Jackets rally past Clarkrange; Lady Jackets top Gordonsville

Trousdale County started its District 6-A games last week and each team came away with one win in two tries.

At Gordonsville on Dec. 4, the Lady Jackets outscored the Tigerettes in every quarter en route to a 68-48 victory.

Junior Chloe Donoho poured in a career-high 24 points as the Lady Jackets posted their fifth consecutive win over Gordonsville. Freshman Kailen Donoho came off the bench to add 17 points and junior Josie Garrett added eight. Senior Shelby Jane Petty had seven points, sophomore Kinley Brown six and junior Tori Simmons three. Sophomore Morgan White had two points and classmate Claire Belcher one.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Chloe Donoho puts up a shot against Clay County on Monday.

“I thought the girls executed our game plan well,” said coach Jared Hawkins. “We attacked the basket well and looked for the pitch ahead well.”

In the boys’ game, the Jackets got off to a good start with an alley-oop dunk by senior Hayden Clark off the opening tip, but Gordonsville rallied to claim a 65-52 victory.

In just his second game of the season, senior Keyvont Baines scored 23 points and Clark had 12. Junior Kobe Ford had eight points, junior Tarvaris Claiborne five, senior Houston Stafford two and sophomore Trent Pharris two.

For Gordonsville, senior Hunter Mann scored 28 points.

“It really wasn’t too bad of a performance given that we had one practice with the football boys returning,” said coach Ryan Sleeper. “We will just continue to keep working to get them in basketball shape and everyone on the same page.”

On Friday at home against Clarkrange, the Lady Jackets were outscored in each quarter of a 73-50 loss to the Lady Buffaloes (8-0, 2-0 6-A).

Chloe Donoho led all scorers with 23 points while Petty had 11 and Simmons 10. Kailen Donoho had three points, Brown two and Belcher one.

“I loved our effort, we didn’t let the press bother us,” Hawkins said. “We’ve got to fix some rebounding issues, but we gave Clarkrange a fight for three quarters and I’m so proud of the grit of this group of girls I have.”

The second game started as a lackluster affair in the first half as Trousdale trailed 20-12 at halftime. But the Jackets (2-8, 1-1) rallied and came away with a 33-31 victory.

Stafford’s only basket of the game came with 1:07 left and broke a 31-31 tie.

The Buffaloes (5-3, 0-2) had a chance at a last-second 3-pointer but it was off the mark.

Claiborne had his best night as a Yellow Jacket as he scored 13 points and pulled down 17 rebounds. Baines followed with nine points, Ford had five and Stafford, Pharris and senior Landon Carver each had two points.

Clark was unable to play because of a foot injury and is expected to miss some additional games.

“A win is a win,” Sleeper said. “I was happy to see the boys find a way to win this early in the season.

“Last year we started off 0-4 in the district and it was a hard hole to climb out of. Every district game is so important so we can host that first-round district matchup.”

Trousdale County hosted Clay County on Tuesday, then will travel to Monterey on Friday and host Smith County on Monday.

Larry Woody: Davy Crockett’s trail leads across Tennessee

Looking for an outdoors excursion this winter?

Try following the trail of Tennessee’s ultimate outdoorsman, David Crockett, from his birthplace on the banks of the Nolichucky River to the family’s grist mill in Lawrence County, and on to the earthquake-rumpled hills along the Obion River where Crockett killed 105 bears in one seven-month stretch.

I’ve been fascinated by David (he wasn’t known as Davy until re-christened by Walt Disney’s moviemakers) ever since I got my first coonskin cap at age five.

Submitted photo
Davy Crockett was Tennessee’s ultimate outdoorsman.

Following his tracks takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery in Tennessee, with parks, museums and historical sites along the way. It offers something for everyone interested in history, hiking and the outdoors in general.

I suggest starting at the beginning – the David Crockett Birthplace State Historic Park in the little East Tennessee community of Limestone. A replica of the Crockett cabin sits on the site of the original in which David was born in 1786.

Hiking trails wind along the gurgling Nolichucky River, including the stretch of rapids in which young Crockett almost drowned – nearly ending the legend before it got started.

Today the icy water still tumbles over age-smoothed rocks exactly as it did over 200 years ago when it pulled young David under after his makeshift boat capsized. He was rescued at the last second by a neighbor who was plowing a nearby field.

Another stop on the East Tennessee swing is in Rogersville, for a tour of the Crockett Tavern Museum. The one-acre preserved site is almost swallowed up by inter-city sprawl, and you have to look hard to find it. The tavern/museum is small but well-stocked with artifacts and items from the era.

The day I visited, a gracious lady took me on a tour of the premises and told intriguing stories about how the Crocketts provided food, forage and lodging to foot-sore travelers.

The restless Crocketts never stayed long in one place, and eventually wound their way in Middle Tennessee where David made a name for himself in politics. There are numerous “Crockett homesteads” scattered around, including one near Lynchburg. A historical marker designates the site.

A more prominent site is the Crockett mill in Lawrence County, the centerpiece of David Crockett State Park. A replica of the water mill spins, and the museum displays artifacts from David’s hunting, milling, political and farming ventures.

A statue of Crockett, waving his hat high in the air, towers on the Lawrenceburg town square.

