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80 Years Ago

Archives 03-15-2011


Wildcats to play Wednesday in state tourney
James King wins bass fishing tournament on Dale Hollow
Mackenzie Sells named Class AA Miss Basketball
Just Thinkin'
Jr. Lady Wildcats set for softball season

Wildcats to playWednesday in state tourney

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

The Livingston Academy Wildcats will take to the floor for the third time in four years in Murfreesboro Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. in the opening round of the state’s TSSAA basketball finals.

This time around the Cats will take on East Literature of Nashville in the opening round. In two previous trips for the seniors on this year’s team, the opening round games were against Fulton of Knoxville and Bolivar. Both teams are back in town for another shot at the AA crown.

Livingston will bring a 23-11 record into the game while East Literature will come in with a fine 27-6 mark. At 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Stone Memorial of Crossville, with a 22-12 record, will take on Bolivar Central. Bolivar will bring a 21-11 record to the game.

In Thursday games, Liberty at 30-3 will face Fulton, 21-10, at 10 a.m. and Giles County, 24-5, takes on Howard at 23-6. That game will get underway around 11:45 a.m.

Friday, the two winners on Wednesday will face off as will the two winners on Thursday. Those two winners will clash Saturday at MTSU in Murfreesboro for the state crown.

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James King wins bass fishing tournament on Dale Hollow

James King won the BFL Music City Division tournament held at Dale Hollow Lake.

Boater James King of Monroe won the Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament at Dale Hollow Lake on Saturday, March 12 to earn $3,963.

King of Monroe caught 4 bass weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce.

The rest of the top10 anglers are as follows:

2nd – Anthony Nash of Quebeck with 5 bass, 14-4, $1,981;
3rd – Dennis Etheredge of Livingston with 5 bass, 13-14, $1,322;
4th – Pat Hatcliff of Murfreesboro with 4 bass, 13-6, $859;
4th – Tim Wyatt of Crossville with 4 bass, 13-6, $859;
6th – Drew Boggs of Lebanonwith 5 bass, 13-4, $727;
7th – Terry Steele of Sparta with four bass, 12-12, $660;
8th – James Harris of Cookville with 4 bass, 10-11, $594;
9th – Dennis Wright of Jamestown with 4 bass, 10-8, $528;
10th – Gary Wallace of Albany, KY, with 4 bass, 10-3, $462.

Mike Williams of Lancaster, KY, caught 3 bass weighing 10 pounds March 12 to
win $1,981 in the Co-Angler Division.

The rest of the top10 co-anglers are as follows:
2nd – Timmy Gribbins of Lebanon, KY, with 5 bass, 8-12, $991;
3rd – Jim Goolsby of Cookeville with 2 bass, 7-13, $662;
4th – Justin Davis of Cookeville with 3 bass, 7-7, $462;
5th – Jason Crenshaw of Mt. Juliet with 2 bass, 6-14, $396;
6th – Chris Hicks of Hendersonville with 4 bass, 6-5, $363;
7th – Josh Deck of Livingston with 3 bass, 6-4, $330;
8th – Chris Ford of Nashville with 4 bass, 5-14, $297;
9th – Rodney Brown of Whitleyville with 2 bass, 5-1, $264;
10th – Bobby Richardson of Gainesboro with 2 bass, 5, $231.

The next BFL Music City Division tournament is scheduled for April 2 on Percy Priest in Smyrna. After the fifth Music City Division tournament is complete, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the October 20-22 Regional Championship on Lake Chickamauga in Chattanooga. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger 198VX with a 200hp Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a Chevy pick-up, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger 198VX with a 200hp Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

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Mackenzie Sells named Class AA Miss Basketball

Mac McLeod file photo
Mackenzie Sells was named Class AA Miss Basketball.

Livingston Academy’s Mackenzie Sells was named Class AA Miss Basketball for 2011 in a ceremony held Saturday, March 12 in Murfreesboro.

The other two finalists were Jenna Adams from 2011 Class AA State Champion McMinn Central High School and Kayla Biles from Upperman High School.

The announcement was made in Murphy Center at the conclusion of the championship game, in which McMinn Central defeated Macon County 48-37.

Sells is a 5’10”, senior, guard. She is a 3-year starter for the Lady Wildcats who averaged15.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.6 steals per game. She shot 48% from the field, 38% from 3-point range, and 64% from the free-throw line.

She has been named to the All-District team each year of her high school career and was named District MVP as a junior. She was an All-Region selection last year and was named Region 4-AA MVP as a sophomore. The shooting guard has scored over 1,600 points in her career and ranks 7th on the all time scoring list at the school, and has over 500 career rebounds.

