* Ray Ragan was a sturdy catcher for Cumberland Junior College back in 1977-78 under former coaches Harry Frank and Mickey Englett.
A native of Dickson, Ray is now the head baseball coach at Dickson County High. He'll be bringing his Cougars to Lebanon's Veterans Field Friday to participate in the 2011 Riverdale Warrior Spring Classic. Veterans Field and Mt. Juliet High are among nine satellite sites for the 30-plus team tournament.
Since turkey season opens Saturday, April 2, I thought this week and next, I would tell you a couple true turkey hunting stories to get your wattle and snood all aworking. I may even join Big Daddy for a hunt myself. JLS
By JOHN L. SLOAN
It could be raining. The dew is dripping from the trees so heavily it could be rain. I am getting wet and glad it isn’t cold. Again, the coyote sings and again the gobbler answers. He is across the swamp and we will have to hurry if we are to try for him. We have walked some distance from the where we parked the truck. It is almost time for the sky to change clothes from funeral black to church gray.
Eddie starts out at a fast walk. Eddie Salter knows this swamp better than I know my office floor. That is why I am so surprised when he steps into the creek. Fortunately, it is only three feet deep and the drop was less than a yard.
LEBANON -- Paul Tribble, an 8th grader at Walter J. Baird Middle School, has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2011 Tennessee Geographic Bee, sponsored by Google and Plum Creek.
Paul is the son of John and Leigh Ann Tribble and is a member of the Blue Devil basketball team.
Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school’s Geographic Bee winner. School-level winners then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. In each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Dependents Schools, and the U.S. territories, the National Geographic Society invited students with the top 100 scores to compete at the state level.
The 2011 Tennessee Geographic Bee will be held at Tennessee State University’s Avon Williams Auditorium at 330 10th Ave. N., Nashville, on Friday, April 1.
The state winner will receive $100, the “Complete National Geographic on DVD” and a trip to Washington, D.C., where he/she will represent Tennessee in the national finals at the National Geographic Society headquarters, May 24-25.
The first-place national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the Society.
Lebanon firm builds on hearty meals, atmosphere
By KEN BECK
Special to The Wilson Post
When the doors opened at 6 a.m., Monday, 60 hungry diners were lined up ready to order breakfast as Cracker Barrel Old Country Store #600 served its inaugural meal in Frankfort, Ky.
The original Cracker Barrel, which opened Sept. 19, 1969, near Lebanon at the intersection of Leeville Pike and Highway 109, served a less elaborate menu (no Sunrise Sampler in those early days) although it included many of the same great country fixings—biscuits, fried taters, pinto beans and turnip greens—but also peddled gasoline and even sold the antiques hanging from the walls and ceiling.
Some sources recollect the first store originally seated 38. Today, each Cracker Barrel serves nearly 1,000 diners daily.
One of the early board of director meetings took place over a woodpile near the back of that first store. But that was 41-½ years and 599 Cracker Barrels ago.
By RAY POPE
Redbud winter, that’s what we are putting up with right now. Our next cold spell should coincide with the flowering of the Dogwood tree which will time its blooming with the running of the Stripe, or White Bass, a fun fish to catch.
After that one we will move into a cold spell called Locust winter, which also times itself with the moving up of the Crappie to spawn. One more major cooling down will be what we call Blackberry Winter. Sometime there will be an odd cool spell after the major four that most old timers refer to as Cotton Britches Winter. I mention the above cold spells, and I will get some of the funniest looks. This is something that I have learned since I was a small child, and I plan to pass it on up to my children’s children. Why, I’ll bet that John Sloan probably has a dozen stories or more about these winters.
Spring, a time for rebirth, a new beginning, time for our birds to do a lot of thinking about “he-ing” and “she-ing.” Of course the best looking male birds gets the best females, but not without a little courting, or maybe I should say sparking. During the fall and winter months our feathered friends take on a dull look. Even our Warblers dull-up for the winter and the bird books will show both the fall colors as well as the breeding plumage.
By SAM HATCHER
As the saying goes . . . “a lot of water has passed under the bridge.” In this instance I’m referring to the beginning of the Wilson County Civic League some 27 years ago in 1984.
On Saturday the non-profit organization will host its 26th Annual Fellowship Dinner in Cumberland University’s Baird Chapel.