There are no specific historical sites along the Obion River or around Reelfoot Lake where Crockett hunted, and almost drowned one winter when he plunged through the ice, but it’s easy to imagine him stalking through the rugged, virtually-unchanged terrain.

David also had some adventures in Memphis – almost drowning for the third time in his life in the muddy Mississippi – before heading on off to Texas in search of land and adventure.

The trail ends at an old Spanish mission in San Antonio called the Alamo – a long way from the little log cabin on the banks of the Nolichucky.

Larry Woody: My eyes, not experts, tell me quail numbers dropping

A recent column about the decline of quail in Tennessee and across the Southeast drew a dissenting response from the National Bobwhite Conservation Institute.

I wrote that the situation is dismal and mysterious. An Institute spokesman disagreed in part, saying that while it is indeed “dismal,” it is not “mysterious.”

The Institute contends that the decline of quail over the past four or five decades can be explained by loss of habitat.

I – and quail experts such as Lebanon’s Bill Bryson – agree that’s probably part of the general problem. Many rural fields that once provided prime quail cover and food are now residential developments, golf courses and shopping malls.

Submitted photo
There are differing theories about why quail have declined in many areas.

However, not all are. There are still lots of farms and Wildlife Management Areas on which the quail habitat has remained unchanged – or even improved – over the years. More and more farmers are cooperating with wildlife managers to produce better quail habitat, and some WMAs are cultivated specifically to produce quail.

Yet the quail have made little, if any, comeback in most locales.

Even in areas with suitable habitat, quail hunters aren’t finding many birds. Fields that used to hold several coveys now have only one or two. Or none. When you travel through the countryside in the spring, you rarely hear the merry bob-bob-white whistles that once were common.

To me, that makes the situation mysterious.

The quail institute’s response is similar to the initial response to the state’s vanishing-turkey mystery.

A decade ago I told one of the TWRA’s turkey experts the birds were vanishing on a farm I hunt on in Giles County. At one time there were flocks of several dozen birds on the farm. One fall I counted over 100 birds in a single flock.

Suddenly in the span of two years, those numbers dwindled down to a dozen or so turkeys – and eventually none.

When I told the turkey expert about the situation, he dismissed it. He said the turkeys were still there, I simply wasn’t seeing them.

I knew that wasn’t the case. There were no droppings or feathers around former roosts, no scratchings in the leaves, no dusting areas, no tracks around ponds, no distant gobbles and yelps. The turkeys had vanished.

The farmer who lives there said the same thing. He used to watch flocks of turkeys feeding all around his house, and almost overnight they disappeared.

The situation was the same on adjacent farms. In past years when I would drive through the area there would always be flocks of turkeys in the fields. They disappeared at the same time as the birds on the farm I hunt on.

Finally, a couple of years after I reported the occurrence, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency acknowledged there was a problem. Something had happened to the turkeys in Giles and surrounding counties. Since then the problem – and the mystery – has spread across the state, and the Agency is scurrying to find the cause.

This is not a criticism of the National Bobwhite Conservation Institute, which, like other quail-restoration organizations is committed to a goal I totally support: to save the quail.

But don’t tell me there is no mystery, that’s it’s a simple a matter of lost habitat. Even in prime habitat, few if any quail have returned.

Who are we supposed to believe – the experts or our own eyes?

Lady Jackets claim second win over Eagleville

Trousdale County had a busy week on the basketball court with three games last week.

At Westmoreland on Nov. 27, the Lady Jackets had a 25-21 lead at halftime, but wound up losing 51-43. It was the Lady Jackets’ 33rd consecutive loss to the Lady Eagles.

Junior Tori Simmons led the visitors with 13 points, junior Chloe Donoho had 12 and senior Shelby Jane Petty had 11. Freshman Kailen Donoho had five points and sophomore Claire Belcher two.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets took a one-point lead in the fourth quarter but fell 51-50.

Senior Hayden Clark scored 20 points before fouling out with 1:57 to play. Junior Kobe Ford added 15 points while freshman Andrew Ford had six, sophomore Landon Carver four, junior Brandon Ramsey three and sophomore Trent Pharris two.

On Friday at home against Station Camp, both Trousdale teams struggled offensively and lost badly.

Petty was the only Lady Jacket in double figures with 13 points in a 63-33 loss. Chloe Donoho added seven points, Kailen had six and sophomore Kinley Brown had three. Simmons and sophomore Morgan White had two points each.

The boys fared little better, falling 63-25 to Station Camp.

Carver had 11 points, but no other Jacket scored more than one basket. Kobe Ford had three points, as did Pharris and sophomore Dylan Chupp. Junior Luke Haynes and Ramsey each had two, while senior Houston Stafford had one point.

On Saturday at Eagleville, the Lady Jackets outscored the hosts 28-17 in the fourth quarter to claim a 69-60 victory – the second this season over Eagleville.

Four of coach Jared Hawkins’ girls reached double figures as Chloe Donoho and Petty each scored 20 points, while Simmons and Kailen Donoho had 15 and 11 points. Karissa Goss scored three points off the bench for the Lady Jackets.

The Jackets quickly fell behind in their game and went on to lose 69-52 to the undefeated Eagles.

Kobe Ford poured in 21 points and senior Keyvont Baines came off the bench to add 14. Clark scored eight points and Chupp had three, while Carver, senior Brandon Bush and freshman Thomas Brown each had two.

