Rep. Tilman Goins, along with House Speaker Beth Harwell, introduced a Proclamation in the State Legislature honoring the West High and West View cross country teams for their heroic efforts in locating a lost hiker at Panther Creek State Park.
The proclamation reads:
Whereas, this General Assembly is pleased to recognize extraordinary endeavors undertaken and aid rendered by citizens who act solely on their altruistic desires to be of service to their fellow Tennesseans; and
Whereas, one such group of citizens, thought not yet of the age of majority but perfectly capable and willing to give assistance in a situation of real and present urgency, is the members of the West High School and West View cross country teams; and
Whereas, on the morning of July 31st in the rugged area of Panther Creek State Park in Hamblen County, first responders were called to action in search of a mentally handicapped adult who had gone missing in the area; and
Whereas, on the morning of the same, West High School cross country coach Raymond Farmer, West View Middle School coach David Haas, and 11 members of their respective teams were training in Panther Creek State Park in the vicinity where the search command post was being established; and
Whereas, upon learning of the emergency situation at hand and without a hint of hesitation, coaches and runners joined the search efforts, and because of their extreme fitness, superb conditioning and youthful stamina, they swiftly pursued the more remote and rugged and outer trails of the heavily wooded terrain; and
Whereas, Coach Farmer’s and Coach Haas’ charges who participated in the search include Kaitlyn Haas, Abby Mitchell, Charles Holbrook, Michael Sia, Caleb Swanson, Connor Clarke, Ashton Mitchell, and Chad Fryman; and West View students, Louis Holbrook, Ryan Haas and Emma Mitchell; and
Whereas, the presence of the youthful athletes of Hamblen County in the park on July’s last day was fortuitous, indeed and from this experience the utilization of these exceptional distance runners in future such search and rescue missions has been officially offered and accepted; and
Whereas it is fitting and appropriate that this legislative body pause to recognize the volunteerism exhibited by some of Hamblen County’s finest young Tennesseans; they are the epitome of good citizens and are certainly a credit to their homes, schools and communities, now therefore,
I, Beth Harwell, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the One Hundred Eighth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, at the request and in conjunction with Rep. Tilman Goins, do hereby proclaim, that we recognize and applaud the valorous service given by members and coaches of West High School and West View Middle School’s cross country teams to the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department and emergency services personnel, thanking them for the assistance they rendered as well as they standing offer to do such again whenever the need may arise. We extend our best wishes to the students and their coaches for success in all their future endeavors.
- From Contributed Reports