Last year Josh Leonard was a manager for the LBHS football team. This year he did two- a- days in the hot August sun which is tough work. He earned a spot as a member of the Lord Botetourt football team. He is in Special Education classes at LBHS and also goes to Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center where his mother Angie Leonard is the director. Foremost Leonard considers himself a football player.
The Lord Botetourt football team is all about players with abilities and Josh is proving his every practice. He contributes more than athletic ability, too with his ” mostly sunny in Daleville on the football field” outlook. The young player and UVA football fan is ready to take on challenges.
From the Blue Ridge area, the high school junior had one sentence to say about his team. “I love Lord Botetourt football.” Indeed at the October 19th game against Staunton River, Josh made it in for one play. “It was so fun, great,” said Leonard. Coach Jamie Harless said, ” I asked his parents if he could play and his father said only if you treat him like everyone else. So I have.” At one point Josh thought it might be just too hard. But with Harless’s encouragement he stuck with Lord Botetourt Varsity football! At 7-3 the whole team is playing well, too!
“I did exactly my assignment on the field,” said Leonard of his jaunt into the game as wide receiver. “He works hard, does what he is supposed to do.” said Harless with a big grin. He and Leonard have a mutual respect and it is easy to see in their banter. Leonard laughs a lot at the things Coach Harless says. “He’s a pretty good guy,” said Leonard of the coach.
As for Harless, his leadership and work ethic shows and his can do attitude is infectious. Indeed, he is a pretty good coach as well. In his first year as head coach, Lord Botetourt has a real chance to be Blue Ridge District champions. That is if they can get by Northside Friday night. A District football title would be a first in a long while event! Watch for Josh Leonard, # 89. He may get in the game, and give a big cheer if he does. He has earned his place on the field the old fashioned way –with hard work and determination.