Trousdale County will host Clarkrange on Friday at 6 p.m. and Clay County on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Jr. Lady Jackets take down Defeated

Jim Satterfield Middle School had one night of basketball action last week, splitting a pair of home games with Defeated on Monday.

Libby Clark and Charlee Dixon each scored 12 points as the Jr. Lady Jackets claimed a 41-22 victory. Khaleah McCarver added eight points, Anna Martin two, Jaleah Marshall two and Autumn Parrish one.

The Jr. Jackets dropped a close game, falling 25-23.

Brian Banks tossed in 13 points while Dalton Stafford had seven, Cole Gregory two and Kobyn Calhoun one.

JSMS was scheduled to host Red Boiling Springs on Thursday, but the games were canceled due to Trousdale County’s participation in the BlueCross Bowl.

JSMS will host Smith County on Thursday and travel to Westmoreland on Monday.

Trousdale County falls 17-9 to Peabody in Class 2A BlueCross Bowl

COOKEVILLE — Trousdale County made its bid for a 10th TSSAA state championship but came up short Thursday after the Yellow Jackets fell 17-9 to Peabody in the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl.

The Yellow Jackets (11-4) entered with high hopes after knocking off the top three ranked teams in the state in each of the last three weeks. But No. 4 Peabody (14-1) proved too much of a hill to overcome.

Photos by Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County players show their disappointment Thursday after a 17-9 loss to Peabody in the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to them; they were very good on defense,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “We had chances in the red zone; we just didn’t get the job done.”

Peabody quarterback Cooper Baugus was named Most Valuable Player after rushing for a touchdown and throwing another for the Golden Tide.

Peabody set the tone early by returning the opening kickoff 65 yards and setting up deep in Trousdale territory. But as would happen so many times, the Yellow Jacket defense stood tall – eventually forcing a turnover on downs.

On its second possession, Peabody took a 3-0 lead on a 29-yard field goal by Isaiah Hicks.

Trousdale County would respond quickly as a 65-yard run by senior Dyson Satterfield gave the Jackets first and goal and set up a 5-yard run by senior Keyvont Baines and a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter.

Satterfield would finish with 116 yards on 22 carries to lead Trousdale County.

On its next possession, the Yellow Jackets appeared to have extended the lead when Baines went down the visitors’ sideline for a touchdown. But a holding penalty negated the score and Trousdale was forced to punt.

Trousdale County’s Keyvont Baines dives for the end zone in the second quarter. The play was negated by a holding penalty.

Baugus gave Peabody the lead back, rushing 38 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on fourth and 3.

“He’s a heck of an athlete. He’s shifty and big,” Trousdale defensive end Jake Gregory said of Baugus. “We just needed to bear down and make a play.”

Baines suffered a shoulder injury on the play and was limited in his ability to throw, which hampered the Trousdale offense for the remainder of the game. Sophomore fullback Cameron Rankins, who was the backup at QB, was already slowed by an elbow injury suffered in the semifinals against Meigs County. Rankins caught one pass for 8 yards and did not carry the ball at all Thursday.

“We were limited in what we could do offensively in the second half because Cameron was hurt, Keyvont was hurt, and it put us in a situation where we basically had to run one formation,” Waggoner said.

Peabody would extend the lead to 17-7 in the third quarter when Baugus found receiver Noah Halbrook for a 51-yard touchdown with 6:53 left in the third quarter.

The Yellow Jackets tried to respond, driving inside the 20 before being stopped on downs.

Trousdale would drive into Peabody territory twice in the fourth quarter but again came away with no points. A fumble by Satterfield on a fourth-down carry was recovered by the Golden Tide to stop the first drive.

The Jackets’ defense again rose to the task as senior Braden Hawkins and Gregory sacked Baugus in the end zone for a safety with 7:58 to play and make it a 17-9 game.

Trousdale County’s Braden Hawkins (28) and Jake Gregory (52) sack Peabody quarterback Cooper Baugus (3) for a safety in the fourth quarter.

On the ensuing possession, Trousdale drove and had first and goal from the Peabody 6. But the drive stalled and ended when Baines was tackled at the 24 on fourth down. Peabody was able to run out the clock after that and claim the Class 2A title.

“We had the ball in the red zone three times and didn’t get any points out of it,” Waggoner said. “It’s disappointing.”

Trousdale County outgained Peabody 224-167 and held the Golden Tide to 54 rushing yards. But the Jackets could not maintain any offensive momentum, going 5-of-14 on third down and 0-for-4 on fourth down.

Waggoner praised his team’s fight in reaching the final and said the senior class had set the bar for the future.

“In Hartsville, we don’t play for second place,” he said. “Our senior class got us back to the standard of what we expect in Trousdale County. They’ve set the standard for where we want to be next year.”

“I’m just happy to play football with my brothers; it’s a privilege to play for Trousdale County,” Gregory said after the game.

“Nobody thought we were going to make the championship,” Baines added. “We showed everybody we could make it, but we just didn’t come up with a win.”

“We had a lot of doubters, and to come up short is just how it goes. We just have to live with it,” Satterfield said.

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


Peabody 17, Trousdale Co. 9

TC            7            0            0            2—9

P            3            7            7            0—17

First Quarter

P-Hicks 29 field goal, 3:43.

