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Archives 03-12-2008

Sports

Bank of Putnam County gives to State Bass Championship
LA to play Fulton in AA first round
Youthful Cats up to bat for 2008 season
Veterans lead LA Wildcat Soccer into 2008 season
Lady Wildcats ready for 2008 softball season
LA Special Olympics Volleyball Team places 2nd

 

Bank of Putnam County gives to State Bass Championship

John Story, left, and Sarah Duke, representatives of The Bank of Putnam County, present a title sponsorship check to Tony Peek, coordinator of the Tennessee State Bass Championship tournament. The donation makes The Bank of Putnam County the lead sponsor for the tournament, scheduled for March 29 at Center Hill Lake.

The Tennessee State Bass Championship is the only officially sanctioned state championship tournament. Prize packages total more than $12,000 with a $4,000 guaranteed first prize. Entry forms are available at all Bank of Putnam County branches. For more information call 526-3672 or visit www.tnbasschampionship.com. The tournament is planned by Leadership Putnam.


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LA to play Fulton in AA first round

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Drawings for the TSSAA high school basketball tournaments were held Saturday morning in Murfreesboro and action will get underway Wednesday at the gym at MTSU.

Livingston Academy (29-4), the Region 4 champions, will face Fulton of Knoxville (25-4) Wednesday night at 8:45.

Fulton will bring a 16-game winning streak into the game while the Wildcats will carry a 20-game win streak into the contest.
According to LA coach Richard Melton, “Fulton is very athletic and very quick.”

The Wildcats will counter with sharp shooting and strong defense. Chase Dunn will carry a 23.6 scoring average into the contest and Clint West will head a defense that has carried Livingston a long way this past season.

Inside, the Wildcats will rely on the two big men, Jeremy McLearran and Deven Ramsey while T.J. Smith will be counted on for his shooting and rebounding. Senior guard Todd Smith and Kendall Melton will tighten up the defense and Justin Poston will make the LA attack stronger when he comes off the bench.

Fulton has never won the state crown, but has been a runner-up three times since 1962. Livingston last went to the final eight in 1997 and lost in the semifinal round.

Austin East has three state championships and five runner-up trophies.
In other 2A action, Dyer County 31-1) will face off against CPA (31-3) Wednesday at 7 p.m. On Thursday, Austin East of Knoxville (30-2) will take on Mitchell of Memphis (23-8). That game will be played at 10:30 Thursday morning followed by Howard of Chattanooga (30-2) meeting Bolivar (28-4) at 12:15 p.m.

The winner of the Livingston-Fulton game will meet the winner of the Dyer/CPA contest Friday at 2 p.m. while the victor in the Austin East-Mitchell game will take on the winner of the Howard-Bolivar encounter at 5:15 p.m.

When it’s all settled out, the two bracket winners will collide Saturday at a time to be announced for the state championship.



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Youthful Cats up to bat for 2008 season

Members of the 2008 Livingston Academy Wildcats baseball team are, front row from left, Carson Bailey, Marshall Cannon, Justin Savage, Kasey Beason, Hayden Hill, Jonathan Melton, Justin Perdue, second row, Shawn Walthall, Tracy McDonald, Cody Stafford, Ethan McDonald, Andrew Maynord, Lee Gatts, back row, Josh Johnson, Jacob Lee, Colby Boykin, Clint Durham, Justin Schebel, Seth Kilgore, Cody Winton, Allen Bilbrey, and Todd Smith.

By Kevin Burmeister,
OCN staff

Livingston Baseball Coach Pat Swallows has always looked to postseason play as the true measure of a team’s success. But with recent Wildcat teams bowing out of contention in first-round play-in games for the past two seasons, he recognizes that this year’s youthful team has a considerable task ahead of them.

“I guess our number one goal this time is to try to get back into the district championship. We lost a lot of quality kids last year. We only have three seniors so we’re fairly young again this year so we’ll just have to step up and get better.”

In order to accomplish this, Coach Swallows is focusing on the fundamentals. The first of these is solid defensive play.

“I think we’re going to be okay. Again, you never know what a freshman or a sophomore is going to do until you get into the battle, but in practice we’ve done a pretty good job of that and so I honestly feel like defense is probably our number two thing behind our pitching as our strengths.”

Coach Swallows predicts that this pitching staff will give the team the opportunities it needs in order to improve on last year’s finish. Toward that end, he has given them extra time to prepare for the season opener.

“We’re actually throwing twelve kids, and they have been throwing since January and they’re doing a really good job. I feel like for us to be successful they’re going to have to carry us. I think and hope that pitching will be our strongest point.”

On the offensive side of the ball, those solid fundamentals once again come into focus.

“We’re not going to have a lot of power,” Coach Swallows said. “We have a little but not much. But basically we’re going to be a single-double kind of a team. We’re going to try to move the runners over, bunt, do some things like that to score runs.”

Despite these good reports, Coach Swallows does anticipate one significant obstacle standing between the Wildcats and a possible 2008 tournament run: inexperience. With only three seniors in the mix, nearly half of his starting lineup will consist of underclassmen.

However, Coach Swallows does anticipate getting the most out of what little experience he has at his disposal.

“We look at seniors to be leaders, to help us in preparing the team.”
These seniors, along with the rest of the 2008 team, were set to meet their first test on Monday, March 10 as they hosted Monterey, followed by another home game versus White County the following afternoon. A match against Red Boiling Springs will round out their homestand on Thursday, March 13.

The Wildcats then hit the road for the Oak Ridge Tournament on Friday, March 14, followed by a Monday matchup at Gordonsville.


