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Oates Pleased With Jackets Spring Game Performance
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Oates Pleased With Jackets Spring Game Performance
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Oates Pleased With Jackets Spring Game Performance
Oates Pleased With Jackets Spring Game Performance
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Leesburg Head Coach Mark Oates (Photo courtesy Ashley Beyer, Freelance Photographer)
Leesburg Yellow Jackets vs. Umatilla Bulldogs, High School Football Game

Oates Pleased With Jackets Spring Game Performance

By Gerald Lacey
Senior Writer
Carver Heights Quarterback Club
Updated: Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 9:17 p.m.

LEESBURG – First year Leesburg Head Football Coach Mark Oates is excited about the direction of the
program after leading the Jackets to a 49-0 win over Umatilla in the 2017 Spring Game. Oates put his
system in place during the spring and winning has become a part the program again.

“Things went well for the Jackets,” Oates said during his post game interview with the media.. “We got
some good play all around. It was a team effort, just a real good group effort. There’s a lot of work still to
be done, but I think the guys left here feeling good about themselves.”

2018 University of Virginia commit Wyatt Rector saw his first game action since a season-ending knee
injury in the third game of the season last year. Rector showed little signs of rust and is expected to help
Leesburg compete for its first district championship since 2013.

“He threw some good balls and he probably had six carries and got hit some,” Oates said of Rector. “He
looked good.”

Decorian Patterson, Emerson Bitler and Cordrayius Graham all had a great performances against
Umatilla and have help changed the culture on the field and in the locker room. Patterson and Graham
helped lead Leesburg to the 2017 Class 6A Boys Basketball State Championship. The winning attitude
has help speed up the rebuilding process.

“Nose Tackle Emerson Bitler has really become a leader and is working extremely hard,” Oates said. “I
have been very pleased and excited with the attitudes of our players during offseason work outs. The
guys are buying in and trying to get better.”

Oates and his coaching staff spent a lot time teaching the fundamentals of the game and it showed
during the game as the Jackets were penalized only three times.

“Even with a new coaching staff and new systems on both sides of the ball, we only had three penalties
the whole game,” Oates said. “I think the fans liked what they saw, but we still have a lot we need to
work on.”

In addition, to the play on the field is the impact that 1st year Strength coach Josh Boyer has had on the
team. The Jackets appeared the be in great condition and this offseason workouts will go a long way in
turning the program around.

“Josh Boyer’s decision to join our staff has been huge, he is one of the best strength coaches in the
state,” Oates said about Boyer’s Strength and Conditioning program. “The guys are reaping the benefits
of his teachings.”



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:
geraldlacey@leesburgyellowjacketsfootball.com