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Archives 03-29-2011

Sports

Wildcats off to 3-2 start
Wildcat soccer opens season 2-0, 1-0 in district
Lady Cats defeat Cookeville, fall to Gordonsville, Crossville

Wildcats off to 3-2 start


Landon Amonett photo
LA’s Josh Johnson delivers a pitch against Smith County.


Landon Amonett photo
Wildcats Coach Shane Qualls monitors Hayden Hill at bat.

By Landon Amonett,
OCN Sports

As the week passed by for the Wildcats, the baseball team experienced their ups and downs. Starting off with an impressive 15-4 win over Monterey on Friday, March 18, the team was fueled on to dominate their host game against Smith County on the following Monday, March 21.

Of the 16-3 win, Coach Shane Qualls cited the game as a “great confidence builder.” He went on to brag on his boys stating, “(The Wildcats) were able to come away with 18 hits against one of their best pitchers.”

He went on to add that this would allow the team to “know we have the ability to play with anyone.”

Qualls also stated that the game was a “great team game,” and observed the boys made this quite evident. Not only did they support each other after a spectacular play, but all around the team performed well too.

“Josh Johnson pitched an outstanding game,” Qualls said.

Qualls also mentioned Lucas Dailey and Jim Officer for their impressive home runs, Justin Savage for looking “very good behind the plate”, and Colby Reeder for having 6 runs batted in.

The next night was a different story. Faced again with Smith County, the boys tried their hardest but ultimately came to a 2-4 loss. Another loss to the tune of 11-12 against Jackson County came two days later.

But not all hope is lost for the Wildcats. Still relatively early in the season, the boys have a 3-2 record as they start a new week.

“Our district is very tough,” Qualls concluded. “We can’t overlook anybody… baseball is too fragile a game to take lightly.”

After a home-and-away with Upperman on Monday and Tuesday, March 28-29, the Wildcats are scheduled to host Cookeville the following day. LA is then slated for an away-and-home with White County on Friday and Saturday, then another away-and-home with district rival DeKalb County on Monday and Tuesday, April 4-5.




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Wildcat soccer opens season 2-0, 1-0 in district


Lyndon Johnson photos
LA junior Justin Timmons drives the ball into Dragon territory in the home game last Tuesday, March 22 versus York Institute as seniors Jake Huitt and Justin Purdue await a cross. Timmons would score one of LA’s six goals in the game.


LA sophomore Matt Stockton looks to turn the corner on a York defender in the Tuesday, March 22, 6-0 homefield victory.

By Lyndon Johnson,
OCN staff

After getting what Coach Ethan King described as a “wake-up call” in their pre-season games, the Livingston Academy Wildcat soccer team got off to a solid start in district play last week.

“We lost ‘em both, but we tried to find some tough teams,” King said of the two preseason games. “We played Station Camp in the preseason, and we lost 1-0 to them. And we played Wilson Central. I think they kind of opened our eyes a little bit.

I think we kind of came in with little chips on our shoulder, and they kind of put us back in our place a little bit. They scored early on us. Quick, too.”

Wilson Central handed the LA boys a 6-0 loss, King said.

“It’s always better to do that during the preseason than in the regular season,” he added.

In regular season play that opened Tuesday, March 22 against district rival York Institute, the Wildcats fared much better, reversing the score they suffered at the hands of Wilson Central for a 6-0 victory.

Junior Tanner Buford opened up the scoring in both halves of play, scoring early in each half.

“We had a quick goal in each half, we really did, and as a matter of fact, I think Tanner Buford got ‘em both,” King said.

Others booting in goals for Livingston were seniors Justin Purdue and Jake Huitt with one each, junior Justin Timmons with one, and sophomore Jesse Carr with one.

The victory set Livingston off on a good foot, as York was the team’s first District 8 A-AA opponent of the season and the win put them at 1-0 in district play.

On Thursday, March 24, Livingston’s boys hit the road to face Cumberland County in Crossville. The team put up a stiffer defense than the York Dragons, holding Livingston to just two goals. But Livingston held the Jets scoreless after 80 minutes of play for a final result of 2-0, Livingston.

Senior Jake Huitt and sophomore Caleb Huck scored the goals for the Wildcats.

After two regular-season successes, King said the team– a mix of experienced seniors and lesser-experienced underclassmen– seemed to be getting the hang of things.

“We’ve got I think four or five seniors, not a whole lot of juniors, but mainly the majority of our team is freshmen and sophomores,” he said. “We’ve got a few even playing as freshmen and sophomores, and even starting. So we’re kind of a mix between young and old.”

Does that present any challenges to the team?

