A Clearer Picture – Episode 12

A one on one interview with DC Dragons cornerback David Leathers

Clear – Welcome back to another Monday night episode of A Clearer Picture, the interview series uncovering the stories behind the stars of the SFL. After a fantastic week of SFL playoff action, I sit down with one of the many impressive rookies to move through the Annapolis Navigators system into the SFL. Welcome in DC Dragons cornerback David Leathers! How are you this evening David?

Leathers – Doing good Jacob. Thanks for having me on tonight.

Clear – As always, I must start by asking – who is behind DC Dragons defensive back David Leathers?

Leathers – Well just a bit about me – I’m 34, originally from Cleveland, Ohio and now live in the SFLm city of Madison, Wisconsin. I work for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have a cat and a dog with my gf and love going mountain biking when I’m not watching the SFL.

Clear – It would’ve been interesting to play against the Lynx in your rookie campaign! Now David, you joined the SFLm in Week 9, and played for the Navigators. How did the SFL find you so to speak, and what brought you into the league?

Leathers – Haha oh yeah! I was a week 9 signing with Annapolis so I played just one game there (not against the Lynx unfortunately). The SFL was a recommended channel for me on Twitch as I watch a lot of football/sports gaming channels. I started watching some of last season’s SFLm games and saw how passionate people were about this league and knew I had to be a part of this.

Clear – So looking back on it, you had one game to prove you were ready to hit the SFL fields, and you quickly began making some noise. What were you doing behind the scenes at the time to work your way onto a roster?

Leathers – Absolutely! I had a pretty decent game with Annapolis (at SS, not my current CB position) but you’re absolutely right, I had to make connections with people quickly before the draft. I reached out to many, many teams! I also went on Ashley Jackson’s show as a way of introducing myself to the league, so a big shout out to Ashley for having me on.

Clear – What was the draft experience like? How were you feeling in the lead up to your eventual selection and what were your initial reactions when you got the phone call?

Leathers – The draft experience was very memorable and kind of a whirlwind for me. As I said I talked with a lot of teams and had several teams express interest in me so I really had no idea where I’d be going or if I’d even be drafted at all being so new to the SFL at the time. I knew there was a chance DC might take me after they reached out but when Cam called my name it was a great feeling!

Clear – What were your first impressions of the DC locker room, and who did you connect with initially?

Leathers – Coming into the locker room with a brand new roster with 14 other rookies I think galvanized the team because we were all coming in together. I also came in with my teammates Josh Gill & Benny Butcher from the Navigators which was cool. We all did intros to the team telling a bit about ourselves and I could tell right away that this team was going to be a great fit for me.

Clear – What were your first impressions of the DC locker room, and who did you connect with initially?

Leathers – Coming into the locker room with a brand new roster with 14 other rookies I think galvanized the team because we were all coming in together. I also came in with my teammates Josh Gill & Benny Butcher from the Navigators which was cool. We all did intros to the team telling a bit about ourselves and I could tell right away that this team was going to be a great fit for me.

Clear – Sounds like you fit right in! Can you describe the feeling of taking to the SFL field for the very first time?

Leathers – Definitely! My first SFL game was a big game against the London Knights, battle of the capital cities. It didn’t go our way but it was a competitive game that the Knights won 20-10. I’ve gotten involved in some other sim leagues since but the SFL was my first one so this was really my first sim league experience too. That game and the one game I played with Annapolis will always be memorable games for me in my career. Seeing my player on the field for the first time was awesome.

Clear – It was an expected roller-coaster start for the Dragons, in Week 2 a 30-0 loss to the Denver Nightwings and in Week 3 and thrilling 34-31 loss to then playoff contenders Mexico City. Your first win was a big one; a 38-28 win over an established Lone Star Glory. What was it like getting your first win?

Clear – You finished the season 3-9, what are your reflections on the season just gone?

Leathers – I think that the Dragons made some great strides this season. 6 of our losses were by 1 score or less and as I mentioned earlier this was a team with 15 rookies so we knew going in this was going to be a building season. Overall I have really enjoyed my time in the SFL so far and I am planning on being in this league for a long time.

Clear – That’s great! Looking forward, what does the future hold for David Leathers?

Leathers – David Leathers the SFL player needs to continue developing. I’d say he had a decent rookie campaign playing at the 3rd CB spot & on special teams for DC but he has a long way to go to catch up to some of the truly great DBs that we have in this league. As long as he keeps grinding I would say he has a chance to make a big impact in the SFL.

Clear – Thank you very much for your time David and good luck next season!

Leathers – Appreciate the well wishes and thank you so much again for having me on Jacob! This was fun. Have a great night.

Want to be on a future episode? Drop Jacob Clear a Discord DM to join the waiting list. Until next time!