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Archives 11-17-99

Sports


Lady 'Cats Basketball Preview
Elementary Basketball
Eight Seniors To Graduate From '99 'Cats
LA Cross Country Team Runs At State



Lady 'Cats Basketball Preview
By Dewain E. Peek

Two years at the helm and two years in the state finals, once coming home a runner-up and the next as the Class AA state champion, Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats Coach Eddie Linder could get used to this. He could, if he weren't coaching in one of the toughest districts in the state.

"The district is about as good as I've seen it in a while," Coach Linder said. "I think we're going to have a good ballteam, I don't know how good. Sometimes the problem is that the competition is awful good too. This is one of those years."

At the top of the list is Jackson County, a team that accounted for four of LA's six losses in last year's 33-6 championship season. The Lady Blue Devils are the defending District 9-AA champions, defending Region 5-AA champions, Mid-State Sectional champions, and TSSAA Class AA State Runner-Up.

"Jackson County will be returning three starters," Coach Linder said. "They're going to have a very, very polished basketball team. They're going to be as good as anybody around the state again. They'll be tough to deal with."

Macon County, a tough opponent the last two years, has now returned to their old district. With Macon County's departure a dark horse enters the district. A dark horse by the name of the Upperman Lady Bees. Upperman closed last season in the TSSAA Class A championship game.

"Upperman has come into our district from single A last year," Coach Linder said. "They only lost one starter. They've got a very talented, good shooting ballclub coming back. They're really going to cause a lot of people problems."

The rest of the district are no pushovers.

"York didn't lose a player. They return five starters," Coach Linder said. "At the end of the year, they were playing exceptionally good basketball.

"Cannon County is traditionally good.

"Smith County returns several players. They're going to be tough.

"DeKalb County is used to playing the competition in our league. You have to show up every night to win a game," Coach Linder said. "Our district is going to be real strong. It's just going to be a war for anybody to win the district this year.

"It will be very tough."

The team Coach Linder will take into that war this year will have a different look than the past two years.

"We'll be a little bit bigger this year in the post area and maybe can be a little more post oriented than we've been in the last couple of years and we should be able to rebound with some teams," Coach Linder said.

"We're excited about the upcoming season. We did lose four players, four seniors. We lost three starters and we've got big shoes to fill there, but we feel like we've got some capable people that's coming up, probably young as far as age goes, and young with experience and I feel like they might be able to fill those shoes maybe.

"We're just looking forward to it and seeing how good we might can be. I think we'll be pretty good, it may take us a little while. We're just ready to get going and meet the challenge."

The 1999-2000 team has only two seniors - Andrea Brown and Christy Hastings. Brown led LA in shooting percentage last year, hitting 60 percent from the field and 85 percent on free throws, and was second in scoring with 557 points, averaging 14.3 points per game, and was second in rebounds with 207, averaging 5.3 per game. Hastings led LA last year in rebounds with 230, averaging 5.9 per game and set the school 3-point shooting record for a game.

"They're great leaders," Coach Linder said. "They've been around the game a lot and they've both played a bunch over the past several years. We're going to have to lean toward them for leadership, not only leadership but production on the floor. We know they're both capable of doing that.

"Andrea is a post player for us, and we'll have to depend on her heavily for scoring and rebounding and defense. Andrea's had a good career and the girl's look up to her a lot, so we're going to depend on her a lot for leadership also.

"Christy is going to be in kind of a new position this year. Last year she had to play a little out of position, she had to play the four spot, this year she's going to be moved out to the three on the wing area, which is really her normal, comfortable position, so I think she's excited about that standpoint of it. She'll get to handle the ball more for us this year.

"Of course, she will be one of our 3-point shooters. Hopefully, she has a great year shooting. Again, we'll look for leadership out of her.

Her and Andrea both have played a lot of basketball and won a lot of games and they know what it takes to win."

The team also has only two juniors - Amanda Jackson and Heather Walker.

