Overton County News Overton County News - An Award Winning Newspaper - Livingston, Tennessee
homeabout ussubscriptionskids cornerlocal linkscontact us
80 Years Ago

Archives 08-21-2002



LA football team enters 2002 season

Wildcats open year with pair of golf wins
New coach prepared to lead Lady Wildcats to success
Outlaws defeat Pickett County Saturday
Volleyball opens this week at LA




top of page

LA football team enters 2002 season


It's a year of immense change for the Livingston Academy Wildcats. With the loss of 12 seniors to last spring's graduation, the Wildcats have some major shoes to fill. No other team is better equipped to fill those size 24 Nikes than this year's squad.

LA Head Coach Matt Eldridge said of this year's team, "We're looking forward to the new season. We have a bunch of kids, about 65."

This year's first change is at the quarterback position. This season, freshman Wilson Cates, (5-10, 175) will be taking over as LA's primary passer. Cates looked impressive in early scrimmage action versus Lebanon. He seemed to do fairly well at both passing and running the football.

The Wildcats have quite an impressive pool to pick their mainline runningbacks from this year. Marco Lisi (5-8, 175 Sr.) is likely to step up and be a pivotal player for LA this season. Players also at this position include last year's standout Whitney Coleman (5-8, 195, Jr.), along with Cody Melton (5-8, 160, So.), Brian Colson (6-0, 175, So.), Andy Gunnels (5-5, 130, So.), Casey Coleman (5-8, 160, So.), Marshall White (5-7, 165, So.), and Adam Hunter (5-10, 160, So.).

This year's wide receiver and defensive backfield positions are quite interesting as the Wildcats have picked up two new seniors who have never played football at Livingston Academy before. They picked up soccer standout Joe Nigro (6-0, 175, Sr.) and longtime LA runner Eric Huddleston (6-0, 165, Sr.) Both appear to be fitting in well with the new surroundings and are expected to get some playing time this season.

Also primed to play this position is Jared Rudd (5-7, 160, Sr.) Rudd has been impressive in the past and will likely play a big role in this year's squad.

Other players listed at this position include star Lance Holland (6-0, 180, Sr.), Cody King (5-8, 180, Jr.), Drew Randolph (6-2, 180, Jr.), Matt Simcox (5-11, 165, Jr.), Lance Ruanto (5-10, 140, Jr.) Brandon Bond (5-6, 145, So.), Alex Gunnels (5-8,140, So.), Wesley Puckett (5-11, 150, So.), D.J. Allred (5-11, 150, So.), Chase Smith (5-10, 155, So.), Ron Goetz (6-0, 160, So.), Robert Thomas (5-8, 145, So.), and Skylar Harris (5-7, 145, So.)

This year's group of tight ends includes Paul Robbins (6-1, 180, Jr.), Matt Reeder (6-4, 210, So.), Jacob Norrod (5-11, 155, So.), and Seth Melton (5-8, 165, Fr.)

With the graduation of many of LA's big men, the Cats don't have a lot of linemen this year to get things done. Several of this year's seniors intend to step up and make it work for the Wildcats, though. Returning linemen include Michael Hayes (5-9, 265, Sr.), Michael Poston (6-0, 240, Sr.), Bruce Wilson (6-0, 210, Sr.), Rob Medley (5-10, 290, Sr.), Matt Rooker (6-0, 245, Sr.), Matt Brown (6-0, 185, Sr.), Michael Graff (5-8, 210, Jr.), Phillip Murphy (6-1,180, Jr.), Steven Walker (5-8, 245, Jr.) Jon Medley (6-0, 185, Jr.), and Jon Avery (5-8, 185, Jr.).

Coach Eldridge said of the lineman position, "We have less depth in linemen than we've had in awhile."

Doing the kicking for LA this season will be Drew Randolph and Wesley Puckett. Randolph will be making the long kicks, while Puckett will be kicking the extra point attempts.

The secondary unit this year has more experience than LA has had in the past, according to Coach Eldridge. He expects a lot more broken up passes and interceptions. Guys who he hopes will be an asset to this include Lance Holland, Matt Simcox, Cody King, and Wesley Puckett.

The outlook is positive for the 2002-2003 Wildcat team.

Coach Eldridge said of this year's campaign, "We expect a lot of good things and hope everybody'll come out and watch us."

The season kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 in Crossville against Cumberland County's Jets.


top of page

Wildcats open year with pair of golf wins


The Livingston Academy golf season officially swung into action with two matches this week. The Wildcats hit the road with their opening match, taking on Monterey and Pickett County on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

LA stormed into Friday's match, bent on proving who were the real Wildcats on the green. They did so, snuffing out the other Wildcats of Monterey by 6 strokes, while Pickett County fell back by 11 shots.

With important early-season momentum on their side, the LA Wildcats matched up with Smith County and Pickett County on Thursday, Aug. 15.

Both LA and Smith County played well in this squeaker, but the Cats eventually won by a single stroke, taking 155 shots overall. Pickett County once again fell into third place, chalking up a 166 stroke total.

