Flu shots available for Moore County students

Free flu shots will be given at all Moore County School next week – October 13 at MCHS and October 15 at LES. (File Graphic)

LOCAL NEWS — Flu season is right around the corner and most doctors recommend getting your flu vaccine by late October to ensure maximum effectiveness as cases begin to spike in November and continue to increase through February.

The Moore County Health Department will visit all three locals schools to administer free flu shots for anyone who wants them on October 13 and 15. Staff distributed forms to Lynchburg Elementary students on Tuesday, October 6 and to Moore County Middle School and Moore County High School students on Wednesday, October 7. All completed forms must be turned into school officials by Friday, October 9, according to Moore County School Nurse Shea Logan.

Flu shot will be given at MCMS and MCHS on Tuesday, October 13 and at LES on Thursday, October 15. For more information, call the Moore County Schools Central Office at 931-759-7303. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Raiders drop two spots, remain in AP Top 10

The Raiders were ranked #7 in this week’s AP High School Football Top 10. {File Photo}

SPORTS | After losing a close one in Lincoln County last Friday to the Fayetteville City Tigers (4-1), the Moore County Raiders (4-1) remain one of the top 10 Class 1A teams in the state, according to the Associated Press (AP). In the new AP Tennessee High School poll released on Monday, Moore County dropped two spots to number seven.

Fayetteville City – who beat the Raiders 28-22 in week five – rose one spot to number five. Fellow Region 5 team the Cornersville Bulldogs (4-1) moved down one spot to number nine. Number one South Pittsburg (5-0) and number two Lake County (2-0) continue to battle out for the top spot.

In Region 5A action, the Raiders (1-1) remained tied with Cornersville (1-1) for the third spot. Fayetteville City leads with a perfect record in region play followed by Richland (1-0). Both Huntland and Mount Pleasant remain winless in region play.

The Raiders play the fourth of four consecutive road games this Friday night in Eaglesville. According to Moore County Athletic Director Josh Deal tickets will be limited to this away game and will be offered to the families of players, managers, and cheerleaders first. All available tickets can be purchased through the MCHS front office. (Updated at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday: MC’s allotment of tickets is now sold out.) For more information, call 931-759-4231. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Raiders face first test at Cornersville on Friday

The MCHS Raiders prepare for their first conference match up this week in Cornersville. The away game kicks off at 7 p.m. {Photo Courtesy of the Moore County Sports Network}

SPORTS — If you’ve been paying attention so far this season, you’ve noticed that new Head Coach Kris White is well on his way to creating a memorable season for his 2020 Raider team. He has managed to lure a host of athletes from other sports to play football. The MCHS roster is now packed with not only returning stars from last year but also starters from the basketball and baseball teams plus a class of freshman talent who won the state middle school championship last year.

Players are excited to play for Coach White and his assistants, TJ Christian, Manny Buchanan, Randy Morey, Wes Black, and Schuvaud Whitaker. In fact, just last week the Raiders added three new players: Noah Blankenship, Will Baker, and Landon Lavergne.

So far this season, MCHS has stacked up two early season non-conference home wins: a 15-0 victory over Cascade and a 41-8 shellacking of Community. On Friday, they travel to Cornersville for their first conference match up against a rival with a winning streak and an eye on the playoff.

The Bulldogs beat Community 36-6 at home on August 21 and glided past Eagleville 35-13 in Cornersville last week.

So what’s the trick to maintaining their winning streak?

The Raider spread offense has played smart, consistent football so far this year but the Bulldogs’ hard-hitting defense isn’t likely to just lay down. The Raiders will need execution on both the rushing and passing side of the offense to keep the Cornersville D on it’s heels.

Led by Bulldog left-handed QB Jackson Farler the Cornersville offense clicks on several fronts including tight end Eli Welch, who is both big and fast, as well as, Alex Hilliard, who ran for 106 yards against Community. They are helped by a O-line led by Brady Callahan and Cason Warner that does not yield.

Friday night’s game could end up being the battle of the safeties. Cornersville boast two ball hawks protecting it backfield. But Moore County boasts it’s own defensive weapons — the White brothers. Freshman free safety Dawson White and senior strong safety Kaden White have combined for 22 tackles and an interception through two games.

