As the new school year approaches, Lee County High School athletic director Hank Wright is confident that the Trojans are on the path to continued success. The school’s athletic program was recognized as the “Athletic Program of the Year” by In the Game magazine recently as the top in the area. The school fields 26 athletic teams including the new esports program which launched last year. And his goal for the 26 teams – to be just as successful as the football team which has won two consecutive state championships.
“We want to do things the right way and put our kids to be as successful as possible,” Wright said during an interview Tuesday morning. “We have good people in place and we all work hard to be successful.” The only exception to having everyone in place is the swim team. Wright said that head coaching position is not nailed down just yet, but he believes there are qualified people within the system that will fill that position and do it well.
“It’s my job to support our coaches and our kids the best I can,” Wright said. “It takes a team effort to make this program work the way it does. All of us pull together and help each other and we get great support from the community and other athletic programs. If we work hard and do things the right way the accolades will come. I am just blessed to a part of that.”
Wright is not too concerned about the upcoming realignment that could come this year. He is confident that Lee County will remain in the 6A classification if there are seven classes or be in 5A if the GHSA changes to six classifications. Those decisions could be announced as early as October and then realignment would be effective for the 2020 school year. He said he has no idea what other schools will end up in the same region as the Trojans, but he is confident Lee County will not move to the largest classification.
“We are proud of who we are and where we have come from,” Wright said. “The ground work for this success was laid years ago in the ’80s and ’90s. We are reaping the benefits of the hard work people put in years ago.”
Besides state championships, one measure of success for an athletic program is college scholarships for the athletes. More than 20 football players signed letters of intent to play college football from Lee County last year, four from the baseball team, among others. That number is not complete yet because a 2019 graduate will be signing a track scholarship Friday morning at Lee County High School.
While there isn’t any major construction happening for Lee County athletics at the moment, the new soccer field and track is almost complete just across from the Lee County ninth grade campus. Wright said a concession stand and locker rooms will be added, but that the field is already in use for some things. Last year, Lee County opened eight new tennis courts in Leesburg, next to the Lee County Board of Education. The eight courts were used last spring for tennis competition and they are sometimes available for public use as well. The courts sit on property that was the Lee County football field years ago.
He said there are new lights on the football field and new backstops and other improvements to the baseball field. He said there are plans to upgrade facilities at the baseball field by adding a concession stand and locker rooms but that is not underway yet.