freshmen may be limited to one or two days per week to begin with, the coach said. There were 18 incoming freshmen that signed up for football before school was canceled, as well as 45 upperclassmen.

Satterfield said his staff might have a group of players on the practice field and another group in the weight room at the same time. That is permissible under social distancing guidelines as long as the two groups do not mix. Equipment will have to be sanitized between workout sessions as well.

“We’ll have a coaches’ meeting and see what coaches can do and go from there,” Satterfield said. “As long as they follow those guidelines, we’ll be fine.

“It’s trial and error in what we can and can’t do. It’s a weird time.”

Satterfield said there had been no word from the TSSAA with regards to the regular season, which is scheduled to begin in August.

“They say go by the TSSAA calendar, which means starting after graduation; that’s what we’re doing… There’s still going to be a dead period… Hopefully all this gets lifted by July when we start putting pads on.”

Satterfield said his staff had talked to players about staying in shape during the spring. Players would normally be lifting weights and working out under coaches’ supervision, but the school closure made that impossible.

Players could often be seen running along the streets of Hartsville and Satterfield said he was pleased with the effort his kids were making.

“I’ve been in contact with the kids on a weekly basis… started sending them daily workouts and a conditioning program. Every day they’ve had guidance.”

For those who did not have access to weights at their homes, the coach said his staff provided alternate workouts that could be substituted, such as push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups, and agility drills such as jumping on the back of a truck’s tailgate.

In some cases Satterfield even took equipment from the school’s weight room to players, as long as the equipment could be stored safely.

“Coach (Paul) Pitts and I delivered it to kids,” Satterfield said. “I took the bench, clean and squat racks and gave them the workout we were doing before all this corona stuff hit.

“My mission statement was if they couldn’t come to the weight room, I’d bring the weight room to them.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]

Lebanon’s Jimmy Floyd Center reopens

The Jimmy Floyd Family Center in Lebanon reopened on May 21 after being closed for weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The city-owned center, which includes exercise facilities, indoor and outdoor pools, racquetball and basketball courts and an aerobics studio, will be operating under restrictions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Center Director Tim Hill said he and his staff have spent the last two months deep cleaning, painting and updating the 20-year-old facility, which has about 6,000 members, not including the Cumberland University students who have access.

Mike Alexieff / Lebanon Democrat
Cassie Blum, a part-time lifeguard at the Jimmy Floyd Center, checks the indoor pool’s chlorine level.

“I’m ready for people to get back in here,” Hill said, even as he acknowledged the difficulty that will come with the restrictions.

A limited number of people will be allowed in at a time, he said. That will be 30 in the wellness room, which includes treadmills and exercise machines, 45 on the walking track, 30 in the indoor pool and three in the free weights room. Aerobics classes will be limited to 10, or 20 if the class is held in the basketball gym.

People will have their temperature taken as they enter, and if it’s 100.4 degrees or above, they will be turned away. The basketball and racquetball courts will remain closed, as will the daycare.

“The patrons have got to use common sense,” Hill said. “I’m not going to walk around and say, ‘Y’all separate.’ ”

Nichol Teague, the center’s marketing and programming director, is also ready to be open again.

“You grow so close to patrons that come here over the years,” said Teague, who like Hill has been at the center for 20 years. “And to not see them, you wonder and worry about how they’re doing.”

Teague said most of her instructors are returning.

“What I’m seeing is the ones in the health care industry, they’re the ones a little more cautious about coming back,” she said. “Some of the others, the stay-at-home moms, the teachers, are more eager.”

Hill said normally the outdoor pool would have opened Saturday for the traditional Memorial Day weekend, but because of the shutdown it won’t be opening until mid-June. While his staff works to hire the lifeguards needed to open, he has the lounge chairs set out around the pool in pairs six feet apart.

Until the outdoor pool opens, only current members will be allowed to use the facility. If a membership expired during the closure, call Melinda Stockton 615-453-4545 ext. 6105 or Hill 615-453-4545 ext. 6106 to get it renewed. No new memberships will be sold until the entire facility is open for use.

Trousdale schools announce sports tryout dates

Trousdale County High School and Jim Satterfield Middle School have announced tryout dates for various sports.

Director of Schools Clint Satterfield made the announcements in his video message Monday morning.

“We are presently trying to phase those activities back into what we do with schools,” Satterfield said. “Our school facilities are not open to the general public.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

The school system is following guidance received from both the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association and Gov. Bill Lee’s office. As part of that guidance, gatherings are to be kept to 10 people or less, social distancing is to be maintained and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control is also to be followed.

