In more than 50 years of Cardinal Gibbons football, there has never been a debut season quite like the one wide receiver Trevon Lee enjoyed last season.
The 6-1, 170-pound junior caught 31 passes for 786 yards and eight touchdowns as a sophomore. He averaged 25.4 yards per reception and led Gibbons to an 8-3 record.
He likely would have set the school record for receiving yards in a season, but he injured his right ankle with about six minutes to play in the regular-season finale against Coconut Creek.
That left a “frustrated” Lee four yards short of the mark set by Shawn Corker in 2008. But Lee is determined to make amends.
“Setting the record is very important to me,” said Lee, who wants to become a doctor and already has been offered football scholarships by Duke and South Carolina. “I want to leave Gibbons having accomplished something so that kids can remember how good a player I was.”
Defensive back coach David Montiel can vouch for how good Lee is – especially since his cornerbacks and safeties try to cover the Gibbons star each day in practice.
“Trevon is very fast and does a great job of running routes,” Montiel said. “He catches the ball with his hands. You hardly ever see him catching the ball inside his body.”
Lee said he is looking forward to the 2012 season, which starts Aug. 31 against Archbishop McCarthy.
He wants to atone for how last season ended, which was with a 55-0 first-round playoff loss to Miami Norland.
“Most of my team gave up at halftime,” Lee said. “I was mad at the team, and I was mad at myself because I didn’t step up and tell the guys to calm down.”
Saying his teammates quit is a serious charge, but Lee said “everyone [at Gibbons] knows it’s true.”
Lee is also confident that Gibbons won’t give up anymore.
“Our team is better this season,” he said. “Everyone is saying that this is our year to go to states. We’ve been planning this for two years.”
Lee is referring to Gibbons’ talented junior class, which accounts for 10 of the 11 starters on offense.
Gibbons head coach Mike Morrill said his offense – despite its youth – is ahead of his defense right now. He also said that youth is no excuse for a lack of production.
“Most of our juniors have experience,” Morrill said. “We don’t consider them novices at all.”
That’s especially true of Lee, who has emerged as a team leader in just his second year on the varsity.
Morrill, in his 27th year at Gibbons and his 14th as head coach, said Lee has an excellent chance at breaking all the school records for a receiver by the time he graduates.
He lauds Lee’s explosiveness, strength, speed and route-running, calling him “the total package.”
If Gibbons is to win its first state title – a second-place finish in 1990 is the school’s best showing – Lee figures to have to learn to adjust to added attention from defenses.
“I’m not worried about it because the other receivers on my team are going to step up this year,” Lee said. “I believe in them. Once they start catching the ball in games, defenses won’t be able to double-team us. We have a lot of dangerous receivers.”