Lady Jackets defeat Monterey on Senior Night

Trousdale County wrapped up its regular season on Feb. 13 with home games against district foe Monterey. It was Senior Night and eight players were recognized between games.

The Lady Jacket seniors are Chloe Donoho, Josie Garrett, Karissa Goss and Tori Simmons. The Jackets’ seniors are Tarvaris Claiborne, Jay’dynn Hayward, Aaron Pickett and Brandon Ramsey.

The Lady Jackets (7-20, 4-10 6-A) struggled in the first half and trailed by two at the break. But a 29-point effort in the third quarter boosted the hosts to a 61-35 victory over the Lady Wildcats (6-22, 1-13).

Submitted photo
Trousdale County players and cheerleaders are recognized on Senior Night between games against Monterey.

“I was really proud of my girls,” said TCHS coach Jared Hawkins. “We started slow in the first half, but after halftime we really came out, followed the game plan and pushed the ball in transition.

“I was really pleased with the 29-point third quarter and pleased with the attention to detail on defense.”

Chloe Donoho led all scorers with her 18 points, while Kailen Donoho had 16 and Simmons 13 to go along with 12 rebounds. Claire Belcher tossed in six points, Kirsten Eversole three, Morgan White three and Garrett two.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets (10-17, 4-10) started slowly and trailed by 17 at halftime. Trousdale got within three points in the fourth quarter but ended up falling 60-46 to sixth-ranked Monterey (23-5, 11-3).

“We came out pretty flat, which is understandable after a week off for sickness,” said TCHS coach Ryan Sleeper. “I was encouraged by the effort and execution in the second half.

“We have to remember our identity as we enter the tournament and not allow teams to get us out of our style.”

Three Jackets reached double figures as Alex Ford and Claiborne had 15 points each, while Cameron Rankins had 10. Kane Burnley, Ramsey and Trent Pharris each added two points for TCHS, which is now 0-6 against Monterey in District 6-A play.

The District 6-A Tournament was to be held this week at Livingston Academy.

Larry Woody: Watertown man turns trash into treasures

Tony Jennings doesn’t mind being called a “scavenger.” In fact, he’s proud of it.

“I’m a cut above a buzzard,” jokes the Watertown resident, who makes a large part of his living salvaging what others throw away.

“I enjoy collecting old stuff and turning it into art and crafts,” he says. “I take a lot of pride in the things I make.”

Jennings displayed some of his artwork and collectables at the recent tackle-and-gear show in Mt. Juliet. In addition to arts and crafts, he also featured a diverse array of rare artifacts, from arrowheads and an Indian war club to Civil War relics and porcupine-quill fishing floats.

Photo by Larry Woody
Tony Jennings displays some of his unique crafts.

One unique item was a wood carving of a giant fish with a rusty steel trap in its jaw. Art, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

Jennings is adept at leatherwork; he made the leather hat and vest he wore at the show.

He also makes banjos, and after they are finished, he can play them.

“Maybe not great,” he says with a grin, “but I can play.”

Jennings picks up items and oddities at yard sales, estate sales and flea markets. He also finds useable stuff in junk yards and alongside the road.

“I’m a hunter-gatherer,” he says.

Jayne, Tony’s wife of 33 years, makes jewelry and other crafts which she sells at shows around the state.

“It’s a way of life for us,” Jennings says. “We enjoy it. We don’t get rich, but we have all we need. It’s not about how much money you make, but how happy you are while you’re making it.”

Jennings’ booth was one of several dozen rented for the annual sale at Charlie Daniels Park. Proceeds from booth rentals and admission fees go to the host Percy Priest Striper Club.

The club uses the money to purchase high-protein food for raising stripers at TWRA hatcheries. The food provided by the TWRA is less expensive for an Agency limited by budget constraints.

“The fingerlings grow faster and are more robust with the high-protein food,” explains long-time club member Tommy LaCroix, who helps organize the annual event. “That means a higher survival rate when they are released. And that means more stripers for fishermen to catch in the future.”

TWRA fisheries biologist Todd St. John, who attended the sale, says the Agency appreciates the help.

“The high-protein food is a big boost for our hatchery program,” he says. “The club’s support is a big boost.”

Meanwhile, over at Tony Jennings’ booth he is showing a visitor how to rig one of his unique porcupine-quill fishing floats to catch bluegill.

How did he come by the porcupine quills?

Well, one day on his way home from a junkyard he stopped at a yard sale…

Trousdale alumni basketball games rescheduled for Feb. 22

The Trousdale County alumni games have been rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22.

The women’s game will start at 6 p.m. and admission is $5. Current players at TCHS and Jim Satterfield Middle will be recognized to the crowd beforehand.

The women scheduled to compete are Makenzee Dixon (Class of 2017), Kim Scruggs Duke (2000), Porshe Lock (2005), Kaja Moore (2004), Destinee Dixon (2015), Hannah Gregory (2015), Ashley Cornwell Thayer (2015), Tina Lankford Chasse (2002), Terri Lynn Oldham Dixon (1993), Missi Oakley Hunter (1993), Jamey McKoin (2017) and Jennifer Elmore Petty (1994).

