During training, James Lee made the toughest catches look effortless. He launched the ball with a tight spiral and put the passes straight into the hands of his receivers for easy receptions.
It all seemed to come naturally for the Tolton football star.
Touchdowns also seemed to come naturally for him last Friday against Grandview. In his first game of the season, Lee scored four of them, taking the Trailblazers to a 28-27 victory despite not even being part of the majority of the Trailblazers’ offensive caucuses.
What made Lee’s performance special was the fact that he scored in all three aspects on offense – he had one pass, one run and one touchdown on the night.
“I really focused on my job,” Lee said. “So if I’m going on a course then do my course the best I can, then catch the ball and then whatever they (must) do. “
Lee joined the soccer team in his freshman year before transferring to Battle last year to play baseball and basketball. Lee returned to Tolton this year initially to focus on basketball, but coach Michael Egnew convinced him to join the football team.
Asked about any concerns he might have when switching from basketball to football, Lee didn’t seem taken aback.
“It was really an easy transition, for real, because I’ve always played three sports all my life,” said Lee. “I was talking with (Egnew), and it looked like the football team was going to be good, and it would be fun to come here, so I decided to do it.”
Lee’s arrival adds another weapon to an already talented Tolton offensive unit. Senior quarterback Jonah Lybeck-Brown, senior running back Braden Willmeth and wide receivers Julian McKoy and Landon Block have all had remarkable games for the Trailblazers this season.
On hardwood, the term ‘positionless basketball’ has been a trending topic for the past decade – this means that the best players have skills that are not necessarily consistent with a certain position on the court, and limit their skills. skills at a position would be doing them a disservice.
Lee can be described as a player with no position on the football field. He can throw, catch and run at a high level, as well as being a strong ball thrower on defense. Trying to put him in a position would take away his talent.
Tolton got off to a 3-1 start. The team’s winning tally this season already eclipses its winning numbers from the past two seasons combined. Lee says he has high expectations for himself and for the team and he believes Tolton can go far this season after the last two have been forgettable.
“Our seniors have really stepped up… they’ve been a crucial part of the team this year, so that’s good,” said Lee. “And I feel like the team environment has changed, as you can tell we’re a winning program now. We have really made a difference.