When you speak to him, you can’t help but notice the enthusiasm in his voice, as it is natural and real.
He is indeed a guy who looks at the glass as half full, and unlike other head coaches who might become frustrated with it, the youth and inexperience of his roster drives him even more to succeed.
Yes, conversing with North Carolina A&T State University’s Alonzo Lee is indeed an exercise in positive thinking. The second year coach knows what he is up against this weekend against the favored Tennessee State Tigers.
“Playing the Tigers in the Circle City Classic is a great opportunity for this program and we intend to show up and play well,” said Lee recently from his office. “Our guys know the challenge is there, and while they are certainly a great football team, we feel this is the time to progress and accomplish things right now, and not later.”
Lee remains optimistic about his team despite only having eight seniors and nine juniors on the roster. Couple that with injuries to starting quarterback Lewis Kindle, and you have a situation that could easily lead to a lost season.
Not the case with the Aggies, as Lee has adapted to the situation and to date behind quarterback Sheldon Morgan and running back Mike Mayhew, the Aggies have been in every game they played this year as they continue the quest for their first victory.
“We have certainly made some mistakes on the field this year that have led to our losing football games” added Lee. “But the effort has been outstanding and we have made some noticeable strides and played some very competitive football along the way.” The Aggie defense has indeed been tested and at times has struggled this season. Unlike most young teams, they also have played admirably in portions of each game this year. The unit is led by seniors linebackers Jeremy Graham and Brandon Jackson, and senior safety Vernon White. Lee describes them all as being “Good players and great young men.”
Despite some of the adversity they have endured.
Lee feels that this group has an opportunity to become a solid football team sooner than later.
While they may be 0-4 at this point, with a break here or there this might have been a .500 football team coming in to the match up with Tennessee State.
While great success may be down the road a bit, Lee looks for the Aggies to improve as this most challenging season goes on, and he surmised it well as our conversation concluded. “While the opportunities before us are great, our desire to succeed is even greater.”
CLASSIC NOTES: Lee’s Aggies indeed will be facing a solid football team this Saturday when they line up against Tennessee State.
The Tigers led by head coach Ron Reed boast a prolific rusher in Preston Brown and a equally talented linebacker in Rico Council.
Brown recently rushed for 233 yards on 28 carries against Florida A&M and is averaging a whopping 153 rushing yards a game.
For the first time in the storied history of this great event, there will be a high school football game on Friday evening prior to the main event on Saturday. Local powers Warren Central and Carmel will get it on at Lucas Oil Stadium at 7:30 in the inaugural Circle City High School Showcase.
Warren is on a clear path to a state title but Carmel is loaded as well and this should be a great opportunity to see top flight high school football. There will no doubt be plenty of college scouts in the stands for this one. Tickets are still available at the venue box office.
The 26th annual Circle City Classic kicks off at 4 p.m. Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium. There are still tickets available and they can be obtained by contacting ticketmaster.com or at the stadium box office. See you there for some great football.
Danny Bridges, who feels Coach Lee will bring success to the Aggie program can be reached at (317) 578-1780 or at Bridgeshd@aol.com.