Portland Panthers 21-14
close out regular season
LA Golf finishes 2003 season
Cats take District 9 A-AA championship
Outlaws fall in championship
Lady Cats win
District 9 A-AA Tournament
Wildcats derail Portland
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
A slew of LA Wildcats celebrate the team'ss second consecutive
upset victory over the Portland Panthers on Friday, Oct. 17 in Portland.
By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
The Livingston Academy Wildcats rolled into Portland last Friday,
Oct. 17 hoping to accomplish one thing and one thing only: victory.
Lance Holland would fire the game's opening salvo in the form of
an 86-yard punt return to score a touchdown. Wesley Puckett added
the extra point to make it 7-0, Livingston, early in the first quarter.
It wouldn't take Portland long to answer, albeit via a little more
perserverance. After charging upfield with several runs, the Panthers
scored on a 2-yard handoff and scored the subsequent extra point
to tie up the game at 7 all.
In the second quarter, Livingston's Jamey Vaughn put the exclamation
point on a long drive by the Wildcats by scoring on a 1-yard run.
Puckett again made good on the PAT kick to give the Wildcats a 7-point
advantage, leading the Panthers 14-7.
The Livingston defense held Portland for the remainder of the
half, preventing them from scoring again.
After halftime, Portland came out playing much the same game it
had played in the first half. Tricky handoff plays and successful
third down conversions led the Panthers to score another 7 points.
The Wildcats would not be able to make much of an offensive charge
for the remainder of the third, but would manage to keep Portland
from making any more touchdowns too. It would be a 14-14 shootout
going into the fourth quarter.
Brian Colson would make the touchdown that was the answer to the
Wildcats' prayers, tallying 6 on a breakaway 31-yard run. After
Puckett again made good on the extra point, the Wildcats were in
the lead 21-14.
Portland would make a couple of good attempts at scoring to tie
up the game again, but would be thwarted both times. One potential
Panther touchdown pass was intercepted in the endzone, and another
was intercepted with just 2 minutes left in the game.
That would be Portland's final offensive mistake of the night,
although the defense would garner two major penalties in Livingston's
last drive – one a 15-yard personal foul, the other an unsportsmanlike
conduct penalty for the same yardage.
Livingston was overshadowed, if only slightly, by Portland in
offense. The Panthers ran 39 times for 264 yards, while LA ran 46
for 257 yards.
Leading the Wildcats in rush yardage was Brian Colson, who ran
14 times for 105 yards. LA quarterback Wilson Cates chalked up the
second most rushing yards, running 21 times for 73 yards. The rest
of Livingston's rush yardage was tallied by Jamey Vaughn, who ran
10 times for 50 yards, and Lance Holland, who ran once for 31 yards.
Both teams passed for a mere 9 yards, though the Cates's completion
rate (2 of 3) was much better that Portland's (1 of 12, 2 interceptions.)
Livingston receivers were Whitney Coleman, who caught once for
7 yards, and Brian Colson, who also caught once, but for only 2
The Panthers had a slight lead in first downs on the evening, moving
the chains 17 times versus Livingston's 15.
The Wildcats will travel to Upperman High School to play the Bees
this Friday, Oct. 24, before returning home for their final regular-season
game on Halloween night versus DeKalb County's Tigers.
Jr. Cats close out
By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
The Overton County Junior Wildcats have finished out their regular
On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the team traveled to Jamestown to play York.
Coach Terry Melton said, "I believe we were thinking that
we were going to take that one without playing."
It would be a mistake on the part of the Jr. Cats, who would lose
the game 14-8.
"I think we were over-confident. The boys felt like it was
going to be pretty easy, and it wasn't easy at all.
"We had numerous penalties that night," Melton said,
citing also a couple of botched touchdown opportunities as reasons
for the loss.
"We shot ourselves in the foot. It was a heartbreaking loss
for the kids. But if they learned anything from it, they learned
that they may have been winning all year, but there's always a way
to lose a game. They've learned what it takes and what you've gotta
have every week."
Redemption from the loss came in the form of the following week's
game, played on Tuesday, Oct. 14 in the Overton County versus Jackson
County. In that contest, the Jr. Cats defeated the Jackson Countians
by a score of 46-24.
It was a good opportunity for the younger players on the squad
to step in and get some field time.
"Everybody got to play that needed to play. All of our second
team played most of the second half. The team played well."
