Breaking into the record books

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Red Level’s John Lee rushed for 2,248 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Tigers this season. Josh Dutton/Star-News

Red Level’s John Lee rushed for 2,248 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Tigers this season.
Josh Dutton/Star-News

Red Level’s John Lee was a huge part of the Tigers’ football team, and the senior running back put up some of the best rushing totals in AHSAA history and the best regular-season for players playing just 10 games.

In just 10 games, Lee rushed for 2,248 yards and 29 touchdowns.

“It was pretty exciting,” Lee said of his record-breaking performance. “I had two personal goals going into that season. I wanted to rush for 2,000 yards and score 20 touchdowns, and I did both of those.”

Entering the final game of the season, Lee needed a little more than 200 yards to break the regular-season rushing record.

“I knew I was getting close to it at the end of the game,” Lee said. “Coach was telling me throughout the game where I was at, and at the end I just told the guys block as best as they could and they did just that.”

Lee’s offensive coordinator Tony Ingram said the play that Lee broke the record on wasn’t even in the playbook.

“The play I called for that he broke the record on, we didn’t even have the formation in our playbook that I wanted,” Ingram said. “I called the play and Cale (Mancill) our quarterback went under center. I didn’t tell him to do that, but that was what I wanted him to do. I guess it was just divine intervention.”

Ingram said that while Lee is a great football player, he is an even better person.

“John is just a genuine and humble guy,” Ingram said. “His talent is only matched by his humility. His attitude never changes even when things aren’t going his way. He takes everything in stride and that is what impresses me the most about him. The way he handles himself just blows me away.”

As for Lee, he said that he doesn’t deserve the credit for his great season.

“I couldn’t have done this without my teammates and my coaches,” Lee said. “They are the reason that I go out there and play on Friday nights.”

Lee said that the thing about the record he likes the most is what it means for Red Level.

“It means a lot to me just because how much I love football, but it’s really cool what it means for the school,” Lee said. “A lot of people say that you can’t do anything in football at Red Level, and I just want to show that you can.”

Lee said that for the time being he is now focused on his grades and the upcoming track season.

“Now, I’m just getting ready for track season and until then I’m just focusing on my grades and trying to get into college,” Lee said. “I want to go somewhere in state and go into education and become a coach.”

Lee said that coaching football is something he wants to do after college.

“I just love football and I think I could be a good coach,” Lee said. “I’ve had some great coaches that have made and impact on me and it’s something that I want to do. Coach (Tony) Ingram has always been my biggest inspiration.”