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Archives 08-20-2003

Sports

 

 

LA Cats begin 2003 campaign Friday
LA Golf ready to swing into 2003 season
LA soccer looks ahead to new season

 

LA Cats begin 2003 campaign Friday

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff

Members of the 2003 Livingston Academy Wildcats Football Team are, front row from left, #1 Jake Peterman, #2 Cody Melton, #4 Brandon Bond, #5 Levi Holt, #7 Robbie Ledbetter, #8 Wilson Cates, #9 Whitney Coleman, #10 Wesley Puckett, #11 Casey Coleman, #15 Cody King, #16 Brent Carr, #19 Kurt Gilbert, #21 Jonathon Hooten, #22 Jamey Vaughn, #24 Jonathon Maynard, second row, #25 Lavincent Raines, #27 D.J. Allred, #29 Jake Reeder, #32 Brian Colson, #33 Dustin Looper, #42 Devin Fletcher, #44 Bo Loftis, #50 Beau Massengille, #51 Adam Hunter, #52 Curtis Beaty, #55 Tyler Sullivan, #56 Phillip Murphy, #58 Steven Walker, #59 Brent Skinner, #62 Jacob Coffee, back row, #63 Jon Medley, #65 Brad Burkett, #66 Ryan McDonald, #67 Robert Perdue, #68 Ryan Bowman, #69 Ryan Duke, #70 Robert Holt, #71 David Ledbetter, #72 Mark Moran, #74 Rodney Dempsey, #75 Tyler Watkins, #76 Jonathan Preece, #77 Nick Shelton, #78 Jon Avery, #81 Jacob Norrod, #82 Lance Holland, and #85 Matt Reeder.

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff

It's August. All across the state, high school football teams are practicing with near obsessive regularity. It is almost, to quote famed UT football announcer John Ward, "football time in Tennessee".

Livingston Academy's Wildcats know this, and they are prepared to play every game like it counts.

Well, technically, every game does count this season for Region 4, Class 3A. Last year, coaches in the region voted to play all nine of their region opponents beginning this season, meaning every game (save the first week's) will count.

LA football head coach Matt Eldridge said, "It's the fairer thing to do.

"The year before last was the first year we hadn't made the playoffs in about 10 years, but the thing is, we didn't get to play everyone. We lost one region game and we didn't get to the playoffs.

"This year, finally, everybody gets to play everyone. It's going to be the fairer way to go."

The team isn't only relying on the new schedule to help them make good on the season.

"It seems like we have more depth than we've had in years," said the coach of his team, which has only seven seniors.

Waitaminit! Seven seniors? "More depth than we've had in years"?

Eldridge went on to explain that the team is chock full of players that are very good at what they do, with a player or two capable of stepping in for most any position.

The Achilles heel of the battlefield-ready Wildcats? Linemen.

"We have kids that can step in and fill in, but in linemen we just…don't. And that's giving us headaches right now," Coach Eldridge said.

"We like to have, every year, seven or eight kids who can go in and play line, and this year we're going to wind up with maybe five or six. Hopefully six.

"We've actually got a couple of freshmen who may have to step in and play. Not that we don't have confidence, but it's scary when you put a ninth grader in there playing against twelfth graders. Physically and maturity…they're not the same yet."

Not to worry, though. Most of the seniors on the team play line positions, including Steven Walker, Jon Avary, Phillip Murphy (who also plays linebacker), and Jon Medley.

Rounding out the seven seniors are Whitney Coleman (RB/LB), Cody King (WR/DB), and Lance Holland (WR/DB).

As expected, leading the offensive charge will be sophomore Wilson Cates, now in his second year at starting quarterback.

"He's doing pretty well," remarked Coach Eldridge of the sophomore QB.

Also charging for the offense will be several backs and receivers, standouts of which include Lance Holland, Cody King, Jamey Vaughn, D.J. Allred, and Brian Colson.

"I won't say any one player is faster than the others, but we've got people like them. Several kids can run. We don't have one that's singled out. You can always say that one kid's fast, but we've got several that are pretty quick."