Sells joins Katrina Beechboard (2004), Sunday Watson (1996), and Amy Brown (1991) as Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats named Miss Basketball.

She will be attending MTSU on a full scholarship starting this fall.

Lady Wildcats Coach Lesley Riddle said, “Mackenzie was one of those players that comes along and really gets the job done. She is extremely athletic and a pure shooter. She is a very competitive person and one that will do anything to help her team accomplish its goal.

“We are extremely proud that she has earned this award and joined some unique company at Livingston Academy.”

Winner of the Class A Miss Basketball Award is Carly Daniel from 2011 Class A State Champion Wayne County.

The other two finalists were T.T. Flowers from Lake County High School and Rachel Garland of Moore County High School.

Daniel is a 6’1”, senior, post/center. She is a 3-year starter for the Lady Wildcats who averages 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals per game. She shot 55% from the field and is a 79% free-throw shooter. She was named 2011 District 12-A MVP.

Daniel has been named to the All-District and All-Region teams for three consecutive years.

She has scored over 1,500 points in her career at Wayne County, who defeated North Greene 63-58 in overtime Saturday for the state title.

Shacobia Barbee of Riverdale High School was named Class AAA Miss Basketball for 2011. The other two finalists were Hasina Muhammad from Ridgeway High School and Caya Williams from Mt. Juliet High School.

Barbee is a 5’11”, junior, forward. She is a 3-year starter for the Lady Warriors who averaged 18 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals per game. She shot 60% from the field, 33% from 3-point range, and 66% from the free-throw line.

She has been named to the All-District team three times and was selected as District 7-AAA MVP both as a sophomore and junior. She has scored over 1,500 points in her career and has over 850 career rebounds. Last year, Barbee was named MVP of the Class AAA state tournament and was named Player of the Year by The Tennessean. This year Riverdale lost 59-72 to Memphis-Overton in the Class AAA state championship game.

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Just Thinkin'
About this time every year my wife will ask if I’m going to write the sports about Livingston Academy football and basketball again next year and I have to admit, at this point of the year, after some 10 or 12 football stories and almost 75 basketball stories, its tempting to do something else. But after a few days “off” I come back and tell her it’s so much fun to watch and write about why would I want to quit? Besides, the coaches and players are such a joy to work with they really make it easy.

So for the past nine years and hopefully for many more to come, I think I’ll just continue going over there every Friday in the fall and every Tuesday and Friday in the cold and dark of winter and try to give those athletes as good an effort in my writing as they give all of us on the field and court.

And with that said, let’s get right to the point: wasn’t the 2010-11 basketball season great? The girls posted a fine 29-9 record that included a perfect 12-0 run through District 8, 2AA in the regular season, a district tournament crown that included a 55-52 win over Cannon County in the title game that was as good as basketball gets and spot “again” in the sub-state.

Only a 10 minute lap in the regional title game against Cannon (the fourth time they played during the season) that saw the Lady Cats go without a field goal prevented another trip to the state championships and in the view of many, a championship banner.

Next time you run into a player from this year’s squad, especially seniors Mackenzie Sells, Mallory Mahaney, Samantha Maya, Tori Stocking, and Chezney Hammock, thank them for those 29 wonderful games. You may also want to thank them for entertaining you over the past four years with 104 wins against only 36 losses. A trip to the state finals three years back also deserves a pat on the back.

To coach Lesley Riddle, her staff of Lora Jones and Josh Scott my hat comes off. Not only are you so good at what you do, its impressive as to how you do it. No other staff in the district shows the professionalism on the sidelines and the results on the scoreboards as you.

And now to Jimmy Miller and his incredible year as head coach of the Wildcats.

With no disrespect to Matt Rigsby at Cannon County, who is a super young man and who has really turned that program aground and was named the District’s Coach of the Year, but this time around, the district got the wrong guy.

No coach in the state of Tennessee did a better job under the circumstances in which he had to work than Miller. Coach of the Year not only in the district, the region, but the entire state is how the plaque should read.

On Friday morning, December 10, 2010, Jimmy went to work as an assistant principal at Livingston Academy. Nothing out of the ordinary about that.

But by mid-morning Miller’s world had taken a completely different turn. That morning then coach Richard Melton resigned as the coach and with a district game against rival York scheduled for that night in Jamestown, LA principal Riddle needed a coach and needed one fast.

“Jimmy wanted to coach here,” Riddle would recall, “but he knew the two positions were already taken and the history of the school indicated that turnover didn’t happen very often. He always said he was willing to ‘wait his turn’.”

