LA Cats begin 2003
ready to swing into 2003 season
LA soccer looks ahead to new season
LA Cats begin 2003
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
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
"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.
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
"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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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