“Even though we may be having basketball tryouts, football tryouts, cheerleader tryouts, those are only for participants,” Satterfield said.

Volleyball tryouts at TCHS will be held Tuesday, May 26 in two sessions from 8-9:30 a.m. and 9:30-11 a.m. Anyone interested in trying out should contact coach Brooke Jenkins at [email protected]

Girls’ basketball tryouts will be held Wednesday, May 27 from 10-11 a.m. for incoming freshmen and from 11 a.m.-noon for non-returning players. Those interested in trying out should contact coach Jared Hawkins at [email protected]

Boys’ basketball tryouts will be held on May 26 from noon-1 p.m. for incoming freshmen. Juniors and seniors will practice from 1-2:30 p.m. and sophomores will practice from 2:30-4 p.m. Email Ryan Sleeper ([email protected]) to get on the schedule.

Cheerleading tryouts for the high school squad will be held May 27. Email [email protected] for tryout information.

At JSMS, girls’ basketball tryouts will be May 26 in three hour-long sessions from 9 a.m.-noon. Only 10 athletes will be allowed per session and no walk-ups will be allowed. Those wishing to try out must email Cody Greer ([email protected]) to schedule a tryout spot.

Volleyball tryouts will be May 27 and again, players must schedule a tryout spot by emailing Krystul Gregory ([email protected]). Tryouts will be in hour-long sessions from 9 a.m.-noon with only 10 athletes allowed per session.

Cheerleading at JSMS will have practice dates on May 26 and 27 from 2-3 p.m. Tryouts will be from 2-3 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 with no walk-ups allowed. Email Ashley Ewen ([email protected]) to schedule a tryout spot.

For band, parents of incoming seventh-graders wishing to be in the Advanced Band class at JSMS for the fall of 2020 are asked to email Band Director Rob Joines at [email protected],org.

No announcements had been made as of press time regarding football.

The TSSAA last week held online video conferences with medical experts, school superintendents and athletic directors to discuss guidelines for returning to sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the association has not released an official plan for coaches to follow.

TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress added that so long as the individual school systems allow it, teams can begin workouts and conditioning as coaches and administrators see fit.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected] Contributing: Stephen Hargis, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Corps of Engineers starts to reopen campgrounds

As part of a phased approach for reopening facilities as part of its COVID-19 reopening plan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is opening its corps-managed campgrounds within the Cumberland River Basin in Tennessee on June 1.

Nashville District’s corps-managed campgrounds in Kentucky will reopen June 11 in alignment with Kentucky’s recently announced “Phase 2” reopening plan. Campground reservations were previously expected to be canceled through May 31. Individuals with reservations impacted by this closure will have an opportunity to modify their reservation in order to avoid cancellation of dates beyond June 10. The deadline to complete any modifications to reservations is May 25. After that date all reservations will be cancelled and full refunds will be issued.

While these campgrounds and most day use areas will be accessible for visitors to enjoy in June, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. For example, group picnic shelters and developed swimming areas will remain closed at this time. Visitor centers and resource manager’s offices will re-open for limited public access.

Issuance of special-event permits, special-activity permits or letters of permission for small gatherings, as well as small USACE sponsored events to include interpretive programs, public meetings, and other public gatherings, can resume in accordance with federal, state or local guidelines for social gatherings.

“Protecting the health and safety of the recreating public, volunteers, contractors and our personnel remains our highest priority,” said Lt. Col. Sonny B. Avichal, Nashville District commander. “We will continue to assess the situation and will conduct a phased reopening of additional areas/events as state and local guidelines allow social gathering sizes commensurate with the capacity of the amenity or proposed event. We will share those updates with the public as they become available.”

This announcement applies to all Corps-managed campgrounds and recreation areas at Lake Barkley, Lake Cumberland, Laurel River Lake and Martins Fork Lake in Kentucky, and Cheatham Lake, J. Percy Priest Lake, Old Hickory Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, Center Hill Lake and Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee.

State-operated or concessionaire operated campgrounds at Corps Lakes have their own policies in place. The Nashville District recommends that the public contact the respective state agencies for their operating status.

At the time of this news release, boat ramps as well as parks that were already open or not able to be closed remain open. Restrooms in open areas were opened as needed May 1. Day-use areas will not charge a fee until at least Oct. 1.

The Corps of Engineers reminds all visitors to follow these steps to recreate responsibly: honor the six-foot social distance rule, stay away from parks and recreation areas if you are sick or have symptoms, keep parks clean by practicing “pack in and pack out” etiquette, and always wear a life jacket when near the water.

It’s football season or bust for TSSAA

In just more than four months, high school football season is scheduled to kick off across Tennessee, bringing with it the return of a much-needed sense of normalcy.

