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Previews: Leesburg heads to Washington, D.C., for game
Previews: Leesburg heads to Washington, D.C., for game
2019 Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football Archives
Leesburg Head Coach Mark Oates
Carver Heights Quarterback Club, Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida
STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS 1928, 1929, 1934
UNDEFEATED SEASONS 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1934
Presented By Carver Heights Quarterback Club™, Tallahassee, Florida. All Rights Are Reserved © Copyright 2019
2019 Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football Archives, Leesburg Head Coach Mark Oates, Carver Heights Quarterback Club, Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida
Leesburg Yellow Jackets vs. Gonzaga College High School Eagles, HIgh School
Football Game

Previews: Leesburg heads to Washington, D.C., for game

By Frank Jolley
Daily Commercial
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Updated: Friday, December 13, 2019, 3:34 p.m.

Leesburg’s game against nationally ranked Gonzaga College High School will mark the first time a
public school from Lake County left the state of Florida for a regular-season game.

— For some, spending 13 hours on a bus filled with high school-age students might seem
like torture.

Not Mark Oates.

The Leesburg High School football coach actually looked forward to his team’s trip to Washington, D.C.,
for a game on Friday against nationally ranked Gonzaga College High School. It will mark the first time a
public school from Lake County left the state of Florida for a regular-season game.

“I think the trip is going to be a great opportunity for us to bond as a team,” Oates said. “It’s just going to be
us stuck on a bus together. I’ve put together a seating chart so we have players sitting together who might
not normally spend a lot of time together.”

The Yellow Jackets left Wednesday evening and Oates said the team will arrive in Washington, D.C.,
Thursday morning. He said the team will have a walkthrough at Gonzaga later in the day and share an
evening meal with their opponents before settling in for the night.

In addition to Friday’s game, players, coaches and administrative staff from the school will tour
monuments and museums in the District of Columbia, including the African-American Museum. The
group will also see the White House before beginning its trek back to Lake County on Saturday evening.

“We want to show them as much of Washington, D.C., as we can in the relatively short time we’ll be there,”
Oates said.

But the football game (6:30 p.m., WQBQ-1410 AM) against Gonzaga is the impetus for the trip. The Eagles
are a national powerhouse, ranked ninth in MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25 rankings, and coached by former
Leesburg coach Randy Trivers.

Leesburg enters the game with a 2-3 record and Gonzaga sports a 5-0 mark.

“We’re going up there to win the game,” Oates said. “That’s why we step on the field on Friday night. I don’t
think we’ll play a better team this season and this game will be a great opportunity to measure how far we’
ve come. If we play well, our kids have a chance to gain a lot of confidence in themselves and that can
impact the rest of our season.”

Thursday’s Game

Umatilla (1-4) at Tavares (2-3)

7 p.m., A.A. Boggus Stadium

Last week, Umatilla lost to Lakeland Teneroc 18-7. Tavares lost to Orlando Bishop Moore 48-12. Tavares
has shown marked improvement in the last three weeks, despite the loss to Bishop Moore. Umatilla looks
improved, too, even with the disappointing loss to Teneroc. In last year’s meeting, Tavares blanked
Umatilla 37-0. Umatilla’s last win in the rivalry was 2015, a 49-14 victory. Next week, Tavares hosts Mount
Dora, while Umatilla travels to Crescent City. The game can be heard on WQBQ 1410 AM.

Friday’s Games

Lake Minneola (3-2) at East Ridge (3-2)

7:30 p.m., The Dungeon

Last week, Lake Minneola blasted Lecanto 75-6. East Ridge lost to Orlando Boone 28-18. Lake Minneola
is on a roll of late. The Hawks have outscored its last two opponents 131-13. Devon Cole and Kyeandre
Magliore have become one of the area’s top backfields. East Ridge has lost two straight. Lake Minneola
won last year’s game 40-36. Next week, Lake Minneola will travel to Dade City to play Pasco and East
Ridge will travel to Windermere.

Belleview (1-5) at Mount Dora Christian Academy (5-1)

7 p.m., Tom Jett Field at Bulldog Stadium

Last week, MDCA lost Orlando Christian Prep 34-14. Belleview lost to Dunnellon 58-7. The Bulldogs had
been rolling along until last week’s game. Each of their five wins included a running clock at some point
during the second half of each game. This will be Belleview’s second game in three weeks against a Lake
County opponent. Umatilla snapped a 21-game losing streak on Sept. 20 with a 30-9 win against
Belleview. Next week, MDCA will play at Windermere Prep.

Mount Dora (2-3) at South Sumter (3-2)

7:30 p.m., Inman Sherman Field

Last week, Mount Dora stopped Eustis 41-26. South Sumter was off. In last year’s game, the Raiders
pulled away late for a 42-28 win. In last week’s win, Mount Dora dressed 22 players. South Sumter usually
suits up more than 50 for each game and often wears opponents down with its bruising running game out
is no-huddle attack and physical defense. It is also homecoming for South Sumter. Next week, the Raiders
host The Villages while Mount Dora travels to Tavares.

South Lake (3-2) at Eustis (0-5)

7 p.m., Panther Den

Last week, Eustis lost to Mount Dora 41-26. South Lake won its second-straight game, a 10-9 come-from-
behind victory against Ocala Forest. It is homecoming for Eustis. This is the next-to-last home game of the
season for the Panthers. Eustis hosts Orlando Jones next week in a Class 5A-District 7 game, before
closing out the year with three road games: Orlando Bishop Moore, Leesburg and Winter Springs. Next
week South Lake will host Class 7A state powerhouse Orlando Edgewater in a Class 7A-District 3 game.

First Academy of Leesburg (3-2) at Ocoee Legacy Charter (5-0)

7 p.m., Bulldog Field

Last week, First Academy beat Ocala Christian 36-16. Ocoee Legacy stopped Belle Isle Cornerstone
Charter 30-12. This is a Sunshine State Athletic Conference FCS North Division contest. Last week’s win
against Ocala Christian was the last of three games in an eight-day span for First Academy. The Eagles
enter Friday’s game on a two-game winning streak. Next week, First Academy will host Jacksonville Eagle’
s View for homecoming.

The Villages (4-1) at Crystal River (2-4)

7 p.m., Pirates Stadium

Last week, The Villages upset Ocala Trinity Catholic 17-6. Crystal River lost to Brooksville Nature Coast
Tech 28-6. This will be the first meeting between the two teams. The Villages have won 13 of its last 14
regular season games. The last time Crystal River played a team from Sumter County was Oct. 19, 2018.
In that game, the Pirates lost to South Sumter 35-21. Next week, The Villages travels to South Sumter.

Williston (1-4) at Wildwood (2-3)

7 p.m., Death Valley

Last week, Wildwood was off and Williston lost to Newberry 55-8. The Wildcats have lost two straight since
four of their players — along with four from Leesburg — were suspended for five games by FHSAA for their
involvement in a postgame fracas following Wildwood’s 18-14 win on Sept. 7 against the Yellow Jackets.
This is homecoming for Wildwood. Next week, the Wildcats host Keystone Heights.

This article was provided by Gerald Lacey
Gerald Lacey is the senior sports writer covering Leesburg High School Sports for the Carver Heights
Quarterback Club. You can reach him at: