New head football coach James Yeager has high hopes for the team next season

Katie Smith

By Katie Smith

After finishing the 2018 season with a record of 2-8, the Princess Anne football team is looking forward to an offseason of growth and improvement led by new head coach James Yeager.

“PA was the only local position I was interested in,” said Yeager. “I have heard nothing but good things about the school and its students. I know there is talent on the team since I have coached against PA the last three years.”

Although this is his first year as a Cavalier, Yeager has 10 years of coaching experience.

He has served as a defensive coordinator at Salem High School for the past two years and defensive coordinator at Green Run High School prior to that.

Outside of coaching, Yeager has years of experience playing in high school and was invited as a walk-on at Virginia Tech in 2006.

Yeager has been very successful as a coach and looks to continue this success with PA.

“In my 10 years as a coach my team has made the playoffs seven of those years,”  said Yeager.

Yeager will be replacing interim coach William Brummage.

Brummage took over for previous head coach Jelani Fair who resigned in mid-October after violation a Virginia High School League rule that practices are not to be held on weekends without prior approval from the superintendent.

Players were disappointed to hear Fair would be leaving but look forward to the new opportunities ahead with Yeager leading them.

“I look forward to more organization, getting to make a connection, and most to the new standard that will come to the team,” said sophomore defensive tackle Marquise Brown.

Both the players and Yeager are looking forward to the season ahead of them.

“I know PA football has produced some great players recently,” said Yeager. “We currently have a younger team with some unbelievable talent. We also have some great leaders with guys that want to do it the right way and are accountable.”

The Cavaliers are not only welcoming a new coach but also a new style of play.

“I plan on bringing some concepts offensively that you don’t see a whole lot of around here. We want to keep defenses guessing off balance and get them frustrated early. Defensively we are going to be tough. Take away what you do best and try to dictate what you will have to do offensively in order to beat us,” said Yeager.

Brown also added they will “run more plays with a variety of different formations. Additionally, we will play with more organization and more enthusiasm.”

Yeager also hopes to grow and expand the program.

With a roster of 44 for the 2017-2018, the team was considerably smaller than many other programs in Virginia Beach.

“I am hoping with a new staff and a fresh start more players that love football will come out and give the program another shot. It helps to have depth,” said Yeager. “It allows us to be more flexible, less affected by injuries, and also give some guys the ability to get a breather in the game so they can remain fresh not just in the game but over the course of a season.”

Yeager has a lot of big plans for the upcoming year and hopes to send PA back to the playoffs.

“I have a lot planned,” said Yeager. “First and foremost I plan to have a much more structured, disciplined and professional program. Once we establish that and lay the right foundation, the wins will come.”

Yeager is not only focused on what lies in the next year for his players but also for the future of their football careers.

“PA can be a school that is seeing 5+ guys every year get football scholarships,” said Yeager. “I want to get our kids money for college giving them as many options as possible to do what they are passionate about.”

Yeager will not only be contributing to the Cavaliers football team but the entire PA community.

“I have a collegiate level strength and conditioning background, so next year when I am in the building I will not only be working with football players but the student-athletes from other sports as well. I want to help all PA athletics be even more successful.

“To me, it’s about becoming a state competitor year after year. Winning the State Championship. That might take a bit of time but these players that I have met so far have the right mindset. They want to work, they want to get better, and they are hungry.”