girls tennis catches Lady Bears hibernating
Lady Cats softball team endures tough week
Cats soccer team shuts out competition
LA baseball team takes two on week
LA girls tennis catches
Lady Bears hibernating
By KEVIN BURMEISTER, OCN staff
After a successful go-round during last week's action, the Livingston
Academy tennis teams looked to come away with yet another solid
showing as they hosted Celina on Monday, March 24.
The Bulldogs would have been better off staying leashed, with the
rampant Cats clawing their way to domestic animal domination.
Rachel Barlow paced LA with an 8-5 set win, accompanying victories
by Wrenda Curd, who won 8-3, Brooke Ledbetter, who took a win by
the same margin, and Ronance Jackson, a winner in her 8-1 set.
In doubles action, Barlow and Curd took the long way to victory,
with a 7-5 tie-break win. LA Coach Rick Moles believes the girls
could have played at a higher level than what he saw against Celina.
"We won the top three out of four matches," he said.
"But then we lost from there down, and that's what kind of
bothers me. The girls who played lower should have played better
than they did, and that kind of surprised me."
The boys couldn't catch a break against the hounding Bulldogs,
with Daniel Sweeney being handed an 4-8 loss by Celina's Lee Owens,
despite noble efforts against last year's second-ranked district
player. The Wildcats did manage one set win, an 8-1 victory courtesy
of Bryan Murphy.
The doubles circuit fared no better for the boys, as they lost
all their pairs sets.
"The boys played pretty good," Moles said. "But
again, they're building. They have a ways to go."
On Tuesday, March 24, Livingston entered match play against the
Mt. Juliet Bears with a grizzly-proportioned appetite for winning.
The girls squad just barely appeased their taste for victory with
a dominating win against the Lady Bears. Dana Ledbetter led LA with
an 8-4 set win, followed by Rachel Barlow, who won hers by an 8-5
margin. Wrenda Curd had somewhat of an off-day, falling short with
a 4-8 loss.
Things turned Livingston's way farther down the scorecard, with
Brooke Ledbetter squeezing past the opposition with an 8-6 win in
a hotly contested tie-break, as well as an 8-2 victory by Leah Thomas.
In doubles play, the usually dynamic duo of Curd and Barlow fell
flat, as they were handed a 3-8 drubbing, while the Ledbetter sisters
persevered their way to a 7-3 tie-break victory.
The boy Cats played their way to a pair of set wins, with Andy
Sathern dominating in an 8-1 smothering, and Bryan Murphy once again
doing his part, with an 8-5 win. As pairs, the boys fell apart,
finishing the day winless in doubles play.
Look for the Wildcats to continue their path to the district tournament,
as they once again take on Celina, with the Bulldogs hosting the
matches on Thursday, April 3.
LA continues the three-game road trip against DeKalb County the
following day, Friday, April 4. Livingston will travel to Lebanon
to take on the Commanders of Friendship Christian Academy on Monday,
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Lady Cats softball team
endures tough week
By ASHLEY HUNTER, OCN staff
The Livingston Academy Wildcats softball team was busy last week.
The girls played six games, all on the road. They came out of it
with a 1-5 record for the week.
The Lady Wildcats traveled to Carthage to take on the Smith County
Owlettes on Monday, March 24. They didn't manage to get anything
going as Smith County threw good play at the Lady Cats, going up
5-0 before the fifth and final inning. In that fifth inning, Smith
County continued to be hot, scoring 5 more runs, and beating LA
Sarah Maynord got LA's only 2 hits in the second and fourth innings.
Ashley Howard pitched the entire contest, striking out 1 and walking
Lady Wildcats Coach Mike Johnson said of the loss, "They were
a really good team. They have a really great pitcher and they just
shut us down offensively."
The next day, Tuesday, March 25, the Lady Cats were once again
on the road, this time taking on the Upperman High School Lady Bees.
This was very much an edge-of-your-seat action kind of game. LA's
Ashley Johnson scored a run in the first inning to put LA up 1-0.