The men competing will be Ricky Harrison (2016), Dustin Dillehay (2006), Braison Raney (2018), Austin Ford (2018), Craig Brown (2010), Mike Hehn (1993), Malcolm Brinkley (2018), Chase Haynes (2018), Chris Payne (1993), Ladarius Brinkley (2018), John Young (1989), Michael Ford (2007), T.C. Payne (1999), Namiah Wilson (2003), Bryce Claiborne (2016) and Dusty Stovall (2015).

Larry Woody: February is dreadful time for outdoorsmen

Well, here we are – stuck in the middle of the most miserable month of the year.

As if February weren’t bad enough already, this year it lasts an extra day.

I understand the concept of having a Leap Year every few years to balance the calendar, but why does the extra day have to come in February? Why not in dogwood-blossoming April or May? Or balmy, wood-smoked September or October?

Why extend frigid February?

Outdoorsmen dread February. Fall deer season is a fading memory, and spring turkey season is far in the future.

Photo by Larry Woody
February is a rough month for outdoorsmen.

There are still some small-game hunting seasons open in February, notably quail, rabbit and squirrel. But I don’t hunt wild quail any more; they’re too scarce. I’d rather listen to a bob-white whistle than shoot it.

Rabbits are equally scarce, and you need a beagle hound to do any good. Hunting buddy Roy Denney does his best to kick a few bunnies out of briar patches, but he’s no beagle.

Squirrels have lost their charm by now. The season opened way back in August and there will be a spring season coming in May and June. We have plenty of chances to bag bushytails without risking frostbite.

The same goes for fishing. I know some anglers who venture out for February fishing, especially for sauger. I used to be among them until my brain eventually thawed.

Up North they consider February a fine time to fish because the ice is thick enough to support their shanties. When you have to drill a hole through two feet of ice to get to the water, they can have my share of whatever’s down there.

Catching a fish is not worth catching pneumonia.

I’ve heard that ice fishermen sometimes hold their favorite bait – mealworms, aka maggots – in their mouths to keep them warm and frisky. I don’t know if that’s true, but I wouldn’t doubt it. That’s what happens when you squat on a frozen lake all day looking down a hole in the ice.

At least we modern outdoorsmen have the option of sitting by the fire during February and catching up on our fly-tying and napping. Imagine the plight of the earliest outdoorsmen – Indians – who didn’t have that luxury.

Indians called February the “Starvation Moon,” and for good reason.

Particularly in Northern climes, the weather was too cold and the snow too deep to do much hunting. Dried fruits, nuts, vegetables and meats stored from the fall bounty were about gone, and spring shopping was still a long way off.

In February we whine about boredom; the early Indians worried about survival.

There’s a reason why Valentine’s Day comes in February. Thinking about our sweetheart takes our mind off not being able to go fishing.

Another February highlight is Groundhog Day. That gives you some idea about how boring the month is: waiting for a woodchuck to poke its head out of its hole and look for its shadow.

Oh well, it beats ice fishing.

Hurry March, hurry.

Yellow Jackets win fifth straight vs. Clarkrange

Trousdale County had only one night of basketball action last week with Friday’s games postponed due to illness in the school system.

The Jackets managed a split at Clarkrange on Feb. 4, with the boys getting a victory.

Trousdale captured a 57-47 win over the Buffaloes (5-22, 1-12 6-A) after trailing by one at halftime. The Jackets took a five-point lead into the final quarter and won their fifth game in a row over the boys from Fentress County.

“We came out a little flat but I was so proud of how we responded in the second half,” said TCHS coach Ryan Sleeper. “I believe we are playing as well as anyone in the district right now.

“We just need to keep up the confidence and momentum into this last week before the tournament.”

Cameron Rankins matched his career high with 30 points, including 22 in the second half. Alex Ford added 10 points and Trent Pharris had eight. Kane Burnley, Tarvaris Claiborne, Andrew Ford and Keenan Burnley each had two points while Jay’dynn Hayward had one.

The Jackets raised their record to 10-16 overall and 4-9 in District 6-A, good for sixth place in the standings.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Jackets had 14 turnovers in the second quarter alone and were outscored 29-8 over that stretch, leading to a 74-43 loss to the third-ranked Lady Buffaloes (24-3, 12-1).

“I thought we had a good game plan to break the press and we stayed with them for a quarter and a half,” TCHS coach Jared Hawkins said. “But once we got tired we turned it over in half-court, gave up 24 transition points and missed 15 free throws. That’s the game.”

Chloe Donoho scored 14 points, all in the first half. Tori Simmons added 12 points and Josie Garrett had six. Kailen Donoho, Kinley Brown and Elise Satterfield each had three points while Kirsten Eversole had two.

The loss put the Lady Jackets at 6-20 overall and 3-10 in district play, sixth in the standings.

Trousdale County will host Monterey on Thursday for Senior Night to make up the games postponed last week.

Seniors honored for the girls will be Chloe Donoho, Garrett, Karissa Goss and Simmons. For the boys will be Claiborne, Hayward, Aaron Pickett and Brandon Ramsey.

The Senior Night activities will take place between games.

Alumni postponed: The Trousdale County alumni basketball games scheduled for Feb. 8 were also postponed when schools were closed because of illness. No makeup date has been set.

2020 Trousdale County Basketball Homecoming Court

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

Trousdale County High School held its basketball homecoming ceremonies prior to last Friday night’s games against Gordonsville.