If they can keep the Raiders from being burning by the long pass, the defensive line led by Donavin Pearson (20 total tackles, 10 solo tackles) and Tyler Smith (17 total tackles, 8 solo tackles) can handle the inside run game, hopefully preventing the dynamic Cornersville offense from gaining momentum.

The Raiders played mistake football against Community with zero fumbles and zero interceptions. It’s a trend that will need to continue for the Raiders to come back to Lynchburg with a W on Friday night. Cornersville has won the past three straight match ups.

Coach White says that Cornersville will be returning numerous players including their QB and several defensive players.

“We’ll have to be able to stop the run,” he says. “Based on film through two games, they like to run the ball and do so almost 80 percent of the time,” he said.

Coach White also said that one of the keys to success will be for Moore County’s players not to get rattled by a loud away game.

“They have a DJ who plays music in between plays. It’s loud,” Coach White says. “It’s an awesome game atmosphere but one that can’t serve as a distraction.”

The game kicks off in Cornersville at 7 p.m. If you can’t travel to the game, it will be broadcast live on Raider Country 105.1 and 95.5 FM, on the NFHS Network, or The Lynchburg Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page.

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Raiders blank Cascade in season opener

The Raiders really wanted to give first year Coach Kris White his first W as the MCHS head coach and the boys in Columbia blue did just that with a shut out win in Lynchburg tonight over the Cascade Champions, 15-0.

With no preseason scrimmages, Raider fans knew the first couple of series might be a little bumpy and they were. Moore County fumbled on the third play from scrimmage to hand Cascade the ball.

The Champions didn’t do much with it — going a quick three and out and handing the ball over to the Raiders on downs.

With Raider QB Kyler Parker in control, Kaden White and Tyler Smith put together a first down before Parker completed a long pass to Brayden Cashion to put the Raiders on the board. Chase Bradford’s first PAT of the season connected to give the Raiders an early 7-0 lead with 6:43 remaining in the first.

Cascade managed a little momentum on the next series before Donavin Pearson got a big third and 10 stop. He forced a fumble but Cascade recovered only to punt on the next play.

On the next Raider series, first game missteps reared their head again. QB Parker put together a couple of long passes to Dawson White to get the Raiders third and goal. Moore County then fumbled the ball at the goal line with 20 seconds left in the first half.

One the next series, the Raiders crowded the end zone as Cascade played deep in their own territory and managed a safety to give them a 9-0 lead.

In the second quarter, the Raiders put together a first down effort with run plays by Tyler Smith and Dawson White before Parker hit a wide open Dylan Scruggs for a first down.

On the next play, a tipped pass found its way to Scrugg in the end zone to give the Raiders six more. With 9:59 remaining in the second quarter, the Raiders scored the final points of the night.

At the end of four, the Raiders snagged a home victory and its first W for Coach Kris White. The Raiders played disciplined football and clearly feel comfortable under their new head coach. Though the offensive sputtered in this first outing, the defense showed grit with smart tackles and never giving up on plays.

After the game, Coach White told The Times that he was really happy with the Raiders effort tonight.

“We knew we were gonna make mistakes and some things would be out of our control but the one thing we could control was effort. I felt like they did that,” he said.

The Raiders play at home again next Friday against Community. It will also be Senior Night. Kick off is at 7 p.m. •

New eLearning Wednesdays leaves schools, parents struggling to find the way

All Moore County students will learn remotely on Wednesdays beginning August 26 to help teachers catch up and students to be better prepared should COVID force school closures. {File Photo}

It’s a move Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead said that has two intended purposes. One, it’s meant to give teachers a mid week opportunity to catch up from the demands of dual teaching both in person and online. Two, as active case counts rise in Moore County, eLearning Wednesdays are meant to get students prepared should COVID force school closures.

“This school year has been and will continue to be a challenge for everyone involved,” said Director Moorehead. “We ask for patience and understanding as we make decisions that we feel will be most beneficial for our teachers and students. The school board has voted to make school attendance as flexible as possible and has preserved parent choice with each vote. We will all have to work together to make this year successful.”

Things change quickly this school year

Moore County Schools aren’t the only school system forced to rapidly evolve this school year. Tullahoma City Schools welcomed student back on July 29. Nine days later on August 7, the system announced it would be moving to a hybrid schedule because the active cases threshold in Coffee County exceeded their school closing trigger of 0.5 percent.

Today, Franklin County School announced a similar measure to eLearning Wednesday’s stating that “due to the volume of virtual learners and the added cleaning burden due to COVID 19, each Friday will be designated a virtual/distance learning day for all students.”

