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Archives 08-17-2005

Sports

Wildcats prepared for new season, new region
Lady Cats kick off soccer season
MTYC Jamboree held Saturday




 

Wildcats prepared for new season, new region

MaryJane Young/OCN staff
Members of the 2005 Livingston Academy Wildcats football team are #1 Jake Peterman, #2 Jonathan Sullivan, #3 Clint Cooper, #4 Jamie Cravens, #5 Levi Holt, #6 Josh Simpson, #7 Joe Reynolds, #8 Wilson Cates, #9 Mike Jones-LaRue, #10 Griffin Lee, #11 Dustin Looper, #12 Josh Carwile, #13 John Michael Stephens, #14 Jonathan McGill, #15 John Lucas White, #16 John Cody Brown, #17 Vincent Woodruff, #18 Brent Carr, #19 Drew Cannon, #20 Steven Morgan, #21 Eddie Morrow, #22 Jamey Vaughn, #23 Tyler Smith, #24 Josh Huitt, #25 Colton Hummel, #26 Seth Melton, #27 Kevin Scott, #28 Jordan Bailey, #29 Jake Reeder, #30 Gary Massengille, #31 Josh Coffee, #32 Kiefer Smith, #33 Tyler Livingston, #34 Sam Nelson, #35 Robbie Ledbetter, #36 Jeremiah Jackson, #37 Terrance Melton, #38 Lance Dial, #39 David Petry, #42 Thomas Parsons, #44 Cody Shokoui, #45 Blake Moon, #51 Beau Massengille, #52 Curtis Beaty, #53 Levi Cobble, #54 Colby Loftis, #55 Brad Pendagraf, #56 Ryan Bowman, #57 Jesse Cole, #58 Wade Ford, #59 Jacob Collins, #60 Josh Looper, #61 Bobby Perdue, #62 Jacob Coffee, #63 Michael Hammock, #66 Ethan Livingston, #67 John Willeford, #69 Cody Waddey, #70 Robert Holt, #71 David Ledbetter, #72 Lucas Holt, #73 Josh Long, #74 Justin Gore, #75 Ryan Duke, #76 Jonathan Preece, and #77 Nick Shelton. The Wildcats will be in action Thursday night, Aug. 18 in Celina for the LRH Jamboree. The junior varsity and the varsity teams will play.

By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
If there's one element that all high school football teams share this time of the year it's the "unknown". Who graduated, who's coming back? In what condition will the players report in, and who on the schedule will be good and who won't?

Every year, coaches go through that exercise, but this year there will be an added "unknown" for the Livingston Academy football Wildcats: the "unknown" of being in a brand new conference with 7 totally "unknown" schools on the 10-game regular season schedule.

Head Coach Matt Eldridge explained, "We will play 7 teams we either have never played or maybe played once over the past 10 years.

"From the looks of our schedule this year, we won't have any down weeks where we can take it easy like we have had in the past. We know this year we'll have to bring our best game to every game."

This year, LA has been moved to Region 2-3A, a region comprised of Kingston, Knoxville Catholic, Knoxville Austin-East, Scott County, Anderson County and Knoxville Fulton. In addition to region teams, the Wildcats will take on Trousdale County, Station Camp, York Institute, and old nemesis Smith County.

"That's a tough schedule," Eldridge continued, "but I believe it can have some benefits in that, if we make the playoffs, we will be tough enough to play about anybody."

Last year, the Wildcats posted one of the finest seasons in the school's history, going 11-2 and making it to the third round of the playoffs before falling 20-6 to Smith County. Both losses last season came at the hands of the Owls.

"Last year is history," Eldridge, who is starting his 20th season in coaching, stated. "It was a very good season with a lot of outstanding individual and team accomplishments. But that was last year and we have to get ready for this year.

"We lost some fine players to graduation, but we have some fine players coming back. So we're very excited about this season.

"The players have worked hard over the summer and the attitude of this group is outstanding."

A couple of pairs of shoes to fill will be those of Adam Hunter and Brian Colson. Hunter was outstanding on defense and Colson was one of the toughest runningbacks to ever wear the blue and white. Last season Colson rushed for a team leading 962 yards, and scored 7 touchdowns. Defensively, he ranked 4th on the team with 52 solo tackles and 27 assists.

