​Pro-Football’s Hayworth to Coach at GCHS

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

Just over two weeks before the start of school, Grundy County Schools Athletic Director Leon Woodlee contacted former Tennessee Vols and Detroit Lions linebacker Tracy Hayworth and offered him the job of head football coach at Grundy County High School.
“I was surprised, shocked and happy,” Hayworth said. “It was a whirlwind of emotions.”
Hayworth coached previously at the University of the South, Southwest Baptist University (Missouri) and as a volunteer at his alma mater, Franklin County High School.
“I’d sort of been looking for a coaching position,” Hayworth said, “but it was late in the season and the opportunity surprised me.”
Woodlee was appointed athletic director on July 12. He and GCHS football coach Scott Smith had a disagreement Woodlee’s first week on the job. He fired Smith and hired Hayworth two days later.
“The director of schools told me she wanted our football program cleaned up,” Woodlee said. Aggravated rape charges against several players and a mid-season change of coaches had given the football program a “black eye.” Smith was hired in February after the 2017 season’s close.
A former school board member and girls basketball coach at Swiss Memorial and GCHS, Woodlee had his eye on Hayworth even before being appointed to the position of athletic director.
“‘Hire this guy and you won’t have to worry about Grundy County football,’ people in Sewanee and Winchester told me.”
“I’m the best person for the job,” Hayworth said. “It answers all the ‘whys’ in my life, my trials and tribulations and my training and experience.”
“My job is to get the guys back to championship quality and bring the community together, to get the team and community reconnected.”
Hayworth favors a “back to basics” approach to coaching. “It’s about building character and a sense of pride, being a mentor to the boys. I want them to be young men who excel in the classroom and are leaders in society, to teach them to be professionals in life.”
Hayworth is the first African American coach at GCHS.
“I’m not afraid of the issues outside of football,” Hayworth said. “I’ve lived it and seen the ups and downs. I’ve dealt with every type of person. I’m well trained in dealing with issues of negativity.”
Hayworth also played three years of arena football with the Nashville Katz. Sewanee won the conference during his coaching tenure there, and Southwest Baptists was in the first or second position in the conference the years he coached.
Hayworth cites UT winning the SEC championship when he played for the Vols as one of his proudest moments. “It’s hard to pick just one, though,” he said. “I enjoyed all my playing days. I played as hard as I could and with love.”
“Some of the best moments were off the field, visiting children’s hospitals and helping to feed the hungry.”
Woodlee interviewed four candidates for the coaching position. Hayworth was the first.
“Tracy and I met for five hours,” Woodlee said. “Good things are going to happen. To the negative people who bring up the issue of race, I tell them there’s the door.”