However, a return to any playing field for high school sports will depend on concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic improving.

When the TSSAA was forced to cancel the remainder of the girls’ and boys’ state basketball tournaments as well as the entire spring sports season because of the pandemic, it cost the state’s prep sports governing body $1.1 million in lost revenue.

Executive director Bernard Childress said the financial reserve the TSSAA has built through the years would ensure the organization can withstand such losses. But should health concerns linger and force campuses to remain closed into next school year – either severely cutting into or canceling football season outright – Childress admitted the TSSAA could not recover from the resulting financial losses.

“To lose football would be devastating,” Childress said. “I cannot see a scenario where we could survive losing football, plain and simple. It’s no secret that you could combine the postseason for every other sport and it wouldn’t add up to what football brings in. There are several other sports where even the championship tournaments actually lose money.

“In order to make our budget, the state has to depend on the revenue from football.”

The TSSAA takes 50 percent of ticket sales revenue from every football playoff game, with teams splitting the remainder. The revenue from football accounts for nearly one-third of the TSSAA’s annual operating budget of close to $3.6 million.

“We’re an organization of schools,” Childress said. “We thrive when our schools thrive, and our member schools need those home football gates from the regular-season games because they use that money for the nonrevenue sports.

“Not getting to have a full football season would not only be devastating for us as an organization but for the schools as well, because the ripple effect would be putting some of the nonrevenue sports in real danger since football helps fund several of those.”

According to TSSAA figures, attendance for the first four rounds of the 2018 playoffs brought in $1,382,426. After paying for game officials ($172,581.50) and catastrophic insurance ($345,606.50), the 229 teams that reached the playoffs split $691,213 ($3,018.40 per school) and the TSSAA cleared $173,025.

Those figures do not include the championship games, but the association receives an additional $253,000 from the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce each year for the right to host the nine finals at Tennessee Tech.

Because football is so integral to the financial wellbeing of both the TSSAA and most high schools’ athletic budgets, Childress said all options to play the season will be considered and that the organization would stress regular-season games over the playoffs.

“Nothing is off the table as far as what we’ll discuss in terms of getting the football season played,” Childress said. “I don’t really like to get into hypotheticals, but I did see where some college athletic directors mentioned that they would be willing to back their football season up a couple of months and even play into January if necessary. Even that would be something to consider for us.

“If the start of school were to get pushed back, we would make the recommendation to start the football season however late it takes to try and get as much of a regular season in as possible because those home gates are so important to the schools. Even if that means shortening the playoffs or pushing the championship games past the first weekend in December, I’m sure Tennessee Tech and the folks with the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce would be willing to work with us.”

Potentially pushing the start of football season back would mean overlapping into winter sports, including basketball and wrestling, but Childress added that if that were the case, the organization would recommend shortening those winter seasons.

“It’s not ideal, but at least those winter sports got to play their regular season last year,” Childress said. “We have to play the football season, and our other priority would be to do everything possible to have a complete spring sports season since those kids missed everything this year.”

Last week the TSSAA sent a memo to all member schools outlining how summer workouts and practices should be handled. Football teams will be allowed to return to the weight room once the scheduled last day of school for each individual system passes.

The two-week dead period, which runs from June 22 through July 5, remains in place. Teams will be allowed to begin preseason conditioning on July 6, giving them seven weeks to prepare for what would be the first week of regular-season games.

Ex-hoops star Shelby Jane Petty commits to Vermont

Former Trousdale County girls basketball star Shelby Jane Petty has committed to play for the University of Vermont.

Petty’s parents, Shane and Jennifer, made the announcement via Facebook on Sunday afternoon.

“We are blessed beyond measure and couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments thus far,” Jennifer Petty said via social media.

Shelby Jane just completed her freshman season at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala. She averaged 11.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in helping lead her team to a 29-2 record.

Petty played her senior season at Trousdale County after transferring in from Mt. Juliet. She led the team in scoring and helped the Lady Jackets win the Friendship Christmas Tournament in 2018.

“I talked to an assistant coach last week and what they loved about Shelby was her ability to pass the ball for a shooter, and her scoring ability,” said TCHS coach Jared Hawkins. “I couldn’t be more proud of her and can’t wait to see her get to play Division I basketball.

“I had no doubt when she signed with Shelton State that she was going to go out there, play hard and make her dream come true!”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]

Coaches react to cancellation of spring sports

Shortly after Gov. Bill Lee announced last week that schools across the state of Tennessee would be closed for the remainder of the spring semester, the TSSAA reacted similarly and pulled the plug on all spring sports athletics.