The 2020 Homecoming King was Jay’dynn Hayward, while the Queen was Tori Simmons.

Senior attendants were Brandon Ramsey and Chloe Donoho, junior attendants were Alex Ford and Sidney Gregory, sophomore attendants were Madison Farley and Keenan Burnley, and freshman attendants were Brayden Gooch and Ruth Mink.

Members of both basketball teams and the cheerleading squad were also recognized.

Yellow Jackets sweep Gordonsville on basketball court

Trousdale County had two nights of District 6-A basketball action last week and also worked in an evening of non-district play.

The highlight of the week came on Friday when the Yellow Jackets celebrated homecoming with a pair of victories over Gordonsville.

The Lady Jackets trailed by two entering the fourth quarter but outscored the Tigerettes 16-6 over the final eight minutes to claim a 54-46 win.

“We handled the press well,” said TCHS coach Jared Hawkins. “We guarded (Lera) Britt as best we could and at the end we rebounded and hit free throws.

“It was a huge home win in front of a great home crowd.”

Craig Harris / Macon County Times
Trousdale County center Tori Simmons elevates for a left-handed lay-up. Simmons scored 14 points in the Lady Jackets’ 64-41 loss to Red Boiling Springs.

Senior Tori Simmons scored 19 points, sophomore Kailen Donoho added 14 and senior Chloe Donoho 13. Juniors Claire Belcher and Kirsten Eversole each had four points for the Lady Jackets, who are 6-19 overall and 3-9 in district play.

Meanwhile the Jackets (9-16, 3-9) raced out to a 15-0 lead but trailed by one entering the final quarter. The hosts were not to be denied though, as Trousdale snapped a four-game losing streak to Gordonsville with a 44-41 victory.

“I am so proud of the boys,” said coach Ryan Sleeper. “It’s easy to lose confidence and quit when you lose so many close games in a season. They showed a lot of mental toughness to gut this one out.”

Junior Cameron Rankins scored 14 points while senior Tarvaris Claiborne and junior Alex Ford had 10 each. Sophomore Andrew Ford had eight points off the bench and classmate Kane Burnley had two.

On Jan. 28, Trousdale dropped both home games to Red Boiling Springs.

The Lady Jackets were outscored 23-7 in the third quarter and fell 64-41 to the Lady Bulldogs (18-8, 7-4), who hit 11 3-pointers.

“We started out strong but we let them get on a run at the end of the second and we dug the hole too deep,” Hawkins said. “Once you’re down 20, it’s hard to get back to a team that shoots the three as well as they do.”

Kailen Donoho had 16 points for TCHS and Simmons had 14. Chloe Donoho had six points, Eversole had four and freshman Autumn Parrish one.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets led by nine at halftime but eventually fell 58-57. Rankins misfired on a last-second jumper on which he thought he was fouled, but no call was made.

“I thought we had the perfect game plan,” Sleeper said. “We were going to let (Dalton) Marsh get his and hold everyone else. We just went cold in the third quarter.”

Rankins and Andrew Ford each had 12 points, senior Brandon Ramsey had nine, Claiborne had seven, junior Trent Pharris seven, Alex Ford five and Burnley five.

On Thursday, Trousdale County played at Nashville Christian.

The Lady Jackets trailed by 18 at halftime of a 63-43 loss to the Lady Eagles (18-5).

Kailen Donoho had 11 points, Belcher eight, Simmons six, Chloe Donoho four, junior Kinley Brown four, senior Josie Garrett three, junior Morgan White three, Eversole two and freshman Elise Satterfield two.

The Jackets trailed by 18 at halftime but got within three before falling 60-50 to the Eagles (15-8).

“This was a quality opponent and a great game to prep us for our district teams,” Sleeper said. “They played a similar style, were more athletic.”

Rankins led all scorers with 26 points, Alex Ford had eight, Claiborne four, Ramsey three, while Burnley, senior Jay’dynn Hayward, sophomore Garrett Rieger and freshman Brian Banks had two points each.

Trousdale County will conclude its regular season on Friday at home against Monterey for Senior Night.

The District 6-A Tournament will start on Feb. 17 at Livingston Academy.

Larry Woody: TWRA seeking comments on regulations

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is soliciting comments and suggestions from hunters about seasons, bag limits and other regulations.

Submissions can be made through Feb. 18. They can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to:

TWRA Wildlife Division

5107 Edmondson Pike

Nashville, Tn. 37221

Photo by Larry Woody
The TWRA invites hunter input on regulations.

The comments will be taken into consideration by the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission when it sets the regulations for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. Hunting regulations are set every two years.

Deer harvest down: The 2019-20 deer harvest was down, especially in counties in which Chronic Wasting Disease has been diagnosed.

The TWRA reports 135,885 deer killed during the recently completed season. In the new CWD Zone the harvest was down 18 percent from the previous year, and by 24 percent in one CWD county.

The deadly disease can devastate deer populations in specific areas. There is no known cure. All that can be done to combat it is to try to contain it to specific areas in which is exists, which the TWRA is currently undertaking.

Since the first case of CWD in Tennessee was diagnosed in the winter of 2018, the number of infected deer as steadily risen.