Wildcats senior Chuck Hammer took 35 strokes, while Eddie Sells swung 38 times. Brandon Matthews and Justin Monday both took 41 strokes respectively.

In spite of the final tally, the Wildcats were not as calm and collected as one would think, according to LA Golf Coach Elizabeth Woodard.

"Some of our guys, when we go places and play somewhere that they're not familiar with, they might be a little more nervous than they would be playing at home," Coach Woodard said. "So that just comes down to being confident. So, we need to work on our confidence and our consistency, I think."

Coach Woodard is determined to create a positive mindset, as well as sound golfing skills, in each member of the team.

"They know to be focusing on each shot," she said. "To forget about past shots, and just focus on the shot they are hitting at the time. To forget about past shots and be confident."

Livingston Academy was scheduled to hit the links at home on Monday, Aug. 19 against Pickett County, Clarkrange, and York Institute, then take on the same three opponents in Jamestown on Tuesday, Aug. 20, before traveling to Cumberland Bend on Thursday, Aug. 22 to play Jackson County, Celina, and Monterey.

The LA Wildcats will host Upperman and Pickett County at Hidden Valley on Monday, Aug. 26.

New coach prepared to lead Lady Wildcats to success


Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff

Members of the 2002 Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats soccer team are, kneeling from left, #17 Jenna McCormick, #9 Jessica Smith, #30 Maryfaye Maynord, goalkeeper Jessica McDonald, #18 Rachel Romzek, #55 Katrina Marshall, #16 Allison Medley, standing from left, Coach Ethan King, #5 Jodi Morgan, #24 Melissa Reeder, goalkeeper Sarah Jowers, #32 Stevie Plumlee, #3 Danielle Thrasher, and #21 Kasey Baltimore. Team members #14 Christen Cates, #15 Tabatha Crabtree, and #25 Ferran Stephens are not pictured.


His name is Ethan King. He is the new coach of the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats soccer team, and he has a bright outlook on the season to come.

Previously coaching the soccer program in White County, King is experienced on the field as both a player and a coach.

He started his playing career as a young man in youth soccer, and he gradually moved up through the years to play in college.

"Not on a college squad or anything like that, he said, "but I played in a soccer club at U.T."

After college, he moved on to assistant-coaching at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, and then on to another assistant coaching position at White County High School.

"And now I'm fortunate enough to be the head boys and girls soccer coach here at LA," he said.

As for the season ahead, Coach King said, "Mount Juliet is still probably our toughest competition, and this year Smith County has been added to the conference."

The girls season, which kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 22 at White County, is comprised of a balanced schedule of six home and six away games, though the team will play four games in a row on the road in the middle of the season. The season ends with a game on October 1 at home against York Institute's Dragons.

On the subject of players, Coach King said, "We lost two of our leading scorers last year, so we're looking for someone to kind of step up pressure on the offense.

"I'd say that Kasey Baltimore will probably be splitting her time between playing striker and midfield; same thing with Christen Cates, she will be playing some in the midfield and getting some time up front. We're really hoping those two can add to our attack.

"Defensively, Sarah Jowers will again be goalie. This is her third year starting at that position, so we're expecting big things out of her.

"We've got a lot of seniors on the defense. It's always good to have a lot of experience on the defense. Livingston's always had a pretty good defense.

"We definitely look to have a solid defense and hopefully the offense will catch on fire as well. We've got a pretty strong team. I'm really looking forward to the season."

Only one incoming freshman has joined the girls team this season, Jessica McDonald, a goalkeeper, who Coach King said shows much promise.

"New players have got to get out there on the field and get experience," he said. "And she also plays a little fullback, so she'll make a good contribution to the team.

"We've got a lot of sophomores and underclassmen who are going to do a lot of playing and see a lot of playing time, so they will have to step up and make a contribution to the team.

"I'd like to thank all the parents and the community for their support; they've been wonderful," he said. "We've had people come by and say hello and ask how we're doing. People also come by and check out our new facility with the fieldhouse.

"I really look forward to the season. There's been a lot of hard work put into this program.


Outlaws defeat Pickett County Saturday

Overton County's Junior Outlaws won their season opener in a hard fight against Pickett County's Titans on Saturday, Aug. 17.

The game was a defensive struggle from the outset with the Outlaw defense coming up just a shade stronger.

The Junior Outlaws first touchdown came in the 1st quarter on an excellent pass from quarterback Kyle Lee to flanker Paxton Eldridge.

The conversion was run in by Paul Daniels, giving the Outlaws a 7-0 advantage.

The scored stayed 7-0 until late in the 4th quarter when the Titans Justin Taylor ran 80 yards for a touchdown.

The conversion failed and the Outlaws held on to win 7-6.

Junior Outlaws Individual Statistics
Outlaws 7 0 0 0 7
Titans 0 0 0 6 6

Rushing (Atts.-Yds.)

