By Dan Ninham
TrayVaughn Lee is Leech Lake the college level. He is a graduating senior at Cass Lake-Bena High School and is three-sport athlete competing in football, basketball, and baseball.
Lee signed his national letter of intent to continue his academic and football career at the University of Jamestown (ND). He plans to pursue studies in physical therapy. He said, “I never thought in my life that I would be in a situation to receive one, so getting an offer was amazing to me.”
Jamestown head football coach Brian Mistro talked about one his recruits. He said, “TrayVaughn was a guy we identified early in the recruiting process and we fell in love with his personality and the way he carried himself on our Junior Visit Day last spring. He coupled that with a great performance at our individual camp this summer and we just had to give him a scholarship offer. He’s going to be a great addition to the black and orange here in Jamestown.”
Lee has many goals but also has a major goal he wants to accomplish. He said, “My goal is to be a starter at the college level. I have a lot of work to do to make this a reality. This includes getting stronger and working on my game during the in-season and the offseason.”
Lee’s main mentor is his mom Bethany Reese. “She pushes me to compete and work hard. She taught me a lot in life that translated to my sports. She taught me to keep my cool no matter how crazy my surroundings or circumstances are.”
“I have been fortunate to watch and support Tray play basketball, football and baseball over the years,” said mom Bethany Reese. “What I love most about watching him is that he brings so much good and positive energy to his team, whether they’re winning or losing. The chemistry he brings is something far beyond points, far beyond touchdowns, and far beyond home runs, and he brings natural leadership, love and support to his team and teammates.”
“My best memory of Tray will be the way he’s led his peers by example and he’s become someone our younger youth look up too. He’s always been a person with focus, self-discipline and resiliency. Tray got up early in the morning, picking up his teammates and heading to the school to get in extra practice. He’s maintained excellent grades and always makes time to help his teammates with their school work. His passion and pride is something you feel in the air when Tray is on the court or field. I look forward to watching and supporting him play football at the next level,” added Reese.
Michael Hanson is the physical education teacher and baseball and foot- ball coach at Cass Lake-Bena High School. “I have had the privilege of coaching Tray for the last six years since he was in seventh grade,” said Coach Hanson. “Tray has been tasked with being the backbone on his ath- letic teams, the glue that keeps everything together, and the one who always has the level head. Tray is always willing to help the younger players on the team and is a great example for our youth on the Leech Lake Reservation.”
Blue Olson is the head baseball coach and football defensive coordinator. He said, “Tray is very hardworking, respected, motivated, and an all-around kid that you want more of for your team. He is always willing to help the younger guys get better and pass on what he has learned.”
“Last spring after we got done with baseball practice all the kids headed in. But not Tray. He went over to the football field and started to do sprints. He said he just wanted to get better,” added Coach Olson.
Al Johnson teaches math at the Alternative Learning Center (ALC) and coaches both varsity football and wrestling for Cass Lake-Bena HS. “There was never a day that Tray never came to the coach’s office to just check in how things were going. He always brought a positive attitude to practice with him no matter the situation the team was facing and just was an all-around great kid to have on a sports team.”
TrayVaughn Lee has had the support of his family, teachers and coaches to follow his dreams to the next level.