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80 Years Ago


Jr. Wildcats cheer squad takes first place at TTU
Cats season ends in playoffs
Sadler family races for a cure in Brentwood event
“Gentleman” Ned Jarrett to enter NASCAR Hall of Fame

Jr. Wildcats cheer squad takes first place at TTU

Overton County’s Junior Wildcats cheerleading squad competed in the 2010 Golden Eagle Classic on Sunday, Nov. 7 at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. The squad brought home first place in the Junior High Cheer category and third place in the Dance category.
Squad members posing with their plaques above are, in no particular order, Hannah Jolley, Jessica Hunter, Salena Geist, Alyssa Farris, Rylee Smith, Allie Clouse, Victoria Potts, Kristen Addison, Gabby King, Katy Smith, Rachel Ferrell and Katie Lee.

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Cats season ends in playoffs

Josh Scott file photo
Jake Huitt set an LA record by averaging 42 yards per punt.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

“I want every Livingston Academy fan to know that this is one of the finest group of young people I’ve had the opportunity to work with and although we came up a little short tonight, it wasn’t due to a lack of desire or ability. This team has a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to.”

And that’s how LA head coach Bruce Lamb felt about this year’s Wildcat club that ended its season with a 28-10 loss to Giles County Friday night in Pulaski. With the setback, Livingston finished the season with a 5-6 record.

Although it appeared to be a big mismatch going into the game, the Wildcats stayed close through three quarters despite playing a much larger and more experienced squad. Giles County was the defending 4A state champions and put 11 seniors on the field despite losing 10 to graduation off last season’s club. With an 8-2 record, the Bobcats were certainly a formidable foe.

“We knew they were big and fast and we knew they were a very experienced team,

“Lamb added, “but when it was over, they knew they had been in a scrap. Our kids played their hearts out tonight and I think it showed. The score is nowhere close to the fight our team put up.”

Livingston and Giles County had met on three previous occasion, back in the mid ‘70s with the Wildcats coming out on top all three times. The fourth time proved a charm for the home team.

For much of the first quarter the two squads slugged it out, getting the feel of the other. Then late in the period, the Bobcats put on a 66-yard drive in only five plays to put the first points on the board. The score came on a 23-yard run by sophomore quarterback Al Cobb.

“He (Cobb) is an excellent quarterback,” Lamb went on. “He had two strong running backs behind him and he could run the option almost to perfection. He could go to his runners at almost any time, then at the last second pull the ball back and go for good gains. I was impressed with him.”

Before the night was over, Cobb would run for 131 yards and throw for another 90.
With only two minutes gone in the second period, the Bobcats again got on the boards, this time going 79 yards in only 6 plays. With a 14-0 lead early in the period, it was apparent the Wildcats had to do something and do it fast if they were to have any chance.

So with that in mind, Livingston went to work at its own 48. Brock McCoin found Jake Huitt open with a 26-yard pass then connected with Creed Hayes two plays later for 24 yards. With a strong run after the catch, Hayes managed to get the ball to the 3 where Dillion Roberts took it in for the score with 8 minutes remaining in the half. Huitt added the point-after and at intermission Giles County led by only seven, 14-7.

In the third period, the home team came out and played simple, hard nose football, taking the kickoff 88 yards in 9 plays, all on the ground, to go up 21-7.

A fumble recovery late in the period by Lucas Dailey halted another Bobcat drive, but the ensuing LA drive came to a stop at the 23 when the Wildcats failed to convert on fourth down.

Giles County scored its final touchdown of the game midway through the final frame to take a commanding, 28-7 lead.

Livingston’s final possession ended in record fashion as Huitt connected on a 32-yard field goal. It gave the senior his sixth field goal of the season, breaking the old LA mark of five. Huitt came up just a foot short earlier in the game on a 47-yard try.
Huitt will also set a school record of a 42 yards per punt average on the season.

“They (Giles County) are a very good team with a lot of experience, speed and size,” Lamb concluded. “Tonight we gave them a good effort and we are leaving here with our heads high. We are a very young team and we’ve matured over the season into a good team that is already looking forward to next year.

