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Trousdale County puts 13 on all-region football team

Trousdale County had 13 players selected to the All-Region team for Region 4-2A after the Yellow Jackets finished their 2021 season with a fourth straight trip to the semifinals.

Running back Bryson Claiborne shared Most Valuable Player honors with Watertown quarterback Brayden Cousino. Claiborne finished the season with 1,411 rushing yards on 154 carries (9.2 yards per attempt) and 22 touchdowns. According to his Twitter account, Claiborne has two college scholarship offers already.

Sophomore linebacker Cole Gregory was named the region’s Defensive Skill Player of the Year and junior Eric Gunter was named Offensive Lineman/Tight End of the Year.

“Bryson, Cole and Eric were three that came away with honors, being MVP of the region, Back of the Region and Lineman of the Region. The good news is that we get two of those three back for the 2022 football season,” Trousdale coach Blake Satterfield said.

Joining the three on the first team were senior defensive backs Keenan Burnley and Kane Burnley, who intercepted nine passes between them in 2021, senior linemen Xavier Harper, Carsey West and Jess Holder, and junior Brian Banks.

Harper finished the season with 103 tackles (25 for loss) and seven sacks.

Quarterback Kobyn Calhoun, receiver Garrett Rieger, lineman Colin Hamedi and lineman Rob Atwood were named to the honorable mention squad.

Of the 13, just five will return in 2022: Atwood, Banks, Calhoun, Gregory and Gunter.

“I am proud of all our all-region players and they are very deserving of these awards,” Satterfield added. “Most of them are seniors and they will be dearly missed. It’s always great to be the team that goes the furthest in the playoffs and represents your region in the semifinals and that has happened each year I have coached here at Trousdale.”

The Yellow Jackets finished with an 11-2 record under third-year coach Blake Satterfield. The fourth straight semifinal appearance is believed to be a first in school history.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or

Trousdale County band members visit alumni in Knoxville

Members of Trousdale County’s Marching Yellow Jackets took a surprise road trip to East Tennessee last month to honor two of their own.

Trousdale band director Rob Joines organized a trip by the students to Knoxville on Saturday, Nov. 27, the day after the Yellow Jacket football team played at Hampton, to watch TCHS alumni Noah Cartwright and Caroline Guffey perform with the University of Tennessee’s Pride of the Southland Marching Band.

“We had a high level of secrecy around this. The kids knew for three months and didn’t tell the UT students that we were coming,” Joines said.

Accompanying the students were assistant band director Steve Paxton, Band Boosters president Martin Boles and wife Janet, TCHS girls basketball coach Jared Hawkins and photographer Mark Presley. Each of the Trousdale students wore a commemorative T-shirt made to honor Cartwright and Guffey.

“We took around 30 students and chaperones to that game and made a day of it,” Paxton told the School Board during last week’s meeting. “They got to tailgate, saw the Vol Walk. Mr. Joines coordinated with Southeast Impressions and we had these shirts made.

“It was important for our students to see that physical support… making our students feel important and validated in what they are doing.”

In addition to being the final game of the season, it was also the last home game for Guffey, a senior who was honored at halftime on the Jumbotron at Neyland Stadium.

“I was out practicing and saw them in the corner. I thought it was the coolest thing that they get to see a 350-piece band compared to a 30-piece,” said Guffey, who plays the trumpet. “I t was really cool for them to do that and the T-shirts were great. I loved it.”

“I thought it was a wonderful gesture. It was a nice surprise,” added Cartwight a junior tuba player at UT. “I’m really thankful for Mr. Joines and Mr. Paxton’s support through my time in high school and in college.

“It was also awesome to the all the high schoolers get the opportunity to see a college band and what that experience is like, so they see the opportunities that lie ahead of them.”

Guffey graduated earlier this month with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with a minor in psychology. She will be moving to Florida soon to attend chiropractor school but intends to return to Tennessee.

In earning her degree, Guffey also took time out to acknowledge those who have supported her along the way. As a recipient of the Hartsville Rotary Club’s annual scholarship, she sent a thank-you card and invitation to her third-grade teacher, Martha Joe Jewell, who is now retired.

In that card, Guffey included a copy of her third-grade report card on which Jewell had written, “Lovely young lady. Please remember to email me when she grads UT or whoever!”

“I remember her doing that because my brother was graduating UT that year. So we dug back and looked for and found the card; it was really cool,” Guffey said.

Jewell said she was touched that Guffey remembered that gesture after almost 15 years.

“She’s an outstanding young lady, a Rotary scholarship winner. She’s incredible and her family is as well,” Jewell said.

Cartwright and Guffey are the sixth Trousdale students to participate in UT’s band since 2003, joining Seth Thurman, Jesse Edwards, Marshal Myhan and Laurel Dodson. Both also received music scholarships to Tennessee.

