Intramurals kick off at Vol State

Sports intramurals at Volunteer State Community College will be starting this week with co-ed flag foot- ball and soccer for the fall semester.

Both of these sports will be played outside the QUAD from 11:10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the game dates
for ag football are on Mondays and Wednesdays from Sept. 12 to Oct. 31, and the game dates for soccer are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Sept. 13 to Nov. 3.

Intramurals just recently par- ticipated with other student clubs and organizations at the “Come-I-Wanna- See-You!” event in the QUAD on Tuesday, Aug. 25, and offered students the chance to play co-ed flag football and soccer for the fall semester.

Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, confirms that sports intramurals used to be scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., but is now scheduled from 11:10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sherrell explains that why this club changed their time frame is because they are hoping that more students can come and participate in all the sports that Intramurals are offering.

“We have been offering sports intramurals over the last four years, and we had a lot of students participat- ing in ag football since it has become a really popular sport on campus, but we did not have enough students to play soccer and we are hoping that
we can get more students to play this sport as much as they have in flag football,” said Sherrell.

Tim Moore, Chairman of Intramurals, said that students should think about participating in this club because they should take playing sports more seriously, and that it could be a good way for them to socialize with each other.

“I believe that playing in sports intramurals can allow students to interact with each other, and I also believe that it can let them enjoy their time in school more than just studying and being in the library and it can also allow them to have a common connection,” said sophomore John Pratt.

Not only does Intramurals offer ag football and soccer during the fall semester, but they also offer basketball and volleyball during the spring semester. Sherrell said that even though this club has already scheduled the dates for ag football and soccer, they have not planned a schedule for basketball and volleyball.

Besides providing sports to many students, Intramurals even offered video games to them at the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center last spring. Sherrell said that this club decided to offer video game intramurals because they wanted to have students spend their leisure time without having to utilize outside space, and the video game consoles that the club used for students to participate in video game intramurals was the Xbox One and the Nintendo Wii.

Since sports intramurals will be starting this week, students will be able to enjoy their leisure time on campus.

Soccer flyer provided by Tabitha Sherrell

Soccer flyer provided by Tabitha Sherrell

Flag Football flyer provided by Tabitha Sherrell

Flag Football flyer provided by Tabitha Sherrell

Pokemon Go! Provides Exercise Opportunity to Students

Pokemon Go Official Logo

Pokemon Go Official Logo

By Lillian Lynch
The app Pokemon Go has become a widespread game and a new pass-time for students here at Volunteer State Community College. With 12 total Pokestops, where gamers pick up prizes such as pokeballs and potions, and one gym, where anyone can battle to “take over” the gym and earn coins, there is the potential to gain experience in the game here on campus. Although it is popular for many, there are mixed feelings. “It’s a great game. I’ve actually lost a lot of weight playing,” says Alexis Thomas, a Vol State student. Being active is the point of the game, according to developers, which is exactly what Miss Thomas is doing. On the other hand, as there are three different teams in the game, Valor,Mystic and Instinct, conflicts arise. “I don’t like the way it has pitched people against each other based on their choices. It’s for people to get active and lose weight,” says student Tony Davidson. Whether on team Valor, Mystic or Instinct, there are still many ways to gain experience and maybe learn your way around the campus and that is by touring all 12 Pokestops. The rst stop is the Hal Reed Ramer Administration Building. The second is the sign in front of the Ramer Building which dedicates it to the founding President of the school, Dr. Hal Reed Ramer. The next stop is along the pathways that go between the Ramer building and Noble C. Caudill Hall. There is a white oak tree planted there in honor of Jim Moore, VolState’s first foundation director who worked to earn money for scholarships to give to students, according to the plaque placed there. Just a few feet from there, across the walkway, there is a Scarlett oak tree that was planted in dedication to John Arthur MacDougall who was an associate Professor of English from 1981 to 1995, according to the plaque in front of the tree. Following the paths, the next stop is the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center. Just outside of it, in the Duffer Plaza, is the next stop: the Ruins Bench in front of the gazebo. The next four are simply buildings on campus. The J. Howard Warf Building, T. Wesley Pickel Field House and the Wallace Health Sciences complex, both North and South, are all Pokestops. The second to last stop is another tree, a Bradford pear tree, in front of the E.G. Mattox Business Building. This tree is dedicated to Janice Sisk Nelson, “a true teacher,” as read from the plaque beneath it. The final Pokestop is the Vol State Garden, located behind the Mattox building and next to the greenhouse. It was established back in 2006 in collaboration with Lowe’s Hometown Heroes Project. The aforementioned gym is located at the Thigpen Library, where many gamers can sit together and battle. Pokemon Go has brought people of all types together and out into the world. Students can hunt here on campus and make their way to the Pokestops. The world of Pokemon awaits.