"Amanda and Heather are both perimeter players," Coach Linder said. "I'm hoping that they will really work hard this year and produce some good minutes for us. This is going to be a year that some of these people that haven't got a lot of playing time, such as Amanda and Heather, are going to have to really work hard and maybe produce for us at the right time in the right games and help us out some along the line. Neither one of them has got a lot of playing experience, maybe this can be the year they can help us out some."

The majority of the team is in the sophomore class.

"We have five sophomores this year, and three of them are probably going to get a starting role. Stephanie Sullivan is going to be a post player for us. She got some backup minutes last year, so we're expecting a lot of things out of her, get some points from her and get some rebounds from her."

Sullivan averaged a block per game last year and hit free throws at a 75 percent clip. "Jenna Baltimore is going to be our point guard this year," Coach Linder said.

"Jenna got some backup minutes last year and we're hoping for some big things from Jenna and we're going to have to have some big things from her if we want to be a successful team.

"We expect a lot of ballhandling leadership out of her. She's a good 3-point shooter, a good penetrater. We feel like she can step in and hold down that spot and perform well for us.

"Jessica Leach is one of the five that's going to get to start. Jessica didn't get a lot of backup minutes last year, so it's going to be a test for her.

"I feel like she can do the job. She's just going to have to do her best to produce for us.

"Joie Puckett is also a guard, along with Renee Melton. We're looking for them, along with some other girls, to hopefully give us some great minutes coming off the bench. In this day and time, you can't win with five players alone. Right now we're searching for some role players to come off the bench. And right now Joie Puckett and Renee Melton have got a great chance to fill those roles.

"We've got one freshman on the team this year, Christen Cates. We're looking for Christen to just work hard and blend into the game. She is kind of in between a post player and a perimeter player. We're really not sure where she's going to fit in yet. She's a hard worker, athletic. We feel like if she continues to work hard maybe some day she can help us here at Livingston Academy."

The team will open its season play in the Pickett County Thanksgiving Classic on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26-27 at Pickett County High School.

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Elementary Basketball

Derward Vaughn Classic Plays Through Nov. 20
Elementary basketball scores for last week for the Derward Vaughn Classic are as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 9
Girls
Macon County 42, Wilson 26
Pickett County 35, Pine Haven 29

Boys
Clarkrange 48, Wilson 44 (OT)
Pickett County 69, Pine Haven 34

Saturday, Nov. 13
Girls
Avery Trace 69, Macon Co. 27
White Co. 38, Pickett Co. 30
Rickman 47, Albany 19
LMS 70, Allons 22

Boys
Avery Trace 65, Clarkrange 21
White Co. 48, Pickett Co. 43
Rickman 75, Albany 64
LMS 60, Allons 32

Monday, Nov. 15
Girls
Wilson 39, Allons 27
Pine Haven 57, Rickman 48

Boys
Allons 69, Wilson 53
Rickman 63, Pine Haven 54

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Eight Seniors To Graduate From '99 'Cats
By Howard Chandler

The Livingston Academy Wildcats drew the curtain on the 1999 football season with a 36-35 loss to Chattanooga-Brainerd in the first round of the TSSAA playoffs. The Wildcats finished the season 8-3 and ranked 10th in the final AP poll for Class 3A.

The eight-member senior class completes their football careers with a record of 33-15, tied for the second most wins in a four-year period, one short of the record set by last year's graduating class. The squad advanced to the playoffs in each of their four years, finishing with a 4-4 record in the post-season.

While post season awards have not yet been announced, here is a look at the careers of the eight members of the Class of 2000.

Matthan Houser (WR-DB-KR-P): Houser set career school records for total yards (7,104), receiving yards (2,078), kickoff return yards (1,540) and punt return yards (922). He also threw for 1,733 yards, had 677 yards rushing, and never had a punt blocked in 89 attempts. He scored 191 points, had 31 touchdowns and threw for 13 more. Defensively, he had 156 tackles, 7 interceptions that he returned for 294 yards, and blocked 2 kicks. Career receiving stats: 116 catches, 2,078 yards, and 17 touchdowns.