The Wildcats also will have to replace kicker Wesley Puckett along with top-notch receiver D.J. Allred and defensive standout Cody Melton.

That may be the bad news, but there's also plenty of good news. The best is that quarterback standout Wilson Cates is back for one final season, along with record-setting runningback Jamey Vaughn.

Cates, one of the finest athletes to walk through the doors of Livingston Academy, will be counted on to lead his team as well as direct the offensive attack. He's also one of the best defensive backs in the school's history.

"How good is Wilson Cates?" Quarterback Coach Danny McCoin repeated when asked the question. "Well, we've had some very fine players come through this school, including Grant Swallows and Tom Windle, but I would have to say Wilson is as good as they come. He is smart, he's quick, he works as hard as any athlete I've ever coached to get better, and he's just a pleasure to work with. We ask him to do a lot of things and he does them, and he does them very well."

Last season, Cates rushed for 718 yards, scored 10 touchdowns, completed 53% of his passes, led the team in total yards with 1,156, averaged 18.5 yards per kickoff return, returned 15 punts for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns, punted for a 34.2 yard average, made 33 unassisted tackles on defense, intercepted 4 passes, and broke up 8 opponent passes.

Vaughn, for his part last season, scored a record-setting 28 touchdowns, had 1,092 total offensive yards, caught 4 passes, recovered a fumble, led the team in solo tackles with 66 and added on 44 assists, averaged 17.8 yards on kickoff returns, and had one 38-yard punt return.

Coach Eldridge laughed, "I guess our biggest job this year is to make Jake Reeder think he's Brian Colson."

Reeder, at 5'11", 175 pounds, and a junior, will have to fill Colson's shoes. Despite playing behind the talented runningback last season, Reeder got plenty of playing time, and it should pay off this year.

"Jake will be just fine," Eldridge added. "He knows he's got big shoes to fill, but he's up to the task, no doubt about it."

Despite their talent, Cates and Vaughn know full well that without a good offensive line and a strong defense, things can go bad in a hurry.

Offensive Line Coach Bruce Lamb said, "We've got a good group of offensive linemen to work with this year, and, actually, they are a little bigger and quicker than last year's line.

"Jacob Coffee (5'9", 220), Wade Ford (6'0", 225), and Jonathan Preece (5'11", 240) all started last year, and Robert Holt (6'3", 230) and Curtis Beaty (5'10", 215) both saw a lot of action.

"We have a very experienced offensive line, and some outstanding backup in Jesse Cole, John Willeford, Ryan Bowman, and Bobby Perdue."

Lamb reports that all his linemen worked hard over the summer and have returned with an outstanding attitude to win.

On defense, Holt, Ryan Duke, Beaty, Coffee, Preece, and Cody Shokoui will anchor the defensive line with Cates, Vaughn, Reeder, Levi Holt, and Steve Morgan filling the lineback and defensive back positions.

Defensive Line Coach David Clouse pointed out, "Like the offensive line, our defensive line has a lot of returning veterans, and I feel confident they can get the job done. The players came back in good shape, are a little bigger and much quicker than last year, and, more importantly, they have been working with weights so they are much stronger, and that is very important, especially on the line."

Jonathan McGill will be the team's place kicker, and Cates will handle the punting.

Coach Eldridge said, "We have about 62 kids out here this year, and that's great. We got Tyler Livingston and Tyler Smith from the basketball team to come out, and both are just outstanding athletes and will help us a lot.

"We have an experienced team, and we have a few positions where players will have to step up and make things happen. That's high school football, but we're excited about this year's team. The players want to do good; they have a great attitude.

"This will be a good football team, but we will have to earn everything we get. It's a new season in a new league. As usual, there are unanswered questions out there, but our coaching staff really believes these youngsters will perform well."

Dale Flatt, Dusty Whitaker, Bobby Gore, and Grant Swallows make up the remaining members of the coaching staff.

