ready for 2004 football season
Golf Team off to 4-0 start
soccer seeks to up the ante
ready to cheer on football team
ready for 2004 football season
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Members of the 2004 Livingston Academy Wildcats football team
are, front row from left, #1 Jake Peterman, #2 Cody Melton, #3 Alan
Rudd, #4 Jamie Cravins, # 5 Levi Holt, #6 Josh Simpson, #7 Dustin
Flowers, #8 Wilson Cates, #10 Wesley Puckett, #11 Jonathan Sullivan,
#12 Josh Carwile, #15 Jacob Gore, second row, #19 Drew Cannon, #20
Steven Morgan, #21 Eddie Morrow, #22 Jamey Vaughn, #23 Ryan Duke,
#24 Jonathan Maynard, #27 D.J. Allred, #29 Jake Reeder, #30 Gary
Massengille, #31 Josh Coffee, #32 Brian Colson, #33 Lane Ponder,
third row, #34 Sam Nelson, #50 Brent Carr, #51 Adam Hunter, #52
Curtis Beaty, #53 Levi Cobble, #54 Colby Loftis, #55 Brad Pendagraft,
#56 Brandon Bond, #58 Wade Ford, #59 Brent Skinner, #60 Matt Reeder,
#61 Bobby Perdue, #62 Jacob Coffee, back row, #63 Michael Hammock,
#65 Brad Burkett, #66 Ryan McDonald, #67 John Willeford, #68 Ryan
Bowman, #70 Robert Holt, #71 David Ledbetter, #72 Lucas Holt, #74
Rodney Dempsey, #75 Tyler Watkins, #76 Jonathan Preece, and #77
By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
Most of the time, it's useless to look back. What's done is done,
but in the case of the Livingston Academy Wildcats, this year's
football edition might just want to take a glance over its shoulder
for a quick glimpse of how things ended last season then turn around
and charge forward.
After posting a 1-3 mark after the first four games of last season,
the Wildcats took stock of what was going on, made a dramatic change
in the offensive attack, and reeled off seven straight victories
including a win in the Upperman Bowl to finish a respectable 8-3
on the season.
"We want to build on that and we have enough players returning
from last year who understand what we can do if we set our minds
to it," remarked Head Coach Matt Eldridge as he was getting
his team ready for the August 20 season opener against Warren County.
Eldridge and his staff have 48 youngsters dressed out this season
ready to go after the Region 4-3A championship, and despite some
big losses to graduation, it appears this year's squad could be
up for the challenge.
"This is a very coachable team," Eldridge continued.
"Most of our players remember how we turned things around last
year, and they are anxious to move on. We have had some real good
practices so far and things are coming together.
"We lost a couple players who will be hard to replace, but
that's high school ball, and our kids realize that they will have
to step up and take over. Our coaching staff believes they will."
When things got underway last year, the Wildcats pinned most of
their hopes on the passing game, but after four games and only one
victory, the team switched to a more balanced attack and the running
game made the passing game valuable.
And that's where things are headed this fall.
With junior Wilson Cates leading the way at quarterback, LA will
be able to attack offensively from the ground and the air. Cates,
a starter for the past two years, honed his skills this summer at
a football camp in California and according to Eldridge, did well
at the camp.
"Obviously, we will rely a lot on Wilson, and he's an outstanding
young athlete. He can pass and run the option with a lot of skill,
and with Brian Colson at running back and Jamey Vaughn at tailback,
we should be strong with the run. Colson is a senior and Vaughn
is a junior."
Up front offensively, the Wildcats have a strong core returning
including Matt Reeder, Rodney Dempsey, Jacob Coffey, Wade Ford,
and Adam Hunter. Wesley Puckett and D.J. Allred will be at wide
receiver while Cody Melton and Jake Reeder will operate from the
tight end slot.
"Both Wesley and D.J. have good speed and good hands,"
Eldridge added. "And they have experience. Both are seniors.
Melton is a senior and Reeder is a sophomore.Ó
Defensively, the Wildcats will see Colson and Adam Hunter at the
ends; Wade Ford, Brandon Bond, and Brad Burkett in the middle; Cody
Melton and Jamey Vaughn at linebacker; Cates and Allred at defensive
back; and Puckett and Jake Reeder at safety. "
We have good size and decent speed defensively," Eldridge
continued. "We probably won't scare anybody with our size or
speed, but these young men can get the job done.
"We have some experience coming back, but probably our biggest
weakness is where we are young, we are very young. Some players
will have to step up quickly."
Eldridge went on to point out that last year the Wildcats probably
caught some opponents by surprise when they changed offense in the
middle of the season, but this year, that element won't be available.
This year the players will just have to pick up where they left
off last year and simply beat opponents.
"Our strength will be in our experience, plus the fact that
many of our players won't have to play both offense and defense,"
"In the region, I think Portland will be strong, as will be
Smith County. We play Smith County our second game so we'll find
out early just how good we will be," Eldridge said.
