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Archives 03-31-2004

Sports

 

 

 

Wildcats win two district games
Wildcats play in weekend soccer tournament
Lady Cats split district games last week

 

Wildcats win two district games

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Livingston Academy second baseman Johnny Cyrus tries to tag out a stealing Knoxville-Bearden player in Friday's loss at home. The runner was ruled safe and the onslaught against the Wildcats continued.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Three losses and two wins aren't usually considered a good week for any team, but when the wins are in your district and the losses are not, you've had a good week.

Livingston Academy's Wildcats had a good week with wins over District 7-AA opponents Upperman and Cannon County to extend their district record to 3-0.

Cody Sells pitched his team to a 9-4 win at Baxter on Tuesday, March 23.

LA Wildcats Coach Pat Swallows said, "Cody did a great job on the mound. He struck out 10."

The Cats were rolling along smoothly in the game until the bottom of the sixth, when they made 3 errors. Though Upperman scored 4 runs in the game, LA was up to the challenge.

Sells helped the team with the bat as well as his pitching by hitting a home run.

Cody King was also productive, going 4 for 4 at bat.

The Cats overpowered the Lions of Cannon County 13-2 at Woodbury on Thursday, March 25.

The team scored 7 runs in the first inning.

"We had 7 straight hits, and really did a great job," Coach Swallows said. "We hit the ball better than we had all year."

Tyler Thrasher, Brian Colson, and Cody Sells all hit home runs.

Brian Colson was the winning pitcher. He gave up 1 hit, struck out 4, and walked 6.

"Defensively, we still made some mistakes," Coach Swallows said. "We made 3 errors in that game. We haven't settled down yet."

The week began with a trip to Crossville to play Cumberland County's Jets on a cold day with temperatures dropping to 27 degrees. LA was blanked 0-7.

"We never did mount a big threat," Coach Swallows said. "They were a good triple-A team."

Livingston managed 4 hits in the game.

Starting pitcher Tyler Thrasher was touched for 5 runs, 2 earned, and relief pitcher Johnny Cyrus gave up 2 runs.

The Wildcats endured the agonizing onslaught of the Knoxville-Bearden Bulldogs at home on Friday, March 26. LA lost 0-17 in a mercy rule shortened game.

"They were a very good team, but you can't give up 6 in the first and ever expect to come back," Coach Swallows said. "We made 5 errors in that game. On defense, we're just not playing up to our capabilities. We're making too many mistakes, and every one of them is hurting us."

Jacob Brown went 3 innings and gave up 12 runs on 10 hits, walked 5, gave up 2 home runs. LA made 3 errors behind him.

"Shane Livingston came in and gave up 5 runs, but we made 2 more errors behind him that would probably have gotten him out of the inning. A couple of times he could have gotten out with no more than 2 runs, maybe none if we had played defense behind him," Coach Swallows said.

The Wildcats travelled to Sparta on Saturday, March 27 to take on the White County Warriors, and came home with a 1-8 loss.

"Saturday was probably our most disappointing," Coach Swallows said. "We played five good innings and had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth and ended up giving up 5 in the fifth and made a couple of errors. We misjudged a fly ball that probably would have gotten us out of the inning with maybe no more than 2 runs at the most. We hit into 2 double plays, one with the bases loaded in the fourth. We only got 6 hits."

Cody Sells provided a bright spot by hitting another home run to end the week with 3.

Livingston's overall record now stands at 3-4.

After travelling to Carthage to play the Smith County Owls in a district game on Tuesday, March 30, the Wildcats will travel to Tracy City to play Grundy County on Thursday, April 1.

"Grundy is very good," Coach Swallows said. "They're one of the top double-A teams in the state." The Cats will then travel to Oliver Springs the following day.

The Cats will travel to Gainesboro on Tuesday, April 6 to play the Blue Devils of Jackson County in a District 7-AA game.

 

Wildcats play in weekend soccer tournament

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
The rain started to slowly fizzle its way down to the LA soccer field Monday as the boys soccer team was just doing its preliminary stretch exercises. Coach Ethan King stood in the middle of his players, who had formed a large circle at midfield and were bent over stretching their leg muscles.

"Is it just me, or am I starting to feel a little wet?" said LA senior Lance Ruanto with a hint of sarcasm, knowing well that his coach would probably send the team into the locker room if it rained.

The hint did not go unnoticed by the coach, who sent his team in to dry off and change any soggy articles of clothing they might have on - but only after junior Ben Jolley passed a "test" to see if he could make a goal from about 25 yards.

The team in the locker room, King stepped inside, unlaced his own cleats and began talking about the tournament his team took part in at Smyrna over the previous weekend.

"The first game we played LaVergne, and lost 3-0," he said in a surprisingly positive-sounding tone of voice in regard to the first match of the tourney on Friday, March 26.

"They took advantage of a lot of mistakes that we were making on defense, and they were able to put it in the back of the net when we made those mistakes.

"Other than those mistakes, we didn't play bad, but it showed us that we kind of needed to concentrate. With little lapses, teams are going to make us pay.

"It was a good experience the first time the boys played under the lights this year. They were kind of all in awe of it. It was a good experience for them no matter what."

The Cats put that loss behind them quickly, as they had to play home team Smyrna the following day and face still more stiff competition.

Not only was the competition stiff, it also proved fierce, handing the Wildcats their second loss (and shutout) of the season at 4-0.

King said simply, "Smyrna has a good team."

Explaining more in-depth, he said, "They have a complete team. They pass the ball well, they dribble well, they shoot well; that's probably the best team that we have seen.