On August 11, the Moore County School Board voted to revise their own school closing trigger to based on individual school absenteeism rates rather than the amount of community spread. (Read our full coverage of that meeting here.)

Yesterday via their social media page, Moore County Schools announced that beginning Wednesday, August 26 all students at Lynchburg Elementary, Moore County Middle School, and Moore County High School would become remote learners for that single day and would not report for in-person learning.

Teachers, students, and parent feel the strain

According to Tennessee state law, all students must complete 180 days of instruction to matriculate and each instructional day must a minimum of 6.5 hours. From the beginning, the Moore County Board of Education voted to start the school year under a hybrid plan that allowed parents to choose either in person or distance learning depending on their individual situation.

According to Director Moorehead, around 20 percent of students now learn remotely. This means teachers give classroom instruction all day and then go home to help remote learners at night.

One Moore County teacher we talked to said her normal 40-60 hour work week in a normal school year has ballooned to closer to 90 hours.

“I have always worked hard to prepare lessons that are engaging, fun, and standards based,” they said. “Now I work 90 hours a week and my lessons are lackluster at best. I also don’t have the energy to deliver power-packed lessons that I did last year. Most of my time is spent corresponding with remote students and their parents. I give 70 percent of my time to 18 percent of my students.”

Another problem is that remote learning can lead to teachers feeling as if they are on call 24/7.

“We get emails around the clock,” one Moore County teacher said. “I feel obligated to answer emails whenever possible, but this 24/7 schedule is not sustainable. I finally had to turn off notifications on my phone so that I could get at least a couple hours of sleep. By the end of the week, sleep deprivation has taken its toll, and just speaking a sentence in front of a classroom of students is challenging.”

It’s this potential teacher burnout that Director Moorehead says he’s trying to avoid with eLearning Wednesdays.

“We are blessed in Moore County to have outstanding teachers that truly care about all of our children and we must take care of our teachers, so they can take care of our students,” Director Moorehead added. “The plan is to give the teachers these five days, spread over five weeks to make adjustments, and develop a system to deliver content to students that are in the building and those that have chosen not to be.”

It takes a village to raise a child

Director Moorehead posted the eLearning Wednesday notice yesterday around 4:30 p.m. Understandably, it left some parents frustrated with the sudden change. By the early evening, local moms and other community members were already offering to help on social media.

“I would love to offer my home and help to a couple of children in need of care and assistance during e-learning Wednesdays, if you need help feel free to message me. I’m grateful to work mostly from home,” said one local on social media.

Another local with a “smart teenage daughter and fiber Internet” also offered to help.

In the end Director Moorehead as well as all the teachers we spoke to expressed a sincere desire to help every child in our school system work their way through these unprecedented times.

“There is no “right” answer anymore,” one teacher said. “It’s just the right now answer.” •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

School Board votes to revise school-closing trigger at Monday’s meeting

The Moore County School Board moved the “school building closure” trigger Monday night at their regular season meeting.

Previously, the board approved a Reopening Framework that stated as long as the active case count remains below 33 (or less than .5% of the population) students can continue to attend in person classes. Once that number reached above 33 (or between .5 % and 1%), local schools will move to a hybrid model where half of students will attend school every other week while those not at school continue to learn remotely.

On Monday, the Board changed that decision-trigger to be based on absenteeism at any given school rather than the amount of community spread. At the time of the meeting there were 26 active COVID-19 cases in Moore County.

After the meeting, Director of School Chad Moorehead said he preferred a plan that allowed parent the most personal choice.

“I felt that it was important that this section of our framework for reopening be changed.  Since our school system is allowing parents to choose between in-person and remote learning, we have a hybrid model now that is responsive to individual homes,” he said. “There may be a point that we have to transition to full remote learning for a period of time but I feel like personal choice is the best option.  If the spread of the virus increases rapidly parents can choose to move to remote learning for their own children.  We are all working hard inside the schools to be as safe as possible and to be able to keep the buildings open.”

The revised plan also stated that community events like the rate of sickness, hospitalization rates, etc will also be considered in addition to school absentee rates. It also states that administration may choose to close individual schools for 3-5 day for thorough disinfecting should smaller outbreaks occur.

To read a complete copy of the Metro School Board Reopening Framework, click this link.