The 2003 Overton County Junior Wildcats thus closed out the regular
season with a record of 7-1.
The team will play Algood's Redskins in the Freedom Bowl Thursday,
Oct. 23 at Tom Davis Memorial Stadium.
"Our (oldest) guys have one more challenge in their lives
as Junior Wildcats, and I hope that it'll be a good night for them,"
Coach Melton said.
LA Golf finishes
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
The Livingston Academy golf season officially came to a close with
Samantha Williams' 10th place finish in the Region 5 A-AA Tournament
played Monday, Oct. 6 at Ironwood Golf Course.
Williams shot a 107, but did not make the cut for the state tournament.
LA Golf Coach Elizabeth Woodard said, "This is only the second
year she's played. She's going to keep on getting better each year,
because two years is not a whole lot of experience.
"To say that you went to the regional tournament both years,
the first year of playing and the second year of playing, that's
really saying something. Her future is really bright."
Looking back at the past season, Coach Woodard sees one area where
the Wildcats golfers must improve.
"They've got to learn to play other places," she said.
"It's great to be able to shoot 2 and 3 over, and even par
at home, but our tournaments aren't at home. We've just got to be
able to go somewhere that we're not accustomed to, and we have to
be able to read our yardages, and know how far we can hit each club,
and trust the yardage instead of trusting being on the home course.
"We've had a mental block when it comes to playing out of
the district." she said. "I think we just have to play
other places in the summer."
The team will lose its lone senior, Eddie Sells, to graduation.
The rest of the team is expected to return intact.
"We've got a lot of kids with a lot of potential," Coach
Woodard said. "And we've got a good group of freshmen coming
"We'll need somebody to step up and lead us, because our only
senior will be graduated."
Cats take District
9 A-AA championship
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Kellie Thurman fires a killing strike against Friendship Christian
in the semi-finals.
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Livingston Academy's Wildcats overcame a determined Jackson County
Blue Devils team to claim the District 9 A-AA Volleyball Tournament
championship on Thursday, Oct. 16.
LA Volleyball Coach Merl Smith said, "I thought we played
very, very well, accomplished what I thought we could accomplish.
We just had to set our minds to it.
"Maybe coming in as a little bit of an underdog might have
helped us a little bit. We knew we were going to have to play to
come out on top. That's where I thought we belonged, but wasn't
sure we could do it. Now I feel very confident that we can."
The number 3 seeded Cats opened the tournament at Upperman High
School on Tuesday, Oct. 14 against Gordons-ville High School. The
Wildcats dispatched the Tigers in three games, then set their sights
on the semi-final round on Thursday night against Friendship Christian
The Commanders put up a strong fight at the beginning, winning
the first game 25-20.
LA got back on track in the second game, pulling away from a 10-10
tie to win 25-17.
Kellie Thurman's strong play in the third game powered Livingston
to another 25-17 win.
The fourth game was Katrina Beechboard's turn to attack the Commanders.
She was instrumental in the final 4 LA points of a 25-15 win to
take the match and move into the finals.
The Jackson County Blue Devils put an end to Upper-man's undefeated
season earlier in the night, taking the season champs to five games
before doing them in.
In the championship match, the LA Wildcats and the Jackson County
Blue Devils locked into a back-and-forth battle through much of
the first game. LA finally broke away on Blue Devil errors and 2
Beechboard kills. Thurman helped put away the final 2 points for
Livingston in the 25-17 win.
The second game followed much the same pattern with neither team
gaining an advantage until Beechboard and Megan Thompson pushed
the LA advantage to 15-10.
Then, the Blue Devils clawed back into it and tied the game at
19-19, and later moved the score in their favor to 23-20.
The Wildcats didn't give up, and in a scoring run that included
a Krista Clinard ace, Livingston tied the game at 23. LA went up
24-23, then Jackson County matched it. Natashia Melton put the Cats
ahead 25-24, then Jackson County matched it.
LA then inched ahead 26-25, and Melton forced the final point for
a 27-25 Livingston Academy victory.
Jackson County dominated the early going of the third game until
LA tied the game at 14. But the Blue Devils pulled away again, gaining
a 21-17 advantage before the Cats made another run to tie the game
at 23-23. This time the Gainesboro squad managed to force the final
2 points to win 25-23.
