• October 11Contact: [email protected]

The Spirit of a Bobcat lives in our Bobcat Heroes

Publisher's Note: We often publish article illuminating the great works of those in Nashville who have ties to the Overton community. They are OUR Bobcat Heroes.

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Overton has many traditions and one that has been in place for over twenty years is the Bobcat Burger. If you haven’t tasted an Bobcat Burger, you’ve missed out on one of the most special treats that Overton has to offer – a burger cooked by an Overton tradition; a Bobcat of over 40 years,  Craig Baugh who is commonly known to his friends as “Partner”.

Partner is an John Overton graduate from the class of 1984 and the Bobcat Beat has chosen Partner as the month of April’s Bobcat Hero.

A Bobcat Hero is a volunteer who embodies the spirit of being a Bobcat because he or she loves Overton from their heart. He or she loves the Overton community and often demonstrates what it means to be a Bobcat through  life – long love of service and is engaged through volunteerism with enthusiasm in the community of Nashville. Partner is just such a volunteer. As a the Bobcat Burger Chef,  and Overton and as the Nashville Predators Equipment Assistant for the away teams, it is easy to understand why Partner was selected as a Bobcat Hero.

Coach Terry Strickland, the Dean of Students and Athletic Business Manager has known Partner since 1996. Their friendship started with a admiration and poking fun “back and forth”, with verbal jousting of teasing. Walk by the Bobcat burger grill, when the two are going at it, and you might hear Strickland call Partner, “Fat Boy” (he is not) and Partner still calls Strickland “Large boy”. Partner laughed hard as he was trying to explain,”it is fun to help his brother, but it is more fun to call Coach Strickland ‘Large Boy’!”

It is fun to help his brother, but it is more fun to call Coach Strickland Large Boy!””

— Partner, Craig Baugh

Terry Strickland confirmed how much he loves having fun with Partner. When asked why he wanted to give a hockey jersey to his friend during his interview at the Nashville Predator’s home ice, the Bridgestone Arena, Strickland thought that there was no better jersey to give such a Bobcat Hero.

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“Here is this guy, who graduated in 1984, who I met 20 years ago, who shows up to cook burgers in what can be broiling heat, for free. He shows up, works harder than most anyone there, and is pleasant and gives our kids love and is a image of what the Spirit of being a Bobcat should be. I just love that. I am so proud that he is an Overton graduate and that he has worked for the Nashville Sounds and the Nashville Predators, two institutions I also love.” stated Strickland, who is rarely emotional. The Hockey jersey is a rare jersey, and is so appropriate for such a rare Bobcat Hero.

Partner’s love for Nashville

Its not only what he does for us but what he brings to the table, he keeps things real for everybody and tells them to get going for the next couple games.” ”

— Pete Rogers, Equipment manager for the Predators

Mr. Partner had great opportunities to work for professional sports in Nashville and has worked for both the Nashville Sounds and the Predators (since 1998), he then began working with them also. “Its not only what he does for us but what he brings to the table, he keeps things real for everybody and tells them to get going for the next couple games.” states Pete Rogers, Equipment manager for the Predators.

As an equipment assistant with teams like the Predators, Partner is responsible for making sure all equipment from uniforms to team hockey sticks and skates are in the right place for both the home and away teams. He loves traveling with the team, “Its hard to explain, but he’s got such a good attitude its almost infectious.” says Mr. Rogers.

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Carter Hutton speaks with reporter America Leon about how many lives partner has touched

 

It is not difficult to notice the huge role he plays in the team when arguable the most important player on the team, the goalie, Pekka Rinne is willing to acknowledge that  Craig Baugh’s work is relevant and appreciated.

“Partner’s work is noticed by many on team the team. Rinne remarked that he thought of Partner as more of a family member that an equipment assistant. “Sure. It feels great having him on the team, he like part of the family,”  adding “We’ve known each other a long time now – almost ten years.” It seems Partner has taken his Bobcat spirit and traditions on to a new level at the Nashville Predators.

Hundreds of Hockey Players Pay Tribute to Baugh

It is clear to understand how much the Nashville Predators love Partner – almost as much as the Bobcats do. Partner has become a Bobcat Hero and  a Predator Hero, too. Maybe the day Partner knew this for sure was a morning when Partner noticed that everyone was acting weird and he needed him. that made him nervous.

No need to worry – the team had a surprise birthday party planned  his 50th birthday hosted by the team. It was a huge birthday party, which he got to watch many players across the nation wishing him happy birthday and also gave him a plasma TV as a present,  everyone had a great time as they celebrated another wonderful year with him.

 

The players value Partner’s energy and enthusiasm  exactly the same as the Bobcat’s and O’Town value his spirit. He is a role model for how the Overton faculty would like to have their student body approach their volunteer service project – with enthusiasm and life long love for his community which just seems to keep getting bigger and bigger.

Seeing how much people knew about him and how many lives he has touched in his league is amazing”

— Carter Hutton, Predator goalie

“Seeing how much people knew about him and how many lives he has touched in his league is amazing” comments Carter Huntton, Predators goaltender. He has taught many people from young kids to parents that giving back to the school that gave so much can be truly wonderful. “For him to keep that love for Overton, that’s not just something we want from one individual, we ideally would like every individual to leave from Overton with…” states a longtime friend, Coach Strickland.

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His love and dedication is passed on to many people, even if we notice it, he inspired Coach Cunningham while he was a student at Overton. “It makes me feel great, he just wants to keep being part of Overton and has been part of Overton for a long time…it shows a lot that people want to come back and contribute to our school,” stated Coach Cunningham.

 

We are reminded that there are amazing people that are willing to give their time and effort for others in return of nothing. However we, at John Overton High School, from the bottom of our heart, give special thanks to Craig ‘Partner” Baugh for volunteering selflessly to help teach 20 years of students kindness and compassion at Overton. It is this kind of selfless spirit that makes Partner a True Bobcat. 

It makes me feel great, he just wants to keep being part of Overton and has been part of Overton for a long time…it shows a lot that people want to come back and contribute to our school”

— Coach Seth Cunningham

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The Spirit of a Bobcat lives in our Bobcat Heroes