Also, it means that the girls state basketball tournament, which had reached the semifinal round will not be completed, nor will the boys state tournament, which was scheduled to take place the following week in March.

Locally, though, while basketball season had long been over in Hartsville before the coronavirus pandemic hit, it is the spring sports that bear the brunt of the damage to the athletic seasons.

Baseball, softball, soccer and track seasons were all halted right around the time of spring break, and none of those sports will be seen through to completion, meaning that the seniors who were members of those teams will have their final year of eligibility come to an end just as the seasons were getting started.

“With TSSAA cancelling all spring sports for the remainder of the 2020 season it really is disappointing for our seniors,” said TCHS softball coach Blake Satterfield. “My heart goes out to them, but they will go on to have successful careers in whatever path they choose. We all wish them the best of luck.”

The softball team had just one senior – Sierra Stafford. As for the baseball team, the Jackets had four seniors – Kobe Pridemore, Will Holder, Ben Chumley and Chandler Barton.

“I feel for these seniors dearly,” said TCHS baseball coach Hayden Williams. “They were all great kids and I was really excited for this year for them to showcase their talents and what they’ve been working on all winter.”

Parents of seniors have expressed their disappointment as well.

“(It) hurts my heart for these athletes that worked so hard to play the sport they love. My senior put on his purple and gold uniform for the last time and didn’t know it,” Rene Pridemore said on Facebook. Her son, Kobe, has signed as a pitcher with Freed-Hardeman.

Both Satterfield and Williams said they hoped to be able to recognize their seniors with a ceremony of some kind, depending on how things proceed.

While the senior sports are gone, many are holding their breath and hoping that fall sports — primarily football — will be given the green light by the time they are ready to play.

“As for football, we are at the mercy of what restrictions are placed on us by TSSAA,” added Satterfield, who is also the head football coach. “Since March 16, we have not been allowed to have any organized practices and that will continue indefinitely depending on the current COVID-19 status.”

Contributing: Chris Gregory, Hartsville Vidette

TSSAA cancels all spring sports for 2020

The flicker of hope for having high school sports return to the area’s playing fields this spring has been extinguished.

The TSSAA made the announcement Wednesday afternoon that it has canceled the spring sports season for baseball, boys’ soccer, softball, tennis and track and field, as well as the remainder of the state tournaments for boys’ and girls’ basketball.

The announcement came shortly after Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s news conference announcing his decision to recommend all campuses in the state remain closed through the end of the current school year due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TSSAA’s announcement followed similar decisions made by the main state high school sports associations in both Alabama and Georgia two weeks ago.

“With the Governor’s announcement of school closure for the remainder of the school year, all remaining TSSAA events for 2019-20, including all spring sports and the postponed state basketball tournaments, are canceled,” TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said in a news release. “This is an unprecedented time across our state and country, and we do not make this decision lightly. We thank all of the participants, their coaches, administrators and parents, and everyone else who has dedicated a tremendous amount of time, passion and effort to high school athletics, especially these affected events.

“To our senior participants – we thank you for everything you have done for your schools and communities and wish you the very best in your bright futures. This is difficult, but the lessons you’ve learned and friendships you’ve made through high school activities will last your lifetime.

“We look forward to the resumption of high school athletics during the 2020-21 school year and will continue work on those events at this time. The TSSAA thanks everyone involved for their patience and understanding throughout this process.”

The girls’ basketball state tournaments for public schools had just completed the first round of games before being postponed on March 11, with semifinals and championship games remaining to be played. The boys’ state tournament had not yet begun.

Three weeks ago the TSSAA Board of Control voted unanimously to approve recommendations by Childress to postpone the basketball tournaments for public schools, rather than cancel them outright, and to push back the dates of the Spring Fling – the state championship events for baseball, boys’ soccer, softball, tennis and track and field – from May 19-22 into June if necessary.

Childress had said last week that the state’s prep sports governing body was willing to push the dates of the basketball state tournaments as well as the Spring Fling back even further into June if necessary in an attempt to play out those sports. However, Childress pointed out at the time that any plan would hinge on student-athletes returning to campuses, adding that prep sports is merely an extension of the school day.

However, with coronavirus concerns remaining, the recommended closure of campuses for the remainder of the school year left no workable timetable for games to be played, and Childress said that now the TSSAA will begin shifting discussions toward fall sports and the possibility of an abbreviated football season, should the spread of coronavirus remain a concern into the summer.

Larry Woody: Fur flies at Crossville trappers’ gathering

The fur was flying at a recent trappers’ rendezvous in Crossville.