Guns on Campus

With a new school year beginning, new laws have rolled in as well. The law more commonly known as Tennessee Guns on Campus will allow full-time faculty and staff at Vol State and all Tennessee college campuses to carry hand guns if they have the valid permits to do so within the state of Tennessee. Students, visitors and those not registered with Campus Police cannot carry guns on campus, however, if they have the permit to carry guns, they may be kept in the locked trunk of their car. Any full-time staff or faculty member that wishes to carry a firearm must first register with the Campus Police and after registering must keep the gun concealed and in their possession at all times. For any information about the new law, all information on the new policies are available on Vol State’s online blog, check with Campus Police located in the Woods Campus Center building, or with the public relations office located in the Ramer building.

Patty Powell to retire this semester


(Pictured: Patty Howell in her office.  Picture by: Blake Bouza.)

By: Blake Bouza, Assistant Editor

Since 1985, Patty Powell, Vice President of Student Services, has been working at Volunteer State Community College ensuring student success.

This Friday, April 15, she retires and ends her 45-year career in higher education.

Powell started at Vol State as coordinator of counseling before being promoted to director of counseling.

Before that she worked in counseling for University of Memphis, where her first bit of advice to students would be, “first, find the bathrooms and take it a step at a time from there.”

Dr. Hal Ramer, the first president of Vol State, appointed her vice president of student services in 1992.

She is over enrollment management, which incorporates admissions, advising and testing, disability services, athletics, Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, and TRIO Student Support Services.

Speaking to Patty Powell is like stepping from a chilled shadow into warm summer sun.

“I never aspired to be in charge of anybody. I always liked to be the person who worked behind the scenes to make my boss look good,” Powell, who has worked under all three presidents of the school so far, said humbly.

A first generation college student, Powell attended the University of Memphis back in 1963, where she began as a music major and glee club member before she became a student worker in the records office.

“My boss was just wonderful,” she said. “I got a lot of experience early on. I’ve just never really had any negative experience in my adult life that has really been bad. It’s made my life as an administrator much more positive.”

Powell and her roommate were two of the first African-American women to integrate in a non-segregated dormitory at University of Memphis.

“It was a great experience. I learned a lot about people and about culture. It was all positive,” she said.

At Vol State, Powell said, “we have people from everywhere, of all different cultures. It’s no longer just black and white. People in Japan can take online classes from Vol State. Technology has opened doors. There’s no reason a person can’t get a college education now.”

Powell said she believes that people get what they give, and was reminded of this when at her retirement party.

“There were people from everywhere. I’ve never done things looking for anything in return. I’ve done things because my parents raised me by the golden rule: you treat people the way you want to be treated.”

Powell said that she lives by this golden rule about respecting other people.

“We have to learn to adapt without negotiating our own beliefs,” she said.

Powell is a Christian, and she acknowledged that people she interacts with regularly may not be.

“I’m not going to try and convert you. I’m going to live in a way that, hopefully, you like what you see. You may or may not convert. I can only be me, and you can only be you. And it goes back to my one little word: respect,” said Powell.

Powell has had a hand in getting Degree Works started, the online program students can use at any time to help plan out their academic career. It will give an outline of the classes a student needs to take for his or her major.

“I think it’s time,” Powell said of her retirement.

A cancer survivor, Powell said this last year has been a challenge. On April 13 of 2015, her doctor said to her family that she had made it through the surgery, and to pray that she made it through the night.

“I am richly blessed to still be alive and to tell my story,” Powell said. “Cancer is not always a death sentence. The Lord has allowed me to stay here for a little while longer, so He’s got something else for me to do.”

Powell had a brother who was hit in the face with a bat for dancing with a white woman. As a child, she herself could not enter many establishments from anywhere but the back door.

“I don’t like to see people mistreated,” said Powell.

The legacy Powell said she would like to leave at Vol State is that she wants everyone treated fairly, as she has always tried to treat people.

“In my role, I serve as vice president of students, all students. Everything that has ever happened to me has helped mold me. I wouldn’t change anything about my life,” said Powell.

“I don’t care what color you are, just act right,” Powell said with a smile.

