Josh Lee

Hoover High's Josh Lee practices running low under a tarp structure after body throwing a heavy pad at football practice at Hoover High on Friday. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

There aren’t many breaks in the action for Josh Lee throughout the year. Pick a season and he’s assuredly playing a sport at Hoover High.

The senior is a member of the school’s football, wrestling and track and field teams. Lee wrestles in the 220-pound division and is a middle-distance runner on the track.

It’s on the football field, where Lee looks to stand out the most.

“It’s just about having your priorities straight,” said Lee, a defensive end/left tackle who will begin his third season at the varsity level. “I like to stay in shape throughout the season by playing football, wrestling and running.

“I love playing football. There’s something that’s exhilarating about stepping on to the field and giving it your all with your teammates every day at practice and then in the game.”

After Hoover wrapped up last season, Lee made a concentrated effort to hit the weight room at Hoover and a local gym to bulk up.

It’s something Lee said he relishes leading up to Hoover’s season-opening contest against visiting Hollywood on Thursday at Glendale High’s Moyse Field.

“You try to be as versatile as you can,” said Lee, who was primarily a linebacker last season. “If you can do more than one thing well, then you are helping your team out that much more.

“You try to set a good example for the returning teammates and the new players coming on board.”

That’s the kind of attitude that Hoover second-year Coach Matt Anderson likes to see from his players.

“Josh is going to be one of our five captains,” said Andersen, whose team finished 2-8 after winning its first two games last season. “He’s got that perfect attitude and he’s always self-motivated, so I never have to worry about that.

“He’s had a great work ethic throughout the offseason. During spring and now at our most recent practices, you can see Josh in how much more powerful and quick he is. Those are good signs for somebody we know we can rely on all the time.”

Several of Lee’s teammates said he’s the consummate player looking to revive a program that last qualified for the CIF Southern Section playoffs in 1987.

Hoover senior quarterback Vaughn Parawan said he’ll count on Lee being a pillar of strength on the line for the Tornadoes.

“He’s the guy who is in charge of the line,” Parawan said. “Once you get on the field, he’s not the kind of player you want to mess around against.

“The thing I like about him is the way he influences the rest of the team. He’s talking up things almost all the time with the players and he has a way of getting the other players to work out. I like to think he’s the total package.”

Hoover senior linebacker/running back Davit Nersisyan agreed with Parawan.

“I’ve worked out with him a lot,” Nersisyan said. “Most of the time, we’ve talked about being motivated and playing football.

“You know going in he’s going to always have a burst of energy. You never have to worry about him slacking off at any time. As a running back, I’m confident he can open the holes and make me look good.”

Lee knows there plenty of work ahead for him and the Tornadoes during the next couple of months.

In the meantime, Lee will look to be one of the Tornadoes’ facilitators throughout the season.

“We are lucky to have a coach like Coach Andersen,” Lee said. “I’m going to do anything I can to help our team win.

“He wants you to succeed. I want to succeed and I want my teammates to succeed.”

--

Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .