As Elijah Lee walked into the Blue Springs High School activities office Thursday afternoon, he was welcomed with a familiar greeting.

As Elijah Lee walked into the Blue Springs High School activities office Thursday afternoon, he was welcomed with a familiar greeting.

“Hey Prophet,” Blue Springs pastor and Wildcats advisor Joey Butler said to the grinning junior defensive end.

First-year basketball coach Adam Jones glanced over at the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Lee, who will be in the starting lineup when the Wildcats open play tonight at his former school, St. Joseph Central, and grinned.

“The man-child, the beast,” Jones said. “Just look at that young man – what an athlete.”

Lee was a big reason the Wildcats enjoyed a Class 6 state championship football season as he recorded 71 tackles, 18.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss while being named a Buck Buchanan Award finalist.

Not bad for a first-year move-in from St. Joseph.

“You hear things when a kid is moving to your district, and most of them aren’t true,” Wildcats football coach Kelly Donohoe said. “But everything we heard about Elijah was true – and then some.

“I love the kid. He was one of the hardest workers on the team – he was first in every sprint and he was always asking if he could watch extra film. And what an athlete – my goodness, and he’s just a junior. I can’t even imagine how good he could be next season.

“He was a dream move-in, and a dream to coach. We are so lucky to have him.”

Lee earned the nickname “Prophet” from KCWJ play-by-play man Dale Carter, who marveled over the young man’s athletic prowess as a defensive end and tight end.

“We all saw what Elijah did on the football field,” said Jones, who replaced longtime head basketball coach Frank Wheeler at the end of last season, “and we can’t wait to see what he does this season with the basketball team.

“We’ve had him three days and he already feels like a part of the team. We haven’t had to slow anything down in practice, because he’s picked up everything so quickly. And he’s so strong – just ask any of the guys who have had to guard him. Or, maybe I should say, try to guard him.”

When his mother moved to Blue Springs to be closer to her new job, Lee was reunited with two former friends from the Topeka, Kan., area – running back Dalvin Warmack and his younger brother, Tre’von.

“It’s all kind of funny how things worked out,” Lee said. “I knew Dalvin and Tre’von when we all lived in Topeka in the fourth grade. They moved to Blue Springs and I moved to St. Joe – and now, we’re all back playing football.

“When I came to Blue Springs, I knew the football team had the chance to be good, but I didn’t know it would be this good. Last year, we were 6-5 at Central, and everyone was real excited. A 6-5 record wouldn’t be acceptable at Blue Springs. If we don’t make it into the playoffs and have a chance to win state, then everyone is disappointed.”

There was no disappointment this season as the Wildcats routed Francis Howell 42-3 in the Class 6 Show-Me Bowl state championship game where Lee and Donte Watkins led Blue Springs with seven tackles and Lee recorded a sack.

“We knew we were going to be real successful at state after the first series,” Lee said, smiling. “We held them to a three-and-out and Dalvin scored a touchdown on our first series. We didn’t think we’d win as easily as we did, but we went to St. Louis thinking we were going to be state champions.”

Now, he can make an equal impression with the Wildcats basketball team.

“I can’t wait,” Lee said. “We want to bring that confidence from football over to basketball. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun and win a lot of games.”