“You can’t substitute experience and Giles County showed that. They would take out one runner and put in another and you couldn’t tell the difference. That’s what we are working towards. We’ll take off a few weeks then our youngsters will hit the weight room. They want to be better and they will be better.

“We have a bright future ahead at Livingston Academy. We graduate seven fine seniors and that tells you just how young this team is. I wish those seniors could be back next year to enjoy what they have helped to build.

“And I want to end with a word about our coaches,” Lamb concluded. “Danny (McCoin), Shane (Qualls), and Jim (Nelson) know this game and best of all, they know how to work with young people. LA is lucky to have such dedicated coaches working with its young people. They love these kids and these kids love them. That about says it all.”

The Yardstick
14 1st downs 13
98 Yds. rushing 297
120 Yds. Passing 90
218 Total Yards 387
26/13 Pass Att./Comp. 11/7
0 Pass Int. by 1
0 Fumbles Lost 2
5/37 Punts/avg. 5/26
40 Yds. Pent. 85

Score by Quarter:
LA – 0 7 0 3 – 10
GC – 7 7 7 7 – 28

GC – Cobb, 23 run. Valdiviezo kick.
GC – Nelson, 9 run. Valdiviezo kick.
LA – Roberts, 3 run. Huitt kick.
GC – Nelson, 4 run. Valdiviezo kick.
GC – Nelson, 15 run. Valdiviezo kick.
LA – Huitt, 37 field goal.

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Sadler family races for a cure in Brentwood event

Above, several members of the Sadler family prepare to participate in the Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure in Brentwood on Saturday, Oct. 9. They participated in the event in support of their friend, teacher, and family member, Julie Smalling of Knoxville. Smalling is a first-year survivor of breast cancer and is the daughter of Dock and Gale Sadler Little of Cookeville and Lou Bartula of Michigan. Smalling is the granddaughter of the late Mary and John Sadler. Currently, Smalling is an AP chemistry teacher at Bearden High School in Knoxville.
Smalling’s family wore shirts specially designed for the event and provided by Everything Sports in Livingston, which is owned and operated by David Sadler II and Pam Sadler.

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“Gentleman” Ned Jarrett to enter NASCAR Hall of Fame

Mac McLeod and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Ned Jarrett wait their turn on the golf course.

By Mac McLeod

Several weeks back, my friend Ned and I were sitting in a golf cart on the par 5, 16 fairway at the Catawba Country Club just outside Hickory, NC, waiting to take our second shots. We were enjoying a beautiful afternoon and were certainly in no hurry.

“You know Ned,” I said, “50 years ago, they probably would not have allowed you or I to drive a truck around this place and today, I’m your guest and without question you’re the most famous member of the club. As a matter of fact, I would be willing to bet you are the most famous person in this county.”

Ned just laughed. He agreed with the first statement, but wasn’t so sure about the second.

My “guess at 50 years” was just that, a guess, but it was close. Fifty years ago, Ned Jarrett was a struggling young race driver on the NASCAR circuit. It was a time when drivers were not held in the same light as they are today. Back then, if you were a race fan you were in a different class of people and if you drove a race car, you were either a moonshiner or a wild young thrill seeker.

And Ned will be one of the first to point that out.

“My mom and dad brought us up in the church and moonshiners were people we didn’t associate with,” one the five new members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame explained. “When I decided I wanted to race I used another name so my dad wouldn’t find out.”

That may have worked for a while, but Homer Jarrett wasn’t stupid and it quickly became apparent that his son Ned was not only driving race cars, he was winning races.

“He came to me one day and said if I was determined to race, at least use my own name,” Ned smiled. “At that point I was determined to show him that you didn’t have to be a moonshiner or a wild thrill seeker to be respectable in anything you set out to do. I think back at that and perhaps he was challenging me to be better, I just don’t know.”

If Homer Jarrett was putting a challenge to his son, it worked. In 1958 and again in ’59 he won the then Sportsman Class championship (now the Nationwide Series) and in 1961 and again in ’65 he won the Winston Cup Championship. During his short driving career he would win 50 races and in the years since he retired (1967) he has been inducted in every hall of fame racing has to offer.