Then, in inning numero dos, LA's Stasha Babb also made it all the
way around the bases, putting LA up 2-0. Livingston didn't bring
any offensive output to the table during the third inning, while
Upperman's Amanda Brown scored a run for the Lady Bees, making it
a 2-1 ballgame. Then,
Livingston's Andrea Borden scored a run, putting the Lady Cats
up 3-1. The UHS team then scored 2 runs in the fifth inning, tying
the score at 3 apiece.
The game then went into extra innings, not one, not two, but three
extra frames. In the third extra inni
ng, it was a second base coach's choice situation, and UHS made
it home first, winning the game, 4-3. Coach Johnson said, "We
really played great in that game. The girls seemed more relaxed
than they usually were. We got lots of good hits and had a chance
to win, but let it slip away.
"We can't wait to play them again. If we try our best, we
can beat them."
LA continued to travel the area, taking on Celina on Wednesday,
Celina started off hot in the first inning, scoring 4 runs to LA's
1. No one scored anything in the second or third innings. LA's Ashley
Johnson managed to get around the bases in the fourth inning. No
one else scored in the fourth or fifth innings.
Livingston's bats started to connect in the sixth inning as the
Lady Cats scored 9 runs in the frame. LA senior Ashley Johnson scored
2 runs in the inning, hitting it out of the park both times. Johnson
also had 3 RBI.
Aspen Allen also scored 2 runs. Allen had a run batted in. Sarah
Maynord, Stasha Babb, Andrea Borden, Bethany Greenwood, Lisa Reeder,
and Jessica McDonald all also scored a run apiece in the inning.
In total, Livingston posted 9 runs in the inning while Celina was
only able to score 3. No one scored in the seventh inning, and LA
won the game, 12-7.
On the mound, LA's Whitney Walker pitched her first game ever,
striking out 4 and walking the same number.
Coach Johnson said of the victory, "We started off in the
hole, but the girls never gave up, finally got their bats working,
and we moved on to our first win.
"Whitney Walker did a really nice job pitching her first game
The next day, Thursday, March 27, the Lady Cats traveled to Cannon
The Lionettes got on the board early, scoring 4 runs in the first
inning to Livingston's 1. LA came back to outscore Cannon County
2-1 in the second inning; however, Cannon County shut the Wildcats
out in the third inning, 2 runs to nada.
When LA gets runs, almost everyone scores one. This time it was
a very busy fourth inning for the Lady Cats offensively, as Aspen
Allen, Ashley Johnson, Althea Allred, Stasha Babb, and Bethany Greenwood
all got runs in the frame.
The magic didn't stick with LA for the rest of the game. The Lady
Cats scored no more runs, and Cannon County scored 7. The Lady Cats
Coach Johnson said, "We played really well for the first four
innings, then it all kind of fell away in the end."
The next day, Friday, March 28, LA went to a tournament in Cookeville
and played games against Red Boiling Springs and Cookeville.
In the game against Red Boiling Springs, RBS got off to an early
lead, outscoring LA 2-0 in the first inning and 4-1 in the second
inning. LA outscored RBS 1-0 in the third inning. Red Boiling Springs
outscored the Lady Cats 1-0 for the rest of the game, though, and
won the contest 6-2.
Coach Johnson said, "It was the rematch with Red Boiling
Springs that we had been wanting. We hit the ball better and made
a lot of other improvements. Unfortunately, they did too."
As if the softball team wasn't tired enough, they took on Cookeville
a couple of hours after the Red Boiling Springs game. The Livingston
team, obviously very tired, played JV players for a good portion
of the game, and Cookeville shut LA out, 7-0.
Livingston Academy's record stood at 1-7 after the week's play.
Following home games on Monday, March 31 and Tuesday, April 1 against
Smith County and Cannon County, the Lady Cats will take on Jackson
County at home on Thursday, April 3, and then travel to Sparta on
Friday, April 4 to take on White County's Warriorettes.
