Yellow Jackets defeat Station Camp 7-6 in Tobacco Bowl Jamboree

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Ben Chumley reaches the goal line for the Jackets’ lone touchdown in a 7-6 jamboree win over Station Camp.

The Trousdale County Yellow Jackets had their final tune-up for the 2019 regular season on Friday with a 7-6 victory over the Station Camp Bison in the 31st annual Tobacco Bowl Jamboree.

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Yellow Jackets to open 2019 football season at Friendship

Trousdale County will open its 2019 football campaign on Friday night with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at longtime rival Friendship Christian.

The game can be heard live on WTNK 93.5-FM / 1090-AM and online at funradiotn.com with coverage starting at 7 p.m. Live scoring updates can also be found on The Vidette’s Facebook page.

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Jr. Jackets’ rally falls short vs. Macon County

Craig Harris / Macon County Times
JSMS’ Cole Gregory stiff-arms Macon County’s Gabe Borders late in the first half.

The Macon County Junior High football squad had its biggest test of the season last Thursday when Hartsville’s Jim Satterfield Middle School visited.

The Tigers were forced to fend off a fourth-quarter rally by the Yellow Jackets in order to remain unbeaten, escaping with a 16-14 victory.

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Trousdale County’s Blake Satterfield continues family coaching legacy

Tradition. Legacy. Winning.

For Trousdale County’s football program, those words carry a deeper meaning. And for over 60 years, the Satterfield family has had a tremendous impact on maintaining the importance of football in the Hartsville community.

As the 2019 season nears, that legacy is now in the hands of the third generation as Blake Satterfield prepares for his debut as head coach of the Yellow Jackets.

Blake was named head coach in February to replace Brad Waggoner, who left Trousdale County for a job in Georgia. Blake served as defensive coordinator for the 2018 team, which finished as runner-up in the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl.

Blake is the younger son of Clint Satterfield, who coached Trousdale County to five state titles in 24 years, and the grandson of Jim Satterfield, who won a state title in Hartsville and whose name graces the Jackets’ stadium.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Blake Satterfield, left, and his father Clint stand beside the plaque on Trousdale County’s fieldhouse honoring Clint’s father, Jim Satterfield. Blake was named head coach of the Yellow Jackets earlier this year, becoming the third generation of the Satterfield family to serve in that role.

Both Clint and Jim Satterfield are members of the TSSAA Hall of Fame, with a combined 486 victories between them in roughly five decades of coaching. Both also served as Trousdale County’s director of schools, with Clint currently in that position since 2007.

Blake insisted he felt no pressure to take over the Trousdale County program based on his name and the success of his father and grandfather. In fact, Clint tried to steer his son away from the head coaching job.

“Going into this coaching thing, (Clint) said ‘You don’t have to do this, you don’t owe anything to it.’ I said, ‘Dad, it’s not because of you that I am or I’m not going to do it.’ ” Blake said.

“As a father, this was something I didn’t encourage,” Clint added. “I know how much time it takes away from family… As a superintendent, I felt there was a lot of pressure on me to hire someone local. But I hope I was really objective about that selection. Ultimately, I had to put the biases I had as a father aside to make the decision in the best interest of our school district.

“I don’t want Blake to be me. I don’t want him to be anybody but himself.”

Clint spoke on his own experiences following in his father’s footsteps when he became coach in the mid-1980s. He said the opportunity to come home and help his alma mater and his father was a motivating factor, but said he never felt pressured to succeed based on his father’s accomplishments.

“I just wanted to try to serve my school and county that have been so good to me,” Clint said. “I’ve always enjoyed football since I was a child and I was just so caught up in that. I never really thought about the pressure.

“Everything that I know about building relationships and the psychology of coaching, I learned from my dad… But I never tried to be my dad.”

Clint credited his college coaches, Boots Donnelly at Middle Tennessee State and Wayne Grubb at North Alabama, for developing the technical side of his own coaching experience.

While it may seem to outsiders looking in that having another Satterfield on the sidelines was inevitable, both father and son said that was never the case.

“I took a sabbatical from coaching football for a while… All of a sudden Coach Waggoner approached me and said, ‘Would you be interested in being defensive coordinator?’ ” Blake said. “At that point I felt I had coached these guys and I think I would give them a better chance on defense.”

Blake said that when the Trousdale County job came open, he again felt there was an opportunity to make his own mark on one of the state’s tradition-rich programs. He also noted that the 2019 senior class will be under its third head coach and noted the instability that brings into a team.

“That’s tough on kids,” Blake said. “Ultimately, I believe I can give them the best chance to be successful.”

Aside from his father and grandfather, Blake credited current Upperman coach Adam Caine as one of his coaching influences. Caine served as defensive coordinator at Sewanee when Blake played safety there.

“The Creekbank was always more home than away from home,” Blake said. “My defensive coordinator at Sewanee, Coach Caine, was my biggest influence about getting into coaching. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

Asked what he would like to incorporate from his father’s coaching tenure into his own time leading the Yellow Jackets, Blake joked, “Winning state championships. That would be awesome!