Paul Daniels 12-48-0
Kyle Lee 4-48-0
Jonathan Melton 1-2-0

Passing (Comp.-Atts.-Yds.-TDs-Int.)
Kyle Lee 3-1-23-1-0

Receiving (Atts.-Yds.)
Paxton Eldridge 1-23-1

Paul Daniels 3
Dustin Harris 3
Hunter Garrett 2
Kyle Jolley 2
Carson Bailey 2
Jonathan Melton 2
Lucas Dailey 2
Seth Kilgore 1
Paxton Eldridge 1

Fumbles Rec.
Hunter Garrett 1

Senior Outlaws
The Senior Outlaws dominated the Pickett County Titans from the start on Saturday, Aug. 17. A solid defensive performance overcame a somewhat sloppy offensive showing the by Senior Outlaws.

The Senior Outlaws first touchdown came in the 1st quarter on an outstanding 35-yard run by Hayden Hill on a reverse.

The conversion attempt failed making the score 6-0. The second touchdown by the Outlaws came on an equally outstanding 23-yard run by tailback Justin Poston right before halftime. Brannon McCoin ran in the conversion making the score 13-0. The Outlaw defense played strong throughout preserving the shutout.

Senior Outlaws Individual Statistics
Titans 0 0 0 0 0
Outlaws 6 7 0 0 13

Rushing (Atts.-Yds.)
Justin Poston 12-71-1
Hayden Hill 3-36-1
Cody Brewer 5-36
Ethan McDonald 3-minus 4
Brannon McCoin 4-minus 19

Passing (Comp.-Atts.-Yds.-TDs-Int.)
Brannon McCoin 3-2-15-0
Justin Poston 2-0-0-0

Receiving (Atts.-Yds.)
Ethan McDonald 1-19
Hayden Hill 1-minus 4

Cody Brewer 4
Lucas Cole 4
Josh Beaty 4
Josh Norris 3
Brannon McCoin 3
Cody Stafford 2
Dylan Ashlock 2
Hayden Hill 2
Ty Eldridge 1
Tyler Watkins 1
Trey Thomas 1
Jacob Parsons 1
Clint Warren 1
Josh Patterson 1
Ethan McDonald 1
Fred Hunley 1

Fumbles Rec.
Josh Norris 2



Volleyball opens this week at LA


In spite of the fresh faces and new personalities added to this year's Livingston Academy volleyball team, the Lady Wildcats seem promising and have a lot of heart.

The season debuted last night against Cumberland County on the Lady Jets' turf, where LA also faced Cannon County's Lady Lions.

Coach Merl Smith gave a prediction Monday on how he expects the games will roll this season.

"We've got some good things going on and we've got some weaknesses, too. We've played about 6 or 7 scrimmage games, and we won 3 and lost 4, I think. We played some pretty tough competition.

"Our weaknesses are still passing and defense right now. Our serving is fine, our hitting is still really good. Blocking is good. We've just got to play better defense and be better at passing.

"This year's team lacks three valuables, Jenna Baltimore, Jessica Leach, and Renee Melton, all who graduated in May and had a taste of state tournament action in 2001.

The 2002 team as a whole doesn't measure up just yet.

"Not yet," Coach Smith said. "We've got some good players, but last year we had so many girls who had some experience. Jenna, who was my setter, had already been my setter for two years. Jessica was a four-year starter, and Renee was a two-year starter. Losing those girls, or having them last year, meant that I had some experience. This time, I've got a little bit, but not like I did last year.

" Taking over setting full-time will be junior Megan Thompson, who moves up from the back row. She is doing well so far, the coach reported.

Others who saw the court for only half of game time last year were juniors Katrina Beechboard and Kelly Thurman, both who played only front row, and senior Mallory Sells, who played only back row.

"It's going to take them a while, Coach Smith said, "but potentially, they're going to be pretty good out there."

Althea Allred, who also returns to play, is the only Lady Cat who played full-time last year.

On the varsity this year will be April Handy, Kristin Hoover, and Krista Clinard, all sophomores.

"They're new ones this time, but they're coming along and doing a pretty good job, the coach said. "April's been hurt and she hasn't practiced in three or four days, but she's a really good blocker, so she's coming along and doing all right.

Natasha Melton, Rachel Ramsey, and Aspen Allen, who were on the varsity last year, complete the team.

The Cats are preparing for Thursday night home action against the Cookeville Lady Cavaliers and the Jackson County Lady Blue Devils.

Coach Smith is not too worried about most of the teams, but he has his reservations about the tough-as-nails Gainesboro competitors.

"Jackson County will be really strong. They've got all their players back from last year and I would say, if I were going to pick someone to win the district, I would pick them.

"From the other teams, I think it's going to be about like always. Van Buren will be fairly strong; they lost two main girls off their team. They'll kind of be like us, I'd say. The rest of them will probably be about like they were last year.

Though LA has a reputation as state competitors, the girls are going to have to put forth much effort to fill their predecessors' shoes. And two players in particular have the pressure on their backs.

"I expect Althea Allred and Mallory Sells to be my leaders since they are my seniors, Coach Smith said. "And I'm expecting Kelly Thurman and Katrina Beechboard to be a force. I expect them to dominate the game."

The Lady Cats do still have a defining edge in the 9-AA District.

"I think we're a little bit better hitters than most of the other teams, and tradition we've got tradition," Coach Smith added.


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

top of page


Printing Supplies Graphic Design Custom Printing Advertising