What is one of the top things you wanted to work on this summer to get ready for the 2006 football season?
I wanted to become a better leader because we had fifteen seniors to graduate last year and we have a young team coming up this year, so the main thing I wanted to do is be a leader to help them come along so we can compete for a state championship. And when I leave they will be left with the knowledge I left them.
What do you feel you have to do become a better leader for your team?
When we are in drills and stuff like that I need to be first in line because they look at my work ethic, and they look up to me, so when they see me working hard they are going to eventually start working hard.
You attended the Ole Miss and Mississippi State camp this summer what was that experience like for you?
It was very exciting. You come in thinking that you get all the hype 'cause you are really good, but there ain’t none of that. So it was kind of exciting to see someone that was actually faster than me, stronger than me, and more athletic than me.
Which of the two camps did you enjoy more?
I enjoyed Mississippi State’s camp more. Every time I go down there it just feels like I’m right at home. It’s like I am right in my backyard and I ain’t missing nothing.
You have verbally committed to MSU right now, but who are some of that have shown interest in you?
Miami is still talking to me right now. Louisville, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, and Florida State.
Being a dandy dozen selection do feel any added pressure to perform this season?
Yes sir, I feel the pressure because they are thinking I’m going to be better than what I was last year, but that ain’t what I’m looking at. I’m looking at being a leader; I’m not just looking at my stats. I really don’t care if I don’t gain a yard per game I just want to win and win a state championship before I leave Coffeeville.
What will it take for Coffeeville to win the state championship?
Attitude! We got to have the mind frame to come out there to work and know what we are working for.
Coach David Baughman
What does it mean to your program, school, or community to have Lee named to the Dandy Dozen?
It means everything. It’s kind of like the icing on the cake with the years that we have had and getting some recognition for it. Lee is a great athlete and he deserves everything he got because he has worked really hard to get to where he is. It means so much to our community and our school - Coffeeville in the past hasn’t gotten a lot of publicity, but we are now starting to get some eyes turned over to Yalobusha County and we hope we can continue to do that.
What do you feel is your responsibility as a coach to prepare not only Lee but also the kids that come through the Coffeeville football program for the future ahead of them?
Academics are number one. I’ve been coaching a long time and have had some really great players that had D1 talent, but didn’t do it in the classrooms for whatever reason - lack of motivation or just didn’t want to do it. We try to stay on our kids early and often when they come into the high school we try to stay on them academically and stress to them the importance of academics… Our number one emphasis coming into our program is not only make them good football players, but number one, first and foremost to make them good students.
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The Coffeeville Pirates finished the 2005 season with a 10-3 record and lost to eventual 1A Champions Ray Brooks 38-20 in the 1A North State Championship game. The Pirates open up on the road against Ethel to start their push towards the 2006 1A State Championship.