Talented HHS grad Rachel Price (class of 2003) & her band Lake Street Dive  were featured on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night (Episode 79, January 26, 2016)! She was a Select Chorus member with Mrs. Linda Towe.


Coach Bruce Hatfield has been at Hendersonville High for 23 years, serving as an assistant coach for five years and then head coach. Since the 2008 season, he has compiled a record of 72-29, including three straight 10-plus win seasons. The team played for the state championship in 1998, 2001, 2010 and 2013, finishing second each time.

 The coach recently spoke to the journalism class about his years at HHS and the changes in the football program.


Q. What are your thoughts on this season?

A. Our final record was 10-2; we had a very successful season. We don’t

judge our seasons and our teams based on wins and losses, but whether they (players) know what it means to be a good student, teammate and person.


Q. What was the most challenging game this year?

A. There were a lot of tough games, but I guess the rivalry games from a coach’s perspective because the student body and the players get so fired up. We have to keep our focus to do our best.


Q. It’s very well known that HHS runs the Wing-T. How have you kept this style of offense relevant?

A. Some people would consider what we do on offense to be antiquated a

little bit. We have run this offense for several years, even before I came to

Hendersonville. Now, we are starting to get to a point where we do other stuff

that is not strictly Wing-T. So we’re kind of getting to a point where we’re getting

multifaceted on offense. When we need yards, we will run the standard Wing-T



Q. What about the defense? How have things changed on the defensive side?

A. Once upon a time we were a very basic defense and we didn’t care what the offense was going to do. We just lined up in it. We can’t really do that anymore. We have to be more multiple … on defense and offense.


Q. What has been the key to Hendersonville’s success?

A. We have players who buy into what we’re trying to do and that is to remain consistent. We have great coaches who have been here for a long time. That has helped us grow.


Q. Do you ever think of coaching at the college level?

A. Sometimes you consider it, but the recruiting doesn’t really appeal to me because once you finish a tough football season, you have to start visiting high schools and working to get players to come into your program. It’s never really interested me, but you like to keep your options open.


Q. After two straight second-round exits from the playoffs, what do you think the team needs to take the next step?

A. Our team coming back needs to have a goal in mind and if we do that we should do really well next year. We want our players to think they can be state champions, it can happen. Whatever dreams you have, go after it.


Q. What does football provide students other than exercise?

A. The structure and the discipline and the accountability. The accountability part is nothing more than us talking about it at least once a week. We check their progress reports and report cards. We want them to be examples in the school building.


Article by Seth Griffith, Frankie Small, and Sarah Larson


High school football standout JoeJuan Williams has verbally committed to Vanderbilt University.


The Hendersonville High student announced “I’m committed to Vanderbilt University” on his Instagram account Saturday after several weeks of speculation.


He also tweeted “Vanderbilt is my home!” on his Twitter account Saturday.


A verbal commitment is not an official commitment and could be broken.


Williams was one of the leading high school football recruits in the nation and was weighing scholarship offers from some of the country’s elite football programs.


ESPN ranked the 6-foot-3, 195-pound safety as the No. 2 high school prospect in Tennessee at all positions and No. 11 in the nation at safety.


Williams transferred to HHS from Father Ryan High School intending to play for the Commando this season, but Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association rules blocked him from playing.


Article by Cyrus Gaumer and Frankie Small


Christmas break is near and exemption time is here -- not for everyone, though. 


Some teachers exempt from final exams if students meet the policy requirements, some don’t; the decision is left to the teacher.


“I exempt my students, but I think academic departments shouldn’t,” said theatre arts teacher Carol Everson. “It’s good preparation for college.”


The biggest Scrooges at HHS, at least from students’ perspective, might be the foreign language teachers; the entire department doesn’t exempt.


“We want to make sure they have a really good grasp on the Spanish I content so they can move on and be successful in Spanish II,” said Spanish teacher Lisa Jaskot.