TC-Baines 5 run (Chasse kick), 2:07.

Second Quarter

P-Baugus 38 run (Hicks kick), 6:18.

Third Quarter

P-Halbrook 51 pass from Baugus (Hicks kick), 6:53.

Fourth Quarter

TC-Safety, 7:58.



            TC            P

First downs            11            8

Rushes-yds            48-177            34-54

C-A-I            3-10-0            8-12-0

Pass yds            47            113

Total yds            224            167

Third-down conversions            5-14            2-12

Sacks            4-28            1-18

Fumbles-lost            1-1            1-1

Penalties-yds            6-45            9-86



RUSHING—TC, Satterfield 22-116, Hicks 8-52, Baines 17-11, TEAM 1-(minus-2). P, Baugus 15-28, Halbrook 5-25, Dickson 10-17, Wilkins 1-(minus-2), TEAM 3-(minus-14).

PASSING—TC, Baines 3-10-0-47. P, Baugus 8-12-0-113.

RECEIVING—TC, Chumley 2-39, Rankins 1-8. P, Halbrook 4-81, Dickson 2-17, Wilkins 1-9, Hammonds 1-6.

Yellow Jackets to face Peabody for Class 2A championship

Trousdale County will make its 13th appearance in a state championship game Thursday when the Yellow Jackets take on the Peabody Golden Tide in the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl in Cookeville.

The Tide are 13-1 on the season with wins over B.T. Washington (55-0), Milan (27-26), Union City (56-14), Humboldt (72-0), Halls (51-0), Dresden (48-0), McKenzie (55-7), Trinity Christian (50-0) and Adamsville (30-0) in the regular season, along with wins over Memphis Academy of Health Sciences (42-0), Trinity (41-7), Union City (35-0) and Waverly (35-21) in the playoffs. Peabody lost to county rival Gibson County 14-10 in Week 7 of the regular season.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Students show their support for the Yellow Jackets during a pep rally Wednesday.

“Peabody is very good, just like you would think an opponent would be in the state championship,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “They have a very good quarterback and big, athletic running back. It will be a tremendous challenge for us.”

The Tide are led by junior running back Jarel Dickson (6-foot-1, 220 pounds), who is already receiving Division I interest. Dickson has 137 carries for 1,243 yards on the season (9.1 per carry) and has 24 touchdowns.

Peabody won the 2014 2A title, beating Marion County 34-7 in the final. Trousdale is making its first appearance in the final since winning the 2013 championship 21-12 over Adamsville.

Kickoff Thursday will be at 11:07 a.m. The game can be heard live on WTNK 93.5-FM, 1090-AM and streamed online at funradiotn.com. WUXP-30 will also televise all the BlueCross Bowl games.

Lady Jackets down Eagleville in home opener

Trousdale County had two nights of basketball action last week against Gallatin and Eagleville.

On Monday at Gallatin, the Lady Jackets struggled at the free-throw line, making just 14 of 30 attempts in a 74-64 loss to the Lady Green Wave.

Senior Shelby Jane Petty scored a game-high 24 points while juniors Tori Simmons and Chloe Donoho had 14 and 11 points respectively. Sophomore Claire Belcher had seven points, freshman Kailen Donoho six and junior Josie Garrett two.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Tori Simmons (32) blocks a shot against Eagleville in the Lady Jackets’ 54-42 victory.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets trailed 20-17 at halftime but could not maintain the momentum in the second half of a 56-38 loss to the Green Wave.

Junior Kobe Ford paced the Jackets with 12 points and senior Hayden Clark had 11. Sophomore Landon Carver had seven points, senior Brandon Bush three, junior Luke Haynes two, sophomore Brady Eden two and sophomore Trent Pharris one.

On Tuesday, the Jackets opened the home portion of their schedule against Eagleville.

The Lady Jackets (3-2) picked up a good win, downing the Lady Eagles 54-42.

Kailen Donoho came off the bench to lead Trousdale with 13 points. Simmons added 11 while Petty and Chloe Donoho had 10 each. Belcher had eight points and sophomore Kinley Brown had two.

The Jackets (1-4) quickly fell behind the Eagles, trailing 22-10 after the first quarter of a 73-44 loss.

Clark score 13 points and Ford had 12. Pharris and Carver each had seven points while Andrew Ford had two, Eden two and Haynes one.

Trousdale County will host Station Camp on Friday at 6 p.m., followed by a trip to Eagleville on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip-off. The Yellow Jackets will open district play on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Gordonsville.

Buck Fever can strike even this experienced hunter

It was the biggest buck I’ve seen in 55 years of deer hunting – dating back to 1963 when I killed my first little fork-horn as a teenager – and he was coming toward me at a fast trot.

I don’t know how many points were on his antlers because I was looking at them straight-on, but the main beams were massive, standing out a foot beyond the ears before sweeping upward.

The rack looked more like an elk’s than a whitetail’s.

I’ve seen some big bucks over the years, and been lucky enough to have tagged one monster, along with a dozen other fairly respectable ones. This one was bigger than the biggest.

Did I mention he was coming straight toward me?

Submitted photo
Big antlers can cause Buck Fever.

Across a wide-open field with no obstructions to block the shot?