After the interview, word came that sophomore runningback phenom Mike Jones will be transferring to LA from Monterey High School, where he garnered such accolades as Tennessee Sports Writers Association's All-State award, and the Region 4-1A Offensive Player of the Year for 2002. He was also named the Herald-Citizen's All-Upper Cumberland Offensive Player of the Year.

Special teams will be headed up by Wesley Puckett, who will handle the PAT and field goal attempts, Wilson Cates, who will punt when necessary, and Brian Colson, who will boot the kick-offs.

Tough opponents are expected to be plentiful during the course of the season.

"First week, we're playing Warren County, and they're a 5A school, which means they've got about four or five thousand students. They're going to have a lot more ‘talent', per se, than we will."

The rest of the list of tough games is a round of the usual suspects: Portland, Trousdale County, Macon County, and Smith County.

"And of course," said the coach, "you can toss in rivals like York Institute."

But the team isn't scared, oh no.

"I tell you what, we've got more athleticism than we've had in several years as a whole," he said. "We're a little more blessed with athleticism this year."

The Cats' first game is Friday, Aug. 22 at Warren County High School. Week two will see the team get their only bye of the regular season, which will be followed in week three with the first home game of the season on Friday, Sept. 5.

 

LA Golf ready to swing into 2003 season

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff

Members of the 2003 Livingston Academy Golf Team are, front row from left, Assistant Coach Patty Dale, Nathan Dale, Josh Crawford, Marshal White, Daniel Elder, Jonathon McGill, Samantha Williams, back row, Brandon Matthews, Lance Ruble, Rex Dale, Justin Monday, Eddie Sells, Bob Rogers, and Coach Elizabeth Woodard.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff

The Livingston Academy Wildcats' long drive through the 2003 season is off to a good start with three wins in the first.

After falling to Clarkrange on Monday, Aug. 11 in the Southern Hills Invitational, the Cats defeated Monterey and Pickett County on Tuesday, Aug. 12, then defeated Smith County on Thursday, Aug. 14.

This year's LA team is made up of youth, but youth with experience.

LA Golf Coach Elizabeth Woodard said, "We've got all but one player back from last year.

"We've got Eddie Sells back, Justin Monday, Brandon Matthews, Rex Dale, and several other players that can make an impact.

"We've got Marshal White back. He saw the error in his way and decided to come back and play golf this year," she said with a chuckle. "So, he's going to be a great addition to our team also.

"We've got Samantha back this year. She went to the region last year. She's been working hard all summer."

Senior guidance will have to come from the lone senior, Eddie Sells, while juniors Josh Crawford and Marshal White are the only other upper classmen on the squad.

The team's opening roster boasts six sophomores – Rex Dale, Brandon Matthews, Jonathon McGill, Justin Monday, Bob Rogers, Lance Ruble, and the lone female in the cast, Samantha Williams.

Rounding out the team with true youth are freshmen Nathan Dale and Daniel Elder.

"We've got kids playing on this team who have played out here all their lives. So, they've grown up with the game. And hopefully, they will keep on adding experience."

In the Southern Hills Invitational, hosted by Upperman High School, LA fell one stroke short of Clarkrange, 315 to 314.

"They had three kids shoot 77 and then one shoot 83," Coach Woodard said. "They'll be tough."

Providing the scores for LA were Justin Monday at 76, Brandon Matthews at 81, Eddie Sells at 78, Marshal White at 80, Rex Dale at 86, and Daniel Elder at 87.

LA outmatched Pickett County and Monterey with a 152 to Pickett's 160 and Monterey's 188.

Making up LA's score were Eddie Sells at 37, Justin Monday and Brandon Matthews each with a 38, and Daniel Elder at 39.

The team traveled to Carthage on Thursday, Aug. 14 for the match against Smith County's Owls. LA narrowly won 161 to 163.

Eddie Sells shot a 36, Marshal White shot a 40, Justin Monday shot a 42, and Brandon Matthews and Rex Dale each shot a 43.