Bobby Gore, Danny McCoin, Grant Swallows, and Bruce Lamb return
to coach the offense, quarterbacks, running back, and line. Newcomers
include Dale Flatt and David Clouse, who played high school ball
at LA, and Dusty Whitaker. They will coach the defense.
Opening night fans will be treated to a brand new repaved parking
lot, and more noticeable, a playing field second to none. David
Holt took it upon himself to work on the field, and before all the
wear and tear of action starts to wear it out in spots, fans might
just think they are on the golf course at Augusta.
Coach Eldridge smiled when the field was mentioned.
"I've never seen a field in better condition. David has nurtured
it like a golf course and we can't wait to show it off, and certainly
play on it."
LA Golf Team off to
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Members of the 2004 Livingston Academy Golf Team are, front row
from left, Kylor Winningham, Michael Ledford, Daniel Elder, Nathan
Dale, Samantha Williams, Brandi Keisling, back row, Assistant Coach
Patty Dale, Brad West, Josh Crawford, Brandon Matthews, Beau Massengille,
Rex Dale, Justin Monday, and Coach Elizabeth Woodard.
By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
With a quick 4-0 start and a lineup of veterans who look to get
even better, the 2004 edition of the Livingston Academy Golf Team
appears once again to be a top contender for this year's district
7A-AA links crown.
And not only has the boys team shown strength, the girls also appear
to be headed for a much better season.
Third-year Coach Elizabeth Woodard pointed out, "We have two
girls on this year's team, and when you take the top two scores
in a match, this time around, we have two scores to use instead
of just one like we did last year."
Samantha Williams and Brandi Keisling compose this year's girls
team. Williams is a seasoned junior, and Keisling, a freshman, is
taking on competition for the first time.
Of the nine boys who make up the male team, two are seniors, four
are juniors, two are sophomores, and one is a freshman.
"We have a very well balanced team with some strong veteran
players," Woodard said. "Last year we only lost three
matches, I believe, until we went to the district tournament. We
have good, solid players returning from that team and we have Michael
Ledford, a freshman, who I believe can go as far as he wants to
in this game."
Although only a freshman, Ledford has gained valuable experience
playing on the Vince Gill tour. That match-playing experience will
give the youngster a leg up on the competition plus, according to
his coach, "He has a good, solid all-around game."
Seniors Brad West and Josh Crawford bring both ability and leadership
to the squad. Juniors Justin Monday, Beau Massengille, Rex Dale,
and Brandon Matthews will be counted on to provide strong play in
the middle of the field.
Massengille is taking up the game for the first time, but has shown
steady improvement while learning to deal with the pressure of playing
Matthews is a good all round athlete and a solid long ball hitter.
Sophomore Daniel Elder is perhaps the most improved player on
the squad, according to his coach, and could be the spoiler in matches
that are close.
"Once he gets used to the pressure, Daniel will get better
and better," Woodard said. Patty Dale will assist Coach Woodard.
The team started play Tuesday, Aug. 10 in Baxter and defeated
Pickett County and Upperman handily. The team also scored a pair
of wins Thursday, Aug. 12 in its first home match at Hidden Valley
Country Club, downing Jackson County and Pickett County.
The regular season will consist of 13 district matches running
through September 14, then the team will head to the sub-district
tournament September 16. Each match in the regular season will be
a 9-hole contest with the top four scores going towards the total
"We're looking forward to the season," Woodard continued.
"We have a good, solid boys team, and our girls program is
coming. We have a group of golfers who love to compete and will
get better as the season progresses. The players love the game,
and that will make them work harder to improve, and that's what
this game is about - working and improving."
Lady Wildcat soccer
seeks to up the ante
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
The Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats soccer team is set to head
into another season with 19 players and the familiar supporting
cast of managers, trainer, and coach. Members of the 2004 version
are, front row, from left, Melody Allen, Krista Clinard, Katrina
Marshall, Jessica McDonald, Jessica Carr, Olivia King, Heather Camp,
middle row, Tara Taylor, Allison Medley, Brittany Ray, Stevie Plumlee,
MaryFaye Maynord, Danielle Ray, Megan Harris, Mallie Stephens, back
row, manager Ricole Winningham, Michelle Allen, Whitney Allred,
Eysha Pryor, Chelsey Franklin, manager Tabathia Walker, athletic
trainer Chuck Wheeler, and Coach Ethan King.
By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN Sports
A hot, humid August afternoon sees the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats
soccer team taking sprints across their field width-wise. It is
that time, after all. The team knows that come tomorrow, they have
to load up the bus and head to Harriman for their first game in
the beginning of the true test of all their time, sweat, determination,
and practice: The season.
It is 14 games in length. Two games a week. Seven weeks total.
Half of the games count towards their District 9A-AA record - the
record that will either put them in tournament play in October or
send them home to wonder what they could have done to improve it.
