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Archives 03-11-2009

Sports

Allons Hawks place in state tournament
LA Wildcats win Region 4-AA championship
Lady Cats defeat Upperman for Region 4-AA championship
LA Soccer ready to kick-off season
Young Lady Cats softball team open season Thursday
LA Baseball refocused for 2009 season
LA Tennis teams announced

 

Allons Hawks place in state tournament


Allons Elementary boys placed first in the T-N-T state championship held in Springfield. Players are front row, from left, Peyton Hogue, Austin Hogue, Payton Long, Cole White, John Michael Ferrell, Dylan Young, Mitch Maynord and Will Woody, back row, from left, Michael Reyes, Cody Jackson, Mason Ramsey, Hunter White, Mason Colson and Coach Shawn Gray. Players who were named to the all tournament team were Cody Jackson, Mason Ramsey and Hunter White. Honorable mention went to Cole White and John Michael
Ferrell.


Allons Elementary girls were runners-up in the T-N-T state tournament. Players are front row, from left, Brinna Bowman, Katelyn Ray, Kenzie Melton and Halie Beason, back row, from left, Jayna Ferrell, Jameson Dailey, Kaylee Masiongale, Sierra Hill and Coach Paige Smith. Brinna Bowman and Jameson Dailey were named to the all tournament team. Honorable mention went to Jayna Ferrell and Kenzie Melton.



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LA Wildcats win Region 4-AA championship


Mac McLeod photo
Members of the 2009 Region 4-AA Champion Livingston Academy Wildcats are, kneeling from left, Logan Beaty, Clint West, Justin Poston, Hayden Hill, Chase Dunn, Kailen Melton, Jake Huitt, standing, Kendall Melton, Adam Wilson, Brad Jackson, Logan Ramsey, Deven Ramsey, Will Peterman, T.J. Smith, Colby Reeder, and Dakota Key.


Mac McLeod photo
Chase Dunn was named the Region 4-AA Most Valuable Player, and Will Peterman, T.J. Smith, and Clint West were named All-Region.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

After three meetings this basketball season between Livingston Academy and Upperman High School, there still appeared to be some lingering doubt as to who had the best team.

After all, in the first meeting between the two back in early January, the Bees posted an impressive 12-point, 81-69 victory to the then once beaten Wildcats. In the second meeting, LA won by six, 88-82, and in the finals of the district tournament, Livingston again came out on top, but by only nine.

As for the players, at least for Livingston there was little or no doubt. After all, to a player, a one-point victory is just as good as a 100-point win.

Not so for the fans. They are a little more involved, and to a good fan, the win has to be unchallenged on all counts in order to consider one team better than the other.

So for the fourth time this season, LA and Upperman went at it one more time in the finals of the Region 4 tournament held at Upperman this past Thursday night, and this time the fans wanted a clear cut decision. No doubts, no prisoners , no possible excuse from the losing side.

And as the sign in the LA cheering side proclaimed: “Leave No Doubt.”
“Didn’t see the sign,” beamed Livingston’s big man, Deven Ramsey when the game was over and he and his Wildcat teammates had pounded Upperman 75-46 for the championship. “All I know is we won and we did
it with a great team effort. Glad the fans got what they wanted.”

Players look for victory. Fans want blood. That’s why “fan” is a shortened version of “fanatic”.

“That makes this team one step closer to the goal it set before the season started. Get back to the state finals,” explained LA head coach Richard Melton. “Tonight we were focused and played a very good game against a very good opponent. And I want to thank our fans who have been simply tremendous throughout this entire week. They filled the stands every night for the boys and girls, and they are just amazing. They do make a difference and I’m sure coach Smith (LA girls coach Lesley Smith) would agree that no school has better fan’s support than Livingston Academy.”

Very few schools have two powerhouse teams like the Wildcats and Lady Wildcats. Both teams advanced to the sub-state round of the state tournament, and between the two, they have a combined record of 53-14.

By both teams winning the region tournament last week in Baxter, both hosted sub-state games. The first time that has happened in Livingston since 1997.

