The Lady Jaguars: Bad Decisions, Good Intentions’

For Carroll Academy’s Players, Home is Not Always a Haven

Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

By Published: April 16, 2012 139 Comments

 

HUNTINGDON, Tenn. — Carroll Academy warmed up on one end of the court. Sacred Heart of Jesus, a private Roman Catholic high school in Jackson, Tenn., warmed up on the other. The thump, thump, thump of basketballs bouncing on the wood floor echoed through the vast emptiness of the Jackson Community College gym.

The Lady Jaguars, Part 3

Carroll Academy is a day school in Huntingdon, Tenn., operated by the Carroll County Juvenile Court and financed mostly by the state’s Department of Children’s Services. The region is beset by high unemployment, rampant prescription drug abuse and a proliferation of methamphetamine labs.

The Carroll County Juvenile Court judge, who has authority over the school, and Carroll Academy’s director gave The New York Times unrestricted access to explore the school through its girls basketball team, whose players have little experience with organized sports and myriad troubles outside of school. For this five-part series, The Times spoke with the girls, many of their parents and relatives, school administrators and coaches.

One side of the gym had a smattering of fans for Sacred Heart. The bleachers set aside for Carroll Academy’s Lady Jaguars were virtually empty. Again.

The nine girls on the team usually outnumber their fans in the stands.

“That tells you all you need to know,” said Randy Hatch, the day-to-day leader of Carroll Academy, a school in Huntingdon administered by the juvenile court. “That’s why we’re here. If their parents had been there all along, maybe we wouldn’t be here. Right now, we’re the only family they got.”

Read more…  Article provided by Cruz Rochez

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