Thursday, October 20, 2011

2011 Leesburg at Orlando Maynard Evans Football Game Preview, October 20, 2011

#15 Senior WR D'Mauri Jones eludes a South Sumter tackler in last Friday night's game.


By Gerald Lacey
Staff Writer
Carver Heights Quarterback Club
October 20, 2011

LEESBURG - The Yellow Jackets of Leesburg High School 6-1, (1-1) will finished its regular season road schedule tomorrow night at Orlando Maynard Evans High School 6-0 (2-0) in a Class 7A District 4 contest. The undefeated Trojans are off to their best start since the early 1990's. This will be the first trip to Trojan Field formerly known as Double E Stadium for the Yellow Jackets since 1980 and is also the two schools first meeting since that time. 

The Jackets are 3-1 on the road this year and this will their fifth road game in six weeks. The schools first met in 1959 in the first year of football for Evans High. Leesburg won that game 27-6 at Leesburg Memorial Field. They met 6 other times since with Evans leading the series 5 to 2. Evans beat Leesburg in the 1976 Rotary Bowl 20-12. In 1979 the Trojans were ranked #5 in Class 4A and throttled the Jackets 27-6 at Leesburg Memorial Field behind running back Reggie Rucker's 4 touchdowns.

Orlando Evans Oran Maxwell
Maynard Evans is the #10 ranked Class 7A High School Football Team in the state of Florida according to the Associated Press. The game will take place at newly renovated Trojan Field formerly known as Double E Stadium.  Trojan Field underwent a 2.5 million renovation which included a new stadium, locker rooms practice field which unveiled earlier this season.

The Evans field, more dirt than grass last season, is now a specialized Bermuda turf that arguably is the finest in the area aside from artificial fields. A transformed stadium, now scrubbed clean and overlooking a lush green field, is the seen for one of the biggest football games in Central Florida this week.

Orlando Maynard Evans Head Coach Chip Gierke
"We're pretty excited," Gierke said. "We're just going to make do for a while, but the new buildings are going to be unbelievable. These kids deserve it."

Evans (6-0, 2-0) can clinch the schools first football district title since 2000 if it wins against Leesburg (6-1, 1-1) on Friday and first-year Lake Minneola (1-5, 0-1) loses to Groveland South Lake (3-3, 0-1). If Leesburg wins it will create a three-way tie for the district lead. If the Jackets are beaten they will be eliminated from FHSAA Playoff contention. Despite losing 37 seniors from last season 6-4 team Leesburg head coach Randy Trivers has the Jackets back in Playoff contention once again.

Undefeated Evans  may have to play a this key Class 7A, District 4 game against Leesburg without starting quarterback Levar Robinson. The junior was taken out of practice on Tuesday and is expected to be held out again on Wednesday. If Robinson can't play Gierke will either start senior Mike McCode or sophomore Tracy Allen. Robinson has been a focal point on offense for Evans, completing 48 of 83 pass attempts for 925 yards and 12 TDs.

“He’s been dealing with some knee problems and now something is going on with his hip,” Trojans coach Chip Gierke said. “We’ll evaluate him each day. It will probably be a game-time decision.”

The Trojans will come into the game with heavy hearts after Gierke's mother Joan Gierke's passed away during Evans 17-14 win last Thursday against Winter Park.

"It's a been a rough night for all of us," Gierke said on Friday. "My mom was the glue for our family."

Evans High opened in 1955 and was officially named "Maynard Evans High School" in 1956. It was named in honor of a local pharmacist, Maynard Evans, who owned a pharmacy and soda shop in downtown Orlando named "Evans Pharmacy". Evans High was built during the height of segregation and it wasn't until 1972 when the school was finally desegregated. During the 1960s and into the 1970s, the campus grew to include a gymnasium, media center, auditorium, and a stadium shared by Edgewater High School named the "Double E Stadium". In the 1980s up until the mid-1990s, Evans High was one of the largest schools in Orange County. The student population peaked at 4,500 and in 1993 the 9th Grade Center opened 3 miles to the west of the main campus

Evans has slumped to 36-51 over the past nine seasons, 3-16 in the past two, and has not made a playoff appearance in the past nine years. Orlando Maynard Evans has set out to reestablish itself as a perennial football powerhouse in the state of Florida. Evans administrative staff went out and hired a proven winner in veteran head coach Chip Gierke. 

"Obviously, his ability speaks for itself in what he can bring, not only in wins and losses, but also the quality of guidance he can give these young guys," said Maynard Evans High School Principal David Christiansen. He's put so many guys in the college ranks, the NFL. He has those connections."

Gierke took over a program that was 1-9 a year ago and has the Trojans in position to clinch a district title with a win tomorrow night. Gierke knows the expectations at Evans are high where fans re­member days of dom­inance.

"It's go­ing to be a chal­lenge; ev­erybody knows that," Geirke said. "But I've got a great staff. We're determined to get this done."

"The Gierke name rings a big bell in Pine Hills," offensive line coach Max Pur­cell said. "People that support the program and go to the games, they know that name." 

"The new coaches are working with us and building us up," Trojans se­nior Tony Sutton said.

Former Leesburg Head Coach Charles Nassar will be on the sidelines for Evans adding to the big game atmosphere. Nassar coach's the linebackers and would love to secure a district title by beating his former team. Nassar led Leesburg to two FHSAA Playoff berths and a 2006 Rotary Bowl win. He spent eight seasons as the head of the Jacket football program and his career record at Leesburg was 41-42. Nasser sent over 25 players to college on football scholarships including 2011 Butkus Award Nominee Danny Trevathan (University of Kentucky, 2011 All-American and potential first round draft pick of the NFL) and Tory Harrison (University of Southern Mississippi and Hartford Colonels of the UFL)

On the other hand Leesburg is trying return to glory and add a state football championship to go along with the 2011 Class 4A Boys Basketball State Championship won in March. The Jackets haven't won more than 8 games or a district championship since the 2007 season. Leesburg unofficial postseason starts tommorow night at Trojan Field.  

"All our goals are still intact we want to be a playoff team," said Trivers. "In order to do that we still have plenty of football ahead us. Hopefully we will be better prepared to compete and get some wins in those district ball games." "That's a goal that we have and that's still very much achievable for us. So we are excited to be able to improve, work together and go after that goal."

Leesburg High School second year Head Coach Randy Trivers
These are the kind of football games Trivers had in mind when Leesburg High School Administrators petitioned the FHSAA to move up to Class 7A. He doesn't worry about the size of the school or the opponent he simply wants his team to play the best and beat the best in the state. 

"We need to step it up." said second year Leesburg High School head coach Randy Trivers. "We are the smallest school in our district that might apply a little bit but there are only eleven guys playing on the field at the same time. So regardless of how many thousands of kids that you got or hundreds of kids you have, all that stuff. I mean you only field eleven so they are going to have eleven and we are going to have eleven." 

"The way things are done around here is we have got to win in the district to get to the postseason and that's everybody's goal" said Trivers. It is also important in terms of for Leesburg High School and for our program to be able to step up and win a big football game."

The Trojans are loaded at the skill positions but with a injured quarterback and a thin offensive line it may find itself in trouble against one of the states best defenses in Leesburg. The Trojans usually have no problem scoring they have beaten all of their opponents by double digit except for last week's three point win over Winter Park. Leesburg comes into the game averaging 29.9 points per game and has been held under 21 points only once this season by the fifth ranked South Sumter Raiders.

Evans will try to get the ball into it's playmakers hands of WR Tony Stevens (6-3. 175), WR Tony Sutton (5-10, 180) and WR Dominic Walker (6-2, 185). This may be a difficult task without their starting quarterback and they may have to rely on its ground more than ever in this game. Stevens has been the focal point of opposing defenses this year.

“Every time we play I get double coverage, but it’s good because I know I’m a threat now,” said Tony Stevens.

Colleges haven’t quite taken notice of Stevens yet, but Gierke said it’s only a matter of time.
“Tony has emerged, there’s no question about that,” said Gierke. “He’s a terrific athlete and he’s off to a great start.

The Trojans rely on three running backs RB-LB Oran Maxwell (5-9, 180), RB Byron Walker (5-8, 170) and RB Brandon English (5-8, 180). 

