By Mac McLeod,
There comes a time in every sport when all the training, the preparation, the boring stuff all comes to an end and its game time.
Friday night will be game time for the 2019 edition of the Livingston Academy Football Wildcats and it won’t come soon enough for the players, coaches, and fans. All the hot summer two-a-day practices are now gone. The scrimmage games with other schools are over, and the guessing of “just how good will the Wildcats be this year” will be answered Friday night.
“We’re ready for this ,” LA head coach Bruce Lamb said without hesitation. “We’re tired of hitting each other and we’ve been through all the pre-season stuff. Now it’s time to get out there and see just how we stand. We’re ready.”
In addition to the first showing of this year’s team, Friday will be a special evening where the two schools, Livingston Academy and Jackson County High School, will honor Shawn Moffitt, team athletic trainer, who passed away earlier this year from brain cancer. Moffitt worked at both schools and the jamboree is a special event in that both schools get to honor a beloved part of each program.
“I can’t tell you just how special Shawn was to our kids and our program,” Lamb explained. “He was so dedicated to working with the young people, getting them back in the game or working with injury recovery.
‘He wanted the very best for everybody and he was a huge part of our programs. He has already been sorely missed and will continue to be missed,” Lamb added.
Proceeds from the game will be split between LA and Jackson County High School and go toward scholarships at both schools in Moffitt’s honor.
For the game itself, there will be two events. The evening will open at 7 p.m. at Tom Davis Stadium with a complete half played by the junior varsity of both schools. At the intermission, Moffitt will be honored, and later next week, the training room at Livingston Academy will be renamed The Moff, in his honor.
In the second half of the evening, the varsity from both schools will engage in 24 minutes of hard nosed play. It will give both schools a chance to see just where they stand a week before the actual season gets underway the next Friday.
The Wildcats will line up offensively with seniors Bailey Johnson and Dusty Parrish lining up on the right side of center, and Donnie Phillips and seniors Cole Spears and Carson Smith on the right side. Junior Nate Carwile will go from the tight end slot, and receivers include seniors Wesley Smith and Aubrey Hollars and junior Raven Carpenter.
Four-year starter Will McDonald , a senior, will control the Wildcats offense at the quarterback slot while senior Nate Neely will get the starting slot at running back.
Lamb also has two promising back-up quarterbacks in freshman Nathan Cowgill and Carpenter, who saw some action late last season.
Defensively, LA will go with juniors Dexter Wright and Carson Smith at the ends, and Spears and junior Austin Reeder inside. Linebackers will include Carwile, Neely, and Parrish, while Hollars and junior Bryer Mosley are at the corners and Wesley Smith and junior Raven Carpenter will go at the safety slots.
Seniors Tee Beaty and Joseph Dees will handle the kicking chores. Beaty will do the kicking off and extra-point and field goal tries while Dees has worked hard on the punting situations.
Admission to Friday’s jamboree will be $5.