2019 Year in Review

Sitel, TopGolf, school feats highlight final year of decade

A January through November reflection on the top stories of 2019 in the Farragut area.

January: Concord Road Widening Project

• A source of frustration for motorists, especially at or near the intersection of Concord and Turkey Creek roads, construction for the long-anticipated Concord Road Widening Project began early in 2019.

With state Rep. Jason Zachary (R-District 14) fighting to get progress for turn-lane functions at the Concord-Turkey Creek intersection, TDOT officials extended the projected construction finish time from October 2020 to June 2021.

Adriana a SJNCS state champ

• Adriana Zablah, a St. John Neumann Catholic School eighth-grader, was recognized for her leadership initiative by winning first place in Tennessee Secretary of State Office’s Third-Annual Civics Essay Contest.

Town threatens, Ingles responds with renovation

• Owners of the Ingles property were cited in Farragut Municipal Court Monday, Jan. 14, for violations of property management at its former grocary location, Town administrator David Smoak said, but they were given an extra 30 days to work on improvements.

Ingles Markets construction manager Preston Kendall and Samia Coker, associate with Robertston Loia Roof Architects and Engineers, presented a site plan to remodel the former Ingles building at 11080-11833 Kingston Pike, during a Town Staff-Developer meeting March 5.

“History of Concord” reviews

•Packing Town Hall boardroom to learn more about Concord-Farragut history, Town leaders, historians and interested citizens viewed the 28-minute film, “The History of Concord and Farragut” Jan. 31.

Echoing the rave reviews, “I was always proud to be from Farragut, and now I’m even prouder. There were things I didn’t know,” Cindy Hollyfield said about the flim, which was created by local award-winning filmmaker Keith McDaniel.

New Tennova Turkey Creek wing

• Tennova Healthcare broke ground Monday, Jan. 31, for a new cardiac catheterization laboratory at Turkey Creek Medical Center, which will complement the existing four cath labs located at the hospital in Farragut.

FMS No. 1 in state science

• Farragut Middle School Team Two won first place during Second Annual Volunteer State Science Bowl in Kingsport Jan. 26.

February: FHS Dance national champs again; state champs along with FMS next season

• Farragut High School’s 2018-19 Dance Team earned an unprecedented second-in-a-row National Dance Championship in Small Varsity Jazz Feb. 3 in Orlando, Florida — tops among 87 teams from across the country.

It was a sweet repeat for the 2019-20 FHS and Farragut Middle School Dance teams at state in early December, earning best in Tennessee honors for the second year in a row in both Pom and Jazz categories.  

Ivey Farms, Union Road issues

• Nine residents along Union Road and its adjacent subdivisions turned out at Farragut’s Staff-Developer meeting Feb. 5 to find out more about plans for the proposed Ivey Farms subdivision, which developers are planning to build along Union Road.

Saddle Ridge residents, upset at a revised concept plan for their subdivision, helped change FMPC votes Thursday night, March 21, regarding one portion of the plan.

The proposal brought Pecos Road residents out to protest, even as many also acknowledged a development of the size and scope of Ivey Farms — which is slated to have more than 200 homes when completed — is required by the Town to have two vehicular access points for emergency vehicles.

For nearly two hours April 18, a number of Farragut residents voiced opposition to proposed Union Road construction during Farragut Municipal Planning Commission’s regular monthly meeting.

After nearly two hours of discussion on plans to improve Union Road, Farragut Municipal Planning Commission approved a compromise during its May 16 regular meeting, designed to slightly mitigate the physical impact on property owners most affected.

Town’s 100-year flood

• Farragut experienced what some are calling its “100-year flood” in late February, and crews worked extensively assessing and repairing lingering damages.

More than 10 inches of rain was recorded in the Town during the week leading up to the deluge — 5 inches Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 alone — that most notably created shutdowns on the Campbell Station Road intersection with I-40/75, but also included portions of Outlet Drive, Concord Road, Virtue Road, Everett Road, Newport Road, Woody Road and Loop Road..

SJNCS 8th-grader state champ

• St. John Neumann Catholic School eighth-grader Paul Liulevicus received the news Wednesday, Feb. 13 he won the state Knights of Columbus essay contest.

State honors Gage

•Family members and Farragut Youth Football players and coaches arrived in force at a Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Feb. 28 to show their support for 11-year-old cancer victim Gage Kirby, as Feb. 28 and Nov. 1 were declared “Gage Kirby Days” by the Town.

McFee Park plans

• Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen again wrestled with designs for the next stage of McFee Park during a workshop before its regular meeting Thursday, Feb. 28.

However, hearing of another “stormwater fail,” which cost Town of Farragut more than $200,000 following the floodwaters experienced in February, was a concern expressed by Farragut Vice Mayor Louise Povlin. “I don’t support putting $8 million to the McFee expansion when there is only $100,000 in the stormwater fund,” she said.