“My dad had his kids ready to play on Friday night and he stressed doing things the right way all of the time. It’s an injustice of you don’t do some of those things… I want to hear about what’s done well and how we can use that in what we do.”

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

Trousdale County 2019 football preview

Trousdale County football fans saw their Yellow Jackets advance all the way to the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl last year.

The Jackets came up short in their bid for an 11th state championship, but many prognosticators think this year’s squad could challenge for another gold ball.

Trousdale County is already receiving some statewide recognition in the preseason as longtime high school football sage Murphy Fair has the Yellow Jackets as one of his top five teams in 2A, along with Fairley, Meigs County, Peabody and Tyner Academy.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Tarvaris Claiborne (7) and Cameron Rankins (5) will be two key performers for the Yellow Jackets in 2019.

The Jackets are also getting respect from coaches, who have picked them second in 2A behind last year’s champions from Peabody. The remainder of the coaches’ Top 10 picks are Meigs County, Union City, Tyner, Waverly, Fairley, Watertown, Lewis County and Oneida.

The Jackets have been picked by league coaches to reclaim the Region 4-2A title ahead of Watertown, Westmoreland, East Robertson, Jackson County and Cascade.

After serving as defensive coordinator last season, Blake Satterfield has been elevated to head coach and will again oversee the defensive side of the ball.

Paul Pitts has joined the Trousdale staff as offensive coordinator. Potts served as offensive coordinator at Cumberland University in 2018 and previously filled that same role at the University of the Cumberlands. He also honed his coaching skills for eight seasons at Shorter University.

“Heading into a season after ending the 2018 one with a loss in the championship game is tough,” Satterfield said. “However, our players have responded very well this summer and have allowed me and the coaching staff to push them to get better.”

Defensively, the Jackets are led by two all-state senior linebackers in Tarvaris Claiborne (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) and Jay’Dynn Hayward (5-9, 175), who each recorded 80-plus tackles last season for the Jackets.

On offense, Trousdale County must replace 58 percent of its rushing game after the graduation of Dyson Satterfield (1,530 yards in 2018) and Keyvont Baines (739 yards).

Junior Jayden Hicks (6-0, 165) is the team’s top returning rusher with 584 yards last season while playing at wingback and receiver. Hicks will be called upon to take over at quarterback for the Yellow Jackets this season.

Also expected to get their share of carries will be senior Kobe Ford (6-1, 185), junior Cameron Rankins (6-2, 230) and junior Sebastian Linarez (5-10, 175).

Nine seniors headline a Trousdale County roster than features 51 players.

“Having 51 players on our roster is the most I can ever remember playing or coaching with at Trousdale County High School,” Satterfield said.

The Jackets will start the season with perhaps their two toughest opponents with trips to Friendship on Aug. 23 and to Watertown on Sept. 6.

Trousdale County defeated Friendship 27-21 last season and split with Watertown, losing 22-21 in Hartsville during the regular season and winning 15-8 on the road in the quarterfinals.

Yellow Jackets prepare to host Tobacco Bowl Jamboree

The 31st annual Tobacco Bowl Jamboree will unfold Friday night in Hartsville with three schools coming for competition. Clay County, Station Camp and Trousdale County will be playing in one of the longest running jamborees in Tennessee.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Keenan Burnley (21) is brought down by a Livingston Academy defender during last week’s scrimmage.

At 6 p.m., Station Camp and Trousdale County will play a freshman game, followed by Clay County’s varsity taking on Station Camp’s junior varsity. Around 8:30 p.m., Trousdale County and Station Camp will face off.

Before that last half of action, players from the 1998 Trousdale County state championship team will be recognized.

“Friday night is our last dress rehearsal before this season starts,” said Jackets coach Blake Satterfield. “I am happy with our improvement over the last week, but the next two weeks mean everything for getting our young men ready to play heading into the fall of 2019.”

The Jackets had their final two scrimmages last week as they hosted Livingston Academy on Tuesday and traveled to Upperman on Friday.

“Last week we got back to some of the basics and taking pride in doing the little things right,” Satterfield added. “We improved in areas that make football teams and that’s blocking and tackling. We have some kids out right now with injuries and we still have a lot of improving to do before our opening game.”

JSMS: The Jim Satterfield Jr. Jackets kicked off their 2019 season on Aug. 8 but suffered a 6-0 home loss to Smith County.

Poor blocking and a number of turnovers led to the Jr. Jackets’ first shutout loss in seven years.

Smith County’s Peyton Hix scored on a 3-yard run with 3:30 left in the first quarter for the only points of the night.

The Jr. Jackets were to host Gordonsville on Tuesday and are scheduled to play at Macon County on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Larry Woody: If you see Bigfoot, don’t shoot him

A recent report about a Kentucky camper firing shots at what he claimed was a Bigfoot brought back memories of an alleged sighting in Wilson County several years ago.

I was contacted by a farmer who lived in a remote area of the county who claimed his teenaged son and his girlfriend encountered a Bigfoot.

