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Archives 03-14-2001

Sports

 

LA Baseball To Begin Season With New Coach
Eddie Linder Bids Farewell To Coaching Lady Wildcats
LA Soccer Looks To Keep Up High Level Of Play
LA Tennis Team Set To Begin 2001 Season

 

 

LA Baseball To Begin Season With New Coach
By Russell Garret

Russell Garrett/OCN staff

Members of the 2001 Livingston Academy Wildcats baseball team are, front row from left, Assistant Coach Jamie Loftis, Whitney Coleman, Nathan Randolph, James Parsons, Robert Richardson, Eric Johnson, Brandon Smith, Josh Cravins, Josh Parsons, Matt Rooker, Chad Moody, back row from left, Cody King, Kyle Copeland, Bryant Harmon, Cody Campbell, Daniel Christensen, Matt Quarles, Shea Stout, Matt Poston, Jonathan Cummings, Jesse Wolfram, Michael Poston, Matt Geesling, and Coach David Looper. Players not pictured are Josh Savage and Brett Butler.

 

The Livingston Academy Wildcats baseball team will open the 2001 season with a new coach.

The LA players have seen quite a shuffle in this spot, having three different coaches in the last three years. Longtime Coach Pat Swallows was replaced last year by Coach Steve Robbins, and this year LA has called on an unfamiliar face to fill the coaching spot.

David Looper will coach this year's team. Coach Looper is 24 years old. He grew up in Monterey, and graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 1999. He taught at Avery Trace Middle School last year, and is currently teaching at Livingston Academy.

His past coaching experience includes serving as an assistant coach at Monterey High School for three years, as well as coaching summer league Babe Ruth in Cookeville for six years.

The 'Cats have 11 returning seniors, 6 of whom were starters on last year's team and will likely be the core of this year's team. Two of those seniors were named all-district last year, Bryant Harmon and James Parsons.

"We have a large group of seniors," Coach Looper said. "I am going to look for them to provide the experience and carry this team."

This year's pitching squad will rely mainly on seniors as well. Look for Bryant Harmon, Shea Stout, Matt Poston, and Matt Quarles to lead the pitching staff.

Coach Looper said, "I am going to rely on our seniors to provide most of our pitching. They are all throwing well, and we only have one or maybe two underclassmen pitchers that will pitch much. So these guys have to step up.”

Senior James Parsons led the batting attack last year for the 'Cats, batting an incredible .500 with 34 RBIs and 43 hits. This year's line up, like the rest of the team, will be led by seniors and appears to be solid.

"We have a very strong lineup," Coach Looper said. "Everyone hits for power, and I can not see any weak spots in the entire lineup."

This year's outfield will consist of two seniors and one junior. Josh Parsons will man the centerfield position, with senior Eric Johnson on his left, and junior Jonathan Cummings on his right.

"Our outfield is excellent. Josh Parsons is having a great spring and these three guys are playing very well," Coach Looper said.

"Our infield, on the other hand, are very new and pretty inexperienced. This is the first start for a lot of these guys, so they are still trying to get it together."

Robert Richardson is the only starting infielder returning from last season. He started every game last year and will return in the catcher position this year. Michael Poston will start at first base for the ‘Cats, with Nathan Randolph at second, and Kyle Copeland at third. Matt Poston will fill the shortstop position.

This year the ‘Cats will also rely on their bench to provide some quality playing time. Coach Looper expects several underclassmen, even though they aren't starting, to contribute to this year's team.

"Jesse Wolfram will likely see quite a bit of playing time in the infield. As well as Cody Campbell who will also catch for us some this year," Coach Looper said. "Another player who we will rely on this year is Josh Cravins, and he can play any position on the field."

And when asked about this year's team goals, Coach Looper said, "We hope to win our district this year, and go from there, but that won't be easily done. We have a very tough district, and it looks like Upperman and Smith County will be the teams to beat."

The 'Cats will open the season at home on Thursday, March 15, against York Institute at 6 p.m., with the junior varsity beginning at 4 p.m. The 'Cats will travel to Kingston on Friday, March 16, then host Upperman on Monday, March 19. They will then continue play on Tuesday, March 20 when they travel to Cannon County.

 

 

Eddie Linder Bids Farewell To Coaching Lady Wildcats

By Russell Garrett

The conclusion of the 2000-2001 girls basketball season comes with an added surprise. Eddie Linder, who just completed his fourth year as head coach, announced his resignation from the head coaching position.

Coach Linder has had an impressive career as head coach of the Lady 'Cats. Coach Linder served LA as assistant coach for six years, before taking over as the head coach. During his head coaching career the Lady 'Cats advanced to the state finals in 1998, were state champions in 1999, advanced to the semi-finals of the sectionals in 2000, and made it to the semi-finals of the region this year. Linder coached his teams to 115 wins and 30 losses (80 percent) in his four-year career at the helm.

