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80 Years Ago

Archives 11-20-2002



Lady Cats ready to open new basketball season

Wildcats basketball set to launch season


Lady Cats ready to open new basketball season

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff

Members of the 2002-2003 Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats basketball team are, front row from left, manager Samantha Sidwell, April Handy, Whitney Sells, Brittany Ray, Kristin Hoover, Krista Clinard, Allison Medley, Whitney Hill, manager Whitney Looper, back row from left, manager Tiffany Livingston, Kellie Thurman, Katrina Beechboard, Danielle Thrasher, Megan Thompson, Kasey Baltimore, Christen Cates, and manager Tabitha Crabtree.

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff

Members of the Lady Wildcats junior varsity team are, front row from left, manager Tiffany Livingston, Haley Mullins, Megan Brown, Kirstie Dillon, Whitney Hill, manager Samantha Sidwell, back row from left, Whitney Sells, Brittany Ray, Kristin Hoover, April Handy, Allison Medley, and Krista Clinard.



It's that time of year again. No, not turkey time. It's time for another great season of Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats basketball.

This year's group of players are ready and rearing to go into a great new season. The action begins in Martin at the Thanksgiving Classic.

Last year's Lady Wildcats team was very much senior-led, with 4 of 5 starters being seniors. This year the Wildcats only have one starter left, if you do the math, Katrina Beechboard. Beechboard is likely to be the team's best scorer this year.

The team returns only one senior, Christen Cates. According to Lady Cats Head Coach Lesley Smith, though, she's a good one to have for a leader.

She said, "She's a very vocal leader and so far she's done a really good job."

When about goals for the season, Coach Smith said with a determined look on her face, "We always have the same expectation, to go to Murfreesboro at that state tournament and win."

And win they do. In her first season at the helm, the team posted a 28-6 record, placing third in the 7-AA district tournament, just missing the substate.

This year's Wildcats may have a new look, but they have the same drive and determination they've possessed in the past.

Coach Smith said of the team, "We are young and inexperienced and our goal is to get better every single day. We are reloading this year."

Senior Christen Cates, as well as juniors Katrina Beechboard, Megan Thompson, Kellie Thurman, Kasey Baltimore, and Danielle Thrasher are likely to be seeing a lot of action this season. Sophomores Whitney Sells and April Handy are also likely to see some playing time.

As usual, the district favorite is Jackson County. Other competition will be thrown from perennial heavy hitters Upperman, York, and Cannon County.

According to Coach Smith, "The district is all pretty balanced, we won't really know the outcome of any of the games until we play them."

Although the Lady Cats may appear to have lost some leadership with the loss of so many seniors, they still possess the road map for success.

It's probably best stated by Assistant Coach Elizabeth Woodard, "Our main goal is just to go out there and have fun."


Wildcats basketball set to launch season

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff

Members of the 2002-2003 Livingston Academy Wildcats basketball team are, seated from left, manager Eddie Sells, Wilson Cates, Brandon Matthews, Brad West, Shawn Gray, Wesley Puckett, Cody Sells, Cody King, manager A.J. Price, standing from left, Assistant Coach Dusty Whitaker, Luke Eldridge, Dustin Ferrell, Jamie Gurley, Matt Reeder, Kyle Copeland, Brian Colson, and Coach Danny McCoin. Not pictured are managers Rob Medley and Shawn Becerra.



The Livingston Academy Wildcats are set to kick off the 2002-2003 basketball season this week, and on display will be an abundance of youthful players, which, according to Head Coach Danny McCoin, will translate into a very exciting season for the players and fans alike.

Coach McCoin has seen many of his players improve drastically right before his eyes, which has led him to set up superlative goals for his young team.

"They are getting higher every day, he said of his expectations for this year's team. "We're young, we are getting better every day. My expectations are to be in the top three in the district by the end of the year."

Coach McCoin then cited the many reasons behind his high expectations.

"Our young kids, along with a couple of our older kids, are just getting better," he said. "They're playing better together, they have a great attitude, they're working hard, and everything's starting to click. When everything clicks, you think you can do well."

This year's team features all of eight sophomores or freshmen, which is sure to bring boatloads of a hustle-happy and exciting brand of basketball.

"We're going to be fun to watch," McCoin said. "We're going to be energetic and exciting, but we're going to make some silly mistakes sometimes because we're young, because we're playing hard.

"But these kids have a great attitude. They're just fun to watch, and I think they will be fun for the people to just sit back and watch."

The Wildcats will tip off the 2002-2003 season with an exhibition game in the Celina Hall of Fame game at Livingston Academy on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.






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