Page High hires new football coach

Leland "Bubba" Billie to lead the Sand Devils

By Mike Caywood and Steven Law
Lake Powell Chronicle

PAGE – Leland “Bubba” Billie is the new football head coach at Page High School. He replaces Mitchell Stephens, who resigned after leading the Sand Devils to a 18-5 record the past two seasons.

Billie is hoping to continue with the same winning ways that has taken the football program to spots in the first and second rounds of the playoffs. Billie says the goal of course is to win state, but this year’s team will feature an inexperienced line as it prepares for the upcoming season.

Billie is also excited to continue his work with the Page youth football program and the Page booster club.  

“I hope to instill in the parents that this is the way that you build and support a football program,” Billie said in an interview.

He credits the booster club as being one of the most active and supportive clubs he has ever been associated with.

“We are excited about the experience and enthusiasm that coach Billie brings to our football program,” Page High School athletic director Ernie Rivers said. “We wish him and his staff the best of luck with the upcoming season.”

Sand Devils prepare for 2019 season

A dedicated core of football players have been in the weight room and running drills on the practice field since the first week of June preparing for the 2019 season.

Preseason training isn’t required, so the number of players who turn out for preseason training is a good indicator of a teams’ dedication and motivation, said head football coach Leland “Bubba” Billie.

“The number of players we had come out for the preseason training has set records,” he said. “We’ve had 25 to 30 players practicing and training since day one.” Billie said his core group of summer players are spread equally from freshmen to seniors.

“I have to give credit to the middle school’s football program,” said Billie. “They’ve sent us a group of very talented, motivated kids.”

The football team will hold football camp July 23-25, and the first official practice will by July 29.

Billie was named head football coach for the Sand Devils earlier this week. He takes over for Mitchell Stephens, who accepted a coaching job in Texas in May. During Stephens’ two-year tenure as head coach, he led the Sand Devils into the first and second round of the post-season.

Billie says he plans to continue with the offense that Stephens established.

“There’s no reason to fix what’s not broken,” Billie said, “but, of course, we’ll tweak it to fit the talents and skill sets of our players as we see them emerge.”

Last year’s offense included both Robert Smith and Gabe Gomez at quarterback, and both players are returning this year. Last year, Stephens alternated the two quarterbacks at offense, and Billie said he plans to continue with that this year, at least in the beginning.

“As things progress, I may end up moving one of them to receiver,” he said. “They’re too talented of athletes to have them sitting on the sideline.”

The Sand Devils also lost two very talented running backs, Kele Meredith and Hayden Gracia, who both graduated in 2019. This year Billie is looking at Marcus Coulson and Nick Yazzie to fill those positions.

“They have some very big shoes to fill, but I think they’re up to the challenge,” Billie added.


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