Unlike core subjects such as math and English, foreign language doesn’t have a state-mandated end-of-course test. So the class final exam, said Spanish teacher Samantha Sebestik, is the best tool to measure what students learned during the semester.


Of course none of this spreads holiday cheer around the halls.


 “If you have a high grade, I don’t see the point in taking the exam,” said sophomore Reggie Waters.


 “I feel irritated,” sophomore Zo Johnson said, “because I have a good grade in the class. Some people work hard, so having to take the final is frustrating.”


Daly Cull, a junior, was more diplomatic. “I see the teacher's point of view, but I would like to be exempt.”


Though students seem to know the exemption policy as well as they know their way to the cafeteria, here is the policy once again: teachers can exempt a student from the final exam if the student has an A with no more than three absences, a B with no more than two absences, or a C with no more than one absence.


Final exams are Dec. 17 and 18.


Article by Frankie Small and Sarah Larson


 If anyone knows who has been naughty or nice at HHS this year, it is Tina Clem in the Plato Lab.


While most know Clem as the Credit Recovery guru, her job also entails entering disciplinary actions -- detentions and suspensions -- into the computer.


What she finds in all of those little white slips might surprise you.


The main thing that lands students in hot water? ID tags. Seventy percent of detentions so far this school year involved ID badge violations, Clem estimated.


Tardiness is the second most common offense at roughly 18 percent, she said, with other random infractions – phones, horseplay, hoodies, inappropriate social media postings (a growing problem, Clem said) – making up the remaining 12 percent.


“The main reason students get detentions is for being careless and not following basic school rules,” Clem explained, adding that many who wind up in detention are repeat offenders. “Most of the kids who are in detention aren’t in there for the first time. There’s a group of students who just won’t follow the rules.”


Overall, around 65 percent of all disciplinary actions entered into the system this year were detentions. The other 35 percent were in-school and out-of-school suspensions, many issued because students skipped their detentions.  


Serious offenses such as fighting, drugs and vandalism go straight to suspension.


“The number of more serious offenses usually rises near the end of the school year,” Clem said. “I think students develop ‘spring fever’ and become more restless and less tolerant.”


Article by Jalen Sands and Koy Skinner


It’s not as lame as “The dog ate my homework,” but for years students have been using “I didn’t know about it” as a handy excuse for skipping the summer reading assignments in English classes.


Those days are over.


English teacher Karen Sims and senior project student Sydney Smith worked this semester to get the assignments posted in the library – on a big, bright yellow bulletin board beside the main desk. The assignments also are in the course catalog accessible from the HHS website.


“We're hoping to get the word out,” said Carmen Watts, chair of the school’s English Department.  “We don't want students to have excuses.”


The summer reading list used to be a bit of a mystery. Students’ best, and often only, option was to track down the teacher for the assignment.


“It’s smart,” senior Lucy Donaldson said of the change. “I wish they would’ve done it in the past.”


To help students financially, librarians and teachers went around town rounding up books on the list.


 "I usually call the public library to get extra books so students don't have to buy one," said HHS librarian Linda McDaniel.


Barnes and Noble and Ms. B's Used Books & CD's also are aware of the summer reading list and should have enough books available.


So, really, no more excuses.


Article by Sarah Larson and Matthew Bing




The Ville News: HHS program delivers presents to needy families


The HHS Fellowship of Christian Athletes is teaming with guidance counselors and other groups in the school to help spread Christmas cheer to those who can’t afford gifts for their children.


Organized by agriculture teacher Karl Wenzel, the annual program targets families in need and provides them with hoodies and other cold weather clothing as well as gift cards to Walmart and other stores.


This year, organizers also are including stocking stuffers like body wash, soaps and deodorant.


The program typically assists five to 10 children, Wenzel said, but this year it is working to help 13.


Guidance counselor Mary Beth Say, another organizer, said, “We try to help out as many kids as we can.”


This year DECA, FBLA, the Art Honor Society and some teachers who wish to remain anonymous have all volunteered to help out. Other clubs and organizations have expressed interest as well.


Report by Seth Griffith




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