The fourth game started with the Wildcats going up 4-1 before the
Blue Devils took control. An obviously tired Livingston Academy
team seemed to take the game off to recuperate. LA lost 25-15 without
putting up much of a fight.
In the fifth and deciding game, the two teams locked into another
back-and-forth slugfest until a Megan Thompson ace tied the game
at 7-7 and Kellie Thurman forced 2 consecutive points to put LA
ahead 9-7. Livingston stretched the lead to 12-7 on a run that included
another Thompson ace. Now it was the Blue Devils looking tired and
unable to defend themselves. LA took the tournament championship
with a 15-10 win.
Coach Smith couldn't give accolades to specific players or plays
in the tournament.
"You'd have to talk about all of them if you're going to talk
about any one," he said.
"Our two middle hitters really dominated the entire tournament.
They dominated the net, they dominated the hits, they dominated
the blocks. Both of them just did a tremendous job.
"Kellie Thurman, I thought, played the best she'd played
all year long, and was very consistent. Beechboard just dominated.
"So, if those two are hitting, it means Megan Thompson is
doing a good job setting.
"In the Friendship game, Natashia Melton didn't make any
mistakes at all. She served the ball really well and made her passes.
"So, everybody did their job." Natashia Melton received
District 9 A-AA Honorable Mention in awards presented after the
Kellie Thurman, Megan Thompson, and Katrina Beechboard were named
All-District 9 A-AA.
All-Tournament honors went to LA's Kristin Hoover, Megan Thompson,
and Kellie Thurman before Katrina Beechboard was presented the Tournament
Most Valuable Player Award.
The Wildcats moved into the Region 5 A-AA tournament, to be hosted
by Livingston Academy on Tuesday, Oct. 21. LA was scheduled to play
Greenbrier at 5 p.m., and Jackson County was scheduled to play Portland
at 6:30 p.m., with the championship game expected to begin around
Outlaws fall in championship
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
Outlaws defenders swarm to the DeKalb County ballcarrier in
the championship game played at Celina on Saturday, Oct. 18.
Most pre-game football speeches by coaches are interspersed with
advice such as "control the line of scrimmage", "take
care of the football", and "limit penalties". In
the case of the Overton County Senior Outlaws, they did none of
the above in the MTYC championship game played against DeKalb County
on Saturday, Oct. 18 at Celina.
The Outlaws' undefeated season came to an abrupt halt at the hands
of the DeKalb Tigers by the score of 22-12. The Sr. Outlaws were
dominated on the line, had 6 penalties called against them, and
turned the ball over 4 times.
After a defensive stop following the opening kickoff, the Sr. Outlaws
had the ball on their own 26 yard line. On their first offensive
play, Ethan McDonald ran 74 yards for the touchdown, but the play
was called back due to a holding penalty. But the Sr. Outlaws overcame
it, driving 84 yards in 3 plays, with the key play being an 80-yard
run by Cody Stafford to the Tigers' 4 yard line. Two plays later,
McDonald ran it in from a yard out, giving the Sr. Outlaws an early
The Sr. Outlaws defense again stopped DeKalb County, setting the
offense up at their own 25 yard line. After a personal foul penalty,
the Sr. Outlaws had the ball at midfield. McDonald scampered 34
yards to the Tigers' 16 yard line. But the play was called back
for a block in the back. Three plays later, McDonald's attempted
halfback pass was intercepted.
DeKalb County drove 55 yards in 6 plays, with Hunter Poteete scoring
the touchdown from 6 yards away. The Tigers conversion was successful
on a pass from Russell Ambrose to Seth Willoughby, giving the Tigers
an 8-6 advantage.
But as was the case many times this season, lightning struck quick
as McDonald made a brilliant run, breaking 4 tackles en route to
an 80-yard TD run.
The teams went to halftime with the Sr. Outlaws holding a 12-8
The Outlaws' initial possession of the second half was an omen
of things to come as, after two unsuccessful running plays, quarterback
Hayden Hill was hit behind the line and fumbled the ball, and the
Tigers recovered it on the Outlaws' 17 yard line. Four plays later,
Poteete scored again, this time from 5 yards out, giving DeKalb
a 14-12 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, McDonald returned the ball to the DeKalb
County 44 yard line; but on the first play from scrimmage, the Sr.
Outlaws fumbled it away, marking their third turnover of the game.
DeKalb again drove it straight down the field, but the Sr. Outlaws
defense finally stopped them at the Outlaws' 12 yard line.