Approximately 400 infected deer were found during the 2019-2020 season, among 13,000 animals tested. All of the infected animals were in the newly designated West Tennessee CWD Zone.

There is no way to know how many deer may be carrying the disease but have not yet manifested the symptoms – chronic weight loss, staggering and other abnormal behavior.

The TWRA is spending $1 million for a special incinerator to dispose of the carcasses of infected animals.

The Agency considers CWD the greatest threat to deer management in the state’s history.

Bass tourney: The first of five Old Hickory and Percy Priest Bass Tournaments (OHPPBT) will be held Feb. 29 out of Shutes Branch.

For information about rules and registration call 615-349-6358 or visit ohppbt.net.

Conservationist nominees: The Tennessee Wildlife Federation is accepting nominations for its 55th annual Conservation Achievement Awards. There are 20 categories, including one for young conservationists.

Nominations will be accepted through March 6. For information about how to make a nomination visit tnwf.org/CAA.

Trousdale County’s Ford, Claiborne sign with Cumberland

Two Trousdale County stars will take their football talents down the road to Lebanon this fall to begin their college careers.

Kobe Ford and Tarvaris Claiborne both signed with Cumberland University on Wednesday morning with family, coaches and teammates in attendance.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Coaches and family look on as Kobe Ford, seated center left, and Tarvaris Claiborne, seated center right, sign to play football at Cumberland University.

“On behalf of Cumberland, I just want to say that we’re very grateful for the opportunity to coach these tremendous young men. These are the type of kids we want to invest in in our community and our team,” said Kasey Smith, defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator for Cumberland.

“We’re going to welcome them into our institution and embrace them as a family.”

Both Ford and Claiborne were named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s all-state team earlier this year after helping lead the Yellow Jackets to an 11-2 record and the Class 2A semifinals.

Ford, who was recruited as a running back, led Trousdale County with 1,156 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns. He was named as Region 4-2A’s co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2019.

“Cumberland is probably the best choice I could make,” Ford said. “They have the best business school in the are and their football program’s always competitive.”

“These coaches have been so touching, they care and spent much time coming to see us,” added Claiborne. “It feels like we’re already part of a family, like it’s meant to be.”

Claiborne is a two-time all-state selection at linebacker and was the region’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year.

“When I took over, I want everyone to have the chance to play at the next level,” said TCHS coach Blake Satterfield. “I want these juniors, sophomores and freshmen to see this and be a way for them to say, ‘I can do that too.’

“I’m very proud of these young gentlemen; I know the families are too.”

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

Larry Woody: Watch for online fishing license scam

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has issued a scam alert for anglers attempting to purchase a fishing license online.

A bogus website may appear on a Google search for “Tennessee fishing license,” requesting personal information.

The TWRA warns everyone to never supply such information, and if anyone has done so, to immediately check personal accounts to make sure they have not been compromised. If so, report it to law enforcement officials.

Detailed information on the bogus operation, and the authorized license website, is posted on the TWRA website, tnwildlife.org.

Carp trouble: A Silver Carp has been captured in Chickamauga Lake, the first confirmation that the invasive species has made its way into the giant impoundment.

In recent years Asian Carp populations have exploded in some state waters, most notably in Kentucky Lake, where they have impacted native species. They are also found in lesser numbers below Percy Priest and Cheatham dams.

The TWRA has been battling the spread of the carp, but the one caught in Chickamauga stresses “the urgency of the issue” according to a TWRA biologist.

The Chickamauga Silver Carp, which appears to be about two feet long, jumped into the boat of a fishermen when he started his trolling motor. The fish are known to leap high into the air when disturbed by a boat motor, presenting a hazard to boaters and water skiers.

The Chickamauga fisherman said he saw several more carp in the area.

The TWRA asks anyone who captures one of the carp to keep it frozen and contact the Agency with information about when and where it was caught.

Lebanon Boat and Fishing Expo: The Tennessee Boat & Fishing Expo, one of the biggest outdoor shows in the region, will be held at the Wilson County Expo Center Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

Details about times, tickets and various seminars is posted on the Tennessee Boat & Fishing Expo website.

Hundreds of booths will feature the latest fishing tackle and other outdoor gear, and the newest models of boats will on display. There will be daily how-to fishing seminars, along with guide services and fishing trip bookings from Caney Fork to Canada.

Bass tourney: The first of five Old Hickory and Percy Priest Bass Tournaments (OHPPBT) will be held Feb. 29 out of Shutes Branch.

For information about rules and registration call 615-349-6358 or visit ohppbt.net.

Conservationist nominees: The Tennessee Wildlife Federation is accepting nominations for its 55th annual Conservation Achievement Awards. There are 20 categories, including one for young conservationists.

Nominations will be accepted through March 6. For information about how to make a nomination visit tnwf.org/CAA.

Yellow Jackets go 0-for-Clay, Pickett

Trousdale County had two nights of District 6-A basketball action last week but neither team was able to improve its record.

At home on Jan. 21 against Clay County, the Lady Jackets trailed by seven at halftime and cut the deficit to two twice late in the game before falling 56-51 to the Lady Bulldogs (13-8, 7-2).