After whipping DCA 65-46 in the first round of the tournament last week, the Wildcats faced off for the fourth time this year against DeKalb County, an upset winner over White House in the opening round. When this one was over, there was “no doubt” as if there had ever been one. LA rolled to a 68-41 win. In three previous meetings this year, Livingston won by 15 twice and 30 once.

The Wildcats raced out to a 24-8 first period lead and were on top 43-17 at intermission. Leading 55-25 heading into the final eight minutes, Melton cleared his bench throughout the final frame.

Chase Dunn led LA with 13 points while Brad Jackson added 12, Will Peterman 11, Ramsey with 8, T.J. Smith with 6, and Clint West and Justin Poston with five each.

That win, coupled with a victory by Upperman over Station Camp set up the finals Thursday night for a fourth meeting between the two this season. The gym was packed 45 minutes before opening tip off, and both sides were hostile towards their respective team.

And for the first eight minutes neither was disappointed. At the buzzer, the game was tied at 21.

Then the Wildcats started to make a move. Ramsey opened the period with a basket go give LA a two-point lead, 23-21. Upperman came back with a three-pointer and the Bees were at the apex of their night. Taking a 24-23 lead, it would be the final lead of the game for the home team.

Smith put back a shot on the other end of the floor for a 25-24 LA lead, then slammed in two straight three-pointers for a 31-26 Wildcat lead. After Poston hit and Dunn added three, suddenly the margin was 10 points and headed for 14 at intermission.

In the third period, Livingston simply decided to “Leave No Doubt”. Peterman opened with a basket inside and Dunn put in two of his three-pointers of the quarter back to back. Now the lead was 16, 48-32, and the Bees were starting to show signs of frustration.

First it was a technical foul on the Upperman bench and Dunn turned that into a pair of points and a three-pointer and when the period was over, the margin was 17, 57-40.

In the final eight minutes, it was Dunn, then Jackson, then Dunn, then Smith and the lead went to 22 on a Dunn coast to coast race. Adam Wilson, Poston, and Jackson then moved in for the kill, and by the end of the frame, LA had outscored the opposition 18-6.

“We were focused and we definitely wanted to win this game,” Peterman stated after the contest. “I didn’t know about the sign, but we did want to build momentum going into the sub state. We played good defense, especially in the second half, and we shot extremely well. This was a big win for us. Maybe we didn’t leave any doubt.”

Dunn paced the winners with 26 points while Smith had 12 and West added 11. Ramsey put in nine, Peterman 8, Jackson 5, and Poston and Wilson each were good for two.

Following the game, West, Smith, and Peterman were named to the All-Tournament team, and Dunn was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award.


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Lady Cats defeat Upperman for Region 4-AA championship


Mac McLeod photo
Livingston Academy’s Lady Wildcats celebrate after taking down Upperman’s Lady Bees for the Region 4-AA championship last week.


Mac McLeod photo
Mackenzie Sells was named Region 4-AA Most Valuable Player, and teammates Shelby Taylor, Kendria Kilgore, and Alissa Sells were named All-Region.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

It took the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats four tries at the Upperman Lady Bees to finally touch success, but when they did, it was the only time it really counted. The first three times were strictly for “braggin’ rights”.

In what turned out to be the very best game of the four, the Lady Cats played a deliberate game Wednesday night at the Upperman gym in the final round of the District 4 tournament , limited mistakes, very few at critical times, got outstanding performances from every player that hit the floor and toppled the Lady Bees 50-48 and advanced to the sub state round of the state playoffs .

“I could not be happier for a team of mine, nor can I say enough about their effort and determination,” explained an overjoyed LA head coach, Lesley Smith. “ We played solid defense, Kendria (Kilgore) stepped up at critical points, and Mackenzie (Sells) made some big baskets. Adrian (West), Alyssa (Sells), Shelby (Taylor), and Mallory (Mahaney) were key at key points and Sam (Samantha Maya) did a good job filling in for Kendria when she got in a little foul trouble. This was a total team effort from the bench to the floor. This makes everything worthwhile for the players. It is, like the kids like to say, ‘huge’.”