​Community Engages in Ring Rescue

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

Love is kind and love is cruel, and sometimes symbols of love fall off steep cliffs.
Andrew Amonette, 45, had a plan. He was going to propose to his girlfriend, Carolyn Hicks, 39, on the edge of a bluff that was special to them both, a place he had helped name “Andrew’s Hope.”
Operating on the ruse they were only visiting friends Daniel and Becky Lehmann and taking in the views on July 28 at the Lehmann’s Wildstream Retreat center and ministry in Monteagle, he led his girlfriend to the place where several years before he made a rock formation that read “hope.”
Andrew and Carolyn, both from Nashville, met at Christ Presbyterian Church in the Music City in summer 2016 when Carolyn taught second grade Sunday school class and Andrew’s son was a student. Andrew is an attorney with two kids and Carolyn, a research nurse at Vanderbilt, has four children.
The proposal spot at Wildstream became a symbol to them both when they first visited Monteagle together last year and went to see the bluff view that Andrew says inspires hope.
After reading a letter about what the spot at the cliff meant to him and his hopes for the future of their relationship, they took photos of one another and then Andrew got down on bended knee.
“I felt she was going to be totally surprised,” he said. “My plan was on track right until the ring box slipped out of my hands as I brought it up to open it. Watching it roll off the cliff was a surreal moment—I couldn’t believe it was happening.”
They heard two crashes after the ring tumbled over the precipice, a more than 100-foot drop to the bottom.
“I certainly was in shock and disbelief,” he said. “I was so excited to give Carolyn the ring, a really unique 1920s-era antique engagement ring. And, in the moment of giving it to her, it slips out of my hands and falls off a cliff.”
Andrew took a path to the bottom, while Carolyn directed him from above on where the ring may have fallen. He quickly found the box, but the ring was gone.
While he was still searching, Carolyn trekked down and “sweetly accepted” his proposal sans ring.
“She was so encouraging even with the knowledge that the chance of finding the ring was remote given the terrain,” he said.
The Lehmanns joined the search effort and Becky put a call out on Sewanee Classifieds, a community email service, asking for metal detectors.
At least four people responded with offers to loan their metal detectors, Carolyn said.
“They all had encouraging words for our search and told us they would be praying and hoping for a miraculous recovery,” she said.
They searched the rest of that Saturday until after dark, but called off the search around 9 p.m.
The next morning searchers cleared an area around the tree where the ring box was discovered, scanning the area with metal detectors, Carolyn said. Her dad also came and joined the search on Sunday morning.
“We were starting to lose hope when two men so kindly offered to rappel off the cliff to see if the ring happened to be lying on one of the small ledges below the edge,” Carolyn said.” We thought it was unlikely, but certainly a possibility.”
Enter veteran cavers Joey Favaloro of Monteagle and friend Butch Guevara of Covington, La. The pair rappelled off the bluff about 10-feet apart, but about 30 feet down, Favaloro’s rope got tangled in some shrubs, he said.
While Guevara went down to untangle the rope, Favaloro kept scanning for the ring.
“I noticed something sparkling in the sunlight on a small ridge about 20 feet below me,” Favaloro said.
With the rope untangled, Favaloro descended and found the ring about an inch from the edge of the approximately one-foot wide ledge.
“In my humble opinion being able to find that ring on the side of the cliff with all the shrubs and bushes was nothing short of a miracle,” Favaloro said. “Prayers were answered that afternoon. Both Butch and I were glad we could help and are always looking for a good cliff to rappel.”
They returned the ring to Carolyn at the bottom, but Andrew was at the top and she sent him a cell phone picture of the ring on her hand.
“I wanted Andrew to see the ring on my finger, so I started running up the steep trail to the top of the mountain,” she said.
Andrew started making his way down to meet her, but they took different paths and missed one another.
“Eventually, we were reunited and shared some very special moments with each other and the wonderful folks who were there to help us and then witness the amazing recovery that was absolutely miraculous and an answer to prayer,” Carolyn said.
The response from friends and the community was uplifting, Andrew said.
“I guess you can say we had a 24-hour detour—now a story to pass down to our family for years to come—of people on the Mountain helping in a time of need to bring about a miraculous recovery,” he said. “We are so thankful for the prayers, words of encouragement and efforts of all who helped—truly remarkable.”
The wedding date is likely to be a few years out, but they are considering Wildstream Retreat center as a venue.

