Cabot Butts expands Chronicle Sports forever


Cabot Butts

Cabot Butts standing in front of a mural in school

Coming out of Bailey Bridge Middle School, Cabot Butts would be one of the select students to enter the Math and Science program. Instead of Manchester, he would attend Clover Hill High School. Through this path, he would ultimately become an editor-in-chief at the Cavalier Chronicle and head the sports section alongside Ian Hooks. 

Sports was a subject Butts had always been familiar with. For him, going to a baseball field was no different than strolling through his neighborhood.

“I’ve been around baseball my entire life,” Butts said. “My older brother played from before I was born through college. Now my younger brother goes to Manchester and he’s been playing his entire life. 

This familial link led to Butts making his own relationships, guiding him in his early high school years. 

“I had all these connections to people that both my brother’s played with or against and their coaches,” Butts said. “So actually, because of the JV team at the time, Coach Wilkerson, who’s no longer here, knew me through my brother. He asked my mom if I’d be interested in doing stats.”

Thus, Butts started his own investment in sports. He became the manager and statistician for the JV baseball team at Clover Hill. 

“I did that for two years,” said Butts. “In freshman year it got cut short because of Covid, but we played as full a season as we could in my sophomore year. I think we played 12 games. I’ve been really involved in sports even though I don’t play.” 

In his sophomore year he was told to select his classes. Being in the Math and Science program, he was taking high level classes, but still had a slot to fill. 

“I got a recommendation from probably my favorite teacher, Ms. Whitlow,” said Butts. “[She was] the one who gave me advice on what route to go. She was like, ‘maybe it’s time for journalism, fill out this form,’ and I’ve been in the class ever since.” 

Butts left managing the baseball team his Junior year, but kept his involvement in sports through the Chronicle. 

“I came into the class with a mindset,” said Butts. “I wanted to do something with sports. I knew sports was going to be my strength. I was going to be the best at sports writing. I did write a few other articles, but sports has always been my strong suit.” 

He kept working, writing story after story. Once a senior, despite only being in his second year at the Chronicle, the standing Editors-in-Chief promoted him to their same level. He had new duties, but also a greater ability to mold the sports section. 

“Very quickly I had to pick up the skill set to edit articles,” said Butts. “I’ve taken a step up writing wise, as editor in chief, going to most, if not all, the home events.”

This year alone, Butts has been to about 80 high school sports games for his reports. 

“I’m going to say I’ve written 45-50 game recaps,” said Butts. “So, I obviously went to all of those and there’s so many more.” 

As he kept writing and reporting, he only got better. 

“I’ve definitely grown in my writing from the beginning of the year,” said Butts. “When it wasn’t really there to when I did take that step up and gain so much more responsibilities.” 

Working alongside his now fellow Editors-in-Chief, they expanded the Chronicle with a passion. 

“We put so much more out this year than we did last year,” said Butts. “It really shows if you go see the Chronicle right now. There are so many interesting articles that you can read, so much stuff you can look into.” 

Years ago, with the Chronicle’s transition from paper to digital news, there were benefits and drawbacks. More articles could be published and they could be put up fast; but without the quarterly physical paper, it became less special. A few years removed from that transition, the Chronicle may be the strongest it has ever been. 

“The Cavalier Chronicle has definitely risen in its importance,” said Butts. “You have teachers asking you about it now, whereas before it was kind of… if they look at it, they look at it. Now I see teachers looking at the Cavalier Chronicle on the daily.”

Now, leaving the Chronicle and Clover Hill, Butts leaves for James Madison University wanting to pursue history and secondary education.

“[Teaching] was actually never something I wanted to do,” said Butts. “But it was always in the back of my mind. Anytime the idea came up, I knew I didn’t want to do this, but last summer it just popped in my head. I was like, ‘no,’ but I did some research and said, ‘going to follow this idea.’” 

History has always been fascinating to Butts. It’s something we live in and get to see the past through. 

“People say they don’t like it, it’s so boring,” said Butts. “It never ends; it’s always going. There’s so much we haven’t figured out yet; that’s what makes it interesting. I hope to make it very interesting to other people, that’s really why I wanted to pursue this.”

Soon, whether at Clover Hill or another school, students may be lucky enough to have Butts as their history teacher. 

“I’ve had teachers write in my yearbook that they can’t wait to work alongside me,” said Butts. “I’m going to stay connected with a lot of people and keep them updated.”

Editors Ian Hooks, Cabot Butts, Ben Schneider, and Spencer Woodbury posing for a group picture. (Vanessa Wigfall)