February 21, 2024

Champions of Excellence: Leesburg High Basketball Coaches Win Big in Lake County

3 min read| Published On: February 21st, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Champions of Excellence: Leesburg High Basketball Coaches Win Big in Lake County

3 min read| Published On: February 21st, 2024|

Leesburg High School basketball coaches have clinched the prestigious Lake & Sumter County Commitment to Excellence Award. In its inaugural year, this award aptly honors a coaching staff that has exemplified unparalleled commitment to excellence throughout the season, and none have demonstrated it more prominently than the Leesburg High School coaching team.

(The 2024 Class 5A District 5 Championship winning boys basketball team. The coaching staff has done an amazing job this year with both the boys and girls teams who have only 5 combined losses between the two.)

Coach Sean Campbell, a two-time state champion, embodies greatness both as an individual and as a mentor to his players, treating them as family. The impact of his coaching philosophy extends beyond the court, evident in former players like D’mani Nettles, who, at the age of 22, has embraced an assistant coaching role this season and is giving back to the community.

The coaching staff faced adversity when the girls’ program was left without a coach just before the season commenced. Presented with the choice of hiring a replacement or tackling the season themselves, they opted for the latter, a challenging but necessary decision due to time constraints.

(22 year-old D’mani Nettles pictured center standing in black has been able to relate to the players on a personal level. Being such a young coach he has been able to relate to the players well which has been highly beneficial.)

Assistant coach D’mani Nettles reflects on this choice, stating, “Taking on the role of coach for both the boys and girls programs is incredibly inspiring. No matter if I was playing for Coach Campbell or now coaching beside him, I trust him fully, and it was the right decision because our programs deserve the best.”

Their hard work paid off as both the girls’ and boys’ teams advanced to the FHSAA Regional Championships, with a chance to reach the State Semifinals. Despite facing challenges, the coaching staff, led by Coach Campbell, has demonstrated resilience and turned a tough situation into a season of success.

Former players attest to Coach Campbell’s role as a father figure, emphasizing his respect for players on and off the court. This commitment has motivated assistant coach D’mani Nettles to return to Leesburg.

(Coach Sean Campbell was honored earlier in the season when he won his 200th career game as a head coach.)

Nettles, one of the youngest assistant coaches in Lake County at 22, has diversified his pursuits, showcasing a real estate license, an associate’s degree, progress towards a bachelor’s degree, involvement in local government, and ownership of a clothing line business. His commitment to the community and the basketball program speaks volumes about the values instilled by Coach Campbell.

Contributions from other assistant coaches, including Cam Smith, Derrick Campbell, Yolander Scarberry, Eltra Graham, and Johnathan Streeter, have played a crucial role in the success of Leesburg High basketball programs.

(Leesburg head basketball coach Sean Campbell looks on during a game against Eustis. Leesburg and Eusits have among the best rivalry in all of Lake County.)

Principal Randolph emphasizes the commitment to excellence at Leesburg High School, both on and off the court. The coaching staff, faculty, and community have united to create a familial atmosphere, fostering success over the years.

Coaching two varsity sports at an elite level demands recognition, and Leesburg’s coaching team has risen to the challenge, dedicating significant time to ensuring student-athletes have the best chance at success.

(Coach Sean Campbell decided to become the head coach of both the girls and boys programs this season. Both teams have been impressive. Between the two programs they are a combined 42-5 this year. Absolutely amazing numbers!)

A firsthand look at a Leesburg High practice reveals a tight-knit group, with players consistently present and eager to hit the court. Coach Campbell’s approach creates a welcoming and enjoyable environment, evident in the strong relationships formed both inside and outside the gym.

Coach Campbell’s recent achievement of winning his 200th game as a head coach, coupled with a remarkable combined win record of 42-5, solidifies the team’s claim to the distinguished honor of the Commitment to Excellence Award. The Leesburg High School basketball program continues to captivate the city of Leesburg, generating palpable excitement and pride within the community.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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