“I thought we came out strong and we handled the press well,” said TCHS coach Jared Hawkins. “We made them attack us in the half-court and that limited their fast-break opportunities. It was a great effort, but free throws haunted us. We missed 14 and that could have been the difference.”

Senior Tori Simmons tossed in 16 points and pulled down 15 rebounds for the Lady Jackets. Junior Claire Belcher added 12 points and senior Karissa Goss had six off the bench. Senior Chloe Donoho returned to the court for the first time since her ankle injury on Dec. 6 and had five points before fouling out with 36 seconds remaining.

Juniors Kirsten Eversole and Jazz Marshall had four points each while senior Josie Garrett and sophomore Kailen Donoho had two each.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets were outscored 25-8 in the second quarter of a 58-47 loss to the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (19-2, 8-1).

“We fought hard against an elite Clay County squad,” said TCHS coach Ryan Sleeper. “If not for the last two to three minutes of the first half, we might’ve won this one. We are having small lapses where we lose focus and you can’t do that against great teams; they make you pay.”

Junior Alex Ford led the Jackets with 15 points and classmates Cameron Rankins and Trent Pharris had 13 and 12 respectively. Sophomore Andrew Ford had five points and senior Brandon Ramsey two.

On Friday night at Pickett County, the Lady Jackets trailed by double digits in the third quarter but fought back within three before falling 64-56 to the third-ranked Lady Bobcats (20-2, 8-2).

Trousdale (5-17, 2-8) hit five more free throws than the hosts, but the Lady Bobcats hit nine 3-pointers in the victory.

“Two straight games I have been incredibly proud of my girls’ effort,” Hawkins said. “We handled their press and forced Pickett to turn the ball over more than us in the first half.”

Simmons netted 17 points while Kailen Donoho had 13 and Chloe Donoho 10. Belcher had six points, junior Kinley Brown five, Garrett three and Eversole two.

In the boys’ game, the score was close through three quarters but the Jackets (8-14, 2-7) were outscored 21-10 in the final quarter of a 58-47 loss to Pickett County (13-8, 5-5).

“Playing at Pickett is very difficult as they have probably the best home-court advantage in the district,” said Sleeper. “We struggled keeping a location on Amonett and he made us pay.”

Pickett sophomore Zach Amonett scored 34 points for the Bobcats and leads the district in scoring at 23 points per game.

Alex Ford led the Jackets with 13 points, senior Tarvaris Claiborne had 11 and Pharris 10. Rankins had eight points, Ramsey five, sophomore Kane Burnley four and Andrew Ford four.

Trousdale County will travel to Nashville Christian on Thursday and will host Gordonsville on Friday for homecoming.

Top of the charts: Trousdale County’s Tori Simmons is leading the district in rebounding with 11.4 per game, while Cameron Rankins is fifth in scoring with 17 points per contest.

College: Former Trousdale County star Shelby Jane Petty is enjoying success in her freshman year at Shelton State (Ala). Community College. Petty is averaging 12 points, four rebounds and three assists per game for the Lady Bucs, who are 18-2 on the season.

Jr. Jackets defeat Watertown to end season

Jim Satterfield Middle wrapped up its basketball season on Jan. 23 with home games against Watertown.

The Jr. Jackets got a season-high 22 points from Kobyn Calhoun as they won 50-44. Cole Gregory added 11 points, Dalton Stafford eight, Jake Fergusson six and Mason Eden three.

The Jr. Jackets finished 8-8 under coach Davy Cothron.

The Jr. Lady Jackets fell 39-26 and finished 7-10 under coach Cody Greer.

Aubrie Wemple scored eight points for JSMS, Braylee Potts and Taren Simmons each had six, Jaleigh Marshall four and Mary Linville two.

Alumni games: Trousdale County will host its alumni games on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.

For more information, call Ryan Sleeper (615-374-5311), Jared Hawkins (865-771-9974) or Hope Gregory (615-374-1285).

Trousdale County puts three on TNFCA all-state football team

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Kobe Ford, center, was one of three Trousdale County players named to the Tennessee Football Coaches Association’s Class 2A all-state team.

Trousdale County put three players on the recently named Tennessee Football Coaches Association’s Class 2A all-state football team.

Seniors Kobe Ford and Tarvaris Claiborne were named to the squad, as was junior Cameron Rankins.

Ford led the Yellow Jackets with 1,156 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns en rote to being named the Region 4-2A co-Offensive Player of the Year. He was named to the all-state squad as an athlete.

Rankins was named to the defensive team, also as an athlete. Defensive totals were not available, but Rankins finished the season with 1,032 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets.

Claiborne was named all-state for the second straight year as a linebacker.

The Yellow Jackets finished the 2019 season 11-2 and reached the Class 2A quarterfinals.

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

Lady Jackets defeat Monterey; boys top Westmoreland

Last week was a busy one for Trousdale County with three nights on the basketball court, but each team could only procure one win.

At Monterey on Jan. 14, the Lady Jackets trailed by nine in the third quarter but rallied to capture a 68-66 victory over the Lady Wildcats (4-14, 0-6 6-A).

“We played a tough game back and forth all night and we pulled it out,” said TCHS coach Jared Hawkins. “That’s a huge district win.”