A compromise eventual was reached on McFee spending.

March: Mu Alpha Theta No. 1

• Farragut High School’s 29-member Mu Alpha Theta club bested math competition teams from all across Tennessee, and won first place overall at the state competition March 9 at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport.

Webb boys hoops state champs

• Webb School of Knoxville’s boys basketball team (30-6) wasted little time asserting their dominance in a 75-40 win versus Tipton-Rosemark Academy March 2 to win the 2019 TSSAA Division II-A state crown, the program’s first, at David Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville.

Bulldogs state hoops champs

• Bearden High School’s senior -dominated hoops team won the program’s first Class AAA state titoe, defeating Memphis East 83-68 at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, March 16.

Town: featured Dogwood Trail

• The 58th Annual Dogwood Arts Festival’s 2019 Featured Dogwood Trail spanned almost eight miles in Fox Den and Village Green.

FHS grad wins big on “Wheel”

• Molly Rodabaugh appeared on the popular TV game show “Wheel of Fortune,” and this Farragut High School graduate and University of Tennessee senior solved two wheels and won $12,750 as seen Thursday night, March 21.

FHS’s Chen: U.S. Chess scholar

• Farragut High School junior Forest Chen, 16, was one of five high school students across the country to receive a 2019 Scholar-Chess player Award from the U.S. Chess Federation.

April: Farragut Ladies


• Farragut Ladies Coaillion Black Tie event, held in Fox Den Country Club, introduced 62 inaugural members of Farragut Ladies Society April 6 in FDCC’s main ballroom “to unify the Farragut community while supporting local charities,” FLS president/director Arrington Russell said.

Zachary vote controversy

• Saying he was using the “opportunity to fight” for Farragut and other Knox County schools by voting “no” on a state school voucher bill, state Rep. Jason Zachary’s changed vote to “yes” set in motion a controversy drawing national attention. In meetings with Republican Gov. Bill Lee, proposing the program granting tax dollars for private school choice, and GOP House Speaker Glen Casada, telling them Knox County needed to be exempted from the tax dollar voucher program for him to support it, Zachary (R-Farragut/Concord/West Knox County) originally didn’t get those assurances. With the program primarily targeted for large urban counties such as Shelby, Davidson and Knox, Zachary said he “had to use leverage” by voting “no,” deadlocking the House vote 49-49 Tuesday, April 23, before the change.

MLily corporate HQ now here

• MLily, a company that produces its own mattress line, adjustable bases and pillows, brought its corporate headquarters to Farragut’s Village Green shopping center, next to The Fresh Market at 11537 Kingston Pike, in the spring.

Couple honored nationally

• HME founders Henry and Monica Perry of Farragut received the 2019 Department of Homeland Security Small Business Achievement Award in recognition of the company’s outstanding work supporting the DHS mission at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama.

FHS’s Li 1 of 26 nationally

• Farragut High School Class of 2019 senior Jessie Li was one of only 26 students from across the country named a Haslam Scholar.

Lady Ads softball to substate

• Farragut High School knocked off an old nemesis, defending Class AAA state champion Powell, 3-2 in the Region 2-AAA Tournament semifinals May 13, after beating Maryville and claiming the District 4-AAA championship.

FHS soccer wins district

Farragut defeated Maryville 4-1 in Farragut Soccer Stadium May 11 to win the District 4-AAA tourney championship before going on to win the Region 2-AAA tourney.

Concord Gallaria opens

• Concord Galleria shopping center, 10800 Kingston Pike, a 7,545-square-foot building on the .85-acre lot with six spaces, opened in the summer.

Bearden again ends FHS year

• For a second straight season, Bearden High School boys soccer ended Farragut’s season in substate play in Farragut Soccer Stadium, this time 2-0 May 18.

FHS wins 10th state title

• Dying their hair blonde in a show of unity, Farragut High School baseball players celebrated the program’s 10th TSSAA Class AAA state championship after beating Bradley Central 7-3 May 24 at Middle Tennessee State University. The Admirals, under head coach Matt Buckner, finished with a 42-3 record, the second best in program history.

Bearden wins state soccer

• Bearden’s SoccerDawgs needed a penalty kicks shootout to win the 2019 Class AAA state championship match versus Station Camp May 24 at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. It was the program’s fith state title.

CAK threepeats at state

• Christian Academy of Knoxville baseball captured its third consecutive TSSAA state title after edging Nashville’s Christ Presbyterian Academy 3-2 May 23 at MTSU’s Reese Smith Jr. Field.

Webb track, tennis state champs

• With an exceptionally strong showing in dash and distance running, Webb School of Knoxville finished as champ during TSSAA Division II-A Girls Track & Field State Meet May 22 at MTSU. With six first-place individual and relay performances, the Lady Spartans captured the state crown with 140 points.