A mere 50 yards away and closing fast?

My mouth suddenly became as dry as desert sand, and my hands started shaking like Jerry Lee Lewis’ on a hot piano keyboard.

My heart was thumping so loudly I feared it would scare the deer away.

I had contracted a serious case of Buck Fever.

I swallowed dry sand and raised my muzzleloader. By now the deer was so close it almost filled the entire scope with brown hair.

I tried to hold the cross-hairs steady, but it was impossible. I was shooting off-hand, and the heavy barrel of the muzzleloader grew heavier by the second. It was like trying to hold an anvil steady at arm’s length.

The barrel was wobbling, weaving and wavering, and the instant I squeezed – no, yanked – the trigger, I knew I’d missed.

Through the cloud of powder smoke I saw the buck whirl and go bouncing across the field, white tail flashing, and disappear into a distant woodline.

After looking up to make sure I hadn’t accidentally shot a duck overhead, I went over to check for hair or blood. If this were outdoor fiction, I could write that I found a single smear of blood, began to walk in the direction the deer went, and saw the white belly of the dead buck in the woodline.

But there was no drop of blood, no dead deer.

I probably should stop here, but in the interest of truth in journalism, I might as well tell the rest of it. I re-loaded, moved to a new spot, and an hour later a sleek 6-pointer walked out at gimme range.

I shot too fast and missed it too, probably from lingering Buck Fever.

Making it especially frustrating was the week before I had dropped a deer in its tracks, and a week later nailed another with one shot, both at much longer ranges than the two misses.

I checked the record book I keep on every deer I’ve tagged over the decades. It showed 16 deer killed with 19 shots in the past three seasons. One of those shots was a coup de grace. I missed only two of 19 shots in three years, then missed two in one hour.

You’d think that after 55 years of deer hunting, and 142 deer killed, I’d have developed an immunity to Buck Fever, instead of choking like a rookie on his first hunt.

All I can say in my defense is, that sure was one big buck.

Study finds fewer wild turkeys reaching adulthood

According to a story in the Knoxville News Sentinel, an ongoing study into the decline of Tennessee’s wild turkeys has made an interesting discovery, but has not solved the mystery of what is causing the problem.

A spokesman for the partnership project between UT and the TWRA said just as many turkeys are being hatched now as were being hatched during the bountiful days a decade ago, but fewer baby turkeys are reaching adulthood.

Submitted photo

That explains why fewer turkeys are being harvested – from a record of over 39,000 in 2010 to about 28,000 this season. Less than 300 were killed during the recent fall hunt. (Due, in part, to hens being put off-limits.)

What is happening to the turkeys after they are hatched remains a mystery. There are numerous theories, including an increase in predators such as coyotes, bobcats and hawks.

The UT-TWRA study is concentrated in Giles, Lawrence, Bedford, Maury and Wayne counties, once among the top turkey-producing areas in the state. Those populations began to decline dramatically about a decade ago, followed by a general decline statewide, and wildlife officials are trying to determine the cause.

Meanwhile, some measures have been taken to try to help the situation, including placing hens off-limits during the fall season and reducing the fall limit in all counties. So far, regulations and bag limits remain unchanged for the spring season.

Trout coming: The TWRA will soon start stocking 90,000 rainbow trout at 43 locations around the state. Specific stocking dates will be announced, and the fish can be caught as soon as they are released into the water.

The foot-long rainbows are intended to be kept and eaten, as few of them will survive once the water starts to warm in the spring.

There is a seven-fish limit and even if the trout are not kept, a trout license is required to fish for them. There are some exclusions, including holders of a Sportsman’s License of Lifetime License.

Trousdale County headed to BlueCross Bowl with 32-29 win over Meigs County

At this point, Trousdale County may just be perfectly content to be in the underdog’s role.

The Yellow Jackets came into Friday’s semifinal against top-ranked Meigs County again picked to go out against an undefeated opponent.

But just as they did against Tyner and Watertown the last two weeks, Trousdale (11-3) gutted out a 32-29 victory over Meigs (13-1) to reach the Class 2A championship game.

Photos by Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County players celebrate after defeating Meigs County 32-29 to reach the Class 2A championship game.

Trousdale County will face Peabody (13-1) on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Cookeville.

Keyvont Baines ran for 212 yards and three touchdowns, and Jay’dynn Hayward scored what would be the winning touchdown on a pick-six in the fourth quarter.

“That’s been the story of our team every week; someone steps up and makes a play,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “Hayward made two great plays and bailed us out; Keyvont had a great game.

“It’s all about the team. We started off 1-2 and battled back. I can’t say enough about these kids.”

Trousdale County jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 31-yard reception from Tarvaris Claiborne and a 51-yard scamper by Baines.

But Meigs County quarterback Aaron Swafford, a Mr. Football finalist, kept his team in the game with a pair of rushing touchdowns before halftime.

Swafford would finish with 101 yards rushing and three TDs, along with 236 yards passing and a touchdown. But the two interceptions proved costly.

Trousdale County’s Keyvont Baines scampers for a 51-yard touchdown during the first quarter against Meigs County. Baines finished with 212 yards rushing and three TDs in a 32-29 victory.

“Great job. From where we’ve been to what we’ve done the last three years, we’ll be ready to take the next step next year,” said Meigs coach Jason Fitzgerald.