Coach Johnson said of the upcoming games, "I was really proud
of last week's play, and, if we play well, we can win some of these
next few games.Ó
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Cats soccer team
shuts out competition
By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
Marco Lisi keeps the ball moving Livingston Academy's way in Friday's
victory over York Institute's Dragons in Jamestown. LA won with
a strong defensive effort.
The Livingston Academy Wildcats soccer program has put up a veritable
fence. De-fence, that is. After four games on the road, the team
has kept up the defensive pressure and secured four consecutive
Livingston Academy soccer maestro Ethan King said, "Our defense
is very excited about that, and well they should be. They should
"Only one other team has been able to make good quality shots
(on us) and that was Mt. Juliet Christian, but (goalie) Drew Randolph
ended up having one of his best games, stepping it up.
"Overall, the defense has been superb. I can't ask anything
more of them. They've shut out a lot of other teams' offenses and
allowed us to put more people on the attack, which has helped us."
The Cats would not be happy merely pulling the shutout and not
scoring any goals of their own, and would go on to win both games
played last week.
LA opened last week's play at Smith County on Tuesday, March 25.
The Cats would perform well despite missing a few players due to
spring break plans.
The team came out firing early, and, coupled with the afforementioned
dominant defense, all three of the goals scored on the game were
in favor of the Wildcats and came in the first half. Sophomore Jacob
Pennington scored two goals, and sophomore Westley Burnett fired
in the team's third. Junior Lance Ruanto had an assist, as did Jacob
Pennington and Jeffrey Cummings.
The Cats would continue their domination on the pitch, but would
score no more goals in the second half.
"We kept the ball in their end for the most part," Coach
King said of his team's well-rounded showing.
The Wildcats rolled into Jamestown on Friday, March 28, to play
their district rivals, the York Dragons.
Not long after the opening whistle, goalie Drew Randolph came out
of the net to grab a ball meandering toward the Wildcats net and
was clobbered by a Dragon making haste for said ball. Despite the
fact that this kind of incident oftentimes leads to the referee
handing out a yellow card to the offensive player in question, no
such penalty was distributed.
Coach King explained, "It was kind of questionable. The ref
decided that both players had a chance at the ball, so he didn't
give a card."
Randolph shook out the cobwebs and went on to play the rest of
the game, though he later said he thought about stepping off the
field for a moment and letting sophomore Graham Goodman fill in
while he caught his breath.
Coach King said of the battered Randolph, "Drew's pretty tough.
He's a pretty tough kid and he can handle himself back there just
The game resumed and the Cats managed to steer one past the York
goalkeeper. The goal was scored by sophomore Wesley Puckett and
assisted by senior Cody Boles.
The goal was a welcome addition to the score card, but the Wildcats
didn't seem to be firing on all cylinders. The offense took only
4 shots on goal for the first 45 minutes of play, and the defense
let the Dragon offense get by a couple of times, forcing Randolph
to step up and steer the ball back into Dragon territory.
On top of all that, junior Robert Brady mildly injured his foot
in the closing minutes of the half, something Coach King described
as merely an aggravation of a past injury.
Despite somewhat mediocre playing and a couple of bruised players,
the Cats managed to hold the Dragons scoreless and end the first
half leading 1-0.
The second half would be a much different story. The Cats took
a few pointers from their coach during the halftime break and came
back onto the field to make good on what they had learned.
The Wildcats offense was officially cookin' with gas during the
second half, firing a total 24 shots at the York goal, several of
which skimmed by the defense and had to be stopped by the goalkeeper.
But the LA offense would not have done so well if not for their
other half. The defense didn't let anything by them in second half
play, keeping the Dragons from making much offensive headway of
With so much cohesive dominance at both ends of the field, it was
only a matter of time (and shots on goal) before the ball was in
the back of the Dragon net. And into the back of the net it did
go, if only once, courtesy of Jacob Pennington's boot, assisted
by Westley Burnett's.
"That second half was probably the best half we've had all
season," Coach King said. "Only one of our shots went
in, but we had a lot of them on the goal, and their keeper had to
make a lot of saves.
"We kept a lot of pressure on their defense, and kept the
ball in their end of the field because of that.