 Linebacker Oran Maxwell leads a Trojans defense that is strong against the run but suspect against the pass. In last weeks game Winter Park quarterback Asiantii Woulard was 20-of-28 passing for 277 yards. His main target WR Xavier Amerson had 11 catches for 181,  Dvario Montgomery finished strong and had eight grabs for 103. Look for Trivers to put the ball in the air more than usual tomorrow night to exploit the Trojans secondary.

Leesburg comes into the game on a three game winning streak and has had lots success running the football. The Jackets have many weapons on offense with WR/RB Jalen Dozier (Sr., 5-5, 150),  RB Anthony Miller (Jr., 5-7, 185), WR D'Mauri Jones (Sr., 6-4, 190) and WR Julliard Roberts, Jr. (6-1, 175). Trivers will try to get Trey Perry in the mix he is a big play athlete who score from anywhere on the field.

On defense the Jackets will are a very aggressive team and will get lots of players around the football. If 2012 High School Butkus Award Nominee OLB Noor Davis is healthy the Trojans will be in for a long night against a stingy Jacket defense. 2012 Stanford commit Noor Davis return to the starting lineup has helped solidify the "Black Jackets" defense. In the three games that he sat out the Jackets gave up 88 points. In the two games since his return they have allowed only 6 points, a 11 yard drive off of a turnover to Bushnell South Sumter.

The "Black Jackets Defense has not allowed five of its seven opponents to score in the first half this season. Incidentally the two games that opponents scored in the first half 2012 Under Armour All-American Noor Davis  was not in the lineup. Senior MLB Chase O'Donell is the Jackets leading tackler and the heart and soul of the defense. Look for O'Donell to help snuff the running game if Robinson does not play at quarterback.

The big question is will junior OLB Jordan Tucker make another big play on defense this week. He has had a defensive takeaway in each of the last three games. Tucker is being recruited by the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida and the University of Miami. He is listed as the #50 ranked player in the state of Florida for the Class of 2013 by the Miami Herald Sports Blog.

Game time is 7:30 at Trojan Field on the campus Maynard Evans High School in Orlando Florida.

School: Leesburg High School, Leesburg, Florida
Class-District: 7A-4
2011 Record: 5 -1, (1 -1)
Head Coach: Randy Trivers (2nd season)
Leesburg Coaching Record: 11-5
Overall Coaching Record: 84-32

NCAA FBS Prospects: WR D'Mauri Jones (Sr., 6-4, 190), OLB/DE Noor Davis (Sr., 6-4, 230), DB Trey Perry (Sr., 6-0, 190), OLB/TE Jordan Tucker (6-3, 200), WR Julliard Roberts, Jr. (6-1, 175)
Other top players: WR/RB Jalen Dozier (Sr., 5-5, 150),  RB Anthony Miller (Jr., 5-7, 185), LB Chase O'Donell (Sr., 5-8, 185), DB Jermaine Gadsden (Jr., 5-11, 170), 

Big Time Performers: Austin Thomas, Trey Perry, Manny Nelson, Jordan Tucker, Jalen Dozier, D'Mauri Jones, Noor Davis, Max Green, Brandon Foor, Bryant Benton, Julliard Roberts, Jr, Austin Walker, Jeremy Jones, Anthony Miller, James Eldridge, Chase O'Donell, Demitric Blue.

School: Orlando Maynard Evans
Class-District: 7A-4
2011 Record: 6-0
Head Coach: Chip Gierke (1st season)
Evans Coaching Record: 6-0
Overall Coaching Record: 144-57

NCAA FBS Prospects: Tony Stephens Jr., WR (6-4, 175)

Players to Watch: Tony Sutton - Sr., WR (5-11, 175), Romario Chisholm - Sr., OL-DL (6-4, 240), Oran Maxwell Sr., RB (5-10, 185), Dominic Walker Jr., WR (6-3, 185), Tony Stephens Jr., WR (6-4, 175), Cephus Mitchell Sr., OL-DL (6-2, 225)

Orlando Maynard Evans High School Famous Football Alumni:  

Kenard Lang (Head Coach Orlando Jones, University of Miami, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns)