Senior Tori Simmons scored a game-high 23 points and junior Morgan White came off the bench to score a career-best 18. Junior Claire Belcher scored 16 points, sophomore Kailen Donoho nine and junior Kirsten Eversole two.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets were outscored in each quarter and lost 72-52 to the ninth-ranked Wildcats (14-4, 4-2 6-A).

“We had a game plan for their two best players,” said TCHS coach Ryan Sleeper. “Other players for their team stepped up offensively and forced us out of our game.

“We need to learn to play with more confidence against really good teams to have a shot.”

Senior Tarvaris Claiborne had his best game of the season with 17 points and junior Cameron Rankins added 10. Junior Trent Pharris had six points, junior Alex Ford five, junior Jordan Pickett four and senior Brandon Ramsey four. Freshman Kyle Shockley had three points while the Jackets got two each from senior Aaron Pickett and freshman Tyler Dixon.

At Jackson County on Friday, Trousdale suffered a pair of district losses.

The Lady Jackets gave up the first 11 points of the game, trailed 22-2 and went on to lose 56-36 to the Lady Blue Devils (2-15, 1-6). Jackson County had lost its last 21 district games going in.

“We didn’t show up tonight,” Hawkins said. “Played sloppy and dug ourselves into too deep a hole before trying to fight back. No excuse for tonight effort-wise.”

Simmons scored 13 points and Eversole matched her career best with nine. Donoho had seven points, White five, Belcher one and senior Karissa Goss one.

The Jackets trailed by six at halftime and led by eight in the third quarter, but missed a shot at the buzzer to fall 60-59 to the Blue Devils (8-10, 2-5).

“In our district you can’t have small mental errors and expect to win,” Sleeper said. “We must rebound better and learn to play straight up on defense.”

Rankins netted 18 points and Ramsey had a career-high 12. Sophomore Kane Burnley, Ford and Pharris had eight points each, Claiborne had three and sophomore Keenan Burnley had two.

On Jan. 16 at Westmoreland, the Lady Jackets committed 11 first-half turnovers before losing 73-31 to the No. 4-ranked Lady Eagles (17-3).

Simmons scored 12 points while Belcher had seven and Donoho five. Eversole and White had three points each and senior Josie Garrett had one.

In the boys’ game, Rankins led all scorers with 16 points as the Jackets barely worked up a sweat in their 59-39 win over the Eagles (3-16).

“This was a good example of what team ball can look like,” Sleeper said. “I was proud of the total team effort in this game. Our bench players really stepped up and we were able to rotate a lot of guys because of that.”

Kane Burnley added eight points and Pharris had seven. Alex Ford and Claiborne had six each, Ramsey and sophomore Andrew Ford had five each while Keenan Burnley, Jordan Pickett and Dixon had two each.

Trousdale County is scheduled to play at Pickett County on Friday and host Red Boiling Springs on Tuesday.

JSMS splits basketball games with Carroll-Oakland

Jim Satterfield Middle School returned to basketball action on Jan. 13 with games at Carroll-Oakland.

The Jr. Jackets won their game 24-17 as Cole Gregory scored 10 points, Kobyn Calhoun eight, Dalton Stafford three and Noah Cook three.

The Jr. Lady Jackets were not as fortunate as they fell 29-15.

Aubrie Wemple scored six points, JaNae Aponte’ five, Kayleigh Dunn two and Braylee Potts two.

JSMS will conclude its season on Jan. 23 with home games against Watertown.

The Jr. Lady Jackets also played in the James C. Haile State Basketball Tournament on Jan. 18 at Middle Tennessee Christian, but lost 43-18 to Wayne County.

Taren Simmons scored four points as did Aponte’, Dunn had three and Jaleah Marshall, Abby Elmore and Wemple each had two.

Hartsville racer moving up to Fairgrounds Speedway

The career of young Hartsville racer Garrett Dies is picking up speed – literally and figuratively.

Garrett, a senior at Trousdale County High, this season will move from the little quarter-mile track at Highland Rim to the bigger, faster five-eighths-mile oval at historical Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, where racing legends have been born for over 60 years.

“The Rim taught me how to race, and now it’s time to move on,” says Garrett, who spent three seasons at Highland Rim Speedway – renamed Veterans Motorplex last year.

“I appreciate the opportunities the Rim gave me,” he says. “I learned a lot racing there.”

Submitted photo
Hartsville racer Garrett Dies, with help from his dad Roy, is moving up to a bigger track and bigger challenges this season.

Garrett has yet to set foot – or tire – on the famed Nashville track. He and his father Roy are preparing his new Pro Late Model racer, and expect to be ready when the track opens for preseason practice.

But although he hasn’t raced at Fairgrounds Speedway, he is aware of its reputation.

“Some great drivers have come through there,” he says, referring to such NASCAR superstars as Darrell Waltrip, Coo Coo Marlin, Sterling Marlin and Bobby Hamilton. “Hopefully I can join them.”

Is the big move daunting?

“A little,” Garrett says. “It’s big jump, and it’s always a challenge any time you move up to a bigger track with faster cars. But I look at it as an opportunity that I’ve been working toward.”

“He’s done a good job and he’s ready for the move,” Roy says. “Nashville’s going to be tough, but he can handle it.”

Roy speaks from experience, having raced at Fairgrounds Speedway from 1987-2001, in addition to competing at Highland Rim and Beech Bend, Ky. Since hanging up his helmet, he devotes his time to assisting with his son’s team.

