LEE Finds Its Identity Through Soccer Success

LEE Manager David Rogers with senior Theo Gunter after defeating Reagan on April 13, 2019 (Photo from NEISD Athletics).

 

I originally ran this story in January after LEE defeated Central Catholic.  Central went on to win another TAPPS title, while LEE reached the semifinals in ANY team sport for the first time since 1997, when soccer lost to Grapevine. As correctly predicted, the Volunteers blew out Lake Travis and beat an Rio Grande Valley team in route to the semis. They swept Reagan 10-1, including a 5-0 win in the quarters, which featured four goals in five minutes and two in 19 seconds. David Rogers is taking his fifth trip to the state semis. He won titles with Granbury as an assistant in 1999, 2006 with Boerne over Wichita Falls Rider, and in 2011 with Boerne Champion.

This is a repost of that original story from the old VYPE site.

LEE took home an extra passenger after defeating Reagan in the 6A quarterfinals on April 13, 2019 (Photo from LEE Athletics).

SAN ANTONIO – Back in the 1970s, LEE High School, then known as Lee for Robert E. Lee, was on top of the local sports world. Tommy Kramer led the Volunteers to the 1971 state championship before being a part of the Minnesota Vikings’ final NFC championship team in 1977 as part of a 14-year career. The baseball team lost in the 1973 state championship game, but had a run of success, picking up from where South San left off after its dynasty.

But, with the area growing and new schools opening up in NEISD, Lee struggled for years in some sports and the school dealt with a petition on whether to remain Lee, or change its name to an idea. The school board voted to change Lee from Robert E. Lee to LEE, the Legacy of Educational Excellence, in 2018.

While the school dealt with what to be named after, the athletic programs began a renaissance of success. Girls basketball surprised many and won the 2018 district title. But, a lot of it started with boys soccer. The Volunteers won the 2015 district title on a head-to-head tiebreaker over Reagan. In 2018, the boys made it to the state quarterfinals, but lost to the Rattlers, who shut them out three times that season.  In 2019, the Volunteers are the favorite to win a loaded NEISD district, especially with Francisco Segura back, after missing most of 2018 with a knee injury.

“The team is really progressing. I saw them reach the state quarterfinals.  When you have a [name] change, it’s a chance to renew yourself. Put everything behind a fresh start. A new LEE name and a new LEE soccer team,“ said Segura.

Francisco Segura celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Central Catholic on January 15, 2019 (Photo from LEE Vol Photos).

Their other key player is Wilmar Aguilar. If not for the losses against Reagan, Aguilar probably would have much more name recognition.

“It’s always in the back of our minds. But, if we keep working hard, we can get to that spot that Reagan was at. It’s a joy that I can help the team. We work day-by-day.”

LEE already defeated two-time defending TAPPS champion Central Catholic, a team who beat Reagan, as part of a tough non-district schedule. It included wins over Houston Strake Jesuit and Katy Cinco Ranch and losses to Coppell and national power LA Cathedral. With Johnson and Reagan returning several players from last year’s teams, the Volunteers will have a challenge, but they welcome it.

“I think all eyes are on us right now. The school is backing us and we want to make them proud and reach a state final. We are all humble. We are brothers and take care of one another. All the other sports are coming up,” said Segura.

(Archived: LEE faces Johnson on Friday after opening with South San. The first Reagan match will on February 11. The winner of NEISD will still have to beat Lake Travis and at least one RGV power to move on to Georgetown.)

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LEE plays College Park on Friday night. A win moves them into the final against either defending 6A state and national champion Alief Elsik or Flower Mound.

Greg Sherman covers high school sports for VYPE San Antonio and can be reached at [email protected]

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