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Clarksville baseball legend drowns in Coffee County

Contributed photo

By Jimmy Trodglen


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Donny Everett, who made his name as a Clarksville High pitcher and was a rising freshman on Vanderbilt’s baseball team, drowned at Normandy Lake in Coffee County Thursday, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

Everett, along with a couple of Vanderbilt teammates and a former Clarksville High teammate, went fishing following the Commodores’ practice Thursday morning. Vanderbilt is scheduled to play Xavier in a NCAA Regional game at Hawkins Field Friday at 7 p.m. reported Thursday night that a call came into the Coffee County Communication Center saying someone possibly needed help at a Coffee County lake late Thursday afternoon.

Coffee County Sheriff’s deputies, the Coffee County EMS and Rescue Squad and others responded to the cat walk on Normandy Lake, according to

Divers pulled a man’s body from the water just before 7 p.m. Thursday. Officials said the drowning victim was not from Coffee County, reported.

“All can say is, first of all, to the parents this is (the) most devastating thing,” Clarksville High baseball coach Brian Hetland said. “Donny was obviously bigger than life and a figure in the baseball community here in Clarksville and around the state.

“Everywhere you go that’s who they asked about and how he was doing. He was a great teammate at Vanderbilt and I know that he loved it there and loved being a part of that program.”

Everett, who graduated from Clarksville High in 2015, was regarded by many as the best baseball prospect to ever come out of the Clarksville area.

Everett was a projected first round draft pick in Major League Baseball’s June Amateur Baseball Draft, but stayed firm with his commitment to Vanderbilt.

Although Everett passed up being selected in the first round of the draft, the Milwaukee Brewers drafted him in the 29th round.

“It’s just a tragedy and it’s hard to put into words right now,” said Hetland, who added the reality hadn’t fully sunk in yet. “I pray for their family. It’s beyond words is what it is.”

Everett missed the first half of Vanderbilt’s season with an arm injury, but returned to pitch in six games, making his first career start against Austin Peay.

Everett was 0-1 in six games with a 1.50 ERA. He had 13 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched.

At Clarksville High, Everett was the 2015 Gatorade Tennessee Player of the Year and was named a Perfect Game All-American that same year.

Jimmy Trodglen, editor,