When asked why he had chosen to resign, Coach Linder said, "Because of other interests in life. I don't feel like I want to put out that 100 percent effort that it takes to be a head coach. And, it would not be fair to the girls to continue without giving it that effort.

"But, I still hope to be involved in the basketball program at Livingston Academy, but just in a different role, and I am all about Livingston Academy winning and I want to do whatever it takes to help them do that, but I want to help and aid in a different manner.

"The last four years of being head coach were awesome. The players are second to none, both as players and individuals, and I am convinced there is not a better place in the world to coach girls basketball."

Also, I would like to thank the administration, community, and fans for supporting me, and especially all of the players and managers that I have been associated with in the past four years."

Coach Linder also added, "I would like to wish the new coach, whomever it may be, the best of luck in the future. I hope they are successful and will do anything to help make the transition a smoother process."

 

LA Soccer Looks To Keep Up High Level Of Play
By Russell Garrett

Russell Garrett/OCN staff

Members of the 2001 Livingston Academy Mens Soccer Team are, front row from left, Donovan Reid, Tim Bilbrey, Cody Boles, Silas Stoddart, Brian McDonald, Chris Dingwall, Ricky Schindler, Robert Brady, Coach Rick Sells, back row from left, manager Tyler Lancaster, Bo Byers, Eric Huddleston, Colin Smith, Joseph McGill, Matt O'Brien, Drew Randolph, Josh Krack, Scott Romzek, and Jacob Cobble.

 

The Livingston Academy Men's Soccer Team will enter the 2001 season with hopes of filling voids left on the field by last year's graduating seniors.

The 'Cats lost four seniors to graduation, including leading scorer Peter Beasley. This will force Coach Rick Sells to enter this season with a new game plan.

"Peter was a great player and a huge offensive threat," Coach Sells said. "What I have had to do to adjust to this loss is take Colin Smith off of striker and put him at midfield, which may hurt our offense a little bit, but I think we will be okay there."

The 'Cats will have to readjust their offensive attack, and this appears to be the team's most questionable spot. Losing their leading scorer, the ‘Cats have adjusted their offensive lineup by moving Colin Smith to midfield, and placing Robert Brady and Donavan Reid at striker. Joseph McGill is also expected to be an offensive threat this year from the midfield position.

This year's defense is one of the team's strongest points. Matt O'Brien returns this year for LA as goalkeeper, and Josh Krack, Jacob Cobble, and Bo Byers are all expected to contribute to the defensive efforts.

"Overall I think we have the experience, and we should be fine on defense," Coach Sells said. "We are a little inexperienced at striker and that is where the question mark will be on offense, but we look pretty good."

When asked about goals for this year's team, Coach Sells said, "There are two specific things we are looking at and working on. We first would like to win the district, and second would be to go farther in the regional tournament. We have been beaten in the first round of the region the last two years, and we hope to advance farther this year.

"To win the district, I feel like our toughest opponent, and the team to watch out for, is probably Mount Juliet Christian. They are always tough, and I think it will probably be between us as far as the district goes," Coach Sells said.

After traveling to Oneida on Tuesday, March 13, the 'Cats will play another road game against York Institute on Thursday, March 19.

 

LA Tennis Team Set To Begin 2001 Season
By Russell Garrett

The Livingston Academy Tennis Team was scheduled to begin the 2001 season on Monday, March 12 against Macon County, but the game was rescheduled due to rain and will be made up at a later date.

LA is entering the 2001 season with very young teams. Both the girls and boys teams each return only two players. Bryce Easterly and Casey Hunter are returning for the boys, and Kyla Cope and Megan Masters are returning for the girls.

This year's girls team will consist of 11 freshmen, 1 sophomore, 2 juniors, and no seniors. The boys team will be made up of 1 freshman, 2 sophomores, no juniors, and 2 seniors.

Currently the boys seeds are Bryce Easterly (1), Casey Hunter (2), Andy Robbins (3), and Silas Stoddart (4). The girl's seeds are currently, Dana Ledbetter (1), Kila Cope (2), Megan Masters (3), and Rachel Barlow (4). Players can challenge for seeds so these are subject to and most likely will change.

Coach Rick Moles said, "I am actually unsure of where this team stacks up, and I am not sure how they will react in game situations, but I hope to have more of a feel after the first few games."

When asked what his goals were for the season Coach Moles said, "If we win a game I'll be happy, if we win a match I'll be elated, and if we compete and return uninjured, I'll be satisfied."

Both teams will travel to face Celina at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, the girls team will travel to Mt. Juliet Christian on Thursday, March 15 for a 4 p.m. game.

 

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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