Reflecting on his own career, Roy says, “I get a bigger kick out of watching Garrett race than I did when I was racing myself.”

Garrett says his mom Ann shares their enthusiasm, although “she gets kinda nervous when she watches me race.”

Garrett’s race team got a big boost last year when it secured a sponsorship from Lebanon-based G-Team Property Management. His race car carries a “G-Team” logo in tribute to sponsors Jackie and Malinda Gaither, and will make the upward move with the team to Nashville this season.

“Their sponsorship has been vital,” Roy says. “We couldn’t race without it, and we want them to know how much we appreciate it.”

Garrett will arrive at Fairgrounds Speedway amid an upheaval in management. Tony Formosa Jr., who had operated the Metro-owned track for several seasons, has been replaced by Track Enterprises, a veteran racetrack management company based in Illinois.

Company president Bob Sargent plans to run seven local-division events at the Fairgrounds, along with three national events. Discussions continue about bringing NASCAR back to the Fairgrounds.

“I feel like it’s going to work out,” Roy says of the new management. “The car we’re building will be legal at several other tracks in addition to Nashville, so we will have some options. We’re looking at maybe running a few races in Montgomery (Ala.)”

After Garrett graduates from Trousdale High this spring, he plans to attend college and major in mechanical engineering. Tennessee Tech, noted for its engineering school, is at the top of his list. He plans to continue to race while in college.

But that’s a long way off. There are a lot of miles – unfamiliar miles, in big, fast circles – to be traveled before then.

Jackets pick up pair of basketball victories

Three nights of basketball action last week resulted in two wins for the Yellow Jackets and one for the Lady Jackets.

The Jackets got their second District 6-A win of the season on Friday as they corralled the Clarkrange Buffaloes (4-13, 0-5) 46-35 in Hartsville.

The Jackets took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter and built their advantage to double digits for their fourth consecutive win over the boys from Fentress County.

“Any win in the district is a quality win,” said TCHS coach Ryan Sleeper. “Clarkrange is better than their record indicates.

“I thought we showed improvement in some areas, but we’ve still got to work on little details that are holding us back from being a great team.”

Juniors Trent Pharris and Cameron Rankins paced the Jackets with 11 points each, senior Tarvaris Claiborne had eight and sophomore Andrew Ford had six. Junior Alex Ford and sophomore Kane Burnley each had five.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Jackets committed 12 turnovers in the first quarter and fell behind 19-0 in falling 65-17 to the No. 3-ranked Lady Buffaloes (15-2, 5-0).

“We struggled against the press and we had too many turnovers in the first quarter, and you can’t dig a hole like that against a top-five team and expect things to go well,” said TCHS coach Jared Hawkins.

Senior Tori Simmons scored 10 points, all in the first half. Freshman Elise Satterfield scored three points, freshman Charlee Dixon had two and junior Claire Belcher had two.

On Jan. 7, Trousdale County dropped both its games at Gordonsville.

The Jackets led by six at halftime, but found themselves down two in the final seconds. A long 3-pointer by Rankins bounced off the rim and the Tigers escaped with a 41-39 victory.

“This was a hard-fought battle,” Sleeper said. “We played excellent defense to hold them to 41 at their place, but our offense needs work. It takes time to get chemistry going, especially since our starting five have only played together a few games.”

Rankins had a game-high 15 points and Claiborne had seven, all in the second half. Alex Ford and Pharris each had five points, Burnley four and Andrew Ford three.

Earlier that night, the Lady Jackets trailed by eight after three quarters but fought back to take a one-point lead before falling 53-44 to the Tigerettes (8-8, 2-3).

“It was a tough-fought game, I thought,” Hawkins said. “The girls gave everything they had fighting back to get a lead in the fourth after being down nine, but we had a couple of sloppy plays down the stretch and it hurt in a close game.”

Sophomore Kailen Donoho scored 16 points and Simmons added 14. Belcher had eight, senior Josie Garrett four and junior Jazz Marshall two.

At Ezell-Harding on Jan. 6, Trousdale County picked up two wins.

The Jackets never trailed and had eight players score in a 76-61 victory.

Alex Ford scored a career-high 24 points as the Jackets had their best offensive output of the season. Claiborne and Pharris each added 13 points, Rankins had eight, Kane Burnley and junior Jordan Pickett had six each, Andrew Ford four and sophomore Keenan Burnley two.

In the girls’ game, Simmons scored a career-best 32 points and Donoho added 16 as the Lady Jackets won 58-45.

Juniors Kinley Brown and Morgan White had three points each, while Garrett and Marshall had two apiece.

“We got the win and that’s what’s important, but we struggled a little playing down to competition which is something we can’t have,” Hawkins said.

Trousdale County will travel to Jackson County on Friday and will host Clay County on Tuesday.

Larry Woody: Another deer season in the books

It’s hard to believe it’s already over.

After all those months of anticipation, planning and preparation, all the hours of scouting, checking gear, sighting in rifles – then, in a blink, another deer season has come and gone.

Hunters in my age bracket can’t help but wonder if that last one might be our, well, last one.

That’s what makes each passing season so special.

