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Friday, November 23, 2012 - Page updated at 08:00 p.m.
Auburn's Harold Lee lights it up with every step
By Sandy Ringer
Seattle Times staff reporter
It all started with the shoes, RG3 shoes at that.
When Harold Lee started looking online for a new pair of football cleats last summer, one pair jumped off the screen at him.
They were green. Lime green. Electric lime green.
And Lee knew they were perfect for him.
"Lime green is one of my favorite colors," he said. "I thought it would fit me, being electric."
Lee paired them with lime-green socks, put on the rest of his Auburn High School uniform and started making one electrifying play after another. Superman has his cape, Lee has his shoes and socks.
And he hopes to light up the Tacoma Dome at 7 p.m. Saturday when the surprising Trojans (10-2) take on fourth-ranked Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma (11-1) in the Class 4A semifinals.
"He's one of those guys who has a knack for making plays," Auburn coach Gordon Elliott said. "He's so versatile."
Lee (5 feet 9, 160 pounds), a senior who missed nearly all of last season with a broken right leg, has scored in just about every way imaginable this year. He has eight touchdowns rushing, two receiving, three by interception returns, one by punt return and one by kickoff return. He has seven picks and was voted SPSL North Defensive Back of the Year.
His 15 TDs came in only 10 games. He missed two late in the season because of a concussion.
"He's just one of those kids who is just so explosive," said Abe VanDerPuy, the Trojans' special teams and defensive backs coach. "He has the ability, especially as a DB, to just anticipate what's going to happen before it happens. And there's not a lot of kids, in high school at least, who are blessed with that ability to look around, see the situation and know instinctively how to react."
Even if football isn't his favorite game. Basketball remains No. 1 in his heart, and he is the Trojans' starting point guard.
"I'm just more in tune with the game," Lee said. "I watch basketball every day. I play basketball every day. I'm even taking a basketball class now."
If he had his way, he'd go from football practice straight to basketball practice. But he'd be happy to focus on football for another week, if the Trojans can pull another upset. They beat No. 5 Mead of Spokane in the quarterfinals.
Last fall, Lee's leg was broken in the second game of the season, not long after he returned a kickoff 90 yards for a TD. He was back in time for the basketball opener.
Some questioned whether he should risk playing football again, and Lee admits he wavered for a while.
"I just decided to play football again, and it turned out the best for me," he said.
Just like his decision on those electric-green shoes.
Sandy Ringer: 206-718-1512 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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