“Two young men with big hearts:” Former coach says stabbing victims were outstanding men


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — News 2 spoke to friends of the victims in the deadly stabbings outside a popular Midtown Bar.

Police say the three victims intervened after another man reportedly touched a female friend of theirs at the bar.

The victims, Paul Trapeni and Clay Beathard, went to Battle Ground Academy and played football all four years.

“This can’t be real, this is a dream,” said Coach Roc Batten who is now a football coach at Ensworth, but used to coach at BGA.

Almost 48 hours after two young men were murdered, the community and family still trying to make sense of the senseless.

“One thing, you hurt, it hurts. I hurt for both families,” said Batten.

Coach Roc Batten led Paul Trapeni and Clay Beathard on the football field for four years at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin.

“At the core of who they were, they’re two young men with big hearts. They care about each other, they cared about others, they loved their schools, they loved their teammates and their families,” he added.

Paul Trapeni III was just 21 years old and attended Rhodes College in Memphis and was majoring in Political Sciene. He was expecting to graduate in May of 2020, and his family said he had big plans for law school after graduation.

“He [Paul] was a guy with a lot of fight and hard work and grit and just gave his all. He poured it out on the field but he was also a great friend and a great kid,” said Batten.

22-year-old Clay Beathard played football at Long Island University.

“Clay was just a natural leader,” said Batten. “He was poised and charismatic, but also had this love for life and a big heart as well. Both of them had a smile that you will always remember.”

Both grieving families sent News 2 statements today. Beathard’s saying in part, “He lived a full life except for the chance at being the incredible father I know he would have been.”

MORE: Full statement from the Beathard family

Trapeni’s family said, “Paul Douglas had a heart of gold and the absolute best sense of humor. He was empathetic almost to a fault, and he bent over backward just to make somebody else feel loved.”

MORE: Full statement from the Trapeni family

“They just touched so many people in terms of how they carried themselves and how they cared for others,” said Batten.

While these two lives were cut incredibly short, as told by family and friends, they were ones lived to the fullest.

“These two men made an impact and were loved and loved many,” said Batten.

Bryan Lewis, the owner of the Dogwood property said something like this hasn’t happened in the last 30 years in Midtown. He and other Midtown bar owners are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

MORE: Metro police identify man wanted for questioning in fatal stabbing outside Midtown bar

Click here for complete coverage of the fatal stabbing in Midtown.

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