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Archives 11-02-2010

Sports

Jacob Carwile to be inducted in LA Football Hall of Fame first class
Cats defeat DeKalb, win playoff berth
McMinn Central ends Lady Cats’ state hopes
Special Olympics soccer takes third

Jacob Carwile to be inducted in LA Football Hall of Fame first class


Josh Scott photo
Family and former teammates of Jacob Carwile were invited on the field as Livingston Academy honored Carwile with a “blackout” that consisted of songs written by him and a plaque that was presented to his family. The Livingston Academy football team also wore black jerseys.

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Cats defeat DeKalb, win playoff berth


Josh Scott photo
Livingston Academy senior Dillion Roberts runs through at DeKalb County defender.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Sometimes we just don’t give our young people enough credit, but in the case of Livingston Academy’s Jake Huitt and his fellow seniors on this year’s team, there may just be more wisdom there than meets the eye.

Heading into last Friday’s encounter with DeKalb County, the Wildcats had to have a victory to continue to play. To this there was no question and while all the LA players fully understood this, none had quite the feeling as the seniors.

“We all got the feeling the closer to the end we got, the more important it got,” Huitt explained. “All through our career here, there was always the next game or even the next week. Suddenly, this week was here and if we lost there would be no more weeks. It was over.

“But I said last week we were going to win, and we did. It wasn’t always pretty, but it’s a win and now we get to play another week.”

Huitt had it right, realizing that the urgency of getting things done got more important the closer to the end it got.

And senior teammate Dillion Roberts had the same feeling and at the start of the second half, he too realized that something had to happen and happen now.

“I thought about this game a lot,” Roberts added. “When I got that kickoff and headed to my right, that went through my mind, ‘we need’ a score and we need it here.’”

For Christian Dillon, it was a big event. Like the six other seniors on the team, Dillon had been through the hard times and the good times. For his first two years, the Wildcats were mired in the powerful Region 2, 3A where they were pounded almost every Friday night. Then they were moved last year to a more competitive district and not only finished the regular season with a fine 7-3 mark, but went to the second round of the playoffs.

“This really feels good,” the standout defensive player beamed. “Just being part of this team has been an honor. We were at the bottom and we’ve come a long way to get close to the top. Can’t wait for next week.”

And for Jamie Key, it was just a chance to play the game. Key never played football until his senior year, but Friday night he got in several big plays and his enthusiasm was unmistakable.

“I was so proud for Jamie,” LA head coach Bruce Lamb said. “He came out this year, never missed a practice and was just a pleasure to be around. Tonight he got in and made some good plays and he was so excited. That’s what high school football is all about.”

The other three seniors also had fine performances in their last regular season game in Tom Davis Stadium. Hayden Hill stepped in for a slightly injured Joey Creekbaum and had an outstanding performance, making several tackles and intercepting a pass.

Daniel Robinson made two key tackles, and J.W. Lee had one sack and several assists.

And while the seniors were playing out perhaps their final home game, the team was rolling to a 31-19 victory amid moments of beauty surrounded by periods of not so pretty.

Defensively, the Wildcats were strong, especially in the first half and offensively, they perked up after getting behind 7-0 and were strong in the second half.

The visiting Tigers took the 7-0 lead on an impressive 62-yard drive in 15 plays on their second possession and looked pretty impressive, but the Wildcats came right back with Creed Hayes going one yard. Huitt hit the point-after as he would every one he tried on the night for a 7-7 tie.

Livingston’s score came four plays after a very bizarre play in which Brock McCoin hit Huitt with a 15-yard pass over the middle. Huitt then fumbled the ball as he was being tackled and the ball stayed loose on the ground as both teams had shots at it.

Finally a DeKalb County picked it up, but in his attempt to run, had the ball stripped from his hand and recovered by McCoin at the four yard line.

Another oddity of the game was Livingston had eight 4th and short situations and converted on seven of them, one the Hayes touchdown in the second frame and another in the fourth quarter when Huitt hit a 23-yard field goal.

“I didn’t realize it was that many,” Lamb said after the game, “but we have faith in our kids and it paid off. A lot of those situations came deep in DeKalb’s territory and we just didn’t consider anything else. Go for it.”

With only 22 seconds remaining in the first half, LA was marching to the endzone.

On third down from the 17, McCoin spotted Jim Officer in the right corner of the endzone and scored with a Payton Manning-like strike just inside the chalk.

Leading, 14-7 at the start of the third period, Roberts gathered in the kickoff at the LA 9 and headed for the right sidelines. A blocking wall formed and Roberts then turned on the speed and outraced the defenders for the electrifying touchdown. The touchdown just about put the game on ice.

Both McCoin and Roberts gave most of the credit to the line.

“They formed that wall and all I had to do was outrun them,” Roberts declared and McCoin was just as complimentary on his passing. “The line gave me a lot of time to throw and that’s all there is to it. Jim made a fine catch on that TD and most of our other passing plays went well. Good blocking is the key.”

Livingston will now head for Friday night for the first round of the state playoffs.

“We have come so far this season, its fitting that we continue to play,” Lamb concluded. “When we started in August, we didn’t make any bones about it. We were very, very young and our goal was to get better each week. Well, I think we have. There were several times when we didn’t play as well as we should have, but regardless we have gotten better and better as the season progressed.”