 Jamie Dukes (NFL Network Analyst, Florida State University, Atlanta Falcons, Green Packers, Arizona Cardinals)
Horace Copeland (University of Miami, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders)

Tony McCoy (University of Florida, Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts)
Demitri Patterson (Tuskegee, Southeast Missouri State, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs)
 Leon Searcy (University of Miami 87, 89, 91 National Champion, Super Bowl XXX, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Brandon Siler (University of Florida, 2007 National Champion, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers)
Jeff Zimmerman (University of Florida, Dallas Cowboys)


State Championships 1927, 1929, 1934
State Runnerup 1928, 1969
District Championships 1969, 1971, 1992, 2007

1969 A CLASS 2A District Playoffs: Leesburg 12, Auburndale 0 

Semifinals: Leesburg 36, Belle Glade 23 

Championship: Blake 27, Leesburg 6 Blake (Tampa) 

CLASS 3A District Playoffs: Haines City 34, Leesburg 0 

1992 CLASS 4A District Playoffs: Leesburg 47, Land O’Lakes 0

1992 Class 4A Regional Playoffs: (Daytona Beach) Seabreeze 24, Leesburg 10

2000 CLASS 4A Regional Quarterfinals:  New Smyrna Beach 34, Leesburg 0

2001 CLASS 4A Regional Quarterfinals:  37 Palm Bay (Melbourne), Leesburg 0

2005 CLASS 4A Regional Quarterfinals: Nease (Ponte Vedra Beach) 63, Leesburg 20

2007 CLASS 4A Regional Quarterfinals: Columbia (Lake City) 21, Leesburg 0;

FHSAA Finals Record  0-1
FHSAA Tournament Record 3-7


State Championships: 1991 Co-Champion

State Semifinals: 1995
1979 Class 4A District Playoffs: Lakeland 14, Orlando Maynard Evans 11

1981 Class 4A District Playoffs: Orlando Maynard Evans 14, Bradenton Manatee 13
1981 Class 4A Regional Playoffs: Dunedin 13, Orlando Maynard Evans 7

1988 Class 5A District Playoffs: Stuart Martin County 33, Orlando Maynard Evans 13

1989 Class 5A District Playoffs: Vero Beach 30, Orlando Maynard Evans 24

1990 Class 5A District Playoffs: Orlando Maynard Evans 30, Vero Beach 7
1990 Class 5A Regional Playoffs: Bradenton Manatee 55, Orlando Maynard Evans 34

1991 Class 5A District Playoffs: Orlando Maynard Evans 35, Tampa A.P. Leto 20
1991 Class 5A Regional Playoffs: Orlando Maynard Evans 33, Sarasota Riverview 26
1991 Class 5A Sectional Playoffs: Orlando Maynard Evans 22, Gainesville F.W. Buchholz 16
1991 Class 5A Championship Game: Miami Southridge 22, Orlando Maynard Evans 22

1993 Class 5A Semi-State First Round: Orlando Maynard Evans 12, Tampa Hillsborough 7
1993 Class 5A Semi-State Second Round: Bradenton Manatee 35, Orlando Maynard Evans 33

1994 Class 6A Semi-State First Round: Tampa Vivian Gaither 14, Orlando Maynard Evans13

1995 Class 6A Regional First Round: Orlando Maynard Evans 26, Orlando University 0
1995 Class 6A Regional Quarterfinals: Orlando Maynard Evans 16, Bradenton Southeast 13 (OT)
1995 Class 6A Regional Semifinals: Orlando Maynard Evans 13, Lake City Columbia 3
1995 Class 6A Regional Finals: Jacksonville Sandalwood 12, Orlando Maynard Evans 10

1996 Class 6A Regional First Round: Orlando Maynard Evans 35, Winter Park 21
1996 Class 6A Regional Quarterfinals Sarasota Riverview 16, Orlando Maynard Evans 13

1998 Class 6A Regional First Round: DeLand 52, Orlando Maynard Evans 28

2000 Class 6A Regional Quarterfinals: Orlando Maynard Evans 42, Jacksonville Sandalwood
2000 Class 6A Regional Semifinals: Orlando Maynard Evans 19, Apopka 8
2000 Class 6A Regional Finals: Tallahassee Lincoln 24, Orlando Maynard Evans 7

