Coach Bruce Hatfield will step down as HHS head football coach after 20 years at the helm.
“There’s no deeper meaning,” Hatfield told The Ville News on Tuesday, one day after announcing his resignation to his players and to the HHS staff. “I’ve just been doing this a long time, and I’m just a little bit tired.”
Hatfield, 52, said he felt the decision was best for him and for the school. He will continue to teach physical education at HHS and has no intention of leaving soon. "I'm going to finish this semester and next and still be around," he said.
“It's been one of the greatest honors of my life to be the head football coach here,” Hatfield said. “I love the school, I love this program, and I'm going to continue to be around.”
The news came to HHS staff Monday evening in an email from Principal Bob Cotter, hours after Hatfield broke it to his players.
“Coach Hatfield asked that I inform you that he will be stepping away from his duties as HHS football coach,” Cotter said in the email. “We all need to take a minute to thank Coach 'Hat' for all his years of service to our student athletes! Coach 'Hat' is looking forward to this new chapter in his life. He will continue to teach at HHS as long as he wants to stay.”
Several HHS players said the room was silent when the coach told them of his plans.
“We were all speechless,” said sophomore James “J.D.” Jordan.
Jackson Alford, also a sophomore, said, “It was really sad, and no one saw it coming.”
The coach’s co-workers were stunned as well.
“He’s been such a legend for such a long time,” said math teacher Heather Thomas. “He’s definitely going to leave some big shoes to fill.”
Hatfield has been the Commandos’ coach since 1998 and compiled a 159-82 record with Class 5A state runner-up finishes in 1998, 2001, 2010 and a Class 6A runner-up showing in 2013.
This year’s Commandos finished 6-5 and were second in Region 4-6A. They were eliminated in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs Friday, falling to Blackman High 38-7.
When preparing to play a Hatfield-coached team, rival coaches knew they were in for a fight, not matter what the won-loss record.
“You knew they would be physical, well-coached, and play with intensity,” said Shaun Hollinsworth, head football coach at Station Camp High. “You had to prepare your players to match that and go beyond.”
Hollinsworth said it will be strange not seeing Hatfield on the sideline next year, but he added that he understood and respected his decision.
“When you’re a head coach and doing it the ‘right way,’ it’s a very exhausting job moth mentally and physically,” Hollinsworth said. “He’s earned the rest.”
With one of his daughters graduating college and the other soon to start it, he will have more time for family, said his daughter Elizabeth, a senior at HHS. "I feel like he will be there for me and my sister. We're definitely going to have to get used to it."
Cotter said he was surprised by the announcement but added, “…people know when it’s time, and he’s always doing what’s best for HHS.”
“It’s never been just about football,” Cotter added of Hatfield. “He always wanted to teach them values, not just football.”
As for the future of the school’s football program, Cotter said he will “talk to people internally and gauge the interest, hold some interviews, and I have no doubt that we’ll find someone.”
Article by The Ville News staff
HHS meets Hunters Lane in ‘Battle for Unity’
The HHS marching band will travel to Hunters Lane High on Saturday for a battle of the bands.
The event is being called the first “Battle for Unity” and features the HHS “Band of Gold” and the Hunters Lane “Human Boombox.”
“The idea is to get the two groups together,” said HHS band director Dr. Jeff Phillips. “We’re not doing this to compete but to bring groups together and have a good time.”
Band members seem excited to go. “I’m pumped and ready,” said junior Natori Simmons.
The Golden Sparks, HHS’ new majorettes team, will also perform.
The Battle of the Bands begins at 6 p.m. at the school, at 1150 Hunters Lane in Nashville. Admission is $10.
Article by Megan Grandas and Hailey Gilley
Belmont art show to feature work by HHS students
Some HHS art students will have their work entered in the 10th annual Belmont art show for high school students, which is Jan. 11 at Belmont University.
Students will have the chance to show their creativity in painting, sculpting and drawing. Art teacher Sandra Kandros will choose 25 pieces to enter in the competition.
HHS students will learn whether their pieces were selected between now and Nov. 18.
The top overall winner will receive $500 and have their piece placed on a billboard in Nashville.
Artists who take first in their individual categories win $50.
Article by Zoee Troynar
Students scream for ice cream during recent sale
The ice cream sale in Christy Brown’s marketing class last month raised nearly $500.
Ten different teams sold a variety of ice cream flavors and toppings during first and second blocks.
First block brought in around $250 and second about $200.
In first block, the top selling group earned $91 with their “Beanboozled” ice cream. The winning team in second block raised $128 with burrito-flavored and chocolate fondue-flavored ice cream.
Students will use the money for Chick-Fil-A at the end of the year.
Article by Mason Mills and Camden McClister
As the curtain began to open, the lights flickered and the characters took the stage. On the edge of their seats, the audience members observed the wicked image of Dracula.