School Board meetings take place the second Monday of each month at the Central Office Building located on the Lynchburg Elementary Campus. Each meeting begins at 6 p.m. and can also be attended virtually. The next meeting takes place on September 14. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Moore Parents: Remote learning applications due by July 28

This school year, parents have the option to send their kids for in person school or stay at home for remote learning. The remote learning application deadline is July 28. {File Photo}

MOORE COUNTY — Last Thursday, the Moore County Board of Education decided to give Lynchburg parents the option to either send their kids to public school for in person learning or keep them at home and participate in remote learning. (To read our full coverage of that meeting, click here.)

However, if you intend to teach your children at home, you’ll need to fill out the school system’s online application prior to July 28. Administrators also plan a remote learning orientation to help parents get acclimated to the at home system. Those orientation will be offered on three dates: Monday, August 3 at 4 p.m. as well as Tuesday, August 4 at 10 a.m. or 7 p.m. Each session will last about an hour and a half.

If after orientation, parents decide that they no longer want to teach their children at home, they will be allowed to change to the in person learning option. Student who initially choose the in person option will have the ability to change to remote learning for the remainder of the grading period.

“At the end of each grading period (nine weeks for LES or twelve weeks for MCHS), students will select to continue remote learning or return to traditional learning,” the school systems website states.

To learn more, visit the school systems website by clicking here. Or for questions, call the Central Offices at 931-759-7303. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

School Board will discuss COVID re-opening plan on Thursday

MOORE COUNTY — What’s the continuous learning plan and/or COVID re-opening plan for Moore County Schools? That question will be front and center at the Metro School Board meeting on Thursday, July 16 at 6 p.m. In order to accommodate what could be a larger crowd, the meeting will take place at the LES Cafeteria.

On June 18, Director of Schools Chad Moorehead told The Lynchburg Times that he planned to stick to the Metro School Board approved schedule if possible. (To read that article, click here.)

“We have a school board approved schedule in place and I’m going to do everything I can to stick to it,” he said. “The one variable I can’t control is the virus.”

Whether or not schools should re-open to onsite learning and what that would look like has been a hot topic in Moore County recently as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise. After holding steady at five total cases up until June 26, Moore County’s case count has since more than quadrupled. As of Monday, July 13 there were 21 total cases with 15 of those being active.

All Metro School Board meetings are open to the general public. To full the full agenda, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Schools seek parent feedback on fall re-opening

Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead recently posted a survey requesting parent feedback on fall school re-opening. {File Photo}

MOORE COUNTY – Director of Schools Chad Moorehead recently received dozens of pages of Tennessee Department of Health guidance for fall school re-opening. And the recommendation are broad … a continuation of remote learning, staggered schedules, limited bus capacity, … they’re all on the table.

That’s why Director Moorehead recently posted the Schools COVID-19 Re-Entry Survey on the school system’s website. He’d like parent’s feedback before moving forward. The 12 question survey gauges not only local parent’s comfort level with sending their kids back to public schools, but also asks about virtual learning and a student’s access to reliable Internet.

On Thursday, Director Moorehead told The Lynchburg Times that he plans for local students to be back in Moore County classrooms by August as planned but he admitted the situation was fluid.

“We have a school board approved schedule in place and I’m going to do everything I can to stick to it,” he said. “The one variable I can’t control is the virus.”

Director Moorehead also said that he plans to post a second, more detailed survey in the coming weeks. Currently, the first full day of classes for Moore County students is August 5. The next Metro School Board meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, July 13 at 6 p.m.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Moorehead scores in top 2.5 percent

MOORE COUNTY — Moore County Schools officials announced this week that one of their own scored in the top 2.5 percent of all high school juniors taking the PSAT/NMSQT. The PSAT /NMSQT is the practice version of the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) and the qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship.

Audrey Moorehead
MCHS junior Audrey Moorehead {Photo Provided}

That score earned Moore County High School junior Audrey Moorehead an invitation to apply for the College Board National Recognition Program (CBRP), which recognizes students in regions who identify as rural areas and small towns.

To be considered, students must complete a brief online application and a school official must also complete supporting online verification. The physical awards for all recognized students are sent directly to a school official to distribute at the school level sometime after July. Participation in the CBRP will enable Moorehead to highlight her educational achievements as she applies to colleges.

Audrey is the daughter of Chad and Lisa Moorehead of Moore County. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}