The farmer, who insisted on remaining anonymous, gave this account:

He was bush-hogging a field, accompanied by the teenagers, who decided to stroll down a nearby logging road.

Sketch by Makayla Boden
Descriptions of Bigfoot tend to be similar.

A few minutes later they came running up the road, frantically shouting that they had seen a Bigfoot.

The son said they walked around a bend in the road and confronted an 8-foot-tall, man-like creature covered in shaggy, dark-brown hair. It was standing upright beside a pine tree and appeared to be chewing something.

When it spotted the youngsters it paused in mid-chew, then whirled and disappeared into the brush.

The girl’s account matched the boy’s exactly, right down to the creature’s jaw appearing to be lop-sided, as though it had suddenly stopped chewing.

The girl was crying, shaking and almost hysterical.

She stayed behind in the field while the farmer followed his son down the road where he pointed out the tree where he said the creature stood. The grass and leaves were matted down around the base of the tree, but no footprints could be detected.

The farmer said he had never believed in the existence of a Bigfoot, but was convinced the youngsters had definitely seen “something.” He said the girl’s emotional state was too genuine to fake, and his son was not the type to play pranks.

He said he contacted me not to seek publicity – he insisted no names be publicized for fear the teens would be teased – but rather to ask if I, as an outdoor writer, had heard of any similar sightings in the area.

I told him I hadn’t, and I never heard from him again. But in ensuing years I recalled the account every time there was a reported Bigfoot sighting.

The most recent came a couple of weeks ago at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.

A man told park rangers he was camping when a Bigfoot appeared out of the underbrush. The man ran to a nearby campsite and total two other campers about the sighting.

He returned to his campsite, which he said had been “demolished” and as he surveyed the wreckage, he said the Bigfoot appeared again. He said he fired several shots at the creature as it fled.

The two other campers corroborated the shooter’s warning about the presence of a Bigfoot at his campsite.

Reported Bigfoot sighting can be traced back to the early 1800s – and even earlier, according to Indian lore – but most wildlife professionals claim there is no such creature. They note that no Bigfoot body or body parts have ever been produced, nor has any verifiable photograph been taken.

However, if a Bigfoot does exist, it is illegal to shoot or otherwise harm it. TWRA regulations prohibit killing or capturing any wild animal for which there is no specified hunting season.

Bigfoot – if he’s out there somewhere – is a protected species.

Youth football players, cheerleaders show off new uniforms

Trousdale County’s youth football players and cheerleaders will be sporting new uniforms when they take the field this fall, thanks to hard work in fundraising and generous support from the community.

Players and cheerleaders displayed some of the new uniforms at the Victory Bridge on Saturday morning. The uniforms and other equipment cost around $12,000, according to Youth Football president Shane Sanders.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Youth football players and cheerleaders display some of their new uniforms.

“It’s amazing how quickly the whole town, businesses, parents, everybody pulled together,” Sanders said. “We knew we needed new jerseys and everybody really hustled and did their part.”

Sanders credited former president Troy Calhoun for getting the ball rolling in fundraising.

“Those guys did a really good job in saving money and we started off with a good nest egg. That helped us a lot,” Sanders said. “We’re going to continue to make it grow and be bigger every year.”

Sanders said youth coaches have already reached out to coaches at the middle and high school levels to implement some of the same offensive schemes. By doing so, when current youth players make it to high school they should already be very familiar with what will be asked of them.

“We want to be a farm system,” Sanders said. “Little things now can make a big difference later.”

The youth league has also received permission to play one night game at John Kerr Field, to give the children a taste of playing under the lights on the Creekbank. That night game is scheduled for Oct. 5 against Jackson County.

“The high school band will be there playing for these kids,” Sanders said. “We’re really going to promote it as a ‘Friday Night Lights’ deal and we want to get the town involved.

“See these kids that are going to be the stars of tomorrow.”

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

Yellow Jackets take part in two scrimmages

High school football teams were able to put on full pads last week, so the Trousdale County Yellow Jackets got in four days of contact and a scrimmage on Friday.

“We have had great work since we have gone in full pads,” said TCHS coach Blake Satterfield. “Unfortunately, we have accumulated some bumps and bruises; however, our kids are responding to adversity really well.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Cameron Rankins brings down a Livingston Academy runner during Tuesday’s scrimmage on the Creekbank.

“In order for us to do the things we have set out to accomplish this year, getting mentally and physically stronger is a priority heading into the 2019 season. We still have a lot of work to do.”

The Jackets completed their week with a scrimmage against Class 1A power Lake County in Clarksville. Online reports said the teams each scored twice, once on offense and once on defense.

“Hopefully after our Lake County scrimmage, we can make adjustments and learn from our mistakes,” Satterfield added. “We are going to rely heavily on our skill guys this year, but getting our linemen caught up is the challenge we are facing.”

The Jackets scrimmaged Tuesday against Livingston Academy, getting two rushing touchdowns from Cameron Rankins while allowing just one score on defense. They will travel to Upperman on Friday for a 6 p.m. scrimmage against the Bees.