"I'm very pleased with the way we played that game.
"Hopefully we'll keep seeing an effort like we did that second
half for the rest of the season, and we'll be in pretty good shape,"
he went on to say.
Standout offensive players Cody Boles and Jacob Penning-ton garnered
praise from the coach for their performance in the game.
"Both of them had a lot of shots, not only that, but they
were good shots, shots where the keeper had to make a save,Ó Coach
King said. "They did a good job."
The defense has also performed very well. Has the team fully adjusted
to life without the superlative Joe Nigro?
"We've kind of moved some people around,Ó assured King, "and
the defense is working good.
"Drew and Andy (Gunnels) have anchored it, and somebody who
has played very well is Brian McDonald. This being his first year
at fullback, he's done really well.
"Marco Lisi and a couple others have really stepped it up.
Marco is one of those who seems to improve more and more as the
season goes along."
After a game at Friendship Christian on Tuesday, April 1, the Wildcats
will play a rescheduled game at home against the White County Warriors.
The game was originally slotted in as the very last game of the
regular season, but will now be played at LA this Saturday, April
5. The Cats will play Boyd Christian in yet another away game Monday,
LA baseball team
takes two on week
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
After letting one get away to start the week, Livingston Academy's
Wildcats won two baseball games against area opponents.
"We ended up 2-1,Ó LA Coach Pat Swallows said summing up last
The Cats began last week's slate at Sparta against the White County
Warriors on Monday, March 24.
"We played three great innings," Coach Swallows said.
"Brian Colson had a no-hitter after three. We were up 3-0 and
cruising, and then in the fourth, things just kind of fell apart,
and we made a couple of mistakes.
"They hit some balls that just had eyes." When the final
Warrior out was recorded in the inning, the Sparta team had placed
6 runs on the board. Enough to give the home team a 6-4 win. "We
played a pretty decent game Ð that one inning just killed us,Ó Coach
The Cats hit the road again the next day to take on the Cannon
"We played real well," Coach Swallows said. "We
ended up beating them 13-1.
"Kyle (Copeland) threw a 4-hitter, struck out 10, and he also
went 3 for 4 at the plate. So, he had a great day."
Other offensive highlights included Michael Murphy going 3 for
4, and Todd Rose hitting a home run.
They will again face Cannon County when Livingston Academy plays
host to the Lions on Friday, April 4.
"Cannon's dangerous," Coach Swallows said. "They're
pretty good athletes. We played a good ballgame against them; we
got some real timely hits."
Livingston Academy hosted Celina on Wednesday, March 26 in a game
rescheduled from the start of the season. The Cats took care of
business with a 12-2 rout.
Cody Sells took the win on the mound for LA by striking out 11
and allowing only 4 hits.
"We hit four home runs that night," Coach Swallows said
of his team's offensive output. "Todd (Rose) hit two, Kyle
(Copeland) hit one, and Michael Poston hit one. Three of them came
in the same inning.
"Our bats have come alive the last couple of games. Hopefully,
that will continue."
The week's play moved LA's District 7-AA record to 4-0 and the
overall record to 5-6-1. The Cats have been dominant at home, at
4-0, and suspect away, at 1-6.
Errors and passed balls plagued the team at the start of the season;
now that problematic aspect of the team appears to be dissipating.
"We're improving," Coach Swallows said. "Chris Nelson
has really solidified the catching position. He's doing a great
job. He's kind of stopped a lot of that passed ball problem that
we were having early.
"We still are making some of those routine ground ball errors
that we've got to cut out. We're working hard trying to eliminate
those things. If they don't come in bunches, we're okay."
After playing Monterey at home on Monday, March 31, and traveling
to Smithville to take on DeKalb County's Tigers in a fight for possession
of the top spot in District 7-AA, Livingston Academy will host Jackson
County on Thursday, April 3, Cannon County on Friday, April 4, and
White County on Saturday, April 5. The Cats will travel to Lafayette
on Sunday, April 6 to play the Macon County Tigers.
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570