Additionally, former TCHS students Eric Loerch is on band scholarship at Bethel University and Mackinzie Vaughn is in the band at Western Kentucky this year.

At this year’s state championships, Trousdale’s band placed 15th overall and all five seniors received scholarship offers totaling $413,100.

“We want the citizens of Trousdale County to know that we take their investment in us seriously, and we try to give them ‘the most bang for the buck’ when it comes to results,” Joines said. “Our school system’s mission statement is, ‘Accelerating & Graduating All Students for the Careers of Tomorrow,’ and we want to do our part.”

Since Joines took over the Trousdale band in 2002, the Marching Yellow Jackets have sent students to university and MTSBOA Mid-State honor bands, youth symphonies at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, participated in the 2008 Tennessee Music Education Association State Concert Festival, and represented Trousdale County in Gov. Bill Haslam’s 2011 inaugural parade.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or

Trousdale school board upholds teacher dismissal

Trousdale County’s School Board upheld the dismissal of high school teacher Brooke Jenkins by a 4-1 vote during the Dec. 16 meeting.

Anthony Crook cast the love vote against sustaining the dismissal. Under Tennessee law, Jenkins has 30 days to appeal the board’s ruling to chancery court.

Jenkins’ appeal came after an impartial hearing officer upheld the dismissal, which was originally certified by the board in August. Jenkins, who did not have tenure, was charged with insubordination and dereliction of duty in an Aug. 10 letter from Director of Schools Clint Satterfield recommending her termination.

The charges came both after Jenkins informed school officials of her plans to resign as volleyball coach and after she was suspended for breaking the district’s COVID quarantine policy in July.

“She defied COVID quarantine instructions that she could either complete the entire period of her scheduled quarantine or she could return to work on day 20 by wearing a full-time mask through day 24,” the letter stated in part. “Ms. Jenkins indeed elected to return to work early, but she refused to wear the face covering as instructed.”

Jenkins addressed the board giving what she called her side, saying that her contract stated nothing about coaching volleyball. She also gave examples of previous teachers who resigned coaching positions but retained their teaching positions.

“I don’t know how’s I’m obligated to coach and teach without losing my job. I’ve never had a writeup… until I sent the email saying I was resigning from coaching,” she said.

Satterfield countered that when Jenkins was hired, it was with the explicit understanding that she would coach and teach and that she could not do one without the other. He also noted that Jenkins was only certified to coach physical education.

“The record is clear that she knew her coaching and teaching positions were one and the same,” Satterfield said. “She’s done a good job for us, but the only endorsement she has on her teaching license is PE.”

Satterfield said the district had moved her into science, art and library positions but that she had failed to obtain endorsements in any of those areas.

Satterfield also updated the board on damage to the elementary school roof caused by the storms earlier this month. The board earlier this year allocated funds to renovate the roof over a two-year period, but Satterfield said he believed insurance would cover a significant portion of that amount because of damage in some areas.

“They described it as walking on a trampoline… we think the insurance is going to pretty much replace that roof and we won’t have to spend that kind of money. It didn’t rip the roof off but it’s separated from the decking.”

A school bus that drew national attention after being overturned by strong winds earlier this month is a total loss and replacement could be around $98,000, Satterfield estimated. Insurance recovery will only cover about half that amount, he added.

Chairman Johnny Kerr said he had already had discussions with the chairman of the County Commission about getting help paying for a new bus.

The district is also creating a drive-thru COVID testing site for school system employees to be located at the high school beginning on Jan. 5. Satterfield said it would be open on Wednesdays from 3-5 p.m. and be optional.

“All our employees can use it… if that (mandate) ever comes to being then our (unvaccinated) employees could do free testing,” he said.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or

BBQ Shack moves to new Hartsville location

The BBQ Shack isn’t quite a shack any longer — but it’s still around to provide good food to its customers.

The restaurant, which moved to the intersection of White Oak and Broadway in July 2019, has a new home in the site of the former China Buffet, right next to Foodland.

When the Chinese restaurant closed its doors, BBQ Shack owner Dwight Cothron said the opportunity was too good to pass up.

“We’re trying our best to grow and this opportunity came up, so we took it,” Cothron said.

Having a permanent building should prove advantageous during the coming cold of winter as well as during the summer heat, Cothron added. While the BBQ Shack’s old location had outdoor seating, customers didn’t always want to take advantage depending on the weather.

“When it’s too cold, nobody wants to eat. When it’s too hot, nobody wants to eat,” he said. “This will help everybody.”

The BBQ Shack opened at its new location on Wednesday, Dec. 15 and will keep the same hours as China Buffet, Cothron said. The restaurant will be open from 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and can be reached at 615-552-8063.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or