The HHS production of Dracula, which wrapped up Halloween night, was a must-see this scary season with about 1,000 people attending.
“It went really well,” said theatre arts teacher Laurie Kerhoulas-Brown, who directed the play, which opened with a morning show for students followed by three evening performances for the public: Oct. 26, 28 and 31.
About 200 people attended the first night, 175 the second and 100 the third. The other 500 or so caught the school performance.
While the shows might have seemed flawless on the surface, behind the scenes “there is always something I feel we can improve,” said Kerhoulas-Brown, or Ms. K.B. as she is known to students. As she watched, she couldn’t help wanting to tinker with things like the string door, the carpet and the sound to get the performances just right.
“The little bitty things change how good the show is,” Ms. K.B. said. “My goal is not to do high school theater; it is to do a professional job wherever we are. I want to bring it to the next level.”
Students say she and her cast and crew hit the mark with Dracula.
“I think the play was excellent,” said freshman Cullen Mnich, whose older brother Jack played Van Helsing. “Harrison (Williams) played a great Dracula and Jack played an amazing Van Helsing. Conner (Strumm) was awesome as the insane doctor, and all the girl vampires did a great job at scaring me.”
Freshman Steven Simerka described the play as “entertaining and suspenseful,” while classmate Kate Agee said, “It kept me on the edge of my seat.”
Story by Emma Miller and Olivia Nutting
When the Commandos take the field Friday for a rematch with Blackman High, they’ll have a weapon they didn't have the first time around: running back Anthony Hughes.
Hughes missed the Aug. 18 game with Blackman because of injury, and the Commandos fell 63-28.
The teams meet again this week for the first round of the Tennessee High School Football Playoffs. The game is home and begins at 7.
“I am excited because I didn’t get to play the first time, so I’m going to play has hard as a I can,” Hughes said Tuesday.
The HHS senior should be in top form. He recently won the prestigious Tennessee Titans Player of the Week for his performance against Rossview High. The Tennessean newspaper reported that Hughes had eight carries for 142 yards and returned a kick 96 yards to finish with three touchdowns in a 37-17 victory.
Coach Bruce Hatfield said the Commandos, who are 6-4 this season, are fortunate to have Hughes back and to play Blackman at home.
The coach is looking forward to a good week of preparation. “If we practice well, we usually play well,” Hatfield said.
Hughes has been in his share of big games; he has been playing football since he was 5.
“My dad made me play,” he recalled. “I didn’t want to play at first, but he made me and I fell in love with it.”
Hughes leads by motivating with his actions and his words. His teammates watched him overcome a knee injury that kept him out of the first couple games this season. He had to train harder than ever to recover.
His determination and athleticism aren’t the only things that make him stand out. Coach Hatfield said Hughes is “a good person, is nice to everybody, and works hard ... He speaks to people and makes younger students feel good by going and talking to them and listening to them. We are very proud of him for that.”
Fellow senior Tyler Dang said, “I view Anthony as a brother. If I ever need anything I can count on him, and if he ever needs anything I got him.”
Hughes plans to continue playing football in college. He has already received offers from Austin Peay and East Tennessee State.
But right now, his focus is on Blackman and the playoffs.
“If we extend the season, we’ll be playing hard teams,” he said.
Story by Kayla Delk and Giulia Giordani
Halloween is here, and for many that means trick-or-treating.
But not everyone goes door-to-door in full Superman garb seeking handfuls of sweets. A number of HHS students and teachers said they still enjoy the spooky holiday, even if massive candy hauls are a thing of the past.
"I stopped going around 8th or 9th grade," said Thomas Oglesby, assistant principal. "I still take my son and others around the neighborhood though."
Andrew Beld, physical science teacher, also gets his Halloween fix by taking his son trick-or-treating, even if it does scare up some distrubing images.
"Eighth grade was the last time I went," Beld recalled. "I went as (80s pop star) Cyndi Lauper. It was a hit."
Sophomore Jaron Tabb stopped trick-or-treating in the 6th grade "because I felt too old."
"But I still celebrate by playing Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube," Tabb said.
Some said they no longer trick-or-treat, but dressing up in costumes is too fun to pass up.
"I still dress up and go to Halloween parties or events at restaurants and theaters," said Latin teacher Caitlin Hall.
Angus Finch, a junior, also enjoys costume parties and said he has found a good substitute for trick-or-treating.
"I watch horrible movies instead," he said.
Story by Bryce Mathias
The votes are in!
The rock in the parking lot behind the gym will from now on be known as Dwayne, as in professional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Dwayne won in a landslide with 39 votes, besting runner-up Big Bro.
The rock was placed at HHS this year by the student government and Principal Bob Cotter in an effort to raise school spirit. The contest to name the rock drew several dozen votes.
For the record, the HHS rock bears only slight resemblance to its namesake.
Article by Giulia Giordani and Kayla Delk