The season will get underway in Hartsville at Trousdale County on Friday, Aug. 26. A warm-up for the season will be held Thursday, Aug. 18 at Clay County High School in Celina when the Cats play in the LRH Jamboree. The LA junior varsity squad will play Red Boiling Springs at 6:30 p.m., and the Wildcats' varsity players will take on Clay County High School at 8:15 p.m.

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Lady Cats kick off soccer season

Beth Underwood/OCN staff
Members of the 2005 LA girls soccer team are, front row from left, manager Kaysha Walker, Brianna Colson, McKenzie McConaha, Savannah Hill, Olivia King, Jessica McDonald, Devon Thompson, Ailia Baltimore, SaraJane Maynord, and manager Ricole Winningham, back row from left, manager Kristie Dillon, Heather Camp, Whitney Allred, Zulma Vallie, Jessica Carr, Mallie Stephens, Megan Harris, and Danielle Ray.

By BETH UNDERWOOD, OCN Sports
The Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats soccer team began its 2005 season on Tuesday, Aug. 16 after losing 9 seniors, 7 of them starters, to graduation in May.

"We will be a young team and will make some mistakes," Coach Ethan King said. "If we learn as the year goes on, we will be a good team by tournament time."

Returning starter Jessica McDonald, one of three seniors on this year's team, is King's first four-year player.

"I remember when she was the sole freshman my first year coaching the team," Coach King said. "She and the program have progressed."

Juniors Danielle Ray and Mallie Stephens also return as starters.

Joining the three returning starters will be seniors Olivia King and Jessica Carr, juniors Whitney Allred and Megan Harris, sophomores Heather Camp and Zulma Vallie, and freshmen Allie Baltimore, Brianna Colson, Savannah Hill, SaraJane Maynord, McKenzie McConaha, and Devin Thompson.

District changes move Friendship Christian, Mt. Juliet Christian, and F.C. Boyd Christian, out of LA's district. Jackson County will not compete this year because not enough girls were participating.

"That leaves LA, York Dekalb, and Smith to battle it out for the district," Coach King said. "With the changes in the district, we still have a good chance of defending our district title, despite having a young team."

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MTYC Jamboree held Saturday

MaryJane Young/OCN staff
The Middle Tennessee Youth Conference Football Jamboree was held at LA Saturday.

The 2005 Middle Tennessee Youth Conference Jamboree was held Saturday, Aug. 13 at Livingston Academy before a large crowd.

The day's first football game pitted the Overton County Jr. Outlaws against the Jr. Rebels of Baxter. Baxter controlled the contest from the start on the strength of the running of Dakota Dilldine and Dylan Hedgecoth. The Jr. Rebels were victorious 14-0.

In the second game, the Overton County Sr. Outlaws took on the senior team from Baxter. The Outlaws' defense dominated the game with big plays. Brock McCoin made touchdown runs of 53 yards, 23 yards, and 43 yards. Conversion runs were made by Lukas Reagan and Creed Hayes. The elder Outlaws posted a convincing 20-6 victory.

The Jr. Outlaws were back in action for game 3, this time against Clay County. The Jr. Outlaws took advantage of the big play, with Jacob Masters running 41 yards for a first quarter touchdown, then Dylan Linder running 85 yards for a second quarter touchdown. The Overton County defense was solid in the 13-0 win.

The Sr. Outlaws swung back into action in game 4 against Clay County. The game was a defensive struggle from the start, with the game's only points scored on a 58-yard interception return by Clay County's Matt Leverage. A late Outlaws drive was stymied when Creed Hayes' pass was bobbled by an Outlaws receiver, then intercepted by Clay County. The Celina team won 6-0.

The rest of the scores for the jamboree are as follows:

Game 5 - Jr. Division, DeKalb County 19, Pickett County 0;

Game 6 - Sr. Division, DeKalb County 19, Pickett County 0;

Game 7 - Jr. Division, Jackson County 0, Fentress County 0;

Game 8 - Sr. Division, Jackson County 7, Fentress County 6;

Game 9 - Jr. Division, Carthage 14, Monterey 0;

Game 10 - Sr. Division, Carthage 6, Monterey 0.

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