Stacks of pelts at the annual fur sale flew off the tables as trappers across Middle Tennessee cashed in a long winter of hard work.

“This is always a popular sale,” says Lebanon’s Clarence Dies, an official with the Tennessee Fur Harvesters Association who along with wife Laura assists with the annual event. “We have trappers coming in from all over. It’s fun to see old friends and meet new ones.”

Trappers getting together to sell their pelts and socialize is a tradition dating back to the mountain men of the 1800s.

Photo by Larry Woody
A pelt is examined at the recent fur sale.

“It’s great to see the tradition carried on,” says Dies, one of thousands of fur trappers in Tennessee. They range from professionals who reap a sizable profit, to amateurs who trap mostly for the challenge and enjoyment.

Dies, an instructor at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s trapping seminars in West Tennessee, started trapping as a youngster along the Cumberland River.

“It’s something I’ve always enjoyed,” he says. “Like most trappers, I don’t do it for the money. It’s cold, hard work, and I’d hate to think what we make per hour when the furs are sold.”

Skinning a beaver and stretching and scaping the pelt can take two or three hours, depending on the speed and skill of the individual. Setting the traps, running the trapline and carrying out a heavy, water-logged beaver adds additional hours.

The payoff?

At the recent Crossville fur sale, beaver pelts brought around $20. A prime bobcat pelt sold for $42.50 and an otter pelt that a few years ago might have been worth $100 went for $27.

Raccoon pelts, once a staple of fur trappers, brought from $1-$5, depending on size and quality. Possum pelts sold for around $1.

There were pelts of coyotes, minks, muskrats and otters, and even some skunk pelts. The skunk pelts sold for as little as 75 cents.

Knoxville’s Mike McMillan is a professional trapper specializing in “skunk-removal.” He has been in business for 25 years, trapping and removing nuisance skunks from homes and businesses. He puts the pelts to use.

“I use them for crafts and novelty items,” McMillan said. “That’s about all they are good for. Not many women want a skunk-skin coat or hat.”

Coyote populations continue to expand, and their pelts outnumbered all others at the sale. Prices ranged widely, from $10 to $25, depending on quality.

Not only are trappers collecting more coyote pelts, but predator hunters also contribute to the market. Last month’s predator hunt in Wilson County brought in 38 coyotes, and the pelts were harvested by a commercial furrier.

Commercial trappers face a growing faux fur fashion trend, and also have to compete with commercial ranches that raise fur bearers.

“It’s a challenge,” Dies says, “but we’re hanging on. We’ve had good turnouts for the trapping seminars, and that’s a good sign for the future.”


School Board examines options for renovating football field

Plans for renovations to Trousdale County’s football stadium were part of the discussions during last Thursday’s School Board meeting.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

The board had previously retained COPE Architecture to come up with options for renovating the stadium. The current bleachers have gaps and are wobbly and could be considered a safety hazard.

Aside from safety concerns, flooding and an inability to insure the facility have also been raised previously.

Satterfield presented board members with a report that cited costs both to completely rebuild the current structure or to retrofit the existing one.

The report cited costs of $488,192 to completely rebuild the bleachers on both sides. That figure does not include costs of demolishing the current structure.

If the visitors’ side were cut in half from its roughly 1,400 current seats, that cost would drop to $426,093.

To renovate the existing structure would cost an estimated $557,505, according to the COPE report. That number does not include sandblasting and painting the current underpinnings and concrete pier work.

“We had a structural engineer look at this two years ago,” said Director of Schools Clint Satterfield. “This would not take a major funding source.”

Board members opted to send the report to the county’s Education Committee in the hopes of getting guidance from commissioners on how to proceed.

“I think the next step would be to present at the next Education Committee meeting,” said board member Johnny Kerr prior to the vote.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]

Trousdale FCA honors ‘Cheese’ as Person of Year

Trousdale County’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter recently recognized Jerry “Cheese” Richmond as its Person of the Year.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Jerry ‘Cheese’ Richmond, left, accepts his award from FCA representative Chad Harrison.

Local FCA liaison Chad Harrison presented Richmond with the award at the FCA’s fundraising banquet on March 10 at the high school.

“Each year, we like to recognize someone who exemplifies one of FCA’s core values. He exemplifies all four: excellence, serving, teamwork and integrity,” Harrison told the audience.

“He treats everyone the same, with respect and kindness. He is someone who has served, and continues to serve in a capacity where he is seldom seen, but often heard.”

Richmond, who has served as the ‘Voice of the Yellow Jackets’ for 35 years, said he was honored and surprised to receive the prestigious award.