JSMS: The Jr. Jackets will kick off their season tonight at 6:30 p.m. with a home game against Smith County. JSMS will return to the Creekbank on Tuesday to face Gordonsville.

Larry Woody: Pay attention to risks of heatstroke

The heat wave that has been sweeping the country may get worse with the coming Dog Days of August, and for outdoorsmen it is beyond uncomfortable.

It can be a killer.

I’ve used this example before, but it’s worth repeating as a warning: a friend who was a veteran fishing guide almost died of heat stoke a few years ago on Old Hickory Lake.

He was middle-aged, in good physical health, and had been fishing since he was a kid.

He was accustomed to sizzling summertime temperatures. The heat had never bothered him before.

Then suddenly one morning he almost died from it.

Photo by Larry Woody
Even deer try to cool off in hot weather.

He had taken a client out at dawn, and by mid-morning the heat was getting intense. He was about ready to head in when suddenly he grew dizzy. Then he blacked out.

By luck, his client that day was a doctor and he recognized the symptoms of heatstroke – dizziness and loss of consciousness; hot, dry skin; rapid heartbeat – and knew what to do.

He soaked a shirt in water and spread it over the unconscious guide to cool him off and protect him from the sun, then took control of the boat and sped back to the marina.

The guide was carried inside, and paramedics were called. By the time they arrived, the air conditioning and cold towels had revived him, but he was nauseous and suffering a severe headache.

The paramedics said if he had been alone in the boat when he passed out under the searing sun, he likely would have died.

He was cautioned against spending further time in the summer heat (one heatstroke may mean you are prone to more). Ever since then, he has heeded that advice.

His message is simple: if heatstroke could strike him – an experienced fisherman in good physical shape and conditioned to being outdoors in the summer – it can happen to anyone.

Medical experts warn that being on the water can magnify the effects of heat, with the sun reflected off the surface, giving a boater a double dose of rays.

Also, if the boat is moving it can produce a cooling effect and the boater many not realize how intense the ambient temperature actually is.

And in an open boat on the water, there is no shade to duck into for a periodic cool-off.

Heatstroke on the water even more dangerous is the fact that help is seldom close at hand. The boat has to return to the dock or marina to seek aid and medical assistance. A boat ride takes time, when time is critical.

Fishermen and other summertime boaters are advised to drink lots of fluids such as water and sports drinks that contain electrolytes. They should avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soda and tea, as well as alcohol.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat and light, loose-fitting clothes. Shirts or towels can be soaked in water and draped over head, neck and shoulders for cooling.

At the first sign of dizziness or fatigue, get out of the sun and cool off.

The best way to avoid heatstroke or related problems is to stay off the water during the hottest times of the day.

The fish seldom bite then anyway, and they’ll still be there when it cools off.

Yellow Jackets to play Station Camp in Tobacco Bowl Jamboree

The 31st annual Tobacco Bowl Jamboree is set for Friday, Aug. 16 and three high school football teams are scheduled for some football competition on the Creekbank.

Station Camp and Trousdale County will play a freshmen game at 6 p.m., followed by a contest between Clay County’s varsity and Station Camp’s junior varsity around 7:15 p.m.

At 8:30, the 1998 Trousdale County team that won the Class 1A state championship will be recognized. Current Jackets assistant coach Corey Timberlake was part of that squad, which defeated the University School of Jackson 63-18 in the Clinic Bowl.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Mason Basford (70) tackles a ballcarrier during summer workouts.

Station Camp and Trousdale County will conclude the jamboree with two quarters of exhibition play that will start around 9 p.m.

“We are looking for a good turnout to finish our preseason scrimmages,” said coach Blake Satterfield. “Playing Lake County, Livingston Academy and Upperman before our jamboree will provide a great opportunity for our guys to get quality work.

“Please come out and support us for a great night at the 2019 Tobacco Bowl Jamboree.”

The Yellow Jackets will scrimmage on Friday against Lake County at Austin Peay, then at home against Livingston Academy on Tuesday.

JSMS: The JSMS Jr. Jackets will kick off the 2019 season on Thursday, Aug. 8 with a 6:30 p.m. home matchup against Smith County.

Larry Woody: ‘Frog fishing’ can be unique experience

Pat Haywood was fascinated when she watched Lebanon guide Jim Duckworth “frog fishing” with his grandson Logan in a pond near the Duckworths’ home.

Duckworth asked Pat if she’d like to try it sometime.

She hopped on the invitation, and one day last week a hunt was arranged.

Pat bagged her frog.

“I wasn’t sure it would work, but it did,” says Pat, wife of longtime Charlie Daniels Band bass guitar player Charlie Haywood.

Photo courtesy of Jim Duckworth
Pat Haywood went ‘frog fishing’ and brought back this big one.

“I cast out and reeled the worm across the grassy surface like Jim showed me, and suddenly a big frog grabbed it.”

“It hit like a three-pound bass,” Duckworth says. “I’ve caught lots of frogs that way.”