But it wasn’t all the numbers that would make Homer proud of his son. The fact that early in his career, Ned picked up the nickname “Gentleman Ned” that surely made his parents most proud. To his peers, the likes of Ralph Earnhardt, Curtis Turner, Buck Baker, Fireball Roberts, etc. etc., Ned was the bright light of progress in this rough sport.

And it was about this time that the Jarretts and this writer became a personnel matter.

In 1965, I was a youngster of about 21 and working my way through college. One of my jobs included working for a company in Charlotte, NC, that did the concessions at most of the big NASCAR tracks, including Darlington. That hot Labor Day afternoon Ned had won the big race by 17 laps, a record that still stands to this day, when I happened to pass him in the pits. I hollered out “Congratulations,” as we passed and he acknowledged with a wave and a smile. Man, the winner of the Southern 500 just waved at me.

Four years later, I was sitting in his office outside the Hickory Speedway interviewing him as one of my first stories as sports editor of The Hickory Daily Record. Later that year, Ned would offer me a job of writing the news releases after the Saturday night events and it was also at this time that I would travel with him to big tracks to do what I could to help with the radio broadcast. Ned would sit in the front seat of his car and I would go and get a driver that had just wrecked or fallen out of the race and bring them to him for an interview.

The following year, Ned hired me part-time in Ned Jarrett Enterprises. I was on the “inside” of racing.

About a year later, we kinda went our separate ways. I took a job as sports editor at a South Carolina paper and naturally Ned continued to build his business , but we stayed in touch and when the races came to Darlington twice a year, we certainly got together.

Over the years, Ned’s son Dale made a name for himself in racing and what race fan could ever forget Ned’s call of the final laps at Daytona when he was broadcasting for CBS and his son was leading the race on the final lap over “the man” Dale Earnhardt.

“The producer of the show looked at me at the time and said to take the mike and be ‘a dad’ not a broadcaster,” Ned recalls. “It certainly was one of the highlights of my life to call that final lap at Daytona with my son winning the race.”

When his driving days were over, Ned got in early in radio broadcasting portion of the sport then tuned his talents to television. He was part of the first wire to wire coverage of a NASCAR race. It turned out to be the biggest highlight show in NASCAR history when Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough crashed on the final lap at the 1979 Daytona 500 and got out of their cars and went to duking it out on live TV.

Over the years, Ned’s voice on televised races was one that fans trusted. When he said something, you could take it to the bank. Drivers trusted him with inside information because he was one of them. They knew he would use what he could and keep the other stuff to himself.

So while we were waiting to take a shot on the course, it was only natural that the two of us relived some old memories.

“We have indeed been blessed,” Ned pointed out. “I have lived long enough (78 years) to go from a struggling young driver to one of the first 10 inductees in the hall of fame. I never envisioned anything like this but I am truly appreciative. I believe my dad would be proud.“

Thirty minutes later we had finished our round and went over to the number 9 green to wait for his sons, Glenn and Dale, to come up. They did and we chatted for a while.

“You remember that story you wrote about me when I was about 10 playing golf out here,” Dale asked.

“I sure do,” I replied. “It was one of my claims to fame. I wrote the first story about Dale Jarrett and it wasn’t a racing story.”

“Yea,” he added, “and it was right here on this green you took that picture of the four of us you put in the paper. I have that in my scrap book.”

“So what do you think of your dad’s hall of fame deal,” I asked with a big smile.

“It’s very special and knowing how hard he has worked in the sport, not for this award, but because he believed in NASCAR. Our entire family and all of his close friends are extremely proud.”

Indeed I am proud of what Ned did on the race track and off it as well. He has worked tirelessly with charities and fund raisers to help worthy causes. He has lent his name and efforts to helping others and has contributed greatly to the area in which he lives. Ned is an ambassador for all things good.

What a wonderful day. Weather was perfect, golf was good, but best of all, I got to spend precious time with a friend and a hero. If the two of us continue to be blessed, we’ll do it again before long and if everything works out, I hope to be in Charlotte in May when Ned Jarrett takes his rightful place in NASCAR’s Hall of Fame.

“Let me know and I’ll get you a ticket,” he said as I backed out of the parking lot and headed for I-40.

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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