“It’s been fun bringing Trousdale County football, basketball all these years,” he said. “I’ve done it for several years and hope to do it several more. Thank you so much for this award.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]

Trousdale basketball coaches work on schedules

With spring sports at a standstill because of the coronavirus, Trousdale County’s basketball coaches have had extra time to work on their schedules for the fall.

TCHS coaches Ryan Sleeper and Jared Hawkins are in the process of making some changes for the 2020-21 non-region schedule.

A second matchup with Smith County has been added instead of the usual one, and two games are expected with Watertown and Westmoreland. Both coaches are working to set home dates with Ezell-Harding and Nashville Christian after traveling to both last season. The games with Gallatin have not been rescheduled.

While the boys’ and girls’ teams have gone in different directions for Christmas tournaments in the past, that will change this year with both teams participating in the Watertown Christmas Tournament from Dec. 28-30.

This summer, the Jackets are planning to take part in camps at Watertown, Lebanon, DeKalb County and Portland, plus either Wayne County or Tennessee Tech.

The Lady Jackets are looking to go to Bethel University’s team camp for two days and three nights, and then have play days at Portland and Station Camp. Tennessee State is also a possible location for a play day.

Army Corps of Engineers closes campgrounds

In the interest of public safety, and in accordance with Center for Disease Control recommendations, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is taking the following precautionary measures to assist public health efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

  • Effective immediately, all visitor centers and resource manager offices are closed to the public until further notice.
  • Parks, campgrounds, day-use areas or other recreation areas that have not opened for the 2020 recreation season shall delay opening until further notice.
  • In cases where closure of a day use recreation area is not possible, public restrooms, group shelters, beaches, and other amenities will be closed in order to promote Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended precautions. Day use fees will not be collected at these areas during this time.
  • Cancellations for campground or group shelter reservations through May 15, 2020 will be processed automatically and a full refund will be issued. America the Beautiful passes may be purchased online by visiting https://store.usgs.gov/pass.
  • Boat ramps will remain open.
  • All future reservations for campers at Defeated Creek Campground on Cordell Hull Lake will be canceled.
  • All scheduled tours, interpretive programs, and special events will be canceled until further notice.
  • Shoreline management visits, usually relating to dock permits, will be conducted by phone, email, or mail between dock owners and Corps personnel in order to protect both parties.

Although public access will not be allowed, resource manager offices will be staffed and available to conduct business and answer questions via email or telephone.

These additional measures will be effective at each of the Nashville District’s USACE managed facilities throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. Please note, certain facilities are operated on USACE property by other entities under lease agreements, such as marinas and municipal parks. It is recommended that the public contact those entities directly in regards to their current operating status.

“We are taking the CDC’s recommended precautions as we work to provide a safe environment for our visitors,” said Diane Parks, Nashville District’s chief of Operations. “Public safety and the safety of our employees will always be our top priority, and every effort will be made to assist in efforts to contain COVID-19.”

Nashville District leadership continues to monitor and assess the situation and will keep the public informed of any additional updates.

TSSAA hoping to resume high school sports

Hoping to salvage the sports dreams of several thousand high school athletes throughout the state, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Board of Control voted unanimously Tuesday to continue the wait-and-see plan.

The board accepted a recommendation by TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress to do whatever it takes to hold a spot on the calendar for the girls’ and boys’ state basketball tournaments as well as the spring sports’ season and Spring Fling.

“We have stayed in close contact with the Tennessee Department of Health, the CDC and other experts giving us advice on how to deal with the situation,” Childress said. “Because of the COVID-19 virus, unfortunately we could look at just saying the basketball season is over, but we’re not at that point yet.

“We don’t want to give up on allowing those young people who have earned the right to play in the tournament to have that opportunity. It could be just a pipe dream, but in our opinion we need to look to continue to see where we are after a few weeks and reevaluate things then. We need our student-athletes to know we’re going to do everything we can to try and save their season.”

On Monday Gov. Bill Lee ordered all Tennessee school districts to close by Friday in response to the coronavirus. If students are allowed to return to school in time to allow the state basketball tournaments to be rescheduled, they likely would need to be restarted by May 11.

“We could make plans, but everything is changing rapidly day by day because of the health concerns,” Childress added. “We are trying everything we can but ultimately it could be out of our hands.”

The board also voted unanimously to leave regular-season spring sports scheduling under the jurisdiction of the schools, which means that technically teams will not have to play any regular-season games and can simply begin with district tournaments.

“If a school decides not to play any regular-season games, they must be allowed to play in the postseason without penalty,” Childress said.

The board discussed the possibility of extending the spring sports season by two weeks in order to have the Spring Fling – the state championship tournament for baseball, soccer, softball, tennis and track and field – sometime around the first week of June.