Unlike traditional frog hunting which is done at night – shining frogs’ eyes and gigging, grabbing or shooting them – ‘frog fishing’ is done in the daytime. The frogs lurk in the grass and weeds waiting to pounce on whatever food source happens by.

Duckworth uses a worm for bait. Since it is too light to cast far, he uses an 8-foot BnM float & fly rod he designed himself. The worm is flipped into a froggy-looking spot and slithered across the surface.

Because of the tangle of vegetation, six-pound-test line is used.

Pat grew up in the outdoors in Texas where she once attended a rattlesnake roundup. She eventually moved north where she met her future husband. She and Charlie were wed 45 years ago and moved to Wilson County the following year when he became a charter member of the world-famous Charlie Daniels Band.

Charlie Daniels, a longtime resident of Mt. Juliet, is an ardent outdoorsman, but he and the Hargroves seldom get a chance to share adventures.

“We used to take our son fishing in Charlie’s lake,” Pat says, “but he stays so busy he doesn’t have much free time.”

Pat, a self-described “stay-at-home mom and grandmother,” met Duckworth through his outgoing wife Ramona, and they formed a strong friendship.

“Jim and Ramona are special people,” Pat says. “They are a delight to be around.”

During their recent frog-fishing excursion, catching a frog wasn’t the only excitement of the trip.

“We were walking on a liner that helps hold water in Jim’s pond, and suddenly he felt something squirming under his foot,” Pat says. “We looked down, and there was a big snake.”

The snake slithered away, perhaps to catch a frog of its own.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency classifies catching frogs as hunting, with regulations listed in the Hunting & Trapping Guide. The daily bag limit is 20.

Pat settled for one, but plans to go back for more.

“There’s a giant frog in Jim’s pond we named ‘Jabba,’ after the Star Wars character,” she says. “I’m going to get him.”

And then?

“I love frog legs,” she says, adding with a laugh: “As long as someone else does the gruesome work.”

Yellow Jacket football holds golf tournament fundraiser

Submitted photo
From left: Brad Glassell, Alex Anderson, Joey Tuck

The Yellow Jacket Golf Classic was a big success Saturday, as some 60 golfers came together to support the Trousdale County football program and enjoy some competition on the links at Long Hollow Golf Course.

The team of Alex Anderson, Joey Tuck, Jeff Beam and Brad Glassell won the first flight with a 17-under par score of 54.

The second flight had a three-way tie at 8-under 63, with the Lipmann Brothers squad declared the winner after a scorecard playoff.

Michael Dallas won a prize for the longest drive on hole No. 8.

“We had a great turnout of 16 teams,” said TCHS coach Blake Satterfield. “That doubled from the previous year. We will keep trying our best to grow this tournament each year.

“I would like to thank our community for their support and donations to TCHS football. Without our community support, funding our football team would be impossible.”

Larry Woody: Scary things sometimes in the dark

I’ve never been scared of the dark. I’m scared of what might be lurking in it that wants to eat me.

I came across a story awhile back that said a “sizable” percentage of the population is afraid of the dark. There’s even a name a name for it: nyctophobia.

I’ve spent over a half-century prowling the outdoors, sometimes at night, and I’ve had some nervous nocturnal moments.

One year my fishing buddy and I set up camp on the bank of a remote lake in the Canadian wilderness. We noticed trails coming out of the woods and leading down to the lake, but didn’t pay much attention to them as we pitched our tent under some hemlocks.

Photo by Larry Woody
A harmless owl can sound eerie at night.

Beavers, we figured.

Around midnight we were awakened by a loud “woof” outside the tent. Suddenly a big, hairy paw took a swipe at the canvas. Beavers don’t woof and swipe tents. Bears do.

My buddy let out a yelp, the bear let out a grunt, and I grabbed a flashlight and shined it toward the shaggy intruder. The bear went crashing off through the underbrush. Judging from the noise it made, it was a big one.

My buddy and I slept in the truck the rest of the night.

The next morning a ranger dropped by and advised us to move our tent away from the bear trails, and also to stop cleaning fish around the campsite. Either that, he said, or start wearing t-shirts that read “Free Food.”

On another Canadian trip we heard a timber wolf howl nearby. This time we were safe inside a cabin, but it was still eerie. It was a flimsy cabin.

I spent one eventful year sleeping in Southeast Asia jungles in which tigers prowled and cobras slithered. I never saw any of the former, but a squad-mate was struck in the eye by venom spit from one of the latter.

On another patrol we came across a python with the girth of a football.

The cobras and pythons weren’t interested in us. They were after the big red-eyed rats that screeched and scampered over us at night as we huddled under our poncho liners.

The jungle was a scary place after dark.

While those fears of the dark were founded, some were not. One pitch-black night, while camped alongside a trout stream in the East Tennessee mountains, my buddy and I were snapped awake by a spine-tingling scream.

It sounded like Bigfoot with an abscessed tooth. I’d never heard such a horrible shriek.

