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Examiner
  • Lee adds to Wildcats' award haul

  • When Elijah Lee transferred from St. Joseph Central High School to Blue Springs, he had one question in mind.

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  • When Elijah Lee transferred from St. Joseph Central High School to Blue Springs, he had one question in mind.
    “I wondered if I could play with the big boys, the Class 6 players,” said Lee, who Tuesday morning at Blue Springs High School was named the winner of the Buck Buchanan Award, which is given to the top large school lineman or linebacker in the metro area.
    “I guess I found out I could, and I am so thankful for that.”
    Lee finished the season with 71 tackles, 18.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for a loss in the Wildcats’ Class 6 state championship season.
    He had 10 tackles and four sacks against Rockhurst in a 14-11 state quarterfinal victory.
    “We knew the first day of practice that he was going to be a special player,” Wildcats coach Kelly Donohoe said when asked about the junior defensive end. “Did we think he’d be the best lineman in the metro area? Well, we knew he had the potential.
    “We can’t wait to see what he does next season.”
    Lee is the fifth Wildcat to win the Buchanan Award, joining Jordan Chrisman, Bruce Ringwood, Earl Jack and John Garrison. He beat out Fort Osage linebacker Mamu Tauiautusa, Olathe South lineman Braden Smith and Gardner Edgerton linebacker Matt Plank for the award.
    “What really makes this day special is that I received the award at Blue Springs High School and got to share it with Dalvin (Warmack) and all my coaches, teammates and classmates.”
    Warmack, the winner of the 30th annual Simone Award, and Lee were PeeWee League football teammates from the fourth through sixth grades while they lived in Topeka, Kan.
    “When we lived in Topeka we played for the Bears and the Cowboys, and now we play for the Wildcats,” Lee said. “It’s just unbelievable the way this all turned out.”
    Warmack moved to Blue Springs when he was in the seventh grade and Lee moved to Blue Springs before the start of this past school year when his mother moved to be closer to her job.
    “It’s all so crazy and so wonderful,” Lee said. “I’m already thinking about next year. Dalvin and I are both back and want to win another state championship. This one felt so good, I can’t imagine what it would feel like to win two of them.”
     
     

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