Softball gets four games in before break

Trousdale County’s Lady Jackets opened the 2020 softball season last week with four games and the postponement of one district game.

The Lady Jackets hosted Pope John Paul II on March 9 but couldn’t get their bats going in a 6-0 loss to the Lady Knights.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Alivia Boykin delivers a pitch against Pope John Paul II.

Makayla Crook had the only hit for Trousdale while three other teammates reached base via walks.

Alivia Boykin pitched six innings, striking out six and allowing seven hits. Hannah Hailey worked the last inning, striking out one and giving up one hit.

Coach Blake Satterfield took his girls to the Commando Classic in Hendersonville on Friday and Saturday, where they got three games in before rain took over.

On Friday, the Lady Jackets committed five errors in a 10-2 loss to the Sycamore Lady War Eagles.

Hailey, Crook, Rebecca Chapman, Jasmine Moss and Ruthie Mink each had one hit in the loss.

Later Friday, Trousdale County picked up its first win of the season as the Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Knights, a homeschooled team from Columbia, 8-1.

Hailey went 2-for-3 at the plate and smashed a home run to pace the Lady Jackets, who also had hits from Faith Winter, Boykin, Chapman, Moss, Kinley Brown and Mink.

Boykin pitched all five innings, striking out six and allowing just two hits.

On Saturday, the Lady Jackets faced Station Camp but fell 13-0 in five innings to the Lady Bison.

Winter went 2-for-2 but Moss had the only other hit for TCHS.

Trousdale County’s scheduled game at Red Boiling Springs on Thursday was postponed due to inclement weather.

Trousdale baseball opens season with shutout

Trousdale County High School got its 2020 baseball season underway with two games last week.

The Jackets made the short trip to Westmoreland for the season opener on March 9 and blanked the Eagles 5-0. Coach Hayden Williams’ boys scored one run in the second inning, three in the fifth and one in the seventh to claim the win.

Kobe Pridemore, a Freed-Hardeman signee, pitched a complete game, striking out 10 batters while giving up just three hits.

Pridemore, Eli Henderson and Brayden Gooch each went 1-for-3 at the plate, while Ben Chumley and Cameron Rankins had the other two hits for Trousdale County.

On March 10, the Jackets played their home opener but fell 4-1 to the Macon County Tigers. Trousdale gave up nine hits while collecting just four of their own.

Taylor Ellis went 2-for-3 for TCHS, while Pridemore and Chumley each had hits.

Henderson pitched five innings, striking out seven batters and giving up five hits.

Larry Woody: TWRA’s Brad Petty on patrol in Trousdale County

For Trousdale County game warden Brad Petty there’s no such thing as a “typical day.”

“Every day is different because you never know what you’re going to run into,” says Petty, 24, who has patrolled the county’s woods and waters since June 2018.

“A lot of what I do depends on the time of year,” says Petty, Trousdale’s lone warden whose area of operation includes a 20-mile stretch of the Cumberland River and parts of Old Hickory Lake, in addition to the county’s vast fields and forests.

Submitted photo
TWRA officer Brad Petty patrols Trousdale County.

“During deer season I get a lot of calls about trespassing and poaching; I have a spot-lighting case in court right now,” he says. “When turkey season opens I’ll get calls about the same issues with turkeys. In the spring and summer it’s mostly about people fishing without a license or expired boat registrations.”

In addition to his game warden duties, Petty assists local law enforcement personnel when needed on domestic violence situations, manhunts and missing persons searches.

Petty works in partnership with Macon County’s game warden.

“He helps me, and I help him,” Petty says.

Petty is on call 24 hours a day. When someone has a wildlife-related problem – a deer poacher, for example – they can phone the Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department and the call will be forwarded to Petty.

Petty set his sights on being a game warden as a kid growing up in the Hickman County community of Bon Aqua.

“I started hunting and fishing when I was about 10,” he says. “I met a game warden when I was 12, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I love the outdoors, and this is the perfect job.”

Petty graduated from UT-Martin with a degree in wildlife biology. He applied to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and was began a 12-week training program. Next came four months of field training, followed by twelve weeks at a law-enforcement academy.

Upon graduation he was issued a badge and assigned to Trousdale County, whose previous officer had transferred.

While attending UT-Martin, Petty met a pretty coed named Melissa. They dated throughout college and will be wed next month.

Does Melissa know what being the wife of a game warden entails: her husband responding to calls in the middle of the night, and often on duty on weekends and holidays?

“Yes,” Petty says with a laugh, “she’s been warned.”