Meigs County took the lead midway through the third quarter at 21-20 on Swafford’s third scoring run.

After Trousdale’s ensuing drive stalled, Meigs looked in good position. But Hayward intercepted a deflected pass and returned it inside the 10, setting up Baines’ third scoring run and allowing the Yellow Jackets to retake the lead.

Meigs drove to the Trousdale 5 early in the fourth quarter, but a bad snap on fourth and goal let Trousdale’s defense off the hook. A Baines punt four plays later left Meigs at its own 32, setting up Hayward’s second pick.

“I saw him come into my zone and I broke on it,” Hayward said of what would be the game-deciding play. “I was there at the right time and I couldn’t let him catch me.”

Meigs County got new life when Swafford found receiver Caleb Hyde for a 75-yard touchdown with just under six minutes left to play.

But Trousdale was able to run out the clock, with Baines finding receiver Ben Chumley for a key third-down conversion. Baines’ run on fourth-and-2 gave Trousdale County a first down with under two minutes left and allowed the Yellow Jackets to go into the victory formation.

“From Day 1 we wanted to go to Cookeville,” Baines said. “Now we’re going. It’s great to play football here. I can’t describe it.”

“It was just about getting that win and getting to the next game,” Waggoner said. “It’s all about those kids who grew up here in Hartsville and it’s always been their dream to play for the state championship. Now let’s go win this thing.”

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

Yellow Jackets face No. 1 Meigs County in semifinals

Trousdale County will return home this week for a Class 2A semifinal matchup with the top-ranked and undefeated Meigs County Tigers.

Meigs County, located in Decatur, has wins over Sweetwater (47-7), Hixson (55-14), Cumberland Gap (40-6), Sequatchie County (35-0), Rockwood (46-6), McMinn Central (47-0), Cumberland County (42-3), Oneida (35-0), Polk County (24-3), Wartburg Central (39-6), Sullivan North (48-7), Rockwood (28-14) and South Greene (42-13).

Mary Felkins / Lebanon Democrat
Trousdale County’s Keyvont Baines (8) eludes the grasp of Watertown’s Isaac Leedham (80) on his way to the eventual winning touchdown. The Yellow Jackets next face Meigs County on Friday.

“We are looking for ward to another great opportunity against another undefeated and very talented Meigs County team,” said Yellow Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “They are very talented and have a very experienced team.”

Meigs does indeed boast experience, as its roster lists 18 seniors and 18 juniors.

The Tigers are led by junior quarterback Aaron Swafford (6-foot, 190), who is a Mr. Football finalist. Swafford has accounted for 49 touchdowns on the season, both passing and rushing.

Meigs County has never won a state championship but did make the finals twice in 1980 (Class A) and 1995 (AA). Trousdale and Meigs have never met on the football field.

It will be the first home semifinal for the Yellow Jackets since a 7-0 win over McKenzie in 2009. The Jackets are looking to reach the finals for the first time since winning it all in 2013.

The game can be heard live on WTNK 93.5-FM, 1090-AM and heard online at funradiotn.com.

WB&T Player of the Week: Week 10

Submitted photo

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

Selected by the Yellow Jacket coaching staff for his performance in the team’s Oct. 26 game against Jackson County, Stewart was presented with a commemorative printed football by WB&T personal banker Jenesia Ellis.

Lady Jackets defeat Northwest, Smyrna in Hall of Fame games

Trousdale County kicked off its basketball season last week with six games.

On Nov. 13, the Yellow Jackets traveled to Station Camp and dropped a pair of games to the Class AAA opponent.

The Lady Jackets quickly trailed by double figures and went on to lose 68-51.

Trousdale rallied in the third quarter and closed the gap to nine at 45-36, but was outscored 16-10 in the final quarter.

Senior Shelby Petty, a transfer from Mt. Juliet, scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half, while juniors Tori Simmons and Chloe Donoho had 16 and 12 respectively. Junior Josie Garrett and sophomore Claire Belcher each had three points.

In the boys’ game, the Jackets faced a difficult assignment in a 77-41 loss.

Junior Kobe Ford was the only Jacket in double figures with a career-best 18 points. Senior Hayden Clark added nine points and sophomore Trent Pharris had seven. Sophomore Landon Carver finished with five points and freshman Andrew Ford two.

On Saturday at Gallatin, the Lady Jackets picked up a pair of victories.

Coach Jared Hawkins’ girls beat Clarksville Northwest 62-41 as Petty again scored 17 points. Chloe Donoho had 13, Simmons 11 and freshman Kailen Donoho 10. Belcher had six points, junior Karissa Goss three and sophomore Morgan White two.

The Lady Jackets returned later that day and thumped Smyrna 82-40.

Simmons scored 20 points, Chloe Donoho 19 and Petty 12. Kailen Donoho added nine points, Garrett eight, White seven, Goss three, Belcher three and sophomore Kinley Brown one.

In the first boys’ game, the Jackets trailed by 22 in the first half against Northwest but rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter and held on for a 74-72 win.

Kobe Ford posted another career high with his 32 points, while Clark had 14 and Carver 11. Pharris had six points, junior Luke Haynes five, junior Brandon Bush four and junior Brandon Ramsey two.

Against Smyrna, the Jackets trailed by six at halftime (24-18) but eventually fell 54-32 to the Bulldogs.

Kobe Ford had 10 points and Clark eight, Pharris and Carver each had four, sophomore Dylan Chupp had three, sophomore Brady Eden two and Andrew Ford one.

Trousdale County played at Gallatin on Monday and hosted Eagleville Tuesday to open the home schedule. The Jackets will play at Westmoreland next Tuesday.

JSMS basketball falls to Westmoreland

Jim Satterfield Middle School hosted Westmoreland on Nov. 15 but came away with two losses.

The Jr. Lady Jackets lost 47-17 as Libby Clark had nine points, Charlee Dixon five, Elise Satterfield two and Khaleah McCarver one.

The Jr. Jackets fought to the end but fell 36-33. Brian Banks had 16 points and Dalton Stafford had six, Kyle Shockley four, Mason Eden four, A.J. Adams two and Cole Gregory one.

JSMS will host Defeated on Monday.

Tennessee’s black bear harvest on the rise

Halfway through bear season it appears there will be a record harvest, reflecting the state’s growing – and spreading – black bear population.

Since the season opened Sept. 22, 551 bears have been killed. The record harvest came in 2011 when 589 bears were tagged.

Submitted photo
A record number of bears are expected to be taken in Tennessee this season.

Biologists estimate the state’s bear population at approximately 7,000 animals.

In recent years bears have begun to spread out from their traditional East Tennessee habitat and are being spotted in several Middle Tennessee Counties.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency reminds residents that it is illegal to shoot a bear except in-season, in designated hunting areas, and while possessing the proper licenses. The only exception is if the animal presents a clear threat or danger.

If a bear is spotted in a residential area it should not be approached, and local TWRA or law-enforcement officials notified.

Tree stand warning: With deer season underway, the TWRA cautions hunters to be careful when hunting from tree stands. Falls from tree stands have become the most frequent type of hunting-related injury.

Hunters are advised to wear a safety harness, and to beware of slick, icy rungs when climbing up and down the stand.

Trout time: The TWRA will soon begin stocking trout in numerous streams and lakes around the state.

Specific dates and locations will be announced, and the foot-long rainbows can be caught as soon as they are stocked on a variety of baits and lures.

The trout are intended to be kept and eaten, as few of them will survive once the water starts to warm in the spring. There is a seven-fish limit. Even if not trout are kept, a trout license is required to fish for them – with some exclusions, such as holders of a Sportsman’s License or Lifetime License.

Detailed information about the stocking program and other trout-fishing regulations is available in the Tennessee Fishing Guide.

Elk cam: Elk can be viewed in their natural habit on an East Tennessee wildlife management area via an “elk cam.” It can be accessed on the TWRA website, tnwildlife.org.

Yellow Jackets rally past Watertown to reach semifinals

The theme on Trousdale County’s practice field this week was revenge. After losing on home turf to Watertown 22-21 in Week 3, the Yellow Jackets wanted nothing more than a second chance at the Purple Tigers.

They got that shot Friday night and took advantage, beating Watertown 15-8 in the Class 2A quarterfinals.

“The difference between this time and last time is, our kids wanted it more,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “They willed their way to win that game.”

Photos by Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Alex Ford (10) breaks up a pass intended for Watertown’s Deramus Carey (4) during Friday’s game.

Keyvont Baines scored the go-ahead late in the third quarter on a 27-yard run on a fourth-and-5 play. Baines took a pitch and raced to the left, outpacing the Purple Tiger defense along the way.

Trousdale County (10-3) and Watertown (12-1) each struggled moving the ball, as terrible field conditions made things difficult on both teams offensively.

“You couldn’t run outside the hashes,” Waggoner said of the field conditions. “We knew it would be a two tight end, run the ball inside the tackle box kind of game.”

The Yellow Jackets forced four Watertown turnovers and converted the first one – a muffed punt by returner Heath Price – into a touchdown. Cameron Rankins broke through the line and rumbled 29 yards to the end zone for an early 7-0 lead.

Trousdale County had a chance to extend the lead on its next possession after a bad snap on a punt gave the Jackets first and goal from the Watertown 7. But the Purple Tiger defense stepped up and tackled Rankins for a loss on fourth and goal from the 1.

“Our defense played well tonight to hold them to 15 points,” said Watertown coach Gavin Webster said. “Bottom line is, we didn’t get anything done offensively tonight.

“Our guys fought. They have nothing to be ashamed of. They fought tooth and nail. I think everybody in the world thought they were going to come over here and run over us and we did establish that we’re no pushover anymore. Hats off to them. They were the better team tonight and good luck down the road.”

Watertown’s defense kept them in the game and gave the hosts the lead in the third quarter after Brandon Allison forced a fumble that was returned 40 yards for a touchdown by Isaac Leedham. Price scored on a two-point conversion to give Watertown an 8-7 lead.

But Baines took over on Trousdale’s next possession after moving to tailback, driving the Yellow Jackets to the go-ahead score.

Trousdale County’s Keyvont Baines (8) races for what would be the winning touchdown Friday in a 15-8 victory over Watertown.

“We had a little bit of success in the second half running the toss outside with Keyvont,” Waggoner said.

Watertown got the ball for one last shot at tying or winning the game with just under six minutes left, but Trousdale’s Alex Ford hauled in the second of his two interceptions to give the Jackets the ball back.