​Monteagle to Help Fund MGT Handicap Access


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the July 30 meeting, the Monteagle City Council voted to allocate up to $7,000 toward constructing a handicap accessible ramp on the Mountain Goat Trail (MGT). The council also debated whether or not to grant a business permit to an establishment seeking a license to sell liquor-by-the-drink.
Presently the Sewanee to Monteagle section of the MGT ends in the field adjacent to Dollar General, said Mountain Goat Trail Alliance (MGTA) President Nate Wilson.
“The reason you don’t see handicapped using the trail is because they can’t get to it,” insisted Monteagle resident Jonathan Grimes. A paraplegic, Grimes’ body hits the ground when he exits the trail on his hand bike.
Wilson said the MGTA had raised $19,000 toward completion of the $30,000 project, which will extend the trail to a handicap accessible ramp at Mountain Outfitters. Mountain Outfitters welcomed the trail traffic, Wilson explained, while Dollar General did not.
Dollar General has pledged financial support of an as yet undetermined amount. Wilson asked Monteagle to fund the shortfall, not in excess of $7,000; to move a water meter hampering the construction; and to pay for the seed mulch needed for landscaping (cost $750).
Mayor David Sampley confirmed the city’s budget could accommodate the request. Alderman Susie Zeman abstained from the vote.
The council deferred a decision on Wilson’s proposal Monteagle partner with the MGTA in applying for a Recreational Trails and Parks Grant to fund completion of the trail from Mountain Outfitters to the liquor store. The town would need to contribute $40,000-$50,000, Wilson said. The funds wouldn’t be needed until 2020–21.
In the discussion about Jesse’s Grill’s request for a business permit, Vice Mayor Jessica Blalock pointed out the business hoped to receive a license to sell liquor by the drink. Monteagle zoning forbids sale of liquor by the drink within 300 feet of a playground, church or school. Jesse’s Grill, which opened last week, is across the street from the ball field. The business is operating under a temporary permit, which does not include beer and liquor sales.
The state advised Blalock not to grant the establishment a business permit if the city didn’t want to allow liquor sales since receiving a business permit opened the door for state approval of a liquor license.
The council postponed a decision contingent upon review by city attorney Harvey Cameron.
The council also discussed the delay in repairing a 30,000 gallon per month water leak. Utility Systems supervisor John Condra said a potential developer owning adjacent property had not responded to a letter detailing the infrastructure costs he would be responsible for to receive water service. The type of repair will depend on whether the developer proceeds with the project.
Monteagle will reopen bidding for a contractor to demolish the Lane Avenue church. The single bid submitted was not in the proper format.
The council approved on second reading the following paid holidays: New Years Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas eve, and Christmas. The council approved on first reading awarding double time pay to city employees required to work on holidays.
The council approved the following purchases: a 2018 Ford Explorer, $29,394 (police department); 3-4 self-contained breathing apparatuses, budgeted amount $2,500 (fire department); a Harton Park playground border to comply with state certification, $2,100.
The council also approved sponsoring a girls’ softball team and the first reading of a new zoning ordinance bringing the city in compliance with state requirements.
A resident read a letter thanking sewer treatment plant employees for rescuing her two dogs, one from a pond and the other from a pipe at the plant. Condra said the area will be fenced.
The next regular meeting of the council is Aug. 27.

​Henley Retires from DREMC with 45 Years of Service

DREMC has reached the end of an era with the retirement of longtime head cashier Terri Henley. Although Henley will not officially retire until the end of 2018, she left the Sewanee office last month with 45 years of dedicated service and is enjoying her vacation until that time.

Henley grew up in Sewanee and graduated from Franklin County High School. “I graduated in May and started at the DREMC Decherd office in June of that year,” said Henley. “I was working with the National Store in Cowan as a sales clerk for $1 an hour and helping with the books when the wife of former DREMC employee Bill Miller told me about the job opening.”
Henley shared that one of the biggest changes over the years since she began with DREMC in 1973 has been the way bills are processed and mailed to members. She remembers the day when all posting was done on ledgers with balances brought forward and penalties updated manually.
“I am fortunate to have worked with parents and children of those parents throughout the years—Joe Bill Powers and son Don Powers; Floyd Kelley and son David Kelley; and Joyce Posey and daughter Emily Posey,” shared Henley. “It has also been rewarding to be waiting on members who used to accompany their parents to pay their bills when they were just small children.”
“I will miss seeing the members and talking to them. Even with the advances such as bank draft and online payments, some members still want to call, and most of the time I can recognize their voices before they tell me who they are!” said Henley.
Living on the mountain has its weather woes during the winter months. Henley recalls a beautiful ride into work one ice-storm morning on her son’s four-wheeler all decked out in her helmet and warmest winter clothes. “No one at the office knew who I was until I took off my helmet,” laughed Henley.
“Terri spent her last day in the office doing what she does best—taking care of the members,” said Decherd Sewanee District Manager Patrick Hannah. “We appreciate Terri’s years of service and her dedication to DREMC, and we wish her the best moving forward.” Retirement plans for Henley are simple—just take one day at a time.
Emily Posey has been named the new Sewanee MSR, having transferred from the Decherd office. “Emily has spent some time in recent months working in Sewanee and is excited about the opportunity to make it her new home,” commented Hannah.

