LA Wildcats win District 7-AA Tournament
LA Tennis ends season with individual play
Soccer Cats win District Tournament
Lady Cats end season in tournament
LA Wildcats win
District 7-AA Tournament
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Members of the 2005 District 7-AA Tournament champion Livingston
Academy Wildcats baseball team are, kneeling from left, Cody Winton,
Andrew Neff, Todd Smith, Clint Durham, Tyler Thrasher, Andrew Dixon,
Josh Coffman, second row, Assistant Coach Jamie Loftis, Anthony
Matthews, Tyler Sells, Johnny Cyrus, John Ward, Chris Nelson, Shane
Livingston, Cody Sells, Brian Colson, Jimmy Davidson, Jon Maynard,
Coach Pat Swallows, back row, Daniel Elder, Mark Barnett, Matt Lee,
Griffin Lee, Curt Gilbert, Assistant Coach Grant Swallows, and Zach
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
One more goal became a reality for the Livingston Academy Wildcats
baseball team last week when they claimed the District 7-AA Tournament
championship at home against Cannon County.
"Our goal all year was to be in the district championship,
and we realized our goal," LA Baseball Coach Pat Swallows said.
"We got there and faced a team that had been hot for a couple
Cannon County grabbed the lead with 2 runs in the first inning,
but LA responded with 4 in the bottom of the inning. A Tyler Thrasher
triple followed by a Brian Colson home run added 2 more runs in
the second inning to give LA a 6-2 lead.
Then, the Lions smelled blood in the third inning and jumped on
the Cats for 7 runs, to take a 9-6 lead.
"Shane Livingston started the game, but didn't have his best
stuff," Coach Swallows said. "Then, Griffin Lee came in
and was a little rocky at first, giving up a home run right off
the bat. Then he settled down and threw pretty decent."
The decision to use sophomore Griffin Lee was made with an eye
toward the possibility of a second championship game that night.
"Tyler had thrown on Saturday, and, you never want to think
past what you're doing, but yet, because we were behind at that
time, if we were to have to go to a second game I wanted to have
somebody of a pretty good caliber that was ready to go," Coach
Swallows said. "Because they were going to have to be out of
pitching, and here we are with our number two ready to go in a second
But LA fought back in the bottom of the third inning. With 2 outs,
the Cats brought home 3 runs to tie the game. They later plated
3 more runs to go ahead 12-9.
"It was just a great team effort again," Coach Swallows
said. "They played with a lot of confidence, and played together."
That confidence and team spirit led to Coach Swallows bringing
in his ace, Cody Sells, in the closer role.
"I didn't want to use him," Coach Swallows said. "I
brought him in just to get us out, and I was going to put somebody
else back in for the next inning, but I listen to my kids. They
all wanted him to stay in, and he felt like he was strong enough
to stay in, and he wanted to stay in.
"This is why we talk about team and team building and working
"He didn't give up any hits," Coach Swallows said. "He
wasn't as sharp because he had just pitched Monday night. Yet, he
was good enough to get us out of a couple of tight situations to
win the game."
Each of the LA pitchers threw 2-1/3 innings in the championship
"Griffin ended up getting the win, his first of the year,
which is pretty huge - to get your first varsity win in a district
championship game," Coach Swallows said.
"We did a lot of positive things in that game. With two outs,
two different times, we started rallies that either got us back
in the game or got us ahead in the game.
"Earlier in the year we had trouble with getting behind and
getting down on ourselves and started pressing a little bit. We
did not do that Wednesday, which is one of the main reasons that
we won the ballgame.
"We were able to keep our composure and continue doing what's
got us where we are.
"We were very proud of them. They worked hard and deserved
this." The bats were alive and well for LA in the championship
"Everybody in our lineup got a hit," Coach Swallows said.
Along with hitting the 2-run homer, Brian Colson went 3 for 3 and
scored 3 runs. Jimmy Davidson hit 2 doubles, drove in a run, and
scored a run. Andrew Dixon had 2 hits, drove in 2 runs, and scored
3 twice. Tyler Thrasher went 3 for 3 with 2 RBI, and scored 3 times.
Cody Sells had a hit, drove in 2 runs, and scored a run. Johnny
Cyrus went 3 for 4 with a run batted in, and scored a run. Jon Maynard
had a hit and scored a run. Chris Nelson and John Ward each had
As one of the final 32 teams still going in Class AA, the Livingston
Academy Wildcats were scheduled to host Greenbrier on Monday, May
16 in the single-elimination round of the region tournament.
