Auburndale Downs Jackets 26-14, Page 1, Sunday, October 15, 1961, Leesburg High School, 1401 Yellow Jacket Way, Leesburg, Florida 34748, Gerald Lacey, Staff Writer, Carver Heights Quarterback Club
Auburndale Downs Jackets 26-14, Page 1, Sunday, October 15, 1961, Leesburg High School, 1401 Yellow Jacket Way, Leesburg, Florida 34748, Gerald Lacey, Staff Writer, Carver Heights Quarterback Club
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Auburndale Downs Jackets 26-14, Page 1, Sunday, October 15, 1961, Leesburg High School, 1401 Yellow Jacket Way, Leesburg, Florida 34748, Gerald Lacey, Staff Writer, Carver Heights Quarterback Club
Auburndale Downs Jackets 26-14, Page 1, Sunday, October 15, 1961, Leesburg High School, 1401 Yellow Jacket Way, Leesburg, Florida 34748, Gerald Lacey, Staff Writer, Carver Heights Quarterback Club
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Reluctant Qb Madden Becomes Leesburg's Key

September 26, 1986|By Alan Schmadtke of The Sentinel Staff
Orlando Sentinel
Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 10:23 a.m.

LEESBURG — The way he recalls it, Leesburg High School quarterback Steve Madden would just as
soon there be as little record as possible of his junior season. No statistics and, least of all, no
documentation of the Yellow Jackets' 5-5 year.

He began his freshman year as a running back short on experience -- his first year in organized
football wasn't until the seventh grade -- but long on heart. Then, coaches moved Madden to
quarterback.

''I wasn't all that excited about playing quarterback,'' said Madden, a senior who finds himself receiving
letters from colleges asking for his services next year. No big schools, mind you. Florida, Florida State
et al don't have much use for a 5-foot-10, guy whose arm is not his best asset.

''I don't see myself playing at a big school, at least not at quarterback,'' Madden said. ''You don't see
many people like me -- with my size -- at quarterback in college. I can run the ball and thanks to Coach
Foster Leesburg Coach Gene Foster, I've improved my passing.''

Not only just improved it but improved it dramatically, Foster said. Madden's 1985 statistics (41-of-101
for 431 yards in 10 games) aren't likely to be repeated, which is not good news for Eustis, Leesburg's 8
o'clock opponent tonight at the Panther Den.

One reason is John McGlohorn, a receiver whose improvement ranks up there with Madden's. The
other is the Yellow Jackets' experienced offensive line. And then the is Madden's preseason work.
Foster, a former high school and college quarterback, was Madden's tutor. He already has noted
improvement from '85.

''He's more accurate this year,'' Foster said. ''He's playing with a lot more confidence. It makes a
difference.''

It did make a difference in Leesburg's opener, in which the Yellow Jackets rallied from a 17-point
halftime deficit to win. It made little difference in their attempted comeback last week against
Rockledge, Leesburg's first Class AAA, District 5 game, a 17-14 loss.

Against Rockledge, Madden threw 18 passes, only slightly more than the number Foster likes his QBs
to throw. But Madden has to think hard about the last time he threw that many passes.

''I think it was against Rockledge last year,'' he said. ''We didn't play so well and had to throw. There
was a drive when I think I threw eight straight passes. I usually don't do that.''

Although Madden laughs when a passing lineman walks by and says, ''A back is only as good as his
line,'' he acknowledges the linemen's work and that of McGlohorn and tight end Rod Wright.

''They never drop the ball,'' he said, which may explain part of the reason for Madden's 15-of-28 start,
including 3 touchdown passes. Last year, he threw only 4 TDs.

But as with his not-so-pretty statistics last year, Madden shrugs off this year's better numbers. Instead,
he reminds a visitor that the Yellow Jackets can move the ball except, it seems, when they get inside
the 25-yard line.

''Once we get close, we have trouble,'' he said. ''Maybe we have to start learning how to score from 30
yards out.''