Community Chest Grant Applications Available


Since 1908, the Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) has overseen the distribution of grants to nonprofit organizations across the Cumberland Plateau. Sponsored by the SCA, the Sewanee Community Chest (SCC) is pleased to announce the beginning of the 2018–19 grant cycle. All nonprofits that benefit the community are encouraged to apply.
The 2018–19 funding application can be downloaded from the website at . Interested nonprofits may also request an application by emailing the SCC at . The deadline for submission is Saturday, Sept. 15.
The SCC is a nonprofit organization and relies on funding from the community in order to support charitable programs throughout the greater Sewanee area. As the 2018–19 grant cycle begins, the SCC is also kicking off its yearly fundraising campaign.
The SCA urges everyone who benefits from life in this community, whether you live, work, or visit, to give generously Donations are tax deductible. Contributions, payroll deductions and pledges are accepted at any time at P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375.

Donations can also be made online through the PayPal and Amazon Smile links on the SCA website.

Village Plan: What is Affordable Housing?


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
“What does affordable housing mean in Sewanee?” asked Frank Gladu, Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor, posing the question at the Village Planning update meeting. Gladu hosts monthly gatherings to keep the community informed about Sewanee Village Plan activity. Gladu is tasked with overseeing the plan, a University initiative geared to ensuring long-term development in downtown Sewanee proceeds intentionally rather than haphazardly.
Housing is one of five priority projects.
A market analysis projected the community could support 100 more rental units and 120 more homes in the next five years, Gladu noted. The data is consistent with that from the Housing Study commissioned by the Provost.
“The study concluded the University should do everything possible to make it possible for employees to live on the domain,” Gladu stressed. “The retail housing market is the biggest obstacle to employees living here.”
“There are 400 homes on the domain, but many are out of the price range of employees.” Gladu said that in addition to the homes being costly, many were old and in need of renovation, adding to the expense.
University policy stipulates only employees can build on the domain, Gladu pointed out, but at present there were only four or five lots available. (Note: Parson’s Green is an exception, allowing full-time residents to build.)
In keeping with the Housing Study’s recommendation the University is expected to release 12 more lots in September, according to Gladu.
The Village Plan hopes to increase the housing inventory with a variety of affordable developer built housing options: clusters of small single family homes, apartments, and multi-family homes such as duplexes. University employees would have priority in owning or leasing these residences.
But, what is affordable for University employees?
The rule of thumb is “families allocate 30 percent of disposable income to housing,” another community member attending the meeting observed.
“The University employs 800 people,” Gladu said, “150 of which are faculty.” “Most employees would only be able to afford homes in the $125,000 price range,” he speculated. “Small two bedroom clustered homes, 600-900 square foot, are one possibility. But would they fit in here?”
“There’s a fine line between affordable and cheap,” a community member insisted.
“Affordable housing comes up everywhere,” said Becky Timmons with Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative (TPUDC), the firm retained by the University to implement the Village Plan. “People who live in affordable housing don’t want it to look like affordable housing,” she stressed. “That’s where the pattern book comes in.” The TPUDC pattern book identifies acceptable residence styles for those building or renovating in the downtown area.
Pointing to the apartment living option, Gladu said, “If you look at people who need housing, many are in transition.” He cited seminarians who were only here three years, assistant coaches, fundraisers, admissions counselors, and faculty who had not yet received tenure—“Most faculty don’t want to buy until they’re on tenure track.”
Speaking to supporting projects, Gladu said the storm water study by the Horsley Witten Group (HWG) would conclude by the end of the year. HWG will create a plan for addressing runoff with a view to the expected increase in impervious surfaces in the Village. Gladu said the usual practice was to channel water to another area which only diverted the problem. “We want places for water to seep in,” he insisted.

Thinking on the cottage court housing proposed for a low lying area has evolved, Gladu said. Revised plans propose locating the cluster of small homes on the back of the property with a green space in the low area.

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