A few years later I heard it again, this time in my suburban backyard. I stepped out on the deck with a flashlight, and discovered the source: a pint-sized screech owl perched in a tree.

Most of the time when I’ve been jittery at night, it turned out there was nothing to be scared of – just an owl, raccoon or other harmless critter. However, on other dark nights there were cobras, bears, wolves and tigers prowling around.

If Mother Nature had a night-light, I’d sleep with it on.

Hayden Williams named as JSMS football coach

Hayden Williams

The Jim Satterfield Middle School Jr. Jackets have a new head football coach in Hayden Williams.

Williams has been elevated to the top spot after serving as an assistant under Matt Dyer last season.

“I am excited to take over as head coach of the JSMS Yellow Jackets football program,” Williams said. “Coach Dyer put in a lot of time and hard work last season to help improve the program and I look forward to building upon that. We have a lot of work to do, installing a new offense and getting these young men up to speed with everything.”

Jamal Carter will serve as an assistant coach.

“Coach Carter and I will work tirelessly to get the team ready for the upcoming season,” Williams said. “I look forward to us having a great year!”

The Jr. Jackets will open the 2019 season on Aug. 8 at home against Smith County.

Golf tournament: The annual Yellow Jackets Golf Scramble has been set for Saturday, July 20 at 8 a.m. at Long Hollow Golf Course in Gallatin.

The entry fee is $100 per player or $400 per team of four. For more information, call coach Blake Satterfield at 615-633-8544 or email blakesatterfield@tcschools.org.

Larry Woody: Have jackfish returned to Tennessee waters?

Some time back I wrote a Lebanon Democrat column reminiscing about the jackfish that vanished from the Cumberland Plateau streams I fished as a kid.

The column caught the attention of Mark Thurman, Region III Fisheries Manager for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Mark emailed to say the jackfish are back – hatchery-raised and TWRA-stocked.

“The evidence is pretty strong,” he says, “that the hatchery muskies are the same Ohio River Basin strain as jackfish.”

My great-grandfather James Van Winkle told of catching jackfish in the late-1800s. I caught three, the last in the summer of 1964.

Photo courtesy of Tennessee State Archives
Jackfish, like this one in an old photo, once were endangered.

By the mid-1970s jackfish were declared “endangered.” Some old-timers claimed they were extinct.

In the 1980s the TWRA began stocking muskellunge (musky) in the streams once inhabited by jackfish.

Generations of Plateau fishermen once caught jackfish from deep, cold pools in Daddy’s Creek, the Obed River and a few other streams. The fish grew to be several feet long and were famous for their ferocity.

My biggest jackfish measured three feet. It was literally the fish of a lifetime, because in ensuing years jackfish virtually – if not entirely – vanished from Daddy’s Creek.

Steam-filling silt, pollution run-off from farms and development and rampant poaching took a toll.

In response, the TWRA began a restoration program, releasing hatchery-raised muskies in Daddy’s Creek, the Obed, Collins, Emory, Calfkiller and Caney Fork rivers.

The muskies, raised in a Kentucky hatchery, were 10-15 inches when released. Mark says they can reach a length of 36 inches in three-to-five years, depending on forage and water conditions.

In 2010 the stocking was suspended because TWRA studies showed the muskies were reproducing and self-sustaining.

Are the stocked muskies identical to the native jackfish?

As I told Mark, the jackfish I caught as a youngster didn’t resemble precisely the muskies I later caught in Wisconsin and Canada, or the photos of muskies caught in Tennessee – including a state-record 43-pound 17-ounce monster in 2017 in Melton Hill Reservoir.

The muskies’ elongated body, fins, scale pattern and jaws of needle-sharp teeth look identical to a jackfish, but the latter seemed thinner, and the coloration was slightly different.

DNA testing could determine how close – or identical – the hatchery-raised musky is to native jackfish, but there’s no way to obtain a tissue sample from an authentic jackfish.

Since 2000, 331 muskies have been released in a 30-40 mile stretch of Daddy’s Creek alone, in addition to hundreds more stocked in other Plateau streams.

The streams’ water quality has improved, and poaching seems to have ceased. That gives stocked muskies a chance not just to survive, but to thrive.

That in turn gives today’s anglers a chance to catch a ferocious fish like the ones caught by frontiersmen, and like the one I caught 55 summers ago – one that still makes my hands shake to think about.

Yellow Jackets release 2019 football schedule

Trousdale County football coach Blake Satterfield has released the Yellow Jackets’ schedule for the 2019 season, which will feature just nine regular-season games.

Satterfield had been in talks with Lewis County’s Bobby Sharp about playing in Week 2, but the two were unable to come to an agreement.

According to Satterfield, he wanted to play a two-year, home-and-home series while Sharp wanted to play on a neutral site at Oakland High in Murfreesboro rather than come to Hartsville.

The two teams last met in 1993 when Sharp, now the longest tenured Class 2A coach in the state, brought his Panthers to the Creekbank and lost 28-0.