He adds, more seriously:

“She understands that this is what I’ve always wanted to do, and she knows how much I love it. She totally supports me.”

For minor violations, Petty gives first offenders a second chance.

“If I catch someone hunting or fishing without a license, I write them a citation,” he says. “I tell them when they appear in court if they’ve got a license by then, the charge will be dismissed. Most of them comply.”

If they don’t, they’d better beware. Officer Petty takes his job seriously, and won’t be so forgiving the next time.

Trousdale County begins softball, baseball seasons

Trousdale County’s Lady Jacket softball team is scheduled to play a district game at Red Boiling Springs on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s catcher frames a called third strike during Monday’s softball game against Pope John Paul II.

TCHS will then take part in the Commando Classic at Hendersonville on Friday and Saturday. The Lady Jackets will play at Monterey on Monday and host Jackson County on Tuesday.

The Lady Jackets opened the season with a 6-0 home loss to Pope John Paul II.

Baseball: The Yellow Jacket baseball team will play Thursday at Middle Tennessee Christian at 5 p.m., then start district play at home Monday against Red Boiling Springs. TCHS will travel to RBS for a Tuesday matchup.

The Yellow Jackets opened the season Monday with a 5-0 win at Westmoreland as Freed-Hardeman signee Kobe Pridemore struck out 10 batters while allowing just three hits.

Lady Jackets’ run ends in region semifinals

The Trousdale County Lady Jackets saw their 2019-20 basketball season come to a close with a 64-50 loss to Pickett County in the Region 3-A semifinals at Livingston Academy on March 2.

The Lady Jackets fell behind by 12 in the first quarter and fought back to cut the deficit to seven at the half, but could get no closer.

“Tough loss; I thought the girls played a hard-fought game,” said TCHS coach Jared Hawkins. “We came out just a little slow, dug a hole of 13 but kept fighting.

“Basketball is a tournament sport and we proved if you believe at the end, anything is possible.”

The difference was basically behind the 3-point line as Trousdale hit four long-range shots compared to nine from Pickett County.

Chloe Donoho concluded her TCHS career with a game-high 26 points, putting her four over the 1,000-point mark. Donoho’s total included two 3-pointers and eight free throws and was a career best.

Kailen Donoho added nine points while Tori Simmons had eight points and eight rebounds. Claire Belcher had four points and Josie Garrett three for TCHS.

The Lady Jackets finished with a 10-23 overall record and were fifth in District 6-A in the regular season with a 4-10 mark. They placed fourth in the district tournament after upsetting Clay County and also knocked off No. 10-ranked Whitwell in the region quarterfinals.

Four seniors completed their high school careers in Chloe Donoho, Garrett, Simmons and Karissa Goss.

“I’m so proud of these seniors for giving everything they had here at the end,” Hawkins added. “I’m extremely proud of all we’ve accomplished these two years with back-to-back region appearances. Hopefully, it’s only the beginning.”

Trousdale’s Davis Stewart receives Scholar-Athlete award

Trousdale County senior Davis Stewart was presented with a Scholar-Athlete Award at last week’s Middle Tennessee Chapter National Football Foundation awards banquet.

The 54th annual banquet recognized seniors from 63 Midstate high schools and seven universities for achievement both on the football field and in the classroom.

Stewart was presented with his award by former Tennessee Titan Eddie George, as well as former NFL players Kelly Holcomb and Brenard Wilson.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Davis Stewart is presented with his award by former Tennessee Titan Eddie George, as well as former NFL players Kelly Holcomb and Brenard Wilson.

Stewart was a four-year letterman for Trousdale County, playing running back and free safety. He was an All-Region player as a senior and served as one of the Yellow Jackets’ captains.

Stewart also will be an Honors graduate from TCHS in May and has a 3.48 GPA. He is Sergeant at Arms of the senior class and is a member of the Beta Club.

He was joined at the banquet by his parents, Jeff & Catherine Stewart, TCHS coach Blake Satterfield, Director of Schools Clint Satterfield and “Voice of the Yellow Jackets” Jerry Richmond.

“Davis Stewart exemplifies what a true student-athlete looks like from all angles. He is a great football player who consistently improved each year,” Blake Satterfield said.

“He made a commitment first in the 2019 offseason in both the classroom and the weight room. This carried over to the 2019 season where Davis became a starter and eventually received honors such as Player of the Week and being placed on the 2019 All-Region team. Davis is an even better person who was a joy to coach and was our team captain who always led by example.”

Also recognized at the banquet was longtime Cumberland University baseball coach Woody Hunt, who received the Fred Russell Distinguished American Award, which is the top honor given by the organization.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]