“After looking at the film, I would say that Heritage probably had the best skill people we played all season,” Lee Academy Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Rick Johnston confessed following the season.
Reflecting on the season, Johnston said he was proud of his team for the way his players dealt with the adversity of losing three quarterbacks and not throwing in the towel at any point during the season.
“Injuries hurt us badly this season,” Johnston admitted. “Not many teams have players who can play quarterback in addition to their positions. We were fortunate that we did, but you have to realize we played the majority of our season without our starting quarterback.”
After making the MAIS AAA playoffs, the Colts lost their first-round playoff game to Heritage Academy, 41-6, on the road in Columbus to finish the season 5-5, with one forfeiture. It was the second consecutive season for the Colts to go one-and-done in the playoffs.
Johnston said Heritage had the talent to win the AAA divisional playoffs.
Johnston gave the Colts this week off, but will have them back in the weight room beginning next week.
The second-year Colt head coach was working on the 2019 football schedule this week as the Lee Drive school will move up to the new AAAA category and compete against Central Holmes, North Delta, Kirk and Winston Academy. Central Holmes is located in Lexington and finished 6-3 this season, North Delta is located in Batesville and finished 4-6 this season, while Kirk is in Grenada and finished 1-9 in 2018. Winston Academy is in Louisville and was 2-8.
Lee loses seniors Hayes Clegg, Evan Watts, Andrew Morson, Rutledge Agostinelli, Jackson Young, Crawford Allen and Owen Williamson.
“That’s a lot of talent to be losing,” Johnston pointed out. “All were starters, but Watts, Allen and Williamson were among the injured we had this season. Clegg, a lineman, stepped up to be our fourth quarterback and did a good job, receiving several all-star nominations at the end of the season.”
Johnston said one of his goals next season is to develop some linemen and work with the talented skill players remaining on the roster.
“We have some excellent skilled players returning,” he pointed out. “For example, quarterback Brett Wilson, Gage Murphy, Luke Crumpton, Gaines Barksdale, Seth Campbell Phillip Brownlee and Shane Griffin. Also, we’ll have linemen Landon Wong, Cam Brewer and Brandon Miller. They all contributed toward our team this season.”
Rutledge Agostinelli, who was the starting center, Agostinelli was forced to move to defensive tackle in the second half of the playoff game due to an injury to the starter.
“He did a good job,” Johnston said.
Sophomore Gaines Barksdale also drew praise from his head coach for his performance at defensive back.