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LA Tennis ends season
with individual play
By LEAH THOMAS, OCN Sports
The Livingston Academy Tennis Team competed in the Individual Districts
on Monday, May 9 and Tuesday, May 10.
Representing Livingston Academy in the first round were Leah Thomas
and Lacy Carmack in singles, and Amber Carmack and Danielle Ray
and Rhiannon Voss and Ashley Taylor in doubles.
Thomas won in singles play and the team of Amber Carmack and Danielle
Ray won in doubles to move on to the quarterfinals.
Amber Carmack and Danielle Ray lost in the semifinals on Tuesday.
The LA girls finished their season 3rd in the district.
The LA boys also competed in Individual Districts. Representing
Livingston Academy were Andy Sathern and Brad Ledbetter in singles,
and David Johnson and Randy Boswell in doubles. The LA boys played
hard and had a great season.
LA Tennis Team Coach Scott Cole stated that the boys team got a
really bad draw for the districts, and that he's very proud of the
girls after having lost last year's top five.
"Next year looks bright for the girls," he said.
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Soccer Cats win District
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Members of the district champion Livingston Academy Wildcats
soccer team are, kneeling from left, Josh Foster, B.J. Byers, Hunter
Burnett, Joey Green, Ben Jolley, James Dellapace, Cody Penticuff,
Aeric Gunnels, Casey Ledbetter, Cory Cross, Luke Huffman, Jonathan
Emrich, standing, trainer Chuck Wheeler, David Brady, Logan Huffman,
Matt Myers, Jeff Cummings, Jacob Pennington, Graham Goodman, Blake
Vaughn, Wesley Puckett, Alex Gunnels, Westley Burnett, Jonathan
McGill, Matt Anderson, Andy Gunnels, and Coach Ethan King.
By BETH UNDERWOOD, OCN Sports
A 7-1 victory over Mt. Juliet Christian Academy early last week
was just what Livingston Academy ordered, as the win pitted the
soccer team against Friendship Christian School for the district
"The team was wanting to make it back to the finals and maybe
have another shot at FCS," said Coach Ethan King.
With the shot in hand, LA took full advantage, capturing an early
lead on a goal by Alex Gunnels. But a penalty kick by FCS tied the
score before halftime.
"That was their second of the game and third against us,"
King said. "FCS knew how to draw the call and did it well."
The tie was quickly broken after the first half, though, when B.J.
Byers got a shot by the keeper on a breakaway.
"It is not often you see such composure out of a freshman,"
King said. "He came through in a big way."
With the second half still young, the game was far from over. And
as if there weren't enough action on the field, the bleachers heated
up as well, as a fan was ejected from the game.
LA's Jacob Pennington responded moments after the restart, drilling
a cross from Wes Puckett into the goal.
"It was one of the prettiest goals I've seen all year,"
In the hard-fought 3-1 LA victory, the FCS coach drew a yellow
card before game's end as well.
"I am most proud of the way the team conducted themselves
during and after the game," King said. "These young men
are a class act and represented their school and community well."
LA faced Springfield on Tuesday, May 17 in the regional semi-finals.
The rivals will compete in a rematch of last year's regional finals.
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Lady Cats end season
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Ashley Howard pitched Livingston Academy to a 9-1 tournament
win over Cannon County on Wednesday, May 11.
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN Sports
Close, but yet so far, the Lady Wildcats softball team's season
ended with a 1-run loss in the District 7-AA Tournament played last
week at Livingston Academy.
"We had a pretty good year," LA Softball Coach Mike Johnson
said. "Our final record was 19-14, which was an improvement
on last year's winning season."
The Lady Cats opened tournament play against Jackson County on
Monday, May 9, and won 5-0.
Ashley Howard pitched a 3-hit shutout, striking out 8 Lady Blue
Devils along the way.
"Jackson County wasn't swinging the bat very well," Coach
Offensively, Brittany McDonald went 2 for 3, hitting 2 doubles,
and she scored a run. Stasha Babb went 2 for 3, Andrea Borden hit
a 2-run triple and scored a run, Jessica Lee had a hit and scored
a run, and Lisa Reeder scored 2 runs.
"We scored 2 runs in the first and 3 runs in the sixth,"
Coach Johnson said. "Every now and again we'll have a good
inning, but we just can't consistently produce runs like we should've
all year long."
The inability to score runs was waiting in the next tournament
game, against undefeated Smith County.
"We probably played one of our best games against Smith County
this year," Coach Johnson said. "We lost 1-2 in the end,
but holding that team to only 2 runs is a big thing. They can kill
The Lady Cats scored on the Owlettes in the third inning and held
the lead until the fifth inning.