Powell said that it has been a time of reflection for her.

“This is all I have ever done for 45 years of my life. I feel richly blessed that I’ve been able to work with such wonderful people. That includes my staff, my colleagues and my students. I’ve just met so many beautiful people in my life time.”

“I say, this is the best division on this campus,” Powell said while laughing.

“My parents were really good people. They raised me right. And I’m just grateful for that. The Lord brought me to a place where people accepted me.”


Person of Interest: Star student Seth Walker

unnamed (1)(Pictured: Seth Walker with his assistant Ken Brassell.  Photo by Barbara Harmon.)  

By: Barbara Harmon, Assistant Editor

You may have seen Seth Walker, a sophomore at Volunteer State Community College, around campus, but how much do you know about him? He is confined to a wheelchair because he was born with cerebral palsy.

“Cerebral palsy is one of the most common congenital (existing at or before birth) disorders of childhood.

“About 500,000 children in the United States have the condition,” according to

There is no cure for this condition, which affects the ability to control one’s muscles.

“I cannot do anything without assistance from others.

“I also have a speech impediment,” he added. “The only thing I can do on my own is think and use my brain.”

In order for Walker to attend Vol State he needed someone to assist him on campus.

Ken Brassell, Walker’s assistant, said he read about Walker needing help with this through their church.

“God kind of spoke to me and said hey you need to do this,” said Brassell.

He said he had reservations about it, because he was not familiar with cerebral palsy or Walker and his family.

Brassell recalled meeting Walker at a birthday party and trying to speak with him, when Walker did not respond he assumed he was mentally challenged.

“Which that happens to him a lot,” said Brassell. “People don’t realize how smart he is or how funny he is.”

Despite his condition Walker has maintained a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) and has been accepted into Lipscomb University with a full scholarship.

Walker said the most challenging thing for him at Vol State has been the workload, because it takes him longer to complete assignments—especially essays.

This is due to him having to control his computer with a metal dot that is on his forehead.

Walker said he has appreciated how the professors at Vol State have treated him.

“They are always willing to assist me with whatever I need to be successful,” he said.

Some of Walker’s favorite things are Alabama (Crimson Tide) football, basketball (he was Station Camp’s basketball manager for three years), traveling, and searching on the internet.

He said Disney in Orlando, Florida was his favorite of all the trips he had taken.

“But most importantly I’m a follower of Jesus Christ.

“He is everything to me,” said Walker. “I would be nothing without Him.”

After graduating from Vol State, Walker plans to achieve his bachelor degree in strategic communications from Lipscomb and then obtain his master’s through seminary, so he can pursue a career in social media ministry.

“I will go wherever God leads me,” said Walker.

He also had some advice he wanted to share.

“No matter what your challenges are—you can persevere and reach your goals,” said Walker.


Interest Piece: The wrestler among us

By: Barbara Harmon, Assistant Editor




Brian Ferrell, a student at Volunteer State Community College, is also referred to by another name.

While Brian Ferrell is what his fellow classmates hear in class, “Brian Valor” is his name in the ring.

Ferrell is 26-years-old and pursuing his dream as a professional wrestler.

“I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was 5-years-old,” said Ferrell.

“The earliest match that I can remember watching was Macho Man Randy Savage vs The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 7.

“Ever since then, I’ve been hooked,” he said.

Ferrell said he grew up with three brothers and they spent a lot of time wrestling around the house.

As a child, he said he collected wrestling video tapes, wrestling action figures, and wrestling magazines.

“From an early age, I always knew I wanted to be a wrestler and had an aspiration to become one,” said Ferrell.

“There were times I tried to shy away from it, because I knew about the risk and injuries.

“Seeing all the old timers who are old and broken down and can barely walk, plus the traveling and never being at home,” he said.

Ferrell said he used those reasons as excuses to pursue other things, but remained a loyal wrestling fan.

“But after a pep talk with my dad, about growing up with no regrets, it got me to thinking again about pursuing this career,” said Ferrell.

“That’s when I started looking for schools to go train at, and the rest is history,” he said.

Ferrell started training early last year in Lewisburg, Tennessee with Mikey Dunn.

After about five months with him, he went on the road with Shaun Hoodrich.

Ferrell continued to train with Hoodrich and became his tag team partner.

“I wrestle for USA Championship Wrestling, and they run shows in Gladeville, Tennessee; Lebanon, Tennessee; Dickson, Tennessee; Covington, Tennessee; and Jackson, Tennessee,” said Ferrell.

