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Archives 03-19-2003

Sports

 


Boys soccer senior suffers, team wins two
Lady Cats scratched by Eagles in State Tournament

 

 

Boys soccer senior suffers, team wins two

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff

The Livingston Academy Wildcats boys soccer program got off to an injurious yet successful start in its season opener Tuesday, March 11 on home turf against Friendship Christian.

"We played pretty good for the most part," LA soccer coach Ethan King said, " but it was a costly win. Our starting sweeper, Joe Nigro, hurt his knee and will have to miss a couple of games."

Just a couple?

"Well, he'll probably miss at least four or five games, but he's going to do some therapy, and he'll come back when he feels like his knee is ready."

Despite losing the talented starting senior, the boys trudged on and played what the English might call "good footy".

King said of his team, "For the most part, they kept the ball down at (Friendship's) end for most of the game."

He said the Cats didn't shoot exceptionally well, but due to playing good all-around soccer, they scored three goals: one by sophomore

Alex Gunnels, one by sophomore Wesley Burnett, and one by senior Cody Boles. Alex Gunnels had the game's only assist.

After the final whistle, the Wildcats saw their first regular season contest end in a shut-out 3-0 win over Friendship Christian.

With game one of the season under their collective belt, the Wildcats loaded up the bus and headed to Mt. Juliet.

Coach King lauded starting goalie Drew Randolph for his performance.

"Drew had a very good game," he said of Randolph, who had a recorded eight saves during the game.

"Most of those saves were hard shots, right on him. Some of them he had to reach out and go one-on-one. He had a big game."

The game was scoreless right down to the wire. The 90-minute mark was nearing quickly and nobody had scored; however, the Cats managed to put one in the back of the net.

"We pulled out a squeaker," explained Coach King, "and scored with three minutes and thirty seconds left in the game."

Cody Sells set up teammate Wesley Burnett with what the coach called a "nice through pass”. Burnett was then able to get past the one defender in his way and score the last-minute goal.

But what of Joe Nigro, the lost senior player?

The coach explained that is, and will likely continue to be, somewhat of an obstacle for the team, especially early in the season.

"We're having to try new people in defense and try to move some people around, trying to find the right combination now, since we're going to be missing Joe for a while,” Coach King said.

The team gets a makeshift bye week this week.

"We thought we'd be having spring break,” explained Coach King.

After spring break, the team resumes its long road trip for a total of five more games – at Smith County on March 25, at York Institute on March 28, at Friendship Christian on April Fool's Day, at Boyd Christian on April 7, and finally at DeKalb County on April 10.

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Lady Cats scratched by Eagles in State Tournament

By ASHLEY HUNTER, OCN staff

The Lady Cats game against Seymour was a physical battle from start to finish as illustrated by this hack against LA's Kellie Thurman as she drove to the hoop.

 

The Livingston Academy girls basketball team closed out a winning season last Thursday morning, March 13 in the TSSAA Class AA State Tournament.

Livingston had not been to the state tournament since 1999, when they won the state crown. In their quest to get to the top this year, the Lady Wildcats had to start out by playing a very physical, defensive team, Seymour High School.

The game, which was held in MTSU's Murphy Center, opened with Seymour taking an early 4-0 lead. Livingston senior Christen Cates scored the next 5 points, to give LA the advantage. At the end of the first quarter, the game was still as tight as a new pair of Levi's, 7-6, with Livingston leading.

LA kicked it up a notch in the second quarter, going on an 8-0 run to begin the frame. Seymour answered right back, though, going on a little run of their own, to tie the score at 17 with about a minute left in the half.

In the commercials for Minute Maid orange juice, that minute was made for Minute Maid. Well, in the state tournament, that minute was made for Livingston Academy. The Lady Cats scored 4 unanswered points to end the half up 21-17.

The third quarter was like a seesaw, up and down, up and down, with the teams changing leads with every score. To no one's surprise, the score ended up tied at the end of three periods, 30-30.

In the fourth frame, no one could seem to run away with the game. Good free throw shooting by Seymour toward the end of the ballgame put the Lady Eagles up by 4 at 42-38.

LA's Katrina Beechboard hit a buzzer-beating trey for the Lady Cats following the Seymour free throws. A three-ball wasn't enough to keep Livingston from losing by a single point, 42-41.

Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats Coach Lesley Smith said, "I thought Seymour controlled the tempo. It was too slow for us to get off our shots. Their zone defense hurt us a lot.

"I thought we played good defense. Kasey Baltimore in particular played good defense, as she managed to shut down their second leading scorer, and hold her scoreless."

Seymour was led in scoring by Brooke Johnson, who scored 18 points. She was followed by Heather Wright and Brittany Mikels, who scored 8 and 7 points, respectively. Jessie Peterson and Alicia Murphy scored 5 and 4 points, respectively.

Livingston Academy was led in scoring by junior Katrina Beechboard, who scored 19 points. She was followed by Kellie Thurman, who scored 8 points. Kasey Baltimore and Christen Cates scored 7 points apiece.

Coach Smith said of the season, "We had a very successful year. We grew up a lot. We grew from a team of girls that had little playing time from last season to a state tournament caliber team.

"The team will miss our only graduating senior, Christen Cates. She was a leader on and off the floor.

"As for next year, our goal is always the same, go to the state tournament and win it all."

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Wildcats baseball team off to erroneous start

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff

Members of the 2003 Livingston Academy Wildcats varsity baseball team are, kneeling from left, Cody King, Tyler Thrasher, John Ward, Chad Moody, Johnny Cyrus, Jon Maynard, Michael Murphy, Shane Livingston, standing from left, Coach Pat Swallows, Cody Sells, Todd Rose, Michael Poston, Kyle Copeland, Matt Rooker, Brian Colson, Chris Nelson, and Jimmy Davidson.