"It's good that they got to see the game at a very accelerated pace," he said of his team. "They had to learn to adjust to the fast pace. We were basically being exposed to soccer at another level, and it was kind of a learning experience for us."

Not content in the least to leave the tournament with another loss, the Wildcats stepped up the defense and pulled out a 2-2 tie against championship-eating Riverdale following the loss to Smyrna, with Westley Burnett handing out both of LA's goals.

"Riverdale has had a history of having a very good soccer program throughout," King said.

"They're constant, they're usually at the top of their district year after year. For us to get a tie with them is very big for our program, so we are happy with that."

King credited the result on his team playing a tough defensive game, and went on to explain that LA actually took the early lead before Riverdale scored two of their own. The Wildcats then tied up the affair and kept it that way until the end of second half stoppage time.

"It was a really good gut-check," King said. "It would have been real easy for our boys to have put their head down and felt sorry for themselves after losing two games, but they didn't. They sucked it up and played their best game of the tournament, and they got a tie against a quality team."

The boys in blue wrapped up their tourney time in Smyrna playing LaVergne once again, this time with slightly better results in the form of a 0-0 tie game.

King said, "Both teams had opportunities, and we had some really good opportunities and could not put it in the back of the net."

The coach then praised his midfield.

"Our midfield that game - we possessed the ball, we passed around them. We had strings where we passed the ball maybe 8 to 10 times before they touched the ball.

"It's probably the most complete game we've played, but we didn't score. We couldn't get one in the back of the net.

"Andy Gunnels and Wesley Puckett played very good, and our defense did a very good job of adjusting to them and shutting them down. Jeffrey Cummings, Phillip Murphy, Blake Vaughn, and Robert Brady all took turns marking up and shutting down their strikers and did a very good job of it.

"If they play solid defense like that, we'll do good."

A surprising performance from the young defense, with senior Murphy and freshman Vaughn being complete newcomers to the squad, and Brady having moved to sweeper after having played midfield his first three years on the team.

The Wildcats, the only Division AA team in the crowd of AAA teams at the Smyrna tournament, look to continue the tough competition, playing Wilson Central on the road on Tuesday, March 30 before playing Warren County in the first home game of the season on Thursday, April 1.

King has his worries about Warren County despite it being a non-district contest.

"Warren County is really good this year. They're doing really good in their district - they beat White County and Lebanon already, so they're doing pretty good. Both the upcoming games will be good challenges for us, again playing two more AAA schools.

"We are having to step up our game to play some of this competition this year, but I think it'll pay off down the road."

 

Lady Cats split district games last week

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
The Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats softball team won a district matchup against York Institute on Tuesday, March 23.

The Lady Cats kept fighting back to defeat the Lady Dragons 6-5.

LA Lady Cats Coach Mike Johnson said, "The game was a really good game. It was close throughout the whole game.

"They scored a run in the first inning, we scored a run in the fourth. It was 1-1 until the sixth. We scored 3 runs in the sixth, they scored 4 runs in the sixth. In the final inning, we scored 2 runs. It was back and forth, a really close game."

Ashley Howard pitched 5 innings and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits. Tara Taylor pitched 2 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits.

Whitney Walker was 3 for 4 in the game. Kasey Emerton and Lisa Reeder both went 2 for 4. Aspen Allen, Ashley Howard, Sarah Maynard, and Stasha Babb each had a hit.

Walker scored 3 runs, Borden, Babb, and Kasey Emerton each scored a run.

"We got our first district win," Coach Johnson said. "It was a very exciting game, a really good win for us."

The next District 7-AA game for the Lady Cats was against Smith County's Owlettes at Carthage on Thursday, March 25. LA lost 0-8.

"They just got out there and pounded the ball against us," Coach Johnson said. "They were hitting it where we weren't standing. I'd move them around and they'd hit it somewhere else. They were a really good hitting team. That's probably one of the best team's we'll see all year."

Whitney Walker and Lisa Reeder had LA's only hits. Livingston batters struck out 9 times in the game.

Ashley Howard pitched the entire game, giving up 8 runs on 16 hits, with 6 of the runs being scored in the first two innings.

The Lady Cats opened the week at Red Boiling Springs, where they took a 5-9 loss.

"They are a really good coached team," Coach Johnson said of the Red Boiling Springs squad. "They are really fundamentally sound. They hit the ball good. Their pitcher was throwing a change-up that we could not hit."

Ashley Howard went 2 for 4 at bat. Babb, Borden, Reeder, Whitney Sells, Jessica McDon-ald, and Allen each had a hit.

Runs were scored by Whittney Sells, Christy Dillon, Jessica McDonald, Brittany McDonald, and Aspen Allen.

"We've got to play better defense," Coach Johnson said. "We had some errors in that game. We didn't play that well at all."

Ashley Howard pitched 5 innings and gave up 9 runs on 11 hits.

Tara Taylor pitched an inning and gave up no runs.

Friday's scheduled double-header at Pickett County was cancelled. Those games will be made up on April 19.

The week's play moved the Lady Cats' overall record to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in District 7-AA.

After travelling to Woodbury to play Cannon County in a district game on Tuesday, March 30, the Lady Wildcats will travel to Celina to play the Clay County Lady Bulldogs on Thursday, April 1.

The Lady Cats will play in the Golden Corral Invitational at Cookeville High School on Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3. The Lady Wildcats will travel to Baxter on Tuesday, April 6 to play the Upperman Lady Bees in a District 7-AA game.

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