June 14, 2024

Leesburg High’s James Benton Poised to Dominate 2024 Season

1.4 min read| Published On: June 14th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Leesburg High’s James Benton Poised to Dominate 2024 Season

1.4 min read| Published On: June 14th, 2024|

Leesburg High senior James Benton comes into his senior year with a ton of momentum. Benton is a wide receiver and also plays defense, listed as a safety and cornerback. Benton had a big 2023 season, and coming into 2024, he looks to be one of the top players in Lake County.

Benton had a huge spring jamboree game. He had 4 receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. On defense, Benton started at safety and had a 109-yard pick-6 for a touchdown. This is the longest pick-6 ever recorded by a Leesburg Yellow Jacket in a spring contest.

Benton also had 2 pass breakups to go along with the interception. When you walk around the Leesburg locker room, you won’t hear fellow teammates calling him James. His nickname is Jbay, and that’s what everyone knows him as.

Benton is very fast. His 5’10”, 150lb frame allows him to get to defenders and the ball quickly. He can bench press 185 pounds and squat 315 pounds. “Jbay is a great leader, hard worker, and an awesome teammate. He makes game-changing plays on both sides of the ball and always has a positive attitude. He’s one of the best skill players in Lake County,” says coach Max Tucker.

Benton is coming off a successful 2023 season where he got to learn from some of the best players in the state. Leesburg finished the season 10-2, making the regional semifinals. While things look different in 2024 with a new coaching staff and some new players, Benton will continue to be looked at as one of the leaders of the team.

Benton was offered a scholarship to Bethune-Cookman by coach Gerbino earlier this year. That is Benton’s first Division 1 offer with more on the way.

This is certainly one of the most exciting players to watch through the summer and as August hits. Soon, Friday Night Lights will be back upon us. We can’t wait to see what Benton is capable of this year!

Photo Credit – Leesburg High School Athletics

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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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