RED SPRINGS — Leading into high school football practice starting on July 30, The Robesonian’s sports staff is publishing a countdown of the top 15 players in Robeson County, and Red Springs’ Lee McLean comes in at No. 3 on the list.
McLean rushed for 1,562 yards and 14 touchdowns on his way to being named the county’s most improved player last season. Now that he’s free of the several small injuries that impeded his progress in 2017, McLean is ready to defend his spot as one of the region’s biggest threats in the backfield.
He won’t have last season’s Robeson County Heisman winner in Jerome Bass to balance the rushing duties with, but that doesn’t worry McLean.
“No pressure. I’ll just keep doing what I do,” McLean said.
Red Spring head coach Lawrence Ches said McLean’s athleticism is just one of the reasons he is a valuable leader for the Red Devils.
“He’s one of my most dedicated young men,” Ches said. “He’s probably the most mature junior on the team. Just a workhorse. Great guy. Hardest worker I’ve got.”
McLean eclipsed 100 yards on the ground in eight of the 11 games he played in last season. He broke the 200-yard mark twice, the first time being a 209-yard effort against South Columbus and the second being a season-high 220-yard performance against St. Pauls.
He helped the Red Devils finish with a 9-4 record and an appearance in the second round of the state playoffs. McLean said his team is ready to build on their success last season despite losing a talented senior class.
“We’re looking really good,” McLean said. “We’re a young team because we lost good seniors and we have a lot of spots to fill. We’ve just got to keep working.”
McLean hopes to take advantage of opportunities to impress college coaches this season.
“I’m looking to get out to college and hopefully get to leave,” McLean said.
Red Springs plays its first game of the season on Aug. 17 at South Brunswick.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.