But when the Outlaws got the ball, on the third down, Hill was
intercepted deep in Outlaw territory. The Tigers took only 2 plays
to cover the 27 yards needed, with Poteete scoring his third touchdown
of the game –this one 25 yards in distance. Ambrose hit Jake Puckett
for the conversion, giving the Tigers a 22-12 cushion.
The Sr. Outlaws couldn't do anything offensively as their final
drive was culminated when Hill was sacked for the third time in
the game. The final score was 22-12, giving DeKalb County's Tigers
The championship loss was a bitter pill for the Sr. Outlaws to
swallow after having defeated DeKalb County earlier in the year.
But on this particular Saturday, the Tigers were clearly the better
team. The Sr. Outlaws finished the 2003 campaign with a 9-1 record.
Offensively, Ethan McDonald had 89 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns,
and Cody Stafford rushed for 83 yards. But taking away the two big
runs, the Sr. Outlaws offense had a very subpar game.
Defensively, Cody Stafford played exceptionally well as he recorded
10 tackles. Trey Thomas added 6 tackles for the Sr. Outlaws. But
it was a less than average showing for the defense, with DeKalb
compiling 267 yards of offense.
Ethan McDonald 10-89-2
Cody Stafford 5-83-0
Ty Eldridge 1-11-0
Hayden Hill 4-(-11)-0
Hayden Hill 1-3-2-0-1
Ethan McDonald 0-1-0-0-1
Cody Stafford 1-2-0
Cody Stafford 10; Trey Thomas 6; Caleb Sells 4; Tracy McDonald 4;
Adam Wilson 3; Nick Robbins 3; Ty Eldridge 2; Ethan McDonald 2;
Sean Bell 2; Dylan Ashlock 2; Paul Daniels 1; Hayden Hill 1; Ridge
Lady Cats win District
9 A-AA Tournament
By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
The Lady Wildcats soccer team has captured the District 9 A-AA
championship, thanks to two solid wins last week.
The first came on Tuesday, Oct. 14 against Mt. Juliet Christian
Academy. Due to LA's seeding at the top of the tournament bracket,
the Lady Cats got to play the game on their home turf.
By playing a good game of footy and perhaps having a smidgen of
homefield advantage, the Ladies were able to oust Mt. Juliet's District
dreams, defeating them 6-0.
Kasey Baltimore was undoubtedly responsible for most of the goals,
scoring a whopping 4 during the game. Also scoring were Danielle
Thrasher and Katrina Marshall.
LA Soccer Coach Ethan King said of Baltimore's impressive performance,
"They (Mt. Juliet) put one of their better strikers up against
her, but she still managed to get quite a few goals."
The defense handled any and all offensive offerings on the part
of Mt. Juliet to secure the shutout victory.
On Thursday, Oct. 16, the Lady Wildcats faced Friendship Christian
School for the District 9 A-AA championship.
It would be no easy victory, as Friendship, who had defeated York
Institute's Lady Dragons in order to ascend to the championship
game, came out with guns a-blazing and put up perhaps the best fight
LA had undertaken thus far on the home pitch.
Much of the game would be played at midfield, and neither team
was able to dominate the contest. An offensive charge by one team
would in good time be answered by the same from their opposition.
After 80 minutes of intense play, Livingston pulled out a squeaker
of a victory, nudging by the Lady Commanders at a margin of 2-1.
Katrina Marshall and Danielle Thrasher did the honors this time,
scoring a goal apiece.
"It was the third time we'd played them in the season,"
Coach King said, "and it's hard beating a pretty good team
three times. It made it tougher because they were really starting
to get to know us and it sort of ended up bogging down the game
because we were so familiar with each other and what each other
likes to do. We squeaked by."
Midfielder Danielle Thrasher was named district co-MVP, tied with
Mt. Juliet's Heather Barber. Lady Wildcats named to the All-District
First Team were last year's MVP Kasey Baltimore, Katrina Marshall,
and Jessica Smith. Allison Medley and Ferran Stephens were named
to the All-District Second Team. LA goalkeeper Sarah Jowers was
named Honorable Mention.
The Lady Wildcats first game in Region 5 tournament play was scheduled
for Tuesday, Oct. 21 versus Davidson Academy's Lady Bears in Livingston.
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Overton County News
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Livingston, Tennessee 38570