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Leesburg to play game in Washington, D.C., this year
Leesburg to play game in Washington, D.C., this year
2018 Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football Archives
3
rd year Leesburg High School Head Football Coach Mark Oates
(Photo courtesy o
f Daily Commercial)
Carver Heights Quarterback Club, Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida
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Presented By Carver Heights Quarterback Club™, Tallahassee, Florida. All Rights Are Reserved © Copyright 2019
RELATED ARTICLES
Leesburg Yellow Jackets vs. Washington D.C. Gonzaga College High Eagles, High
School Football Game

Leesburg to play game in Washington, D.C., this year

By Frank Jolley
Daily Commercial
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2019, 5:30 a.m.

When the Leesburg High School football players gathered Wednesday to get a look at the team’s 2019
schedule, they learned next season will be unlike any other in recent history.

Games against Wildwood, Orlando Bishop Moore and Orlando Jones were added, along with traditional
rivals Tavares, Eustis and Mount Dora. But the game that drew the loudest response was an Oct. 4 trip to
Washington, D.C., to play Gonzaga College High School.

A private school powerhouse, Gonzaga is coached by former Leesburg coach Randy Trivers.

“We’re trying to take our program to the next level,” said coach Mark Oates. “I want us to be on par with the
best programs in the state. We want to offer something to our kids that no other school can offer and make
them proud to represent Leesburg High School.

“This is the first step in rebranding our program.”

Oates said the game and the trip have been in the works for “about a month.” He said the idea for the
game originated from Trivers, who coached the Yellow Jackets from 2010 through the 2013 season and
compiled a 28-16 record with two postseason appearances.

Oates said he polled his players and learned that only three of them had ever been to Washington. After
that, he and his coaching staff, along with Leesburg Principal Michael Randolph, began in earnest to
hammer out the details of the trip.

“I’m an educator and this is a great opportunity to give our players an incredible educational experience,”
Oates said. “We’re going to play a football game, but we’ll make it an educational trip, too, visiting
monuments and other historical sites in our nation’s capital. I think it’s going be a lot of fun for everyone
and something our kids will never forget.”

Randolph believes the game will mark the first time a team from Lake County has played in Washington.

“This is an opportunity that doesn’t happen by chance,” Randolph said. “It’s a chance for our student
athletes to play for — and be representatives of — our school and our city.”

Oates said he and Trivers would like to turn the game and the trip into a biennial event. In years when the
Yellow Jackets do not make the nearly 1,700-mile trip, he hopes to invite teams from out of state to
Leesburg to fill that date on the schedule.

Leesburg Athletic Director Sean Campbell said the trip will cost between $25,000 and $30,000. He said
the school has received about $7,000 in donations so far.

A series of fundraising activities in coordination with the school’s athletic booster club are planned over the
next few months to help with the costs. Campbell said everything the athletic department raises between
now and the trip may be used if fundraising efforts fall short.

“This is an exciting time for our football program,” Oates said. “We have a new mentality around here and
our players are excited and ready to get to work. This is a big year for us.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the school at 352-787-5047.

Gonzaga is 46-15 in five seasons with Trivers at the helm, including a 9-3 mark last season. The Eagles
have won two District of Columbia State Athletic Association Class AA championships under Trivers, who
was named USA TODAY’s ALL-USA Coach of the Year in 2018.



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
2018 Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football Archives, 3rd year Leesburg High School Head Football Coach Mark Oates (Photo courtesy of Daily Commercial), Carver Heights Quarterback Club, Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida