coaches have prepared us,and we know what the taskis. It is our job to make it happen.”Last season, in hissecond season as quar-terback, Lee played anintegral role in leadingColumbus (7-5) back tothe playos or the frst time since 2005. In 2011,he split time at quarter-back with Cedrick Jack-son, fnding his way in anoense centered aroundrunning back DamianBaker. There was no ques-tion Lee had the arm touel a passing game, but he needed time to grow comortable in the systemand to act and to speaklike the leader a quarter-back has to be. This year, Lee hasound that voice. He haslearned he isn’t goingto throw the ball every down. He is OK with that because he understandhe sets the tempo regard-less whether he is chuck-ing the ball down feld or turning around and hand-ing the ball o Kendrick
QUARTERBACKTrace Lee (Sr.),Kiren Sharp (Soph.)
Lee returns or hissecond year as the starterand third year at theposition. He understandsthe oense and Columbuscoach Tony Stanord’s pen-chant or using a runninggame to control the game.“We’re trying to worksome o our secondary peo-ple into the throwing gamebecause they’re a little bet-ter o an athlete than someo the ones we have, whichis why you see Walker andLipscomb and some o thedeensive players when weget into the passing game,”Columbus coach Tony Stan-ord said.
RUNNING BACKKevin Jackson (Sr.),Kendrick Conner (Sr.)
Jackson was injuredearly in the season, whichpaved the way or Conner toemerge.“In practice, we havelooked good,” Stanordsaid. “I’d like to say wehave two running backsback, but we really haveone — Conner — back.Kevin Jackson would havebeen the starter last year,but he broke his ankleater the frst game. It islike having two o themback, which is why we’regoing to put both o themin the backfeld sometimesbecause we think we canrun the ootball.”
RECEIVERSMeunta Verner (Sr.),Donsha Walker (Jr.),Alex Lipscomb (Jr.), Da-monta Kidd (Soph.),Keshawn Adams (Sr.),Corey Brown (Sr.),Jalen Stewart (Sr.),Chris Deloach (Soph.),Kris Reliford (Sr.)
Stanord said Lee hasa good an arm as any quar-terback he has coached innearly 40 years. He saidhe would throw the ball 40times a game i he wasblessed to have our receiv-ers like Jimmy Cockrell, whowas a senior last season.Brown, Stewart, and Reli-ord will see time blockingand in the passing game.“Our plan when we’rein our tight game is to play the ront people,” Stanordsaid. “When they need rest,we will put the secondary people in the game sothey can get the rest onoense.”
OFFENSIVE LINELaQuintis Brooks (Soph.),Jermiah Caine (Jr.),Tremarcus Monroe (Sr.),Kenneth Miller (Sr.),Darius Poindexter (Sr.)
The Falcons returnour starters in a groupStanord eels is one o theteam’s strongest.“We hated to lose JakeThomas to MississippiState, but we hope he isgoing to represent us wellthere,” Stanord said. “They have a year behind themand they had to struggleor a solid year, but they got better each week. They have looked real good atpractice.”
DEFENSIVE LINEKris Reliford (Sr.),Corey Brown (Sr.),Jalen Stewart (Sr.),Ryan Ezell (Jr.)
The Falcons returnthree starters on the oppo-site side o the ball, whichshould give the team achance to control the pointo attack.“We think both rontsought to be pretty good,”Stanord said.
LINEBACKERJohn Neal Stanback (Jr.),Jarcquarius Clark (Sr.),Quavis Sherrod (Sr.),Damian Moore (Sr.)SECONDARYAlex Lipscomb (Jr.),Donsha Walker (Jr.),Kiren Sharp (Soph.)
Stanord is concernedhow much the members o the secondary will be ableto go both ways early in theseason, but he eels they will be ready to play biggerroles once district play comes.“We have to pace ourpeople, and some o ourother people, they’re notbad athletes. They will haveto do a better job than whatwe expect,” Stanord said.“We will play a lot o peopleearly because o that.”
SPECIALISTSMichael Sturdivant (Sr.),Anthony Maleta (Fr.)
Sturdivant will handlekicko and punts, whileMaleta will handle extrapoints and feld goals.
— Adam Minichino
Sunday, auguSt 18, 2013
high School football preview
Mississippi High School Activities Association: Class 6A, Region 2; 2012 Record 7-5 (4-3)
Aug. 23 Open DateAug. 30 At Noxubee Co.Sept. 6 NEW HOPESept. 13 At West PointSept. 20 At LouisvilleSept. 27 STARKVILLEOct. 4 CLINTONOct. 11 At NorthwestRankinOct. 18 GREENVILLE-WESTONOct. 25 At MadisonCentralNov. 1 At MurrahNov. 8 WARRENCENTRALHOME GAMES IN CAPS
Aug. 17 W, 21-0ABERDEENAug. 24 Open DateAug. 31 L, 19-26WEST POINTSept. 7 W, 9-6At New HopeSept. 14 W, 21-13LOUISVILLESept. 21 W, 14-0At TupeloSept. 28 L, 7-17SOUTHAVENOct. 5 L, 14-21At South PanolaOct. 12 W, 14-0DESOTO CENTRALOct. 19 W, 14-0At Horn LakeOct. 26 L, 7-16OLIVE BRANCHNov. 2 W, 41-21At GrenadaNov. 9 L, 7-41At MadisonCentralHOME GAMES IN CAPS
Class 6ARegion 2
ColumbusMadison CentralNW RankinStarkvilleClintonGreenvilleMurrahWarren Central
Top our qualiy orplayos
a Closer look
Micah Green/Dispatch Staff
Columbus High School seniors Trace Lee, let, and Corey Brown will part o a group o leaders that hopes to helpthe program build on a trip to the Class 6A playos last season.
“A true leader does not all to the standards of others but yet sets astandard and brings peopleup to it.”
By AdAm minichino
Listen. Trace Lee has some-thing to say.Early on in his Colum-bus High School athleticcareer, Lee was content being a supportive, hus-tling teammate. Wheth-er it was on the ootballfeld, the soccer feld, or the baseball diamond, Leecould be counted on to bea team player and do what-ever he could to help theFalcons win. Typically, you didn’t have to listen, you only had to watch because Leewould let his actions dothe talking.But Lee has gottenstronger each year in highschool. He has been onteams with vocal leadersand quiet leaders. He haspersevered with his team-mates through the ups and
Dispatch File Photos
TOP: Columbus High School quarterback Trace Lee surveys the feld beore the ball is snapped in the team’s game against Aberdeen lastseason. BELOW: Lee stands in the center o a team circle to lead the team in a moment o prayer.
LEE GIVES VOICE TO LEADING FALCONS AS SENIOR
downs o wins and losses,all while growing stron-ger in his aith and moreconfdent in his ability tobe a leader.Listen. Trace Lee has some-thing to say. As he enters his senior year, primed to begin a journey that will help de-termine the next phaseo his lie, Lee realizesthis is the time to speakup. He doesn’t want tosteal the spotlight or totake control o the Colum-bus High School ootballteam. Instead, he wantsto be a galvanizing voicethat brings the Falcons’seniors together so theprogram can have a sea-son to remember.“It is time or me to be a leader with these other se-nior guys,” Lee said. “It’sour last go-around, and we have a lot o potential. At the same time, it hasto come to ruition, so wehave to be leaders and do what we have to do. The