2001 Class 6A Regional Quarterfinals: Orlando Maynard Evans 34, Jacksonville Mandarin 19
2001 Class 6A Regional Semifinals: Apopka 38, Orlando Maynard Evans 22


2011 Leesburg High School Varsity Football Roster

#           Name        Grade
2 Juilliard Roberts 12
4 Jerel Sims 11
5 Jermaine Gasden 11
6 Jeremy Jones 11
7 Undra Mitchem 11
8 Trevone Perry 12
9 Austin Walker 11
10 Jalen Dozier 12
11 Anthony Harris 12
12 Noor Davis 12
13 Devonte Williams 11
15 D'Mauri Jones 12
16 Lee Bennett 10
17 Darius Connelly 12
18 Bradley Scott 11
19 Zack Mahan 12
20 Manny Nelson 12
23 Bryant Benton 10
25 Brandon Foor 12
26 Demitric Blue 10
29 James Winnings 11
30 James Eldridge 10
31 Jordan Tucker 11
32 Chandler Strong 11
33 Tre'von Johnson 11
34 Jaleel Brown 12
35 Damonte Mosely 11
40 Flint Hicks 12
41 Austin Nappi 11
42 Yashane Pinnock 11
43 Cameron Jackson 11
44 Chase O'Donell 12
49 Trevon Bell 10
50 Ben Peppers 11
51 John Peters 12
52 Garrett Nelson 12
53 Devonte Jacobs 11
54 Chris Smith 11
56 Adriel Handsborough 11
57 Max Green 12
58 Austin Thomas 12
61 Tanner Stewart 11
62 Estader Maurepas 11
70 Jeremiah Miller 12
71 Blake McKeeby 11
77 Andre Alexander 11
78 Zackery Pharmer 11
81 Jason Vogt 11
82 Braxton Bennett 12
95 Diontre Cornish 12
99 Tyler Reed 11

Leesburg Football Alumni Oran Singleton (Central Arkansas, Southwest Baptist, Northwest CC), Gene "Tank" Ellis (Southwest Baptist), D.J. Keith (Southwest Baptist), Ty Lawrence (Southwest Baptist, Valdosta State), Danny Trevathan (University of Kentucky All-American), Tory Harrison (University of Southern Mississippi, Hartford Colonels of the UFL), Matt Shepherd (Monmouth College, All-American plays professionally in Finland), Dondelaro Crosby (Missouri State) Luther McDowell (Monmouth College), Tim Erving (Monmouth College), R.J. Peppers (Towson University), Jeremiah Thompson (Florida State),  Dontra Matthews (Victor Valley College, Virginia University of Lynchburg), Rod Cosgrove (Susquehanna University), Demetrius Singleton (Averitt University), Danny Hardaway (Monmouth College), Marques Austin (Victor Valley College) James Asibey-Bonsu (Edward Waters College) to name a few.

Photos by:
Orlando Sentinel

Ashley Beyer
Freelance Photographer
Class of 2001 Leesburg High School

Ashley Beyer is a freelance photographer who will be working with the Carver Heights Quarterback Club this season. She started photographing as a hobby when she was 13 with a manual SLR Canon film camera. In 1998 she received her first automatic Canon SLR camera. In the begining as a hobby photographer her cousins and friends babies were her favorite subjects. Now, she is getting the chance to share her Leesburg High School football pictures with many people through Facebook and the Leesburg Yellow Jackets Football blog.

"It makes me happy to do that because I know there are families out there that would love to have pictures of their boys playing football and can't get to the games or don't have the means to record those memories."

Article written by:
Gerald Lacey
Staff Writer
Carver Heights Quarterback Club
Member of 1986 Leesburg High School Varsity Jackets #82
Class of 1988 Leesburg High School
October 20, 2011

Gerald is a professional Internet marketer and social media marketing expert. His online business ventures and websites generate multiple streams of income annually. His consulting clients include best selling authors and international speakers.

Gerald is the CEO/President of Lacey LLC and OmariWholesale, Inc. He runs his entire business from his home where he is able to spend quality time with his family and friends. He is passionate about helping individuals to build and monetize their personal brand online.

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