Cats take runner-up in
Jr. Cats soccer team goes undefeated
LA defeats Portland,
Vaughn breaks record
runner-up in district tourney
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Members of the District 9A-AA Tournament Runner-Up Livingston
Academy Wildcats are, front row left, Jessica Norrod, Amanda Gilliam,
Kristin Hoover, Alison West, Ashley Morgan, back row, Brittany McCoin,
Whitney Hill, Jada Ledbetter, and Tiffany Livingston.
By SAMANTHA BARLOW, OCN Sports
The Livingston Academy Wildcats' first District 9A-AA Tournament
match took place on Monday, Oct. 11 at Upperman High School in Baxter.
Defeating Jackson County three games to one, the Cats went into
the semi-finals of the tournament.
LA then won over Upperman, with LA losing the first game 16-25,
but winning the next three 25-16, 25-22, and 25-18.
"My girls played very, very well," Coach Merl Smith stated.
"Jada Ledbetter and Whitney Hill really dominated the net with
The Cats made it to the finals of the District Tournament to compete
against Friendship Christian. LA turned out the runner-up, losing
to Friendship Christian three games to one.
Individual District 9A-AA awards were presented after the championship
game. Named to the All-District Team were Kristin Hoover, Amanda
Gilliam, and Jada Ledbetter.
Whitney Hill and Kristin Hoover were named to the All-Tournament
Regarding the awards, Coach Smith said "Each of these ladies
deserved making the teams, and I am proud of them."
Livingston Academy advanced to the Regional Tournament held at
Greenbrier on Tuesday, Oct. 19. With their overall record at 26-14,
the Cats were scheduled to play Greenbrier at 4:30 p.m. for their
first game of the regionals.
"The team has done very well this year, and I hope to do
well in the regionals," Coach Smith said.
Jr. Cats soccer team
In their first year of existence, the Overton County Jr. Wildcats
girls soccer team went undefeated with a regular season record of
9-0, and outscored their opponents 44 to 8.
The team consisted of girls in grades 6 through 8 from various
schools in Overton County. The team was coached by Lisa Huitt. Phil
Marshall and Carmel Maynord served as assistant coaches.
Seven of the girls are 8th graders and will be missed next year
by their teammates. They are Allie Baltimore, Brianna Colson, Savannah
Hill, SarahJane Maynord, McKensie McConaha, Devin Thompson, and
manager Shanda Thrasher.
The Jr. Wildcats played teams from Lebanon, White County, Algood,
Monterey, Jackson County, and Cookeville during the regular season.
The Jr. Cats continued their successful season by winning the Upper
Cumberland Soccer Conference Girls Tournament. They defeated a very
physical team from Lebanon 2-0 in the final game of the season.
Overton County players Heather Marshall, SarahJane Maynord, McKensie
McConaha, and Katherine Nigro were named to the All-Conference Team.
LA defeats Portland,
Vaughn breaks record
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
The Livingston Academy Wildcats celebrate near the scoreboard
in the endzone after pulling out a 26-23 overtime victory over Region
4-3A foe Portland.
By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
It was the way high school football was designed to be played. A
cool fall night. A packed stadium on both sides. A possible division
title on the line and two evenly matched teams on the field.
For Portland High School and Livingston Academy, it was "the
game of the season". Three years earlier Portland was the bully
of the region, but for the past two seasons Livingston has taken
A change in attitude and a tremendous effort on the part of Livingston
Academy proved victorious again Friday night at Tom Davis Memorial
Stadium as the Wildcats pounded the Panthers offensively and stopped
them defensively when they had to for a 26-23 overtime victory.
When it was all over, LA lineman Adam Hunter said, "There
was no doubt in our minds we couldn't win.
"Portland is a very good team, and they showed that tonight,
but we are a very good team as well, and I think we proved that.
"Thank goodness for a great quarterback (Wilson Cates), but
this was a total team victory. Not just the players who got into
the game, but for every player on this team. All 48 of them were
part of this win, and our fans as well."
For the winners, it was a performance that counted on keeping the
ball away from the opposition and doing something with it when they
had it. For the losers, it was heartbreak.
Offensive Coach Danny McCoin said, "I think our kids stayed
with the game plan. We took what they gave us, and we did a good
job of keeping the ball when we had it.
"We had to stay on the ground because Portland just didn't
give us the pass."
Offensively, the Wildcats ran off 62 offensive plays while limiting
the Panthers to 42. On the ground, Wildcat backs Brian Colson and
Jamey Vaughn pounded the visitors for 179 yards, and Cates added
77 more; and when it came to crunch time, Cates scrambled for the
10 most important yards of the season thus far - a touchdown in
Portland looked impressive the first time they had the ball, going
65 yards in only 4 plays early in the first period for the night's
The Wildcats responded on their very next possession with a 65-yard
march that used 12 plays and consumed 6 minutes of the clock. Jake
Reeder went in for the score from 2 yards out, but Wesley Puckett's
extra point try was blocked.
Portland added a field goal in the second period to take a 10-6
lead into the dressing room at intermission. Portland's opening
drive in the third quarter was aided by a 60-yard return on the
kickoff. Three plays later, the Panthers led 17-6 and looked headed
for the win.
But the Wildcats refused to fold.
Cates engineered a beautiful 73-yard drive on the ensuing series
that was capped by Colson's 11-yard run. The gap was closed to 3
points, 17-14, after Cates ran for the extra point, a scramble that
would later come back to haunt the Panthers.
Vaughn broke the Livingston Academy single season scoring record
with his 23rd touchdown of the year early in the fourth period to
give LA their first lead of the night at 20-17.
But with only 21 seconds remaining in the game, Portland's Austin
White knotted the game with a 25-yard field goal.
In the overtime, Portland got the ball first at the Livingston
10 yard line. On the Panthers' second down, it looked as if quarterback
Kasey Allen might score, but an outstanding defensive play by Vaughn
stopped the play for a loss. Then White gave Portland the lead with
a field goal from the 5.
The defensive play by Vaughn overshadowed his record breaking touchdown.
Vaughn said, "I read my key (a pulling guard) and followed
the play to the right. For me, it was my biggest play of the night."
Now, it was Livingston's turn from the 10.
Cates explained, “The play called for me to fake to Vaughn in the
middle and look for Cody (Melton). If he wasn't open, I had to run.
"The fake to Jamey went as planned, but I never did find Cody,
so I took off. Five yards from the goal line, I knew it was the
The scramble was identical to the extra point run earlier in the
game where Cates had to run from one side of the field to the other
to get in.
"What a team effort," Cates said. "Matt (Reeder)
was injured before the game, Wade (Ford) couldn't play, and Brian
came up hurt late in the game. Everybody stepped up and did just
what they were supposed to do and did it right.
"Every member of this team, all 48 of them, won this game."
And then Head Coach Matt Eldridge broke into a smile. All season
long the coach has kept his game face on, never showing emotion,
win or lose. Now he could smile, and he did.
"It's a win," he started out, "but it was a very
good win," he added with a big smile.
"We got banged up, but our younger players stepped up and
got the job done. Getting them that experience early in the year
paid off tonight.
"We've still got two more regular season games, so we have
to keep pounding away; but tonight, I'm so proud of this team. When
we got behind, they didn't fold. I think they got tougher and it
"This is a fine victory."
Livingston Academy will host Upperman for Senior Night Friday
night, Oct. 22.
10/15/04 LA PHS
1st Downs 17 10
Yds. Rushing 258 184
Yds. Passing 0 69
Passes Att./Comp. 4/0 9/3
Passes Int. By 0 0
Fumbles Lost 2 2
Punts/Avg. 3/48 2/38
Yds. Penalized 15 37
Score by Quarter:
LA: 0 6 8 6 6Total: 26
PHS: 7 3 7 3 3 Total: 23
PHS -Humphrey, 4 run. White kick.
LA -Reeder, 2 run. Kick failed.
PHS -White, 31 field goal.
PHS - Humphrey, 13 pass from Allen. White kick.
LA - Colson, 11 run. Cates run.
LA -Vaughn, 3 run. Kick failed.
PHS -White, 25 field goal.
PHS -White, 24 field goal.
LA -Cates, 10 run.
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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570