With 149 football players spanning 29 states participating in next week’s International Bowl, one will not have to travel too far from home.
Rex Lee, 14, an eighth grader at Forbes Middle School in Georgetown, Texas, is 5’7, 150 pounds and plays offensive line for the school’s team. While he normally protects the quarterback, Lee was selected as long snapper.
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Lee, who has played football since the fourth grade, described the moment he found out he was chosen to play in Dallas.
“I was on my way to my eighth grade football game on the team bus,” he recalled. “I announced it on the bus and my teammates got really hyped for me.”
Today, the youngster is on cloud nine and ready to play for his country. When he received the news, his parents, Richard and Susan, expressed their happiness and told him that all of his hard work had finally paid off.
While he acknowledged that playing at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, is an honor, representing his country means much more. Playing for team USA doesn’t just mean he needs to win and perform well, but rather be a good person and set an example.
“My family is very patriotic and many of my family members have served and are serving in the military,” he said. “It is an honor and I am very proud. I'm excited for the opportunity to make my family and my country proud of me and my team.” His cousin Captain Christopher Rego is a Captain in the U.S. Army and his grandfather Col. Curtis D Lee is a retired Colonel in the Army.
- stressed he would not have gotten this far in his football career if not for a few important people. He expressed his gratitude to Doug Conrey, his long snapping coach, who works tirelessly with him on his snapping skills; his dad, who takes him to his different trainings and camps and always encourages him to work harder than everybody else; TJ Garza, his speed and agility coach who has trained many professional and college athletes; his sister, Samantha, who inspires him to be a college athlete like her; his mom, who is his biggest fan; Joe and his grandmother, his biggest cheerleaders and Poppa Lee who gives him life advice.
Lee has worked hard to get to where he is today. He began playing Pop Warner at age 8 and began long snapping four years later. At first, snapping the ball a small distance was a challenge, but today, he snaps it 15 yards and puts it right on the punter’s hip.
In addition to practicing, and attending numerous camps such as Nike Contact Camp, Kornblue Fab 50 Camp, Air It Out Camp and college specialists camps, he works out, hydrates, does Olympic lifting to work on his explosion and speed and agility training weekly.
“I am getting better every day and with every training session,” he said. “I work really hard at my skill because my goal is to be the number one long snapper in the class of 2022.”
In addition to being selected for the International Bowl, Lee has been recognized on a few occasions. He was the Most Valuable Camper at the 2015 Nike Contact camp, won the Gatorade G Award at the 2016 Nike Contact camp and was ranked 45 on the Kornblue Fab 50 Snappers 2017.
Looking ahead, to playing in high school and beyond, he knows he needs to improve his strength, speed and endurance. But, more importantly, he’ll never forget a pieces of advice a coach once told him
“Forget about mistakes. Learn from it and go on to the next play,” he said. “Do today what will make you better tomorrow.”
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