April 16, 2014 - 20:52
Letters to the Editor
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Dear Editor:

Following a recent heavy rain, my mailbox post decided to give up its struggle for survival and my wife noticed it was lying in the ditch as she was leaving for work. Overjoyed at the opportunity to spend my morning replacing it, I trudged over to the local hardware and purchased a replacement for it. As I was preparing to dig the hole to place said new post in, my wife’s niece showed up looking for something my wife had left for her. As I was talking to her and partially blocking the road, I noticed a Polk County Road Department truck go by. My wife’s niece went on up to the house where I assured her I would soon arrive to find the item she was seeking. As I was extricating myself from the ditch, Polk County Road Department employee Frankie Aaron pulled up to check to make sure I was ok and to see if I was having problems. I assume he had been out checking the ditch lines following the heavy rain and had very thoughtfully turned back to check on me and to see if he could offer assistance. I know it has been quite fashionable lately by some to give government employees in other places a hard time but it is folks like Mr Aaron (and truthfully “most” who work for the county) who constantly re-enforce my belief of just how blessed we are to be living here.
Buster Bramblett

To the people of Polk County,

It is with great pleasure and respect that I’m writing you today. This past December your Polk County Rugby Club along with their sponsor the Tennessee National Guard participated in our hometown Christmas parade to thank you for your never ending support to their club. These young people wanted all in attendance to know about our rugby club and to see the trophy’s that they have and tell you about our record breaking first year in Tennessee High School rugby.
These young student athletes then went to the I.G.A. in Benton and as they ask for donations to our local Polk County food bank they continued to impress all who came in contact with them. The members not only greeted people as they presented them with a shopping cart but they also went outside and retrieved the shopping carts as a thank you to the employee’s of the I.G.A. and brought them back inside of the store. There were many,many positive remarks as to the politeness, respect  and maturity of the young people in their evening of giving back. After only 4 hours the Polk County Rugby Club was able with the help of the community to provide the local food bank with over $150.00 in non-perishable food items prior to Christmas. Some people may think this is not much, it is and considering our geographical location and the holidays it was remarkable. The members of the club want to express the deepest gratitude to the I.G.A. in Benton,The Polk County food bank and most importantly the people of Polk County for their selfless giving during the holiday season. Myself and all of the young people realize that this will be one of the greatest times of our lives, by helping someone who needed it and appreciated it even more.
 High School rugby is not regulated by TSSAA but it is under the direct supervision of TRA; Tennessee Rugby Association which is covered by USA Rugby, the organization that fields and develops our Olympic rugby team. Last year was our first year and we did remarkable. We won 4 of our 8 scheduled games, coming in third place in the East Tennessee South division and going on to play in the East Tennessee Championship game. At our last home game Lee University and their coaching staff came out to watch the Polk County boys. That night we beat the #2 team in the state and our biggest rival; McMinn County High School 35 - 27 and later that week Lee University offered a scholarship to the Polk County Rugby Club,  again letting these remarkable athletes see that hard work and dedication can and will pay off.
We had to play our home games in Charleston, Tennessee last year because of the late start we got. This year I was able to supply all the school board members present at the December meeting with a copy of our insurance policy for the facilities that we use during the games. This is the same insurance that the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, McMinn County School Board in Athens, Tennessee and the Bradley County Parks and Recreation Department accepts to allow us to play at their facility, so I see no liability issue for the county in allowing us to play in Benton this year. I’m really looking forward to playing at the Chilhowee Middle School field for our home games and to give the people of Polk County the opportunity to see this great game and these extraordinary athletes playing this Olympic sport. Although we are not recognized by TSSAA any student in 8th grade up to and including high school seniors are allowed to play. These student athletes are allowed to participate free from the thoughts of fear that it will interfere with their eligibility of a TSSAA sport or any repercussion to them directly or indirectly of their participation of any club sport. Essentially we are the same as the little league football and little league soccer, we’re all a club sport not a school sponsored and financed sport.
  We are a spring sport from February to May so any athlete not in a spring sport is welcome to come out and give it a try. Football, Wrestling and Basketball players usually love it as Rugby needs all sizes and all shapes for the 15 positions on the field. Football players find that it’s a lot tougher than any football game ever was, basketball players can’t believe there’s more running in rugby and wrestlers are not keen to the idea there are no weight classes, only power and speed.
  This Saturday at 10:30 a.m until 12:30 p.m. there will be a FREE “Rugby 101” clinic at D1 sports, Gunbarrel Road, behind Hamilton Place. East Hamilton High School has already built two teams for next season, Notre Dame, Signal Mountain and Hixson High Schools will have students there as those schools have an interest in fielding a team for 2013, The clinic is sponsored by the Chattanooga Men’s Rugby Club with the UTC Men’s and Lee University rugby clubs helping hand in hand with the Chattanooga Rugby Club. Again this is a FREE clinic to any high school rugby player; veteran or new, BOYS AND GIRLS! I hope to see some familiar face there, any questions contact the Polk County Rugby Football Club on facebook.
   Thank you again to the people of Polk County again for your giving during this trying holiday season, you made a difference for the food bank. Thank you to Mr. Brown of the Polk food bank in your help and guidance of this event and with the success it is now an annual event for the Polk County Rugby Football Club.

Steve Norwood

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Polk County News | P.O. Box 129 | 3 Main Street | Benton TN 37307
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