The Lady Wildcats are well aware that they gave up six seniors,
five of which were starting players, to graduation last year, and
they're not afraid. In fact, they're upping the ante, so to speak.
LA Soccer Coach Ethan King said, "We're playing a lot of tougher
opponents for the girls, similar to what we did with the boys last
year. We're trying to get them to play more quality opponents because
it will help them out. But overall, I think we should be okay for
the season." Perhaps the biggest thing the Lady Wildcats have
going for them is the eight seniors, six of them starters, on-roster
"We've got a healthy senior class with a lot of leadership,
so that's a good thing," King said.
Returning superlative Katrina Marshall will lead the offensive
for the Lady Cats and will be the mentoring force behind new-to-the-team
senior Krista Clinard, who will see most of the duty at the other
forward position and will, if her time with the Lady Wildcats basketball
squad is indicative of performance, play, in the truest sense of
Senior Allison Medley returns to the midfield this season to lead
the team's crucial middle ground squad, while fellow senior Brittany
Ray has, in the words of her coach, "slid up" to the midfield
from being a fullback most of last season. The duo will likely have
their hands full in the season's early going, as King expressed
that he would have two sophomores starting at the outside halfback
"After they learn what to do and the girls get to play together
for a while, we'll be in good shape," King said.
"It's going to take a little time for us to learn, being a
little bit young outside, but I think that having the seniors in
the middle, we'll be okay."
Anchoring the defense will be senior MaryFaye Maynord, who will
be aided by incoming senior and York Institute transfer Tara Taylor
at center fullback. True to the form set by the midfield crew, the
backs will be a half-and-half group, with the less-experienced junior
Olivia King and sophomore Megan Harris rounding out the positions.
Filling the shoes - and they are mighty big shoes, mind you - of
now-graduated goalkeeper Sarah Jowers will be junior Jessica McDonald,
who played fullback and served part-time as the second-string goalie
"She got tested a little bit at a jamboree we played in the
other day, but I think she'll do a good job for us.
"Down in Smyrna, there must've been, oh, 20 teams down there.
We played four games. We won two and lost two, but overall I think
we played very well. I was very happy with the way we played, and
I think the girls are coming off of that really enthusiastically
looking forward to the season."
They had better be. At the time the coach gave his interview, they
were having their final practice before the first game of the season
in Harriman against the Lady Blue Devils.
"Harriman is the same kind of classification as us. They play
Kingston and Lenoir City, so they're in a tough district. But we
match up pretty well with them. It should be a good game and be
a good early test for us to see how we do. Hopefully we'll come
out playing well."
After playing Harriman Tuesday, Aug. 17, it's back home the following
Thursday, Aug. 19 for the first home game of the season versus district
rivals York Institute.
"It's a big opening district game at home," King said.
"We're hoping to have a big crowd support us for that one."
ready to cheer on football team
The Overton County Outlaws Cheerleaders will be cheering on
the football team at Saturday's home game against Fentress County.
Members of the varsity squad are, front row from left, Myranda Dickerson,
Jessica Hopkins, Mackenzie Allred, Ashley Berta, Ashton Penely,
Mariah Wilmoth, Hannah Owens, Toni Phillips, Chelsea Norris, Kandace
Reeder, McKenzie Poston, Erin Murphy, Lindsey Watkins, Kayla Bilbrey,
back row, Cheyenne Smith, Teia Smith, Meagan Poston, Sarina Surridge,
Ashley Taylor, Jessica Carter, Brianna Little, Lindsey Waddy, Chelsea
Cook, Courtney Jackson, Chelsea Smith, Karen Kesty, Leanne Hickle,
and, not pictured, Kaitlin Pendergraft, Monica Bell, Kate Gunnels,
Victoria Smithers, and Sadie King. The squad is coached by Mary
Smith and Tasha Bullock.
Members of the junior varsity Outlaws Cheerleaders squad are,
front row from left, Virginia Miller, Courtney Savage, Elaina Espinosa,
Madison Burton, Hannah Jolley, Andrea Winningham, Brittany Warren,
Destiny Good, Kylee Parrott, second row, Makayla Cole, Taylor Woolums,
Taylor Harris, Sierra Hill, Heather Keisling, Courtney Lee, Laiton
Pigg, Rebekah Miller, Shelby Hunter, and, back, Coach Elizabeth
Members of the junior B-team Outlaws Cheerleaders are, front
row from left, Sheena Poston, water girl Kelsey Reagan, Jasmine
Schneck, Marley Gibbons, Allison Nimmo, Casey Mathis, second row,
Haleigh Gibbons, Camille Sells, Aspen Webb, Sydney Looper, Courtney
Cantrell, and, not pictured, Caitlin Forste, Eden Geesling, Samantha
Norrod, Kandace Sells, Claire Smith, Destiny Yarbrough, and Savannah
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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570