Wilson County Road Commission will meet at 9 a.m., Friday, April 1, in the Road Commission office and will be followed by the Urban Type Public Facilities Board in the same location.
Wilson County Library Board will meet at 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 4, at the Lebanon-Wilson County Public Library on South Hatton Avenue.
Wilson County Board of Education will meet in regular session at 5 p.m., Monday, April 4, at the Central Office, 351 Stumpy Lane, Lebanon. All items to be considered for the agenda must be faxed to 758-3775 to Rose Ratagick no later than noon, Monday, March 21.
Lebanon City Council will meet in regular session at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 5, in the Town Meeting Hall, City of Lebanon Administration Building at Castle Heights. Prior to the meeting, council will hold a work session at 5 p.m. to discuss line item transfers and a forensic audit. Council will also hold a work session at 5 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, in the same location, for a discussion on economic stimulus, jobs and recruiting and retaining businesses.
Joint Economic & Community Development Board Executive Committee will meet at 7:45 a.m., Thursday, April 7, at the JECDB office at 115 N. Castle Heights Ave., Suite 102, Lebanon.
Lebanon City Council will hold a work session at 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 3, in the Town Meeting Hall, City of Lebanon Administration Building at Castle Heights. There will be a presentation by MTAS on “TDEC MS4 Stormwater Quality Regulations under the City of Lebanon General Permit.”
From Post staff reports
Saturday will mark the 26th year that the Wilson County Civic League, Inc. has hosted its Annual Fellowship Dinner The event, to begin at 6 p.m., will be held in Cumberland University’s Baird Chapel.
The theme of the event is “Strengthening Family Ties.” Guest speaker will be Dr. Raquel Hatter, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
Wilson County Civic League is a non-profit organization and was established in 1984 and chartered in 1986 to improve social conditions in the community. The organization’s primary focus is on the youth of the community and addresses problems such as drug abuse, teen pregnancy, violence and AIDS through recreation, education, seminars, workshops and regular tutoring programs.
By JENNIFER HORTON
The Wilson Post
Lebanon Police have arrested a man suspected in a number of burglaries inside the city and in the county. Ronald A. Neely, 40, of Murfreesboro, was arrested on Tuesday at the Best Value Inn and Suites on South Cumberland in connection with a burglary that occurred on March 18 at a residence on Carver Lane, said Det. Chad Jones.
Among the items missing from the residence, the victim said, were jewelry, firearms and electronics.
Jones said during the investigation involving Neely, detectives reportedly found some items that linked him to the March 18 burglary and to, they believe, “numerous others in the city and county.”
UNCOLLECTED COURTS COSTS
By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
Wilson County Circuit Court Clerk Linda Neal said the $59 million figure in uncollected court costs reported by a Nashville TV station is incorrect and was the result of a programming error that her office is working diligently to fix, allowing them to calculate the proper number in uncollected fees due to the county.
“The total that was given to the news media is not correct,” Neal said, referring to the $59 million figure.
Several weeks ago, Neal was asked by District 17 Commissioner Gary Keith, chairman of the Judicial Committee, to compile how much the county is owed in uncollected court costs.
“She gave me a ballpark figure of $100,000, and I had information that it would be more than that, in the $10 to 12 million range,” Keith said.
By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
In baseball, statistics are everything. Most folks say the numbers don’t lie, but in the case of Cumberland senior Aaron Wilkerson, the numbers are making a pretty good case for the native Texan to eventually go down as one of the best ever to take the mound in a Bulldog uniform.
Wilkerson (6-0) stretched his scoreless innings streak to 41.1 innings with seven shutout frames Saturday, March 26 in a 5-0 win over visiting Ottawa College (KS). The righthander allowed just four hits, walked two and struck out six, winning his 20th consecutive decision dating to February of 2010.
Only six baserunners reached against Wilkerson and only once did the Braves have two baserunners in an inning – singles from Josh Ragsdale and Jeff Montenegro in the fifth. His earned run average is a minuscule 0.41 through 44 innings.
He’s walked only nine batters this season with a team-high 42 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting a mere .130 against him with only 19 hits allowed.
"Wilkerson is definitely one of the best pitchers I have ever caught and the hands down the most consistent pitchers I have had the chance to work with," said CU catcher David Fanshawe.