“I sure wish I was going to be around here for the next couple years,” Huitt added. “This team has come so far and it’s so young. Just hang on and enjoy the next couple seasons.”

Freshman Davis Robinson led the Wildcats defensively with 8 tackles. Lucas Reagan and Tyler Martin each put 6 tackles on the boards, Dillon and Huitt were credited with 4, Hayes and Jon Ledbetter had 3, Daniel Robinson, Roberts, Key, Cory Hamilton, and Raymond had 2 each and Will Hutchins, Tyler Barnes, and Creekbaum 1 each.

Livingston (5-5) will play Giles County (8-2) Friday night at Giles County starting at 7 p.m. central time.

The Yardstick
LA DC
13 1st downs 10
161 Yds. rushing 98
105 Yds. Passing 170
266 Total Yards 268
21/14 Pass Att./Comp. 22/14
2 Pass Int. by 1
3 Fumbles Lost 1
1/14 Punts/avg. 3/33
5 Yds. Pent. 90

Score by Quarter:
LA – 0 14 7 10 – 31
DC – 7 0 6 6 – 19

Scoring:
DC – Thompson, 15 pass from Phillips. Taylor kick.
LA – Hayes, 1 run. Huitt kick.
LA – Officer, 10 pass from McCoin. Huitt kick.
LA – Roberts, 92 kickoff return. Huitt kick.
DC – Kijanski, 10 run. Kick failed.
LA – Huitt, 23 yard field goal.
LA – Roberts, 10 run. Huitt kick.
DC – Phillips, 8 run. No kick.


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McMinn Central ends Lady Cats’ state hopes
Livingston Academy’s Lady Wildcats soccer program had a roller coaster week of highs and lows as they entered region play.

First, Livingston had a rematch with the Chattanooga Christian Lady Chargers, ranked #6 in the state. The Lady Chargers eliminated LA in last year’s regional semifinals, defeating them 3-0. This year’s Lady Wildcats, a much younger and inexperienced team, didn’t realize they were entering the game as a huge underdog.

The Lady Wildcats had never beaten a top private school from this district, usually losing to Notre Dame’s Lady Irish or Chattanooga Christian’s Lady Chargers.

LA came out strong getting several early first half shots that were just wide or high of the goal. The Lady Chargers responded by gaining control and dominating the ball possession. By the half, it was clear the Lady Wildcats were going to spend much of the second half defending their goal.

Livingston came out in the second half pressuring the ball in midfield and forcing turnovers by the Lady Chargers. Five minutes into the second half, with the help of the midfielders Savannah Gillentine, Barbara Nigro, and Kaitlin Ditto, an immediate pass was placed over the Lady Chargers defenders where it was controlled by Kat Nigro. Two touches towards the Chargers goal and Nigro unleashed a deadly accurate shot into the goal, causing LA fans and players to erupt with excitement.

For the next 35 minutes, the Lady Wildcats, led by senior goalkeeper Alaura Miranda and Mary Green, Stormy Nigro, Megan Bass, Bailey Buck, and Audrey Robinson defended their goal, turning away more then 20 shots and shutting out the Lady Chargers.

The team, Kelsey Webb, Kelsey Copeland, Mikayla Thompson, Nakomie Garrett, Haileigh Gibbons, Megan Kemp, Savannah Walker, Hannah Johnson, and the injured Julie Ann York, all came focused and determined to make history at LA that game.

Next up in the region finals was Notre Dame’s Lady Irish, ranked No. 2 in the state.

The Lady Wildcats again were under pressure from start to finish. Notre Dame
proved to be a much more powerful and explosive opponent for the Lady Wildcats. LA managed only 6 shots in the game against Notre Dame’s 26 shots. But again the defense kept LA hanging around with a chance for a tie or victory.

The Lady Irish broke through for the lone goal in the 20th minute of the second half when the Lady Irish midfielder intercepted a ball just outside of the 18 yard box and fired the goal into the back of the net.

As a finalist in the region, LA completed the 3-game week by traveling to McMinn Central for a sectional game, with the winner going to the state tournament.

LA faced a senior lineup that was talented and physical. McMinn Central’s Lady Chargers struck first with a goal in the first 20 minutes of the game.

In the second half, Livingston managed to put more and more pressure on the Chargers goalie. With 19 minutes left in the game, Kat Nigro intercepted a ball at midfield and went on the attack. She pulled up 30 yards from goal and fired a low ball, beating the Chargers keeper just inside the near post.

But McMinn Central would not be denied, coming back just two minutes later and scoring on a header off a corner kick. The Lady Chargers would add a late goal for a final 3-1 victory, ending the Lady Wildcats season.



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Special Olympics soccer takes third



Livingston Academy Special Olympics soccer team took third place in the Area 9 soccer tournament held at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville on Friday, Oct. 22. Above, the team gathers after taking third place. Kneeling, from left are Traci Hensley, Moriah Melton and Amanda Dyer. Standing, from left are Coach Jim Nelson, Elizabeth Harvey, Anthony Qualls, Mackenzie Huckeby, Cammie Huckeby, Brandon Pennington, and Coach Amber Mainord.

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