Monday, November 7, 2011

Yellow Jackets Practice Slowed By Rainstorms, August 27, 1970

August 27, 1970

Rain, the age-old nemesis of football coaches the world over, struck the Leesburg Yellow Jacket football practice yesterday and it was a disappointed Coach Wilbur Lofton that drew his Jackets away from the much needed work as lightning began to move toward the area.

Hitting the field for less than one hour yesterday, Coach Lofton felt that the rain that has fallen during the late afternoon hours this week has set his squad behind the schedule he was hoping for at this stage of practice.

Even though the squad missed out on yesterdays workout, Coach Lofton expressed his pleasure at the form that some of his players are beginning to round into.

One player in particular that has the coaching staff pleased is big Phil McEachern, transfer student from Bradenton-Manatee. McEachern has been counted on to provide the Jackets with some strong linebacking on defense and tackle play on offense and his play this season has justified the hopes the coaches had for the rangy youngster.

Coach Lofton was more than pleased with the way McEachern has been hitting during practice and feels that his 1970 Yellow Jackets will be one of the hardest hitting squads he has had at Leesburg.

Line play in general has the coaches optimistic about their chances there and everyone has been working real hard since practice began to bring the line up to where it should rank. With a new style of offense installed this year, most lineman had new assignments to learn.

Tough Greg Johnson has everyone around talking about his aggressiveness and ability playing at the tackle spot on defense, and Big Greg is a sure bet for all-state honors, barring serious injury.

His running mate at tackle strong Lynn Gilbert, is right up with Greg in ability and the twosome should be the equal of any around when the season gets underway.

Both boys are doing an outstanding job offering leadership to the Jackets in 1970, playing a very large role in the success the team hopes for this year.

Guard play is the only spot that is causing the coaches any anxious moments now and that is because of the average size of the guards, not their ability. All of the guard prospects have good quickness and this often makes up for a deficit in weight. David Osbourne and Skellie Morris should be starters in this position.

Dale McClelland has the center spot in good shape, with Kenny Hicks and Ken Mosely handling the tight end spot. Hicks is one of the most improved players on the squad this year and should be in for a banner season. Weighing close to 200 pounds, Hicks has shown good hands and hard running ability working pass plays.

Mosely has just rejoined the team after returning from summer work and his size has pleased the coaches. Ken gained considerable weight and strength over the summer and is being counted on for some strong defensive end play.

The offense has been showing up in fine shape since practice began, with junior quarterback Andy Calrton guiding a potentially explosive offensive crew Andy has Jerome Kerrison and Tim Wesley set as his wide receivers and both men are small but very fast, offering good deep threats to the attack.

Andy has been throwing the ball beautifully in practice and with a running game complimented by Tommy Ryan and Hovie Guthrie as starters, the Jackets passing offense could be something to behold.

Both Ryan and Guthrie have good speed and both boys can catch the ball out of the backfield. This works out perfectly for the pro set offense planned by the Jackets. In practice yesterday, Ryan was banged severely on the shin but shrugged off the injury as nothing to worry about, offering testimony to his ability to play with a hurt. This ability is what divides the good football players from the fair football players.

A very pleasant surprise at the running back spot has been the play of Carl Chatman, a speed burner that has developed into a football runner almost overnight. Carl is a senior and has been a late bloomer, but his fine play has alleviated the depth problem at running back that had the coaches worried in spring practice.

The rest of the running backs are handicapped by a lack of varsity experience but with some playing time under their belts, this position will be will manned.

The biggest and most pleasant surprise of the practice session has been the hard nosed play of the young secondary. This position was decimated by graduation but the new players have made great strides toward correcting this problem.

Steve Ezell, Hovie Guthrie, Marvin King, and Carl Chatman should be the four deep backs and according to Coach Lofton, "These boys will really hit you".

With the Tangerine Bowl Jamboree only one week away, things are in pretty good shape overall and if the coaches can get in the necessary working time for the rest of the practice session, the Jackets should give a good account of themselves before the anticipated large Orlando crowd.

Article provide by:
Gerald Lacey 
Staff Writer 
Carver Heights Quarterback Club
1986 Varsity Jackets Football Lettermen #82
Class of 1988 Leeburg High School

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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