Baines and Rankins allowed Trousdale County to run the clock out, fighting for tough yards and sending the Yellow Jackets to the semifinals.

Baines finished with 137 rushing yards on 26 carries, while Rankins ran for 82 yards on 22 carries.

Defensively, the Yellow Jackets allowed just 89 total yards, holding Price to 25 yards on seven carries. Deramus Carey, who entered Friday with nearly 1,900 rushing yards for Watertown, managed just 13 yards on nine carries.

Watertown QB Bryce Webster completed just five of 13 passes for 41 yards with two interceptions. Price also threw an interception on his only pass attempt.

“Our defense played extremely well,” Waggoner said. “We did what we had two on those last two drives, running out the clock.”

Trousdale County will host Meigs County in next week’s semifinal round, with kickoff at 7 p.m. at John Kerr Field.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com. Contributing: Andy Reed, Lebanon Democrat

Yellow Jacket defense rams up against Tyner

Trousdale County looks to have saved its best football for the postseason, as displayed by the Yellow Jackets on Friday night in a 35-0 victory over Tyner Academy.

The Yellow Jackets (9-3) traveled to Chattanooga and soundly defeated the No. 2-ranked Rams (10-2), who had been riding a 10-game winning streak and had not been shut out in 57 games.

“It was a great win for our team, our school and our community on the road against a top-ranked Tyner team,” said Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “I’m really proud of our kids’ focus and doing what it took to get us the opportunity to have a rematch with Watertown.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County’s Jake Gregory (52) drags down Tyner quarterback Martavius Ryals (1) during last week’s game.

The Jackets got down to business quickly as they forced Tyner to go three and out, followed by a two-play, 52-yard drive capped by a 45-yard touchdown run from senior Dyson Satterfield. Sophomore Heath Chasse kicked the extra point and Trousdale County led 7-0 just 2:10 into the game.

Satterfield would add scoring runs of 5 and 19 yards on the Jackets’ next two possessions to build the Trousdale lead to 21-0 late in the first quarter.

Tyner looked poised to get back in the game after a botched snap on a punt sailed the ball over senior Keyvont Baines’ head and started the Rams at the Trousdale 19. But the defense rallied and forced Tyner back, and the Rams turned it over on downs at the 33.

Trousdale would drive for one more score before halftime, with Baines sneaking across the goal line from one yard out to make it 28-0.

The Jackets got the ball to start the third quarter and responded with a methodical drive that took 5:37 off the clock. Sophomore Cameron Rankins capped the drive with a punishing 4-yard touchdown run to make it 35-0 and start a running clock against the Rams, who were the Class 2A state runner-up last year.

Satterfield would lead Trousdale with 124 yards on 16 carries, while Rankins added 72 yards on 11 attempts.

Trousdale County ran for 264 yards as a team on 40 carries while holding Tyner to 20 rushing yards on 14 attempts. Tyner managed just 86 yards of total offense and receiver Jeremiah Baptiste, a Mr. Football finalist with over 1,100 yards receiving, was held to two catches for 15 yards.

Senior Jake Gregory led the defense with seven tackles (three for loss) and two sacks, while junior Jay’dynn Hayward had seven tackles (three for loss), a sack and a fumble recovery.

Rankins, senior Houston Stafford and senior Braden Hawkins each had four tackles for the Jackets, while Baines recorded his third interception of the season.

Tyner, which won a Class 2A title in 1997, suffered its worst loss since a 55-9 loss to Ooltewah in the 2017 season opener.

Yellow Jackets to face Watertown in quarterfinal rematch

Trousdale County will travel to Watertown on Friday for a Class 2A quarterfinal that will be a rematch of a hotly contested Week 3 matchup.

The Purple Tigers are 12-0 on the season and have had just one close game this season, a 22-21 win over the Jackets on the Creekbank on Aug. 11. Their other 11 wins have been by an average of 40.3 points per game.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Watertown players celebrate their 22-21 win over Trousdale County back in August. The two teams will meet again Friday in the Class 2A quarterfinals.

In the first game between the Region 4-2A rivals, the Jackets held a 21-7 lead after junior Tarvaris Claiborne grabbed an interception in the end zone with 8:14 left to play. But Trousdale lost a fumble two plays later and Watertown scored 15 unanswered points to take the game.

“We had our chances the first time against them, but we couldn’t close the game out,” said Jackets coach Brad Waggoner. “We look forward to having a chance to play them again with a lot more riding on it this time around.”

Before the loss this year, Trousdale County had won the last nine matchups with Watertown by an average of 35 points.

The two teams have met once in the playoffs before, with the Jackets winning 52-14 on the Creekbank in a second-round matchup in 2008.

Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. on Friday at Robinson Stadium. Tickets are available for purchase for $8 online at gofan.co/app/events/42713.

The game can be heard line on WTNK 93.5-FM, 1090-AM and online at funradiotn.com.

The winner of Friday’s game will host either South Greene or Meigs County in the semifinals next week.

WB&T Player of the Week: Week 9

Submitted photo

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

Selected by the Yellow Jacket coaching staff for his performance in the team’s Oct. 12 game against Cascade, Baines was presented with a commemorative printed football by WB&T Office Manager Lisa Dies.