In the three previous meetings between the two powers of District 7, 2A, Upperman won all three. In the regular season it was all about pride, and the Bees won by two points and five points. In the finals of the district tournament, a game that was played only for seeding in the regional tournament, Upperman topped the Lady Cats by seven.

This time it was for the region title and a home game in the sub state round of the state championships. Winner would stay home and loser would travel to McMinn Central in the eastern part of the state.
From that standpoint, the win was big for more than the team.

“This is big for our fans also,” Smith added. “We don’t have to make that long trip to McMinn and play in a very hostile environment and our fans don’t have to do likewise. We are home and we are happy.”

The game itself had everything a game needed to be a classic: the two very best girl’s high school teams in the region; a packed house of excited fans on both sides; a game that was never decided until the final 10 seconds, and one that brought out the very best of both squads.

Taylor put the Lady Cats on the board early in response to an Upperman three-pointer to get things started, and Mackenzie Sells knotted the game at 8 midway through the first frame. Only a three-pointer late in the quarter gave the home team a 13-12 advantage after the first eight minutes of play.
Mackensie Sells got the Lady Cats up by four, 17-13, quickly in the second
period, and West kept her team ahead with a basket minutes later. Then the visitors hit a cold spell and it would take a spark from Taylor to keep the two teams at 21 at intermission. During the first two periods, Upperman led by three and Livingston by four.

Action in the third period was as tight as it had been through one and two. The Lady Cats got down by three early, 27-24, but clawed back to knot the score at 34 and a put-back by West with one minute remaining. A three-pointer by Lashay Davis late in the frame gave Upperman a three-point, 37-34, lead going into the final eight minutes.

In the final period, it was every Lady Cat that got on the floor that made the difference, but nine points by Kilgore proved to be more than Upperman could handle. At the 3:20 mark, LA was down by one, 44-43, when Kilgore hit a field goal. A minute and 20 seconds later she laid in a reverse lay-up and to seal the win, she hit a three-pointer with one minute remaining for a 50-48 advantage.

Both teams then tried, but couldn’t hit another basket and with .03 of a second left, it was a sure thing that Livingston, for the second time in the last eight meetings between the two schools, had a victory.

“This is so big for us,” Smith added. “We had high hopes before the season started, then Mackenzie got hurt and we didn’t play as well as we could have played. We had ups and downs, and at one point midway through the season, didn’t look like contenders at all. Then things changed around, we got Mac back and we became more consistent.

“Tonight we had nothing to lose (both teams regardless of the outcome, were headed for the sub state) and we were certainly the underdogs. We put pressure on them, especially under their basket, and it paid off. In the other three games , we tried to contain them and that just doesn’t work.

Upperman is a talented team and is well coached. To beat them, you have to play almost mistake free and have a near perfect game. Tonight we did that and we won. Hats off to the effort from our players.”

Mackenzie Sells led the LA scoring with 18 points followed by Kilgore’s 15. West added eight, Taylor six, and Alissa Sells had three. The win lifted the LA record to 22-12 and dropped Upperman to 31-2.

Following the game, Alissa Sells, Kilgore, and Taylor were named to the All-Tournament team and Mackenzie Sells was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

LA Soccer ready to kick-off season


Josh Scott photo
Members of the 2009 Livingston Academy Wildcats soccer team are, front row from left, #21 Aaron Johnson, #5 Brandon McDonald, #4 Vance Robinson, #1 Kyle Ledbetter, #2 Tyler Watkins, #22 Josh Espey, #18 Joseph Bowman, back row, #15 Josh Huitt, #12 Kiefer Smith, #16 Greg Walker, #10 Dylan Ashlock, #20 Adam Beasley, #25 Patrick Letner, #14 Ryan Swallows, #3 Jake Huitt, #7 Clint Cooper, #23 Nathan Harvey, and, not pictured, #13 Tyler Cronk, #17 Andrew Mansell, and #11 Zach Edmonds.


Josh Scott photo
Senior leadership will be provided by Josh Huitt, Kiefer Smith, Greg Walker, Patrick Letner, Clint Cooper, and Josh Espey.

