Football program appoints new head coach


Elena Arroyo

James Yeager, new football head coach, addresses returning football players in the gym May 11.

Ocean Lakes announced that James Yeager will be the next head football coach on May 11.
“Just coming to a school like this, I can already see the sky’s the limit. There’s really nothing holding this program back,” said Yeager.
The former head coach of Princess Anne High School led the Cavaliers to a 16-5 record over two seasons and a playoff berth. The two seasons under Yeager were the school’s first back-to-back winning seasons since 2000.
“I’m just looking forward to developing the guys here at Ocean Lakes and getting my hands on them and getting going,” said Yeager. “I’m not coming in here more excited about coaching one guy than the next; I’m excited about the whole team.”

The administration feels comfortable with their selection.
“He seems to have an innate sense of what the dolphin way is and will continue to instill that in the young men (and women) who participate in football,” said principal Claire Leblanc.

Yeager will be tasked with rebuilding the coaching staff after head coach Joe Jones stepped down in April. Jones led the Dolphins to a 39-14 record over his five seasons at the school.
“I got a couple guys I’m bringing from my staff, but I see the importance of having some continuity. It was a good program that had good coaches. I want to take some of my good coaches and add to the staff, and hopefully, create a super strong staff in the beach, so we can get Ocean Lakes back to that perennial status,” said Yeager.
The rebuild will not be a complete turnaround as the program retains some integral pieces of the former staff.
“I’ve heard of a couple of them, like Coach Dinsmoor and Coach Alston. Coach Dinsmoor does a lot of stuff with linemen in the community, and Coach Alston is kind of one of the hot names of the younger coaches in the area; he did a great job,” said Yeager.
The coaches will gain experience together as the next season approaches.
“This will be my third year as a head coach. In total, I’ve been coaching for a little over 10 years now. About eight of those 10 years, I was a coordinator at the varsity level. I’ve kind of been all over the beach,” said Yeager.
With COVID still playing a major role in safety protocols, the staff looks to find the most efficient ways to work with the players.
“I have to talk with Mr. Williams and get all the COVID protocols and make sure we’re all on the same page,” said Yeager. “Then we’ll get rolling full speed ahead. I want to make sure we have all the coaches too because it’s one coach per 10 kids. So, I only have four coaches now, so only 40 guys can workout.”
Yeager looks forward to getting started with the team as soon as possible.
“Conditioning is going to start next week,” said Yeager.