TYLER - The Lee football team struggled in 2016, but with their stars returning and coaching staff returning, the Red Raiders hoped for big things in 2017.
Then, out of the blue, head coach Clayton George resigned one day after the Red Raiders spring game.
That could have torpedoed the 2017 season for Lee before it even started. But instead, it looks like it may have been a blessing in disguise.
Kurt Traylor is the new Lee coach and through the first few days of practice, things seem to be going well.
Traylor says, "They're learning us as coaches, we're learning them as kids, they're learning our system, they're learning the way we practice, I mean, that's a lot of mental reps that they took today and I told them, I said, I just want perfect effort, I don't want perfect execution, just give me your perfect effort and execution will come as you learn what we're doing."
On offense, the Red Raiders should be in good shape as quarterback Chance Amie, running back Ladarius Wickware, and several offensive linemen are all back this year.
Defensively, Lee was one of the worst teams in 11-6A last year. They do bring back several starters, but the new coaching staff has started working with these guys on the basics and is trying to build them up to become a top-notch unit.
Lee senior linebacker Lanthony Simmons says, "We're going to work, I'm not saying that we're going to be this or we're going to be that, I'm just saying we're coming out here to work and we're going to be better than what we was last year, I can tell you that."
LEE 2017 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Fri. Sept. 1 at Marshall
Sat. Sept. 9 vs. Corsicana
Fri. Sept. 15 at Nacogdoches
Fri. Sept. 22 vs. Rockwall-Heath
Fri. Sept. 29 at Longview
Fri. Oct. 6 vs. Mesquite Horn
Fri. Oct. 13 - BYE
Fri. Oct. 20 vs. Mesquite
Fri. Oct. 27 at Rockwall
Fri. Nov. 3 vs. North Mesquite
Fri. Nov. 10 at John Tyler