Meanwhile, Webb’s girls tennis program won its 10th straight Division II-A state team championship May 22 with a 4-0 shutout over St. George’s at at Old Fort Park’s Adams Tennis Complex.

The Spartans’ boys tennis team won its third consecutive Division II-A state team championship when it outlasted Cedar Bluff area rival Christian Academy of Knoxville 4-2 May 22.

Renfree double state champ

• Jake Renfree of Farragut finished his outstanding Knoxville Catholic High School distance-running career by sweeping first-place honors in the 800-meter run (1:53.80) and 1600 (4:14.3) during the TSSAA Large School Track & Field state meet May 23 at MTSU.

June: Sitel comes to Town

• Sitel Group hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, June 12, officially marking the grand opening of its new Outlet Drive location. Combining the efforts of Kodak Properties and Town of Farragut officials to broker the deal, Sitel Group’s move into Town limits will bring an estimated 530 employees who will be transferring — occupying the former Outlet Mall.

Town ETHS award

• A Community History Award was earned by Farragut Historic Resources coordinator Julia Barham during the ETHS annual awards banquet May 4.

July: TopGolf to Town, new zoning

• TopGolf, the international sports entertainment facility, is set to build a complex along Outlet Drive, just west of Cotton Eyed Joe, according to plans revealed Thursday, June 6, during a special called workshop session of Farragut Municipal Planning Commission in Town Hall.

Its centerpiece, a sleek two-level, three-sided building with the TopGolf logo built into the structure, would front Outlet Drive and contain a restaurant and bar, both of which would be open to the public — not just TopGolf guests.

Additional plans tentatively call for a separate hotel and restaurant to be constructed alongside the sports complex.

If final details can be ironed out, TopGolf officials said construction would begin in 2020, and the facility could “hopefully open by early 2021.”

The Board voted unanimously Aug. 2, on second reading to approve an ordinance creating the Outlet Drive Regional Entertainment and Employment District (OD-RE/E), which replaces the Town’s C-2-R/W District.

Hot Shots again No. 1 in nation

• The Smoky Mountain Hot Shots, an East Tennessee age 70-plus women’s basketball team, came home with its third gold medal from the National Senior Games (also in 2013 and 2017) last summer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The team completed an undefeated run.

Bob Hill, Rocky Goode pass

• Highly respected for his knowledge and zeal for all matters concerning the growth and overall well-being of Farragut, which manifested itself with more than a quarter-century of service as Farragut Municipal Planning Commission chair, Bob “Robin” Hill passed away July 10. He was 90.

Bob’s work with Town of Farragut was matched by what many observed as “an exemplary career” in Project Engineering Management at Y-12 in Oak Ridge.

Farragut’s Rocky Goode, long-time SEC Football referee and former Bearden Bulldog star running back who was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, passed away Nov. 18. He was 66.

New “Landing” for Phillips 66

• Two young visionaries are hoping to transform the long-vacant Phillips 66 convenience store location at the intersection of

Campbell Station Road and Kingston Pike. Business partners and co-developers Doug Justus and Carlos Cortez unveiled their concept plan, which they have tentatively called Admiral’s Landing, before Farragut Municipal Planning Commission July 18 during its regular monthly meeting.

Their plans, which were enthusiastically greeted by FMPC members, showed a roughly 9,000-square-foot building with a circular entrance-way and front patio that would set at the corner of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road.

Bartlett new FHS principal

• A former U.S. Marine, Dr. John Bartlett returned to his first love — being a principal —as the popular Knox County School administrator took the helm as Farragut High principal after serving as principal at Bearden High from 2008-09 through 2017-18.

Town No. 3 in tax friendliness

• Town of Farragut ranked No. 3 among cities and towns in Tennessee for retirement tax friendliness.

In its fifth annual study, SmartAsset analyzed sales, property, income, fuel and Social Security tax data to rank locations on how financially favorable they are for retirees.

Hatfleld honored by NASSP

• Laicee Hatfield, Farragut High School’s curriculum director, was named Tennessee Assistant Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Locals in Knox Hall of Fame

• Wade Chapman of Farragut was proclaimed “one of the truly great golfers in Knoxville history” and “one of the top teaching pros in the nation” by “Voice of the Vols” Bob Kesling, emcee during Chapman’s Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame induction, which was part of the ceremony in Knoxville Convention Center July 25.

Dave Meske, Webb School of Knoxville head football coach since 1985 who has seven state championships, three runner-up finishes and 267 wins in his first 34 years piloting the Spartans, joined Webb Class of 2002 all-time great Olympic gold medal swimmer Davis Tarwater (London Olympics 2012), an NCAA national champ swimming the butterfly who’s a 13-time All-American.