 

The first week of the 2003 high school baseball season quickly became a comedy of errors for the Livingston Academy Wildcats, and Coach Pat Swallows is not laughing.

"I think we had 8 passed balls, made 5 errors. We only gave up 4 earned runs, and got beat 10-7," Coach Swallows said of the team's home opening effort against Macon County on Monday, March 10.

The team had been scheduled to play Celina, but that game was rescheduled, and Macon County stepped in to play the first game.

"It was just passed balls and errors that hurt us. We hit the ball pretty decent. You can't give up 8 passed balls against anybody."

Offensively, Todd Rose hit a single and a double, drove in 2 runs, scored 2 runs, and stole a base, Michael Poston had 2 hits, scored a run, and stole a base, Brian Colson walked, stole 2 bases, scored a run, and sacrificed in a run, Michael Murphy hit a double and drove in a run, Cody King had a hit, stole a base, and scored a run, Johnny Cyrus hit a double, stole 2 bases, and scored 2 runs, and Kyle Copeland walked and stole a base.

Next up was a trip to Warren County on Tuesday, March 11.

"We gave up 18 runs, 13 hits, made 12 errors, 5 passed balls, and played about as bad as I have ever seen anybody play,” Coach Swallows said assessing the team's performance.

"We just got down and just never got out of it. It was one of those games where we didn't do anything right, nothing.

"We're not making the routine plays right now. It's not the difficult things that we're having problems with, it's the routine ground ball, passed balls, and pop-up fly balls, and getting picked off base."

LA was overrun 18-1.

Cody King hit a home run, Todd Rose walked and stole a base, and Johnny Cyrus drew a walk, making the total of the LA offensive output.

"Cody Sells was the losing pitcher. He gave up 10 runs and none of them were earned," Coach Swallows said of his pitcher's brave effort. "He gave up 10 runs in the first inning on 4 hits and 8 errors. So, it was not a pleasant experience to go through."

The Cats played the Dragons of York Institute at home on Thursday, March 13.

This time the Wildcats put it together with pitching, hitting, and enough defense to win 8-0.

"We played a lot better on Thursday, except we were still making some routine mistakes," Coach Swallows said. "Kyle was on the mound, and he's pretty solid. He gave us a chance to overcome some of those mistakes. He only gave up one hit and struck out 11.

"We hit the ball again real well."

Michael Poston hit a single and a double, drove in 3 runs, and scored 2 runs, Cody King hit 2 doubles and a single, drove in 2 runs, scored 2 runs, and stole a base, Johnny Cyrus hit a triple and a single, and drove in a run, Chris Nelson had a hit and drove in a run, Todd Rose hit a double and 2 singles, stole a base, and scored a run, Copeland helped his cause with a single and 2 runs scored, Cody Sells hit a single, and Brian Colson scored a run.

"We're being carried right now by Todd Rose and Cody King. Both their bats are pretty hot,” Coach Swallows said. "We've just got to cut out the silliness."

The Wildcats then went on a long road trip, with the first stop in Pigeon Forge.

"We gave up 3 hits and got beat 7-4. We made 4 errors and had about 4 more passed balls," Coach Swallows said. "Again we hit the ball pretty decent.

"Brian Colson pitched a good ball game. He gave up 6 runs, but should have been out of the situation a time or two.

"We made some silly mental mistakes in that game. We'd walk off third base and get tagged out with the bases loaded; we'd walk off first base and get tagged out for a double play. We're just not thinking."

Todd Rose hit 2 singles and a double, drove in 2 runs, stole a base, and scored a run, Michael Poston hit a single and a double and drove in a run, Cody King hit a single, drove in a run, was hit by a pitch, and scored a run, Kyle Copeland hit a single and a double, and stole a base, Cody Sells hit a double, was hit by a pitch, and scored a run, Tyler Thrasher hit a single, Colson scored a run, and Chris Nelson took one for the team.

The 7-4 loss came despite outhitting Pigeon Forge 10-3.

"Then we played Jefferson County on Saturday. Again, we made 7 errors, and 6 or 7 passed balls," Coach Swallows said. "It sounds like we need a new catcher, but I've put different people around.

It's not just the same person who's doing all of it."

LA was defeated 13-3.

Todd Rose hit a single and a home run, Michael Murphy hit a single and scored a run, Kyle Copeland hit a single, Chris Nelson hit a single, Johnny Cyrus hit a single, Cody Sells hit a single, Cody King was hit twice and scored 2 runs, and Brian Colson took 2 for the team.

"We've got our work cut out for us in trying to cut down just the silly mistakes,” Coach Swallows said. "I know they're trying. I know they're not trying to make mistakes and errors, but right now it's killing us.

"It's frustrating for them, and certainly for me, but we'll straighten it up.

"We're 1-4, our team ERA is 5.00, we've made 27 errors in 5 games," he said listing the rough start stats.

"Todd Rose is hitting .625 and Cody King is hitting .500, Michael Poston .400, so we're hitting the ball. We're hitting .292 as a team," Coach Swallows said, listing the upside of the season's start.

"We just can't do the things we've been doing and beat anybody. We're just struggling right now. But we'll get better."

After playing BGA on Monday, March 17 and at Upperman on Tuesday, March 18, Livingston Academy will host Celina on Wednesday, March 19, then host Smith County on Thursday, March 20. The Wildcats will take to the road on Friday, March 21 to travel to Crossville to play Cumberland County, then will travel to Sparta to play White County on Monday, March 24, and will go to Woodbury the following day to play Cannon County.

 

 

 

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