After hosting the 31st annual Tobacco Bowl Jamboree on Aug. 16 against an opponent to be determined, the Jackets will travel to Possum Town to face Friendship Christian in Week 1 with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. It will be the first game on the Commanders’ new artificial turf field.

After a bye, the Jackets will open their Region 4-2A schedule with a Sept. 6 trip to Watertown in a game that should go a long way in determining the region winner.

Trousdale County will open the home portion of its schedule on Sept. 13 against the Gordonsville Tigers.

Another new opponent will appear on the schedule when the Jackets hit the road on Oct. 11 for a trip to Portland. The Jackets and Panthers have not played since 2004, when both were members of Region 4-3A.

The two rivals played five games from 2001-04 with the Jackets winning three of them, including an epic 17-14 upset of the Panthers in the 2001 quarterfinals that ended Portland’s 27-game winning streak.

“Our schedule is very challenging and will take a great summer of becoming more physical and getting in better shape to have a chance to be successful,” Satterfield said.

The Yellow Jackets will hold the first of three scrimmages on Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. as they test their skills against Class 1A power Lake County in a matchup that will be held at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville.

The Jackets are scheduled to scrimmage at home against Livingston Academy on Aug. 6 at 5:30 p.m. and at Upperman at 6 p.m. on Aug. 9.

Golf tournament: The annual Yellow Jackets Golf Scramble has been set for Saturday, July 20 at 8 a.m. at Long Hollow Golf Course in Gallatin.

The entry fee is $100 per player or $400 per team of four. For more information, call coach Blake Satterfield at 615-633-8544 or email blakesatterfield@tcschools.org.



Aug. 23            at Friendship

Sept. 6            at Watertown*

Sept. 13            Gordonsville

Sept. 20            Westmoreland*

Sept. 27            at Macon County

Oct. 4            East Robertson*

Oct. 11            at Portland

Oct. 18            Cascade*^

Nov. 1            Jackson County*#

* – Region game; ^ – Homecoming; # – Senior Night

Young racers driven to succeed at Highland Rim

The rabbits are chasing the fox at Highland Rim Speedway.

Eager young drivers Garrett Dies of Hartsville and Hunter Wright of Lebanon are pursuing wily veteran Mark Day in the track’s Pro 8 Late Model division, and although the season is in the early stages, they are hanging tough.

“Both young men are doing an excellent job,” says track owner Jerry Criswell.

“They have really come into their own. For many years Mark Day has been one of the best drivers around, not just locally but in the entire Southeast. He’s an extremely smart racer – I compare him to David Pearson – and when these young drivers a third his age can keep up with him, it shows how well they’re doing.”

Submitted photo
Hartsville’s Garrett Dies poses with sponsors Jackie Gaither, left, and Kevin Gaines.

As of June 15, Wright, 18, leads the division points standings. Day, 57, of Clarksville, is second and Dies, 17, is sixth.

“I like racing against Mark,” says Dies, a junior at Trousdale County High.

“But,” he adds with a laugh, “I don’t like getting beat by him.”

Wright, in addition to defending his Legends Series track championship this season, also is competing in Highland Rim’s more advanced Pro 8 Late Model division. He says getting an opportunity to race against veteran drivers such as Day will make him a better driver.

“I enjoy the competition,” he says. “That’s how you learn. I’m competitive, and I like the challenge.”

Dies is coming off a winless season in the track’s Late Model division. Although he didn’t win a feature race last year, he captured three heats and posted three top-ten finishes.

“It wasn’t a bad year,” he says, “but this year I want to win races.”

Young drivers sometimes have different viewpoints about racing against veterans who not only have an edge in experience, but also often have superior cars and equipment. On one hand it’s challenging, but on the other hand it can take a toll on a young racer’s confidence.

“I won’t let losing to Mark discourage me,” Garrett says. “I know how good he is, and that losing to him is nothing to get down about. But it also makes me determined to beat him eventually. My goal every race is to finish ahead of the No. 8 (Day’s car). If I do that, I’m probably going to win the race.”

Garrett says Day is a gracious winner.

“Just about every time he wins, he comes over and tells me I ran a good race,” he says. “Coming from Mark Day it’s a real compliment. I’ve been a fan of his ever since my dad and I met him at Montgomery (Ala.) Speedway when I was six or seven.”

Garrett predicts some heated battles between himself and Hunter as they chase Day.

“Hunter is a great racer and we really go at it,” he says. “He is fun to race against.”

Garrett’s dad Roy, a former racer, is pleased with his son’s progress.

“He has done a good job,” says Roy, who over the years raced at Highland Rim Speedway, Fairgrounds Speedway and in Beech Bend, Ky. He competed from 1987-2001, and now devotes his time to working 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 got a big boost earlier this year when he secured a sponsorship from Lebanon-based Cumberland Reality. His car carries a “G-Team” logo in tribute to sponsors Jackie Gaither and Kevin Gaines.

“We’ve got a lot of good things going for us,” Garrett says. “I expect a good season.”

