Boys Varsity Football · Chandler leads Bearden in tackles, still finds time to join popular Knoxville band


Bearden senior Mac Chandler is a man with many talents. He somehow manages to juggle a variety of extracurriculars with school.

Chandler previously played cello in Bearden’s orchestra and now plays the bass. As well as his musical talent, he’s played football all four years of his high school career and starts as a linebacker on this year’s team.

His most recent endeavor is joining the band Stonefish to play bass alongside fellow Bearden senior and drummer Ben Collins.

Chandler has an extensive history with music and instruments. He has learned how to play five different instruments since beginning orchestra in sixth grade.

“I started playing the cello in sixth grade at West Valley, and I kind of started picking up other instruments,” Chandler said. “In seventh grade, I started playing the guitar, and then I picked up mandolin and banjo in eighth grade.”

When Collins approached Chandler with the opportunity to join Stonefish, Chandler jumped at the chance to play music in a new way and a new environment. The band had been searching for someone to play bass in the band, but Chandler ultimately brought more than just that.

“We chose Mac because while he can play the bass really well, he is also great with a guitar, mandolin, and many other stringed instruments,” Collins said. “We also found out that Mac can sing really well, so with such musical talent, there was no way we could not choose him.”

Chandler pulls this off while also leading Bearden football in tackles with 36 through the first four games. He’s also added four tackles for a loss in 2018.

While Chandler is well-rounded, playing music and sports, he still has to manage schooling, rehearsal, and practice. Luckily, the band was willing to work with his complicated schedule, and they typically practice on the weekends.

It is rare that someone finds so many things that they are passionate about, and Chandler ensures that he has the time in his schedule to do everything.

“It’s stuff that I like to do, so I don’t find it hard to find the time to do it,” Chandler said.

That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, though. Bearden (4-0, 1-0 Region 1-6A) hosts Science Hill (1-3, 0-1) on Friday night at 7:30. Chandler will be in the starting lineup; then, he’ll join his bandmates after the game as Stonefish plays the final 30 minutes of the homecoming dance.

Stonefish has so far been successful and has gained a strong Knoxville fanbase. The band hopes to continue to grow and produce more music, especially after adding Chandler as a member. As for the future of the band, they have opted to see where each day takes them and intend to stay together for as long as they can.

“We’re taking it step by step, and we’re definitely going to take it as far as we can,” Chandler said.

Stonefish produces indie-rock music, and also covers various songs. Stonefish’s EP Synanceia is available on Spotify, iTunes, and Apple Music. Follow them on Instagram @stonefishmusic.