After playing against Monterey, Clarkrange, York, and Pickett County in a big match at Mount Ridge on Tuesday, Aug. 19, the LA team will host Jackson County and Celina at Hidden Valley on Thursday, Aug. 21.

The Cats will play Cookeville at White Plains the following day. Hidden Valley will again be the site on Monday, Aug. 25 when LA takes on Cumberland County, Red Boiling Springs, and Pickett County.

 

 

LA soccer looks ahead to new season

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff

Members of the 2003 Livingston Academy Girls Soccer Team are, front row from left, #22 Jessica McDonald, #7 Danielle Ray, #11 Olivia King, #55 Katrina Marshall, #13 Melody Allen, #17 Jessica Carr, #12 Megan Harris, #24 Brittany Ray, middle row, Coach Ethan King, #5 Cassandra Cobble, #14 Sarah Jowers, #15 Kerri Keisling, #16 Allison Medley, #4 Ronance Jackson, #33 MaryFaye Maynord, #6 Stevie Plumlee, back row, trainer Chuck Wheeler, manager Casey Emerton, #21 Kasey Baltimore, #25 Ferran Stephens, #20 Ashley Ledbetter, #3 Danielle Thrasher, #2 Michelle Allen, and, not pictured, #9 Jessica Smith, and manager Bethany Greenwood.

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff

Quoth the song by legendary punk rock act Rancid, "Give ‘em the boot!"

That's exactly what the 2003 Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats look to do in the upcoming soccer season.

Last year, the Lady Cats lost several players, most on the defensive end of play, to graduation.

If not for newcomers to the soccer squad, the team would number only 10 players after the loss of last year's seniors. But there are newcomers. Lots of newcomers.

Two freshmen, Megan Harris and Danielle Ray have joined the team, as well as sophomores Jessica Carr, Olivia King, and Melody Allen, juniors Michelle Allen, Kerri Keisling, and Brittany Ray, and seniors Ashley Ledbetter, Ronance Jackson, and Cassandra Cobble.

The new recruits bump up the team's total number to an astonishing 21, up from only 16 last year.

Livingston Academy Soccer Coach Ethan King said, "We lost a lot of defensive players from last year's team, but we've got a lot of young players ready to step up and take their place.

"Although you can never really replace someone, we're not in as bad of shape as we could be."

One person who won't have to be replaced for the upcoming season is senior goalie (and general brick wall) Sarah Jowers, who stopped more shots on goal last year than you could shake a stick at.

Senior Jessica Smith won't have to have her shoes filled by anyone this season, either, as she looks to anchor the defense along with Jowers.

The offensive end of play should see much the same aggressive performance it did last year, with 2002 District MVP Kasey Baltimore playing striker alongside Katrina Marshall.

"If they have as good a year as they had last year," said the coach of Baltimore and Marshall, "then we'll be set.

"I think they scored over 30 goals between the two of them last season."

In the midfield, where the majority of gameplay takes place, the coach said to look out for 2002 team MVP Danielle Thrasher.

"She'll be a player to watch for this upcoming season."

As a whole, King believes the team has a good mix of ball handling skill and speed, with a bit of bias toward the ball handling side of the equation.

"We have speed, but our strongest point is probably ball control," he said. "But Kerry Keisling, Danielle Thrasher, and Brittany Ray...that's a lot of speed."

The soccer team starts off the season with two junior varsity games, something it hadn't the luxury of being able to play last season due to lack of players. The first of the games will be at Tullahoma on Tuesday, Aug. 19, the second at Warren County on Saturday, Aug. 23.

Regular season games kick off at home against Boyd Christian Academy on Saturday, Aug. 28.

Coach King, now in his second year coaching LA soccer, said, "I've stepped into a really nice program. It's a situation where we've got a lot of kids with a lot of soccer background, and they're really willing to work. That's a good combination of things to come into, because you're going to succeed when you've got kids who have played a little bit before and are willing to work hard. It makes my job easier."

 

 

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