"We were in good position to win that game," Coach Johnson
Smith County tied the game in the fifth, and as the home team
for tournament purposes, had the last at-bat in the seventh inning.
With 2 outs, the Owlettes mustered 3 straight hits and drove in
the winning run.
"They were ripe for the pickin's," Coach Johnson said
of Smith County's vulnerability in the game. "They were ready
to get beat. We just couldn't do it. We couldn't pull it out in
A great effort by senior Tara Taylor went by the wayside in the
"Tara Taylor pitched really well," Coach Johnson said.
"She gave up 9 hits, but only gave up 2 runs. We had some good
defense in the game, and Tara struck out 11 batters.
"Tara really gave us a chance to win the game, we just couldn't
produce on offense. We just had 4 hits."
Those 4 hits belonged to Ashley Howard, Stasha Babb, Brittany McDonald,
and Jessica McDonald, with Jessica McDonald scoring the only run
"That loss dropped us to the loser's bracket," Coach
Johnson said. "On Wednesday, we played Cannon County and took
out a little frustration on them. We won 9-1.
"We played really well. We hit the ball, and made a lot of
good decisions on the basepaths and in the batter's box. We didn't
swing at bad pitches.
"We had 13 hits in the game, just pounded the ball. Seven
out of the 9 people that batted hit, and 7 of the 9 scored runs.
So, almost everybody scored and almost everybody hit."
Jessica McDonald reached base all 4 times she went to bat, going
3 for 3 and being hit by a pitch. She also scored a run.
Brittany McDonald went 2 for 3 and was hit by a pitch, and also
scored a run. Lisa Reeder went 2 for 3, hitting a triple and a double,
and scored 2 runs. Jessica Lee went 2 for 4, and scored 2 runs.
Andrea Borden went 2 for 3, and Stasha Babb, Kirstie Dillon, and
Ashley McDonald each scored a run.
"We had a great offensive outing in that game."
Ashley Howard was the winning pitcher, giving up only 2 hits.
"She had a 12-inning scoreless streak broken in the sixth
inning of that game," Coach Johnson said.
The game ended on LA's first 6-4-3 double play of the year.
"That doesn't happen much in softball," Coach Johnson
The Lady Cats entered the Thursday, May 12 game against DeKalb
County knowing that a win would move them into the region tournament,
and a loss would end their season.
"We had to win the first game, and we just couldn't,"
Coach Johnson said. LA lost 4-5.
"We started off well," Coach Johnson said. "We scored
3 runs in the first inning. For the next six innings, we could only
score 1 run.
"It was tied 4-4 going into the last inning, and they had
4 straight hits and drove a run in. That's all it took.
"We just don't seem to be able to close out the real tough
games this year."
Both senior pitchers, Tara Taylor and Ashley Howard, pitched in
"Neither one of them could really stop them though,"
Coach Johnson said. "They both pitched in that last inning.
"We did all we could do to win it and stay in it, but we came
up one run short."
Jessica McDonald went 2 for 3 with 2 doubles, and she had 3 RBI.
Jessica Lee went 2 for 4 and scored a run, and Stasha Babb, Brittany
McDonald, and Lisa Reeder scored the other runs for LA.
"We had too many strikeouts," Coach Johnson said. "Four
of the 7 innings, the last out was a strikeout. We just couldn't
produce the runs we needed."
The 1-run loss seemed to be a theme for the season, with 10 games
decided by a single run and winning only 3 of them.
"We were so close all year long," Coach Johnson said.
Three Lady Wildcats earned District 7-AA honors. Tara Taylor was
named First Team All-District, and Stasha Babb and Lisa Reeder were
named Second Team All-District.
The Lady Wildcats say goodbye to six departing seniors - Ashley
Howard, Tara Taylor, Brittany McDonald, Jessica Lee, Andrea Borden,
and Stasha Babb.
"We are losing a lot of experience right there for next year,"
Coach Johnson said.
For the 2005 season, Brittany McDonald batted .404, Stasha Babb
batted .374, Tara Taylor batted .333, Andrea Borden batted .329,
Jessica Lee batted .315, and Ashley Howard batted .288.
"Ashley Howard and Tara Taylor were both really good all year,"
Coach Johnson said of his pitchers, ̉but you wouldn't believe the
"They both won 9 games, both pitching 92 innings.
"They both faced 373 batters.
"Their total pitch count was only 9 pitches off.
"They both did a great job this year. It was a luxury to have
two good pitchers."
The future may still be bright for Livingston Academy pitching.
"We've got two pretty good ones coming up," Coach Johnson
said. "They've been working a lot, so maybe we'll be alright
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