By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports

Replacing senior talent is quite difficult, but replacing a very talented group of seniors can be an ultimate chore. For the Livingston Academy Men’s Soccer program, replacement may not be as difficult as they thought.

After a very successful season last year with a 14-2 record, the Cats stormed through the district tournaments, only to hit a wall in the first round of region in Merrol Hyde. The Cats had the senior talent including the MVP and four all-district players. So one would think this could be a “down” year. Do not be decieved, the men also had returning seniors Josh Huitt, Greg Walker, and Patrick Letner, all of which were juniors last season, named to the all-district teams as well.

“We graduated 10 seniors and 7 starters,” stated Coach Ethan King. “We will need to improve from game to game as this group learns to work together as a team.”

The Wildcats will also welcome new seniors, Kiefer Smith, Clint Cooper, and Andrew Mansell, who will all see great amounts of action and be counted on as key contributors in the months to come, as well as returning senior Josh Espey.

Altough the seniors will be relied on greatly, the junior class will have a chance to make key contributions as well. Ryan Swallows, Dylan Ashlock, Nathan Harvey, Vance Robinson, Adam Beasley, and Tyler Watkins anchor the junior class and will provide a sense of leadership, as well as a great skill level.

But the talent is not all in the upper-classmen. Sophomores Kyle Ledbetter and Jake Huitt will see a great amount of time on the pitch. Sophomores Joseph Bowman and Tyler Cronk will also try to garner playing time.

Freshmen may be key as well, with newcomers Zach Edmonds, Brandon McDonald, and Aaron Johnson all looking to battle for playing time as the season rolls on.

With a great senior class, and a pretty good team in general, the Wildcats should be the team to beat. Patience and composure will be two big factors towards success, and to defend the district crown they possess.

After completing the pre-season with a 2-0 mark versus Cumberland County, Friendship Christian, and a game called off against Lenior City due to weather, the Cats will open up the regular season with Cookeville High School on Monday, March 9. Start time for the game will be 6:30 p.m., with the junior varsity playing at 5:30 p.m.

 

Young Lady Cats softball team open season Thursday


Josh Scott photo
Members of the 2009 Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats softball team are, kneeling from left, manager Jada Greenwood, #13 Morgan Johnson, #14 Meriam Maynord, #8 Natasha Taylor, #23 Abby Miller, #50 Allison Dailey, #12 Kelsey Copeland, #25 Ashley Boykin, #24 Courtney Smith, #7 Rachael Kingery, manager Kayla Williams, standing, Coach Elizabeth Maxwell, manager Keelyn Boles, #6 Dara Smith, #2 Mallory Mahaney, #33 Samantha Maya, #54 Kendria Kilgore, #34 Katelyn Webb, #52 Katie Collins, #1 Julia Carwile, manager Taylor Ledbetter, and Coach Courtney McBride. Not pictured Jenna Smith and Manager Amanda Schlachta.

By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports

Sometimes, having one senior on a team can be trouble, but for the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats softball team, it is just a small obstacle on their journey to the state tournament.

Kendria Kilgore, the lone senior, will headline a deep and talented Lady Cats team, a team that is looking to improve on a 16-14 record from one year ago. She brings a big bat, awareness, and determination at the short-stop position to a team that could potentially be one of the top in their district.

Do not base the upcoming season on what Kilgore does though, as Coach Maxwell looks to have contributions from a few juniors and sophomores as well. Juniors Julia Carwile and the Smith twins, Dara and Jenna, will play key parts in a region title run. Carwile will play the hot corner (3rd base), and the twins will occupy the outfield.

Sophomore talent will consist of Mallory Mahaney in left field, Katelyn
Webb on the mound and in centerfield, Samantha Maya at first, and Katie Collins on the mound as well. Mahaney and Maya will look to get on base along with Kilgore, and the two K’s, Katie and Katelyn, will look up to rack up “K”s and shut down opponents to help the Cats to many wins.

Underclassmen may play a huge role, as 9 freshmen will also battle for a starting spot and playing time. Kelsey Copeland, Rachel Kingery, Morgan Johnson, and Meriam Maynord are out to prove that the title of being a freshman is just that, a title. All four players are in the mix and will provide depth to a team.

