By Rob Kiser
Call Sports Editor
SIDNEY — To Lehman football coach Richard Roll, Cavalier senior Kris Lee signing with Capital University was much more than just another player going on to play at the next level.
The son of Kris and Peg Lee is a shining example for high school football players who are not labeled stars from the time they enter the program — and through hard work, refuse to be denied.
“Hard work is something you are going to keep hear me referring to,” Roll said about the Lehman linebacker. “He is a great example for the younger kids. He just kept working hard, getting bigger and strong and really came on this season. It just shows you don’t have to be a stud.”
Coming off an 18-tackle season as a junior, Lee emerged as a leader on a highly-touted Lehman defense this past season.
The 5-10, 195-pound linebacker had 77 tackles, including 18 solo tackles and a sack.
He had two interceptions and one fumble recovery, including an amazing athletic play for an interception in the playoffs against Triad.
He also caught nine passed for 73 yards at tight end and was named second team All-NWCC.
“After we lost to Triad (in the playoffs), I knew I wanted to play football,” Lee, who also plays basketball, said. “That is when I decided that’s what I wanted to do in college.”
Roll saw a different players this past fall.
“Again, this season was a reward for all his hard work,” Roll said. “He got in the weight room and made himself bigger and stronger. I thought he had the ability, but he really had a big season this year.”
Lee doesn’t deny it came from a lot of hard work.
“No question about it,” he said. “Spending the time I did in the weight room was a big part of it. I had friends and family helping me. They were always pushing me to make sure I did the work I needed to do.”
As a result, he has at least four more years of football in front of him.
“I had hoped to have that opportunity,” Lee said. “I don’t think I really believed it until I heard from the first recruiter.”
And he said the choice to go to Capital was an easy one.
“I loved it there when I visited there,” he said. “They really have a lot going on and I was really impressed. I feel like it is a place where I can play right away. The coaches told me I could play on either side of the ball, but I am going to focus on linebacker.”
And continue to see his hard work rewarded.