Larry Woody: Black bears making way across Tennessee

Tennessee’s black bears are growing in number and expanding their territory, becoming routinely sighted in Middle Tennessee.

If they are not already in Trousdale County, they soon will be.

With bears more abundant and on the move, and with more people involved in summertime outdoors activities, encounters are increasingly likely.

For that reason, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has issued a “bear advisory” about how to deal with the situation.

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Hedgecoth
Bears, such as this one in a backyard near Crossville, are becoming common sights in Middle Tennessee.

For starters, the TWRA warns against leaving any sort of food around a home or campsite that could attract a wandering bear. That includes pet food and garbage.

When camping, all food should be secured and stored in containers away from the campsite. Cooking grills should be as kept and clean and grease-free as possible, and all garbage disposed in bins.

Fish should never be cleaned around a campsite, and fish remains disposed of well away from the site.

The TWRA warns to never approach a bear that appears docile, because the animals are unpredictable. If one is feeding or has food stored in the area, it can be particularly dangerous. Bears are known to attack to protect a food source.

Be wary when hiking through an area in which berries are abundant. Berries are a primary food source in the summer, and bears gravitate to those areas.

When hiking, be aware of the surroundings, and if a feeding bear is encountered, give it a wide berth. Some hikers blow whistles when walking in bear country to make their presence known.

Also this time of year newborn cubs are starting to wander and explore their surroundings, and the mother bear is extremely protective. If a cub is encountered, depart the area immediately.

Never approach a cub or try to photograph one up-close; the action could be interpreted as threating by a nearby mother.

Although unprovoked black bear attacks are rare, they do occur, often with tragic results.

If a bear is spotted around a home, residents are advised to go indoors and contact local law enforcement officials. Neighbors should be alerted to the presence of the bear.

Bears are protected except during hunting season. Even in-season, a bear can be killed only in specified areas by a licensed hunter. Otherwise, it is illegal to harm a bear.

The only exception is if a bear presents a clear and obvious threat – which is rarely the case. Simply being frightened by the appearance of a bear is not considered a “threat,” and harming it can result in a citation, fine and court costs.

The only way to control the bear population is through regulated hunting. A record 759 bears were taken during Tennessee’s past hunting season.

Still, the number of bears continues to grow, due in part to TWRA management policies, including cracking down on poaching and the protection of cubs.

Ready or not, they are coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

Larry Woody: TWRA lakes offer family fun for all ages

For family fishing fun, especially for youngsters and the elderly who require easy access, it’s hard to beat one of the 15 TWRA-managed lakes scattered across the state and open year-round.

The lakes are stocked with catfish and other popular species, and have fishing piers and docks from which to fish, along with accessible bank fishing.

The TWRA lakes are ideal for kids and casual anglers who want to catch a few bluegills, catfish or an occasional bass or crappie.

They provide a good break-in fishing experience that might get a youngster hooked on the sport for the future.

Submitted photo
TWRA lakes such as Marrowbone offer accessible fishing.

Most of the lakes have on-site shops where bait and tackle can be bought, and permits purchased. (Residents 13 and over must have a lake permit in addition to a fishing license. Holders of Sportsman and Lifetime License are exempt.)

Some of the lakes also have vending machines and sell soft drinks and snacks, with shaded picnic areas adjacent to the water. That’s important when fishing with kids; when they get hot, tired and thirsty, it’s time to take a break. Overdoing it can spoil the trip and sour the youngsters on going again.

Marrowbone Lake in Joelton is a typical TWRA lake. The 60-acre impoundment is open to fishing all week, year-round, from sun-up to sun-down. Marrowbone has a fishing pier, along with several fish attractors that can be fished from the bank. Its more remote coves can be fished only from a boat.

Like other TWRA fishing lakes Marrowbone does not allow the operation of gas-powered boats, only electric trolling motors. Gas-powered boats can be launched and fished from, but the motor cannot be used.

Boats can be rented at the bait shop. Paddles, seat cushions and life jackets are included. Renting an electric motor costs extra.

Youngsters are required to wear a life jacket any time the boat is moving, including trolling or drifting.

Another reminder: the TWRA lakes have a five-fish limit on catfish, whereas there is no state-wide limit for cats under 34 inches. The reason for the lake limit is to better spread the stocked catfish among the anglers; the lakes are not intended to fill a freezer but rather to allow more fishermen an opportunity to catch fish.

Marrowbone is stocked with rainbow trout in the winter. A trout license is required to fish for them.

In addition to Marrowbone, other Middle Tennessee TWRA lakes are Coy Gaither near Shelbyville, Laurel Hill near Lawrenceburg, and a chain of four Williamsport Lakes in Columbia. One of the Williamsport Lakes, Whippoorwill, is for juvenile fishing only, with one exception: an adult can fish the lake when accompanying an angler 16 and under.

Detailed information about the lakes, including directions and bait-shop phone numbers, is posted in the Tennessee Fishing Guide. Most of the lakes also have individual websites.

There is a TWRA fishing lake within driving distance of every Tennessean and suited for anglers of all ages and abilities.