He wrestles for the Southern Wrestling Federation (SWF) in Tullahoma, Tennessee and Next Generation Wrestling (NGW) in Newport, Tennessee, as well.

“I am also one half of the NGW Tag Team Champion for Next Generation Wrestling down in Newport, Tennessee,” said Ferrell.

Ferrell has met or been in the ring with famous wrestlers like Ricky Morton, Bill Dundee and Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Ferrell explained that depending on which promotion he is with, determined if he was a heel (bad guy) or a baby-face (good guy).

He said wrestling is a typical superhero story—the heel gets heat from the crowd, and the baby-face gets cheered.

“I prefer being a bad guy—I like being a heel,” said Ferrell.

“I’m better at smack talking and feel like I’m a natural heel at heart, too,” he said.

Ferrell said it does not really bother him when people call wrestling fake, because they do not fully understand what wrestlers have to put their bodies through.

Ferrell explained that you do get hurt when you hit the mat, which is metal bars covered by wood and a mat.

“So it hurts when you get slammed on the ring,” said Ferrell. “You feel it every time.”

“Literally you are getting hurt out there, and at times I’m hurting myself more than my opponent,” said Ferrell.

“You have to brace yourself when you are doing moves off the top rope, because you are receiving the brunt of the impact,” he said.

“It’s the best decision I have ever made, and I feel that when pro wrestling is done right, it’s the greatest thing on earth,” said Ferrell.

“My only regret is that I wish I had started earlier, when I was 18 or 19,” he said.

“But now my goal is to make it to the WWE,” said Ferrell.

He will have a tryout with WWE in Nashville, Tennessee at the Bridgestone Arena, Feb. 29.

“I will be an extra talent and will possibly be on TV,” said Ferrell.

“Then, Tuesday, March 1, I will be traveling to Atlanta to have a tryout in front of talent agents and some of the superstars for evaluation.

“And I will also be on the TV taping of SmackDown, as an extra talent,” he said.

Ferrell encourages everyone to check out Monday Night Raw on the USA Network and SmackDown on Thursday nights at 7 p.m.

According to, “SmackDown delivers a shot of adrenaline to viewers and bring fans over-the-top action, feats of athleticism beyond the reach of mortal men, and WWE’s special brand of drama.”

Tickets can be purchased at, if any fellow students would like to cheer for Ferrell on Feb. 29.

“See all your favorite WWE Superstars LIVE including Roman Reigns, “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Triple H and the Authority, the WWE Divas and many more,” according to


Tabitha’s Tale

By Sam Walker, Staff Writer


Tabitha Sherrell is the Coordinator of Student Activities at Volunteer State Community College. She manages the clubs around campus and oversees the Student Government Association (SGA).

She also helps with the distribution of both student IDs and parking decals in the Office of Student Life & Diversity Initiatives.

Originally born in Michigan, Sherrell had her first job at Blimpy Subs.

“I hated it, but it paid for my trip to New York because I was an honor student in high school,” said Sherrell.

She then went on to Siena Heights University to earn her bachelors degree in English communications. While serving as a resident assistant at Sienna Heights, she met her husband who was also an RA.

To achieve her masters degree in education, Sherrell attended the University of Toledo in Ohio. She is currently studying at East Tennessee State University for her doctorate. Sherrell stated she chose her career because, “I wanted to work at college forever.”

Her first job in higher education was as an admissions recruiter during her time at Toledo University.

In 2012, Sherrell started her job at Volunteer State Community College. This was also the year in which she married.

Together they have a daughter who was born in Nov., 2014.

She said her favorite thing about her job was working with the students on a day-to-day basis.

“Anybody that comes in here always has something different that they want to talk or ask about and so it’s always fun to help students in anyway that I can,” said Sherrell.

Sherrell’s family is a large part of her motivation and she also gives credit to her faith as a practicing Christian.

“Regardless if students are believers or not I hope that when they come in contact with me they see me as a person they can talk to,” Sherrell said.

Sherrell hopes to instill these morals and practices in her daughter.

Lori Miller, Secretary of the Student Life and Diversity Initiatives Office, said, “Mrs. Sherrell was very instrumental in my education and getting my masters degree.”

Courtney Southern, student at Vol State, stated that “[Sherrell] is a really caring person, she even kept me from dropping out of school”.

So the next time a guiding hand is needed, look no further than Tabitha Sherrell.