Coach Elizabeth Maxwell and Coach Courtney McBride will coach the very young, very talented Lady Cats.

“I am very optimistic,” Maxwell said about her team. “We have a group of
young ladies who are willing and determined to do whatever it takes to win. I can’t wait.”

The wait is almost over, as the Lady Cats will kick off the season Thursday, March 12 with the Commando Classic in Hendersonville. The Cats could be without their lone senior and two juniors, as they look to take care of business in basketball first.

The team will then come home on Tuesday, March 17 to play district foe Macon County. The first pitch for the 17th will be at 5 p.m.

LA Baseball refocused for 2009 season


Josh Scott photo
Members of the 2009 Livingston Academy Wildcats baseball team are, front row from left, #21 Ricki Lisi, #27 Lucas Dailey, #11 T.J. Hammock, #5 Marshall Cannon, #4 Carson Bailey, #8 Justin Perdue, second row, #9 Justin Savage, #3 Ethan McDonald, #2 Casey Beason, #6 Josh Johnson, #14 Andrew Maynord, back row, #10 Shawn Wathall, #1 Hayden Hill, #28 Colby Reeder, #17 Lee Gatts, #15 Justin Schebel, #44 Seth Kilgore, #24 Jacob Lee, #7 Allen Bilbrey, #33 Jonathan Melton, and #19 Jim Officer.


Josh Scott photo
Senior leadership will be provided by Andrew Maynord, Lee Gatts, Allen Bilbrey, and Jacob Lee.


By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports

A new year always gives new opportunities to start over and refocus, while preparing for what is ahead. Livingston Academy baseball and Coach Pat Swallows are taking the same approach.

After finishing 12-15 last year, the Cats look to improve tremendously. After hard work-outs throughout the fall and into the winter, the team has finally began taking the field for some intersquad scrimmages to work on the final touches going into the regular season opener on March 9.

As with every team, Livingston would love to bring home a state trophy at the end of the year. But the goal is very realistic for this team, just as every year, win the district season trophy and tournament trophy and advance to the region. They were stopped short last season, in what turned out to be a big surprise, when the underdog Macon County Tigers clawed the Cats in the first round of the district tournament.

Leadership will be present on this team. The four seniors, Allen Bilbrey, Lee Gatts, Andrew Maynord, and Jacob Lee, are all returning for the Wildcats, and all four started last year. Another contribution these four bring would be experience, as all four have played regularly since being freshmen.

Junior talent will also be present, with standouts such as Ethan McDonald and Tracy McDonald taking the field.

The team also welcomes new freshmen talent, as well as the sophomores that all have a chance to see playing time as the season progresses.

When asked about the upcoming season, Coach Swallows made some key points on how to reach the team’s district goal.

“We have been working hard in the weight room all winter,” Swallows said, “and we feel that we have a great chance of competing for the championship.

“The key to a successful season will be being able to stay healthy and keep up the hard work and positive attitude.”

With one goal in mind, the Cats were scheduled to take the field for the first game of the season Monday, March 9. The game was also the home opener for the Wildcats.

LA Tennis teams announced


Josh Scott photo
Members of the 2009 Livingston Academy Wildcats tennis team are, kneeling from left, Colton Hummel, Dylan Harris, Cory Phillips, Collin Ledbetter, Frank Lawson, standing, Taylor Savage, Chris McDonald, Matt Holt, Sean Brogan, M.J. Henry, Justin Reynolds, Jeremy Neal, and, not pictured, Dewayne Boswell and T.J. Smith.


Josh Scott photo
Members of the 2009 Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats tennis team are, kneeling from left, Kristen Nelson, Heather Marshall, Kelsi Sotis, MaryBeth Winningham, Jallysa Jones, Kanessa Jacobs, standing, Rachel Allred, Jessica Shifkey, Jessica Sandlin, SarahJane Maynord, Sky Hastings, Keelyn Boles, Heather Thomas, and, not pictured, Rachael Henry, Denise Martinez, Allie Pearson, and Brittany Bowers.

 



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