High School Football

Do-it-all Ramsey playing with purpose for Catholic

Lee Ramsey has done a little bit of everything and delivered a whole lot of something for Lexington Catholic's football team over the past three years.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior has played running back, wide receiver, slot receiver, tight end, defensive back and kick returner for the Knights.

He rarely makes the headlines or TV highlights, but he always makes an impression on his coach.

"Lee does everything we need him to do," Bill Letton said. "He's one of our captains and definitely one of our leaders. He always makes sure things get done right."

Ramsey's big-game experience, which includes helping Lexington Catholic win the 2007 state championship, will be an asset when the Knights visit undefeated Boyle County in the Class 4A playoffs Friday night.

"He'll be poised. He won't be rattled at all," Letton said. "He'll be a calming influence on the rest of the team."

When Lexington Catholic played Boyle County last month, the Rebels jumped to a 21-3 lead on the strength of three long plays by star running back Rees MacShara.

The Knights rallied but lost 21-13.

"We blew a lot of assignments defensively in the first half of that game," Ramsey said. "We know we can't do that again. We've been a lot more disciplined in practice this week. Our main focus has been not giving up gaps, things like that."

Playing rover on defense, Ramsey is among the Knights' leading tacklers and will no doubt keep an eye trained on MacShara on Friday night.

Ramsey also figures to contribute as a receiver (he's caught four touchdown passes this season), and on special teams. "I go wherever the coach tells me," he said.

As his senior season winds down, Ramsey is focused on helping Lexington Catholic make a run at its third state title in five years.

"Coach has been asking us the past couple weeks, how do we want to go out?" Ramsey said. "Are we going to count the days, or make the days count?

"It means a lot because, for us seniors, it's our last year."

It also means a lot to Ramsey because football meant a lot to his father, Dr. Lee "Butch" Ramsey, who died of cancer in late October 2007 at age 46.

"Lee's dad was a huge football fan," Letton said. "He was one of those larger-than- life guys, a real character."

While his dad battled brain cancer during Lee's sophomore year, football helped Lee cope with it all.

After Lexington Catholic beat Boyle County in a junior varsity game that season, Lee took the game ball to his dad in the hospital.

Since his father died, Lee has dedicated every game to him.

"Football was his thing," Lee said. "When he passed away, it just became that much more important for me to stick with it.

"It was tough, but the guys on the team and the coaches helped me through it. Whenever I play, it's all for him."

It goes without saying that Ramsey thinks the ultimate tribute to his father would be another state title.

"Absolutely," he said. "That'd be the greatest."