Chris Everley (WR-DB): Everley concluded a brilliant senior season just one interception shy of the school's single season record with 8. In his career, he had 10 interceptions and 53 catches. He finished with 1,011 total yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively, in addition to his interception total, he had 47 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries. Career receiving stats: 53 catches, 829 yards, and 10 touchdowns.

Jeremy McDonald (OL-DL): McDonald was the team's co-leader in tackles for 1999 with 80. In his career, he had 210 tackles, 9 sacks, 27 tackles for a loss, 2 passes broken up, 3 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception. The former tight end ended his career with 264 total yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 two-point conversions. He caught 17 passes for 242 yards. An outstanding blocker on the offensive side of the ball, he was a major reason the Wildcats rushed for over 2,000 yards in 99.

David Stockton (C-DE): Stockton was another reason the Wildcats offensive line was so dominant in 1999. The 6'5 center gave the blocking calls throughout his career and also served as the team's long snapper. Defensively, he had 58 carer tackles, 5 for lost yardage, 1 pass break up, and recovered 1 fumble that he returned for 5 yards. Matt Copeland (OL-DL): Copeland was a consistent performer in the interior line throughout his career. He had 104 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, and 1 fumble recovered in his career. He was a two-year starter at defensive tackle and also contributed in the offensive line during a solid high school career.

Derek Knappenberger (FB-LB): Knappenberger was a versatile player who saw action in the offensive line as well as at fullback in his career. He had 13 carries for 28 yards and 1 kickoff return for 3. Defensively, he played inside and outside linebacker collecting 88 tackles, 7 for lost yardage, 1 sack, 1 pass break up, and recovered 1 fumble in his career.

Josh Young (OL-DL): Josh Young was an important member of the Livingston Academy Wildcats during his 4-year career. He completed his career with 1 tackle, but earned some starting time as a senior and played on both sides of the ball during his career. Statistics do not measure the value of this hard-working member of the senior class.

Danny Webb (OL-DL): Like Young, Danny Webb's contributions to the Wildcats are not measured in statistics. He also earned some starting time with his hard work and dedication and completed his career with 3 tackles and 1 assist. His work ethic paid off in his senior season as he became a valuable member of the team.

These graduating seniors will be missed next year, but their influences will live on in the players that return for the 2000 season. Season statistics for the 1999 Wildcats will be published in next week's news.

 

LA Cross Country Team Runs At State
By Russell Garrett

The Livingston Academy Girls Cross Country Team competed in the TSSAA State Cross Country Meet at Percy Warner Park on Saturday, Nov. 6.

LA Cross Country Coach Shane Qualls summed up the season by saying, "Both teams did well this year. We improved every race. I am proud of everyone who worked to get better and the work they will do to keep getting better."

Coach Qualls has a positive outlook for next year as the team loses only two seniors, Stephanie Thrasher and Mark Smith. Both will be greatly missed, according to Coach Qualls.

The girls team placed 12 overall. Placing for the girl's, Heather Petry finished 44 with a time of 22:03, Deidra Pryor placed 52 with a time of 22:21, Heather Walker finished 83 with a time of 23:25, Stephanie Thrasher finished 88 with a time of 23:35, Brook Thompson placed 97 with a time of 23:47, Rachel Tollet placed 144 with a time of 28:02, and Bridget Wilborn also ran for LA in the race.

Representing the Livingston Academy boys team, Josh Krack ran as an individual. He finished 47 overall out of approximately 175 runners. The Midstate Coaches Association recently announced the All-Midstate teams. Making the teams for LA were, for the girls, Deidra Pryor and Heather Petry, and for the boys, Josh Krack was named to the All-Midstate boys team.

 

Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486
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