That morning “his turn ” had come. A star when he played and a coach in different positions around the county in the school system, Miller was the only logical choice and after he was asked to take the job, the likeable Miller said he needed to talk with his wife about it.

“An hour later, he came back and said ‘yes’,” Riddle remembers, “and he’s done a wonderful job ,” she adds.

When Melton moved aside, the Wildcats were off to a miserable 3-6 start and appeared to be headed nowhere. Although talented in personnel, the team was lacking some key ingredients that would put them back to where they had been only a year or two back, in the state finals.

“We were down, there’s no question,” senior Jake Huitt would later point out, “and when coach Melton sat us down during the game against Jackson County, it hurt my heart. We were no longer a team, just players.”

Miller was inheriting a team that was long on talent, but short on confidence and a concept of team play. He had his work cut out and he wasted little time in righting the ship.

“He told us we were a group of players that needed to play as a team and that was what he intended to do with us,” Huitt added.

In his first outing as a head coach at the high school level, Miller broke through the doors of York Institute, not the easiest place to play and recorded his first victory, an impressive 66-40 “stroll through the park”.

Eighteen wins and five losses later Miller had coached his team to the District 8, 2AA regular season championship, third place in the district tournament – that didn’t mean much , the Region 4 championship and then got the team ready for the biggest game of his young career, a sub-state encounter against Tyner of Chattanooga last Tuesday night.

‘We know what we need to do, now if we can just do it,” Miller would say before the game. “Tyner is big and quick so we can’t let them control the game. We have to do what we can do best, control the tempo of the game and if we can, I think we have a shot.”

When the ball went in the air last Monday night, the Cats and their coach were under a lot of ‘watchful’ eyes, supportive and critical. It was show time and when it was over, the critics had little to say and the supporters were delirious. The game itself was one of the finest played in years by a Wildcat team and the reward was something that went much deeper than the 71-60 score on the board.

“It was maybe the toughest game of my career,” junior Logan Ramsey would say after perhaps his best game ever.

“We did it as a team,” Kailen Melton smiled. “Tonight we did what coach told us to do and we did it as a team. This is not a group of individuals, this is a group of players that wanted to be a team and tonight, we were. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Perhaps the struggle to be good was finally over. It had been a long time since December and there had been a few bumps in the road, but last Monday, the Wildcats drove a spike in the heart of the idea they weren’t as good as other LA teams.

“You are a team, one of the best teams ever,” Miller told his players after the game, emphasizing the word ‘team’. “All season we’ve been questioned about our effort and our ability. Tonight you answered all the questions.”

Miller and his staff of Nate Kennard and Chad Richardson still believe there’s more to accomplish and they all know the road doesn’t get any easier, but when they look back to where they had just journeyed, they have to believe the road ahead can’t be as rough as the one behind.

For seniors Melton, Huitt, and Hayden Hill, who have been to the state tournament in Murfreesboro three of their four years as players, it has already been a season of accomplishment. For the Ramsey brothers, Logan and Mason, they finally firmly established the fact they were the best big duo around. Colby Reeder and Logan Beaty, showed that good defense is as good as good offense.

Then there’s Brock McCoin. Watching him play is a mixture of sheer delight and sheer terror. It will be fun to watch him, Logan and Mason Ramsey next year, “Mr. Big”, “Mr. Soft Touch”, and “Mr. Excitement”.

Livingston Academy basketball, as all its other sports, is in very good and capable hands and my wish is that I can be around to write about it for years to come.

The voters were right when they named Riddle the district Women’s Coach of the Year. Had they known all the circumstances, Miller would have taken the men’s award.

But as coaches like to say, at least the good ones: “you can’t win ‘em all.”


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Lady Wildcats set for softball season

Members of the Overton County Jr. Lady Wildcats Softball Team are, front row from left, manager Makinsey Perdue, Shay Gibbons, Haile White, Sidney Pennycuff, Tori Reagan, Leah Parker, Becky Reagan, Melea Garrett, manager Morgan Lee, manager Kally Jo Smith, middle row, manager LeAnn Pryor, Katelyn Smith, Hannah Morgan, Aaliyah Mountain, Makala Carr, Addy Stover, Savannah Grimsley, Alex Keith, Emily Taylor, manager Kayla Smith, back row, Jamie Wilson, Megan Whitson, Katelyn Ray, Karli Copeland, Mary Rachel Gean, Lexie Taylor, Lindsay Kirk, and not pictured, Madison Owens and coaches Crystal Kingery, Nikki Orazine, and Rachael Kingery.


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