August: Knox Open leaves FDCC

• For 21 consecutive years the Knoxville Open was held at Fox Den Country Club. But the streak is over. Rebranded as Visit Knoxville Open, this PGA “minor league” tour event moves to Holston Hills Country Club in North Knoxville for the new Korn Ferry Tour, with next year’s stop Thursday through Sunday, May 14-17.

Raby tops all-time in Vandy wins

• Patrick Raby, a 2015 Farragut High School graduate and a key pitcher for 2019 national champion Vanderbilt, left Nashville as the Commodores’ all-time pitching wins record holder at 32.

Peterson Road narrowed

• Paving and lane reconfiguring along Peterson Road was completed last summer, but some Kingsgate residents, unhappy with the finished product, contacted Town Hall and took to social media voicing their displeasure with what are now two 9-foot travel lanes, along with a 4-foot bicycle/pedestrian lane.

Three are Reward Schools

•Three Farragut schools were singled out as “Reward Schools” by the Tennessee Department of Education, as recognized by state Sen. Dr, Richard Briggs (R-District 7, which includes Farragut): Farragut High School, Farragut Intermediate School and Farragut Middle School.

September: Hotel/Motel Tax considered again

• Will the third time be a charm concerning Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen enacting a Hotel/Motel Tax? The Town’s Tourism/Visitor Advisory committee voted to recommend BOMA consider the issue during its regular bi-monthly meeting Sept. 10.

October: Mayor’s Night Out

• Attempting to personalize his relationship with Farragut constituents and create clearer lines of communication on issues, Mayor Ron Williams unveiled “Mayor’s Night Out” beginning in Oct. 8, at Sam & Andy’s in Aspen Square.

By year’s end, Mayor’s Night Out also was held in November at Water into Wine bistro & lounge, and at The Shrimp Dock in December.

Myers TAMC ‘Clerk of Year’

• Farragut Town recorder/treasurer Allison Myers earned the Tennessee Association of Municipal Clerks “Clerk of the Year” award, as presented during the organization’s fall conference in Murfreesboro.

FMS JVs win first MAC title

• Farragut Middle School’s junior varsity football team won the inaugural Knox County Middle-School-Age Conference crown. The Admirals closed out a perfect 9-0 season in perfect fashion when they routed Halls 24-0 Oct. 3 at Alcoa High School’s Bill Bailey Field.

Bearden MAC varsity champs

• Having avenged a regular season loss to Farragut in the semifinals a week earlier, Bearden’s Middle School Varsity football team claimed the inaugural Knox County Middle-School Age Conference championship. “It feels great to beat Alcoa,” said Jackson Graham, a defensive lineman who made a crucial late sack that all but sealed the Bulldogs’ 24-20 victory over the host and previously unbeaten Tornadoes Oct. 3 at Alcoa High School.

FIS fifth-graders win state

• Farragut Intermediate School fifth-graders Marely Ortega and Andrew Cabaniss won their individual one-mile races Oct 19, running as part of the FIS cross country team in the Knoxville Youth Athletics program, besting students from across Tennessee.

November: CAK state champs

• Consistency at the top proved to be huge for the Christian Academy of Knoxville boys golf team, winning the 2019 Division II-A state championship, a 36-hole two-day event in November at WillowBrook Golf Club in Manchester.

Tucker c-country state champ

• Callie Tucker, Knoxville Catholic girls cross-country senior, earned a state championship by finishing first in the Division II-AA field with a time of 18:56.

Buckner Bridges Coach of Year

• Matt Buckner, Farragut High School’s baseball head coach, has won more than 550 games at two schools, appeared in nine Class AAA State Tournaments and won four state championships (2010, 2011, 2014 and last season, 2019, all at FHS). Buckner was named A.F. Bridges District 2 Male Coach of the Year Nov. 4 by the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association for the 2018-19 school year.

Action on Kroger property?

• While no entity or company has been officially named, the “old Kroger” property currently is under contract. Budd Cullom of CHM Development LLC confirmed that news Nov. 5, following the monthly Town of Farragut Staff/Developer meeting in Town Hall, at which he and John Anderson of SITE Inc. discussed a preliminary plat and site plan for changes to a portion of the former Kroger parking lot.

Tucker an All-American

• Bryn “Tuck” Tucker, one the nation’s more highly regarded high school lineman — a Clemson signee — as a senior lineman at Knoxville Catholic, has been chosen among more than 90 top high school football players in the United States to play in the prestigious Under Armour All-American Game. It begins at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 2, in Orlando, Florida.

FBC hosts TBC Summit

• First Baptist Concord hosted hundreds of church pastors and leaders who attended the 2019 Tennessee Baptist Convention’s annual Summit convention Nov. 17-20. It was the first time in about 15 years the event took place at FBC.