It also makes you dizzy to contemplate how fast the planet is spinning. Wasn’t it just yesterday that a skinny 16-year-old kid shot his first buck?

A faded old Polaroid shows the kid with his deer. The date on the photo is February 1963 but that’s the date it was printed. The deer was killed in November 1962.

Photo courtesy of Laura Dies
Larry Woody, left, and Clarence Dies with an early-season buck.

It seems like yesterday.

I was walking down an ancient logging road around 9 a.m. with two hunting buddies, trying to get some feeling back in our frozen feet after a frigid morning on our stands. A buck suddenly appeared from a red-brush thicket. It whirled and bounded away and I dropped him with a lucky shot from my brand-new Winchester 30-30.

That’s the first entry in my deer diary:

Nov. 1962: Crossville, 9 a.m., 4-point buck, 30-30 (running shot).

I’ve chronicled 143 more deer since then: date, location, time of day, type of rifle (muzzleloader or 30-30) and a note or two about the hunt.

This past season’s entries:

Nov. 9: Giles County, opening day of muzzleloader season. After sitting on a stand from pre-dawn until 10 a.m. and seeing nothing but turkeys and squirrels, I decided to still-hunt. As I eased over a ridge, 40 yards away in a hollow stood two does. I shot off-hand and they bounded off. The biggest one dropped as it crested a rise.

Nov. 15: Wilson County, hunting with friend Clarence Dies. We split up before dawn, Clarence going to one field on his farm and me to another. At 6:40 a.m. a seven-point buck sidled out of the woods and began feeding on acorns in the corner of the field, 50 yards away. I took another off-hand shot. The muzzleloader roared and I ducked under the cloud of powder smoke to see the buck on the ground.

Nov. 18: Giles County, 7:15 a.m. A doe saunters across an open field. I take a rest on the tree I’m standing behind, steady the crosshairs, and squeeze the trigger. Deer No. 144 was down.

Turn back the page to the biggest deer I’ve killed:

Dec. 7, 2006: Hardin County, 3:15 p.m., mild and windy. A giant buck chases a doe within a few feet of the tree under which I’m sitting. It leaps over a creek, bounds up a ridge, and begins raking saplings with its massive antlers. I shoot, again, using a muzzleloader, and the deer dashes off through the dense woods. A moment later I hear it crash to the ground.

Today the antlers hang on my den wall. I don’t know what they score because I’ve never scored any of the dozen sizable racks I’ve been lucky enough to bring home.

I say “lucky” because I don’t hunt for trophies. I take the first legal deer that comes through, be it big buck or small doe.

To me every deer is special – just as every season is special. We never know when the next one could be the last one.

Trousdale baseball to hold reverse raffle on Jan. 31

Trousdale County’s baseball team will hold its annual reverse raffle and chili supper on Friday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Raffle tickets are $20 each, with one winner receiving $1,000 and other cash prizes offered as well.

The chili supper will begin at 5 p.m. and tickets will be $5 at the door.

Raffle tickets can be purchased from baseball players and Diamond Club members.

Jackets come up short against Watertown

Trousdale County returned to hoops action Friday night but suffered two home losses to Watertown.

The Lady Jackets (3-11) were outscored 20-6 in the fourth quarter, leading to a 56-34 loss to the Lady Purple Tigers (10-7).

Junior Claire Belcher led TCHS with 12 points, but only two other starters scored points.

“Hard game, we played the odds and tried to force them to beat us from the outside. They got hot and did,” said TCHS coach Jared Hawkins. “Watertown didn’t shoot great in our first game, going 18 percent from three, but tonight they were 68 percent and that got us beat.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Trent Pharris (35) goes up to block a shot against Watertown.

Senior Tori Simmons and sophomore Kailen Donoho each scored eight points for the Lady Jackets, and junior Morgan White scored six off the bench.

Watertown hit 11 3-pointers with eight coming from junior Brittni Allison, who scored 34 points.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets (5-9) got good news in the return of senior Tarvaris Claiborne from a hand injury, and bad news in that leading scorer Cameron Rankins was out with the flu.

Trousdale committed 16 first-half turnovers, trailed by 16 at halftime and went on to lose 55-45. The Jackets outscored the Purple Tigers (13-3) 17-8 in the fourth quarter but it was too late in dropping their 18th consecutive game to Watertown.

“I’m still anxious to see what we look like at full strength, but this game was a great opportunity for our younger guards to feel elite pressure,” said TCHS coach Ryan Sleeper. “It’s not often we see a team just as, if not more, athletic than us. We will work to correct these issues as we enter the real grind of the season.”

Junior Alex Ford led the Jackets with 18 points and classmate Trent Pharris scored eight. Senior Brandon Ramsey had five points, as did Claiborne, who fouled out with 5:15 to play. Sophomore Andrew Ford had four points, senior Jay’dynn Hayward two, sophomore Kane Burnley two and sophomore Keenan Burnley one.

Trousdale County will host district foe Clarkrange on Friday and will travel to Monterey on Tuesday.

JSMS: Jim Satterfield Middle will return to action on Monday with a trip to Carroll-Oakland.

Alumni games: Trousdale County will host its alumni games on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.

For more information, call Ryan Sleeper (615-374-5311), Jared Hawkins (865-771-9974) or Hope Gregory (615-374-1285).