"His ability to spot his fastball on both sides of the plate and locate his offspeed for strikes, is in my opinion, the reason why he is so difficult to hit. He can throw any pitch at any time in any count. He's one of those guys that doesnt care what game it is or in what situation he's in he never loses composure."
Career-wise, Wilkerson stands 20-1 overall and is in a three-way tie in ninth place with Shawn Schaefer (20-3) and Zach Whitmer (20-6) for most wins in a CU career. Both Schaefer and Whitmer were two-year pitchers at Cumberland.
Wilkerson is within striking distance of Jody Atwood (22-9 / 4 seasons) and Josh Underhill (22-6 / 3 seasons) on Cumberland’s all-time list.
“He’s the guy you want at the top of your rotation,” said Bulldog head coach Woody Hunt. “Aaron has been dominating for basically a year and a half. When he goes out there, our guys know they don’t need a bunch, just a couple of runs sometimes.”
Wilkerson is scheduled to take the mound Friday afternoon as Cumberland opens a three-game seriers with TranSouth Conference leading Union University. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Stockton Field.
LHS DOWNS BEECH 2-1
From Post staff reports
Lebanon High's scheduled Wednesday night District 9AAA game with rival Gallatin has been postponed due to wet grounds at Veterans Field.
The Blue Devils are coming off a brilliant 2-1 win over district foe Beech High Tuesday night -- a game that found senior Cain Sloan carrying a heavy load.
Sloan pitched a complete game 3-hitter, striking out 11 with only three walks. He drove in Lebanon's first run in the third inning, then reached base in the bottom of the sixth on a double. His pinch runner
Trevor Davis was able to score the eventual game-winner on an blooper to short left by freshman Eddie McDaniels. LHS (3-8 on the season) had five hits, including two from Sloan and one each from Jack McKeon, Brandon Shelton and Chase Sloan.
WCIT -- Lebanon went 2-1 last week’s rain-shortened Wilson County Invitational. The Blue Devils dropped a 4-0 decision to Germantown High Saturday in a game halted after six innings due to lightning.
On Friday evening LHS got a walk-off RBI single from catcher Jay Pittman in a 4-3 victory over Centennial High. Dent Burger went the distance for the pitching decision, scattering four hits with four strikeouts and walking one batter. The Blue Devils got a three-hit performance out of sophomore outfielder Jack McKeon.
LHS opened WCIT play Thursday evening with a 9-3 win over Hume Fogg High of Nashville.
WARRIOR CLASSIC -- Lebanon, along with Mt. Juliet, will be serving as satellite sites for the 2011 Riverdale High Warrior Classic.
LHS will play Harpeth High Thursday at 6:30 p.m. while Mt. Juliet is scheduled to host Clarksville Northeast -- also at 6:30 p.m. Earlier Thursday, Wilson Central High will play Tullahoma in a 4 p.m. contest at tourney host Riverdale.
Friday action at Veterans Field finds Middle Tennessee Christian playing Dickson County at 5 p.m. followed by LHS vs. Dickson County in a 7:30 p.m. nightcap.
Two games are on tap Friday at Mt. Juliet as Wilson Central plays Independence at 5 p.m.; followed by Mt. Juliet vs. Independence at 7:30 p.m. Pool play will continued on Saturday followed by a single-elimination tournament on Sunday. Admission is $5 per day.
Friendship Christian School is scheduled to be on the road today with an afternoon contest at Macon County High in Lafayette.
On Tuesday, the Commanders slogged to a 24-0 win over Red Boiling Springs as soph lefty Caleb Snider pitched a five-inning no-hitter. Snider struck out a dozen Bulldogs and walked just one.
Drew Erie drilled a pair of HRs for three RBI. Cale Mitchell bopped a two-run HR while Austin Godwin drove in five runs with a pair of doubles.
On Thursday, March 31 the Commanders will host District 8A rival Gordonsville High. FCS will host Jackson County High Saturday afternoon.
FCS run-ruled Class AAA Portland High 13-3 Friday, March 25 in the WCIT as Godwin picked up the pitching decision.
Watertown High is scheduled to host Community High Friday afternoon at Three Forks Park.
Mt. Juliet Christian Academy is slated for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday. Friday, April 1 the Saints will play a 4 p.m. game at Antioch High School.
On Saturday, the Saints will travel to Leiper’s Fork to play Franklin Christian School in a 10 a.m. contest.