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Veterans lead LA Wildcat Soccer into 2008 season

By Kevin Burmeister,
OCN Sports

When the ball dropped at midfield for Monday’s season-opener at White County, the 2008 Wildcat soccer team began its defense of last year’s district championship. But head coach Ethan King does not want to stop there.

“We should at least advance to the regional championship, and from there go on to qualify for state,” Coach King said.

Based on the 2008 crop, Coach King is well-equipped for such a task. His starting lineup features seven seniors, with another three in reserve. With this lion’s share of experience on their side, the Wildcats look to gel over the course of the year and manufacture success.

“We’re loaded with seniors,” Coach King said. “They know what to do; it’s just a matter of whether or not we can work together and do well. So we’ve got that advantage of guys who have been there and done that.”

In addition to their age, this year’s team will also be equipped with considerable speed. With this in mind, Coach King hopes his Cats will not only out-think the competition, but also outpace them.

“Usually we’re pretty much a ball control team and we can hold the ball, but this year we have the speed to run. So it will be a little more exciting to watch,” he said.

Although the speed of this year’s team will cause opponents a good deal of panting, Livingston must overcome fatigue in their own right. A lack of depth on the bench is one of Coach King’s main concerns for this year’s team, but he still expects these younger members to come out and play.

“We’re getting them used to going at game speed more,” Coach King said.

“We’re trying to develop them to fill in time for this year and also for next year when they have to take the reigns.”

Coach King described his team’s style of offense with two words: pretty aggressive. With veteran strikers B.J. Byers and Eric Gunnels taking the field up front, the LA offense hopes to keep opposing defense units on their heels. In addition to this pair, Coach King’s offensive threat will be bolstered by other midfielders who have demonstrated their quickness this offseason.

“We’ve lost two starters on defense from last year, but the good news is that we have David Brady, our goalie, who is returning, and Patrick Letner (Jr.), who’s our center fullback is returning (and Josh Hewitt). With them anchoring and getting the other guys to step in and learn, they’ll do well.”
One other name stands out on the Livingston roster: Greg Walker.

“He’s developed more between seasons than probably anybody I’ve seen,” Coach King said. “I think this might be his breakout year.”

Walker, along with the rest of the Wildcat squad, plunged into regular season play on Monday, March 10, facing White County on the road.
Playing as visitors will be business as usual for this year’s squad, with the Wildcats’ first eight games scheduled on the road.

The Cats round out the week with a weekend in the Bison Tournament, scheduled for March 14 and 15.

 

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Lady Wildcats ready for 2008 softball season

Members of the 2008 Lady Wildcats softball team are, kneeling from left, Breanna Bilbrey, Katie Collins, Julia Carwile, Taylor Ledbetter, Jenna Smith, Dara Smith, Becca Savage, Shelby Taylor, standing, Katelyn Webb, Mallory Mahaney, Samantha Maya, Brittney Cantrell, Liz Hall, Sarah Neff, Abby Jolley, Morgan Burke, Kendria Kilgore, and Chelsea Carr.

By Kathy Carr,
OCN Sports

While the round ball is still continuing for another week, the small, white, “soft ball” is just beginning another season as the Lady Wildcats prepared for the season opener with Clay County on Monday, March 10.

After an exciting finish in the 2007 district tournament, it seemed the team had just started to jell when the season came to a close. The big question is pitching for this season, as the Lady Wildcats lost both starting rotation pitchers from last season, and there will be big shoes to fill.

Coach Elizabeth Maxwell said, “We have to replace some pitchers for the year, but luckily we have Abby Jolley returning, as well as Kaitlyn Webb and Katie Collins as freshmen who will also pitch. All three of them are doing a great job in practice and did a great job in our scrimmage against Pickett County on Thursday.

“Having three pitchers in our rotation will be of value, especially in tournaments when you have a lot of games back to back.”

The Lady Wildcats return a strong hitting line up as last year’s season was led by Chelsea Carr, Kendria Kilgore, Liz Hall, and Sarah Neff with all four batting above .425 for the season.

“Although we haven’t been able to get on the field much due to the weather, we have been working very hard in the gym and also with our hitting,” Coach Maxwell stated.

With the meat of the batting lineup returning and with some added speed in the line up, LA should be capable of pushing some runs across the plate.
The 2007 district was very strong last year with exceptional pitching from District Champion DeKalb County as well as the runner-up team, York Institute.

“DeKalb County is always a force in our district,” Coach Maxwell stated. “He has been coaching for the Lady Tigers forever it seems, and was even their coach when I played.

“York graduated their starting pitcher, so we will see what happens there.
“Our girls have been working hard. The pre-season they went through this year is the toughest the softball team has had in a while. This is such a fun group too. They have worked so hard and yet we have had so much fun while doing it.

“We are excited and anxious for the year to begin.”

The season opener was set for Monday, March 10 as the Lady Wildcats traveled to Clay County to take on the Lady Bulldogs. They will travel to Cannon County on Thursday, and end the week with a two-day tournament in Henderson.

Livingston will open up in the first home game of the 2008 season with Stone Memorial on Monday, March 17 at 5 p.m. with a junior varsity game to follow.



LA Special Olympics Volleyball Team places 2nd

Livingston Academy’s Special Olympics Volleyball Team took 2nd place in the Area 9 tournament Friday, Feb. 29 at Tennessee Tech. Team members are, front row from left, Jessica Harris and Elizabeth Harvey, second row, Courtney Vaughn, Luke Neeley, Chris Corbin, Steven Dulworth, Barbara Murphy, back row, Tyler Ledbetter, Nathan Miller, Wesley McBride, Steven Ogle, Jessie Ledbetter, and Coach Brandon Colson. Christie Jenkins coached the team and Ron Holbert provided support.

 




 

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