“I guess just getting them used to playing the style and the system we try to put in, they have to take a while to adapt, especially if it’s their very first year,” he said. “It’s a little bit different, and some of the [experienced] players know how to help them out. But a lot of them are doing well, starting to get the hang of it and what we’re trying to do. So I think as long as we keep improving as the season goes, we’ll be okay.”

King said upcoming opponents Smith County and Kingston will provide two more tests for the team. Smith County’s Owls are the second district opponent on the schedule, with the game scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. at the LA soccer complex, while Kingston will make the trip to Wildcat country on April Fool’s Day, Friday, April 1 for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

As for other games King is looking forward to, he noted that the season will only get tougher as it progresses. But that could come in handy come tournament time.

“We’ve got a pretty good schedule late,” he said. “We play Friendship Christian on [April] the 19th, we play Cookeville the same week for senior night, and we close our season out with one of our rivals in DeKalb. We play some of our toughest games at the end of the season, but we kind of did that to toughen us up before we go into tournament time and also gives us time to improve as the season goes on, to get ready for those teams.”

The Wildcats (2-0, 1-0) will see if they can put two more notches in their belt starting with tonight’s home game versus the Smith County Owls. Kickoff time is 6 p.m.



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Lady Cats defeat Cookeville, fall to Gordonsville, Crossville


Josh Scott
Although almost too close to call, Lady Wildcat Abby Miller slides in safely at home plate.


Josh Scott photo
Sophomore Courtney Smith puts the ball in play against the Lady Tigers.


Josh Scott photo
Katelyn Webb comes out of the pitching circle to gun down the Gordonsville batter at first base.

By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports

After a somewhat successful weekend at the Commando Classic, the Lady Wildcats of Livingston Academy looked to get things rolling with their first set of season games this past week. Although they may have not gone as planned, the grand master plan for the Lady Cats is definitely not in jeopardy.

To start the week off, the Lady Cats ventured to Cookeville to take on a strong AAA school in the Cookeville Lady Cavaliers. Coming off a 2-4 weekend that was marred with injuries, some would have never given the Lady Cats a chance. Those some would have been wrong.

Although they didn’t mount much offense in the first inning, the Lady Cats’ bats came alive in the second scoring six runs in the frame while batting completely through the order. Meriam Maynord led off the inning with a single to center, Courtney Smith followed with a bunt single, Morgan Johnson reached safely on a fielder’s choice, followed by an RBI single from senior Samantha Maya. The rout was on.

Kelsey Copeland then cracked things wide open with an RBI double to left field followed by a Tiffany Waddell single. Maggie Whitson then drove in two runs on a single to deep center field and Abby Miller drove in the final run of the inning on a single to left field.

On the other end of the spectrum, Meriam Maynord pitched a gem relying on her defense, which came through nicely with only one error on the evening. Maynord pitched a three-hit game, allowing one run on those three hits. Maynord also struck out three batters while walking four in her seven pitched innings.

The Lady Cats added two more, with the end result being an 8-1 win over the favored Lady Cavs.

The next two games against Gordonsville and Crossville respectively brought mixed performances. In Gordonsville, the Lady Cats jumped to a 5-0 lead only to watch the wheels fall off the wagon, losing the game via the 10-run rule, 15-5. Kelsey Copeland led the way with a 3-4 showing with two RBI while Morgan Johnson contributed big time with a 3-3 showing and two RBI as well. Meriam Maynord added the other run on an RBI single in the second inning.

In Crossville, Livingston had to deal with the rain and the cool March air. After a long rain delay, the Lady Cats came out and took a one-run lead off a Courtney Smith single that drove Amber Mainord in.

Crossville would respond well, scoring 3 in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead.

In the sixth, Livingston rattled back with another run via a Morgan Johnson single to right field that drove in Smith, and later in the seventh, Smith tied the game at three a piece with an RBI triple.

Although the comeback was valiant, the Lady Jets answered right back with a walk-off single in the bottom half of the seventh.

Although the week did not go as expected, Livingston Academy Coach Ashley Fisher isn’t quite worried just yet.

“It’s still early,” said the calm coach looking back on the previous week. “I made our schedule tough for a reason. “

Coach Fisher also was concerned with a seemingly complacent performance in Gordonsville.

“Our game in Cookeville was great,” she said. “We were relaxed, we hit the ball well, Meriam pitched well, and we were on our game. In Gordonsville, I thought we were a bit too relaxed and may have thought after beating Cookeville that we could take a night off. That’s not how it works.”

Now, Coach Fisher and the Lady Cats (3-6) enter a tough stretch of the schedule.

They will travel to Smith County tonight to play the Lady Owls before traveling to Baxter Thursday night to take on rival Upperman. Then, they will come home for their 2011 home opener Friday night versus White County.




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