It's not a good thing when a safety leads the team in tackles seven games into the season, but Bastrop's well-documented defensive woes have overshadowed the fact that Lester Lee is having a fine senior season.
Starting the season at weak safety, Lee was recently moved to free safety.
“I call Lester, 'Mr. Everything,' because he's so versatile,” said Darius Cooper, Lee's position coach. “He can play any of the safeties or outside 'backer. We moved him to free safety so he can make sure everybody's lined up right. Basically, he's our coach on the field.”
Lee took the “coach on the field” title and ran with it earlier this week.
“I came out late (for practice) and Lester was already running my ball drill. I couldn't help but smile,” Cooper said.
Cooper has been impressed by the way Lee has handled the adversity the Rams have dealt with defensively.
“Lester's loyal,” Cooper said. “I've never heard anything negative come out of his mouth. He's always been positive. He talks to the younger players about everything. We probably haven't experienced a year like this defensively at Bastrop High since the '80s, but he doesn't get down about it. He comes back the next week and starts working to get better.
“Lester's not going to miss a day of practice. He's a great role model for the younger kids. He's one of those kids that makes a coach's job easier.”
BDE: When did you start playing football?
Lester Lee: In the seventh grade. I was the quarterback.
BDE: What is your fondest memory from your first year?
Lee: In my first game, I scored my first touchdown on about a 50-yard run.
BDE: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of football?
Lee: My favorite part is playing the games on Friday night, being under the bright lights with my teammates and competing and playing for someone other than myself.
My least favorite part is those days when I don't feel like going to practice. Sometimes you're tired and not in the mood to practice, but you go anyway.
BDE: Would you rather play weak safety or free safety?
Lee: I like weak safety because you can go down in the box and get more action.
Page 2 of 3 - BDE: What's it going to take to fix the Rams' defense?
Lee: We just have to tackle and make plays when we have the opportunity. Everybody has to get on the same page and carry out their assignments at the same time. Mainly, we just have to stick together.
BDE: What challenges does Neville's offense present for the Rams' defense?
Lee: They have good wide receivers and their quarterback can run. They have a lot of different formations they can throw at you.
BDE: How exciting is it to have the No. 1 team coming into Ram Stadium Friday night?
Lee: It gets you amped up.
People look at you as the underdog, so you want to go out there and prove something to the state. This is our chance to show that we're willing to compete with anybody.
BDE: What are the hardest hits you have received and delivered?
Lee: We were playing Delta my eighth grade year and Cray Robinson caught me going down the sideline.
The hardest I ever hit somebody was last year against Woodlawn. I was playing free safety and the strong safety made the running back bounce outside. I was right there waiting on him and (the hit) got a good reaction from the crowd.
BDE: Do you have a pregame ritual?
Lee: Every time we come out to warm up, KP (Kentreylus Hill-Pates) and I have a handshake we do right before we break off.
BDE: How's the basketball team looking this year?
Lee: I think we're going to be pretty good. We have a lot of players coming back. We all know each other, so we're all in sync. We know each other's weaknesses and flaws and what we need to do to get them fixed.
BDE: Outside of sports, what is something you hope to accomplish during your senior year?
Lee: I hope to graduate at the top of my class and get a good scholarship. If the opportunity to sign an athletic scholarship is there, I will probably take it, but I'm not sure yet. Right now, I would say that I will probably go to Louisiana Tech and major in accounting.