Eddie Lee could have been in the lineup for Monday night’s North-South All-Star game. Instead he was at Basilone Field at Bridgewater-Raritan High School with several other teammates readying for another game.
Lee, a recent Franklin High School graduate and bound for Towson on a football scholarship, will line up in the Leathernecks’ offensive backfield Friday night when they take on the Devil Dogs in Basilone Bowl I.
Lee, who comes from a military background, explained why he chose to play in the inaugural game.
“I wanted to play with my teammates and especially with my coach (Lou Solomon) one last time,” said Lee. “(Solomon) has been with me for four years so I wanted to play with him one last time before I go off to college.
“And also it’s the first game All-Star football game for (Somerset) County, and it’s good for the county because it’s the first game ever and it’s supported by the Marines so I really wanted to be a part of it.”
Lee’s family ties to the military come in the form of his brother, cousin and grandfather, who all served in the U.S. Army.
“I have a great respect for the military,” Lee said, “so it’s a great honor to be able to play in this game.”
Solomon, Franklin High School’s head football coach, is serving as the Leathernecks’ offensive coordinator for the game and commented on Lee’s participation in the game.
“He relished having the opportunity to play one more time with his classmates, and also to represent somerset county,” Solomon said. “He’s a great all-around kid, and I’m excited to be able to coach him one more time.”
Solomon is charged up to have Lee at his disposal Friday night.
“He’s a scholarship kid,” Solomon said. “He has tremendous speed and athleticism, and he’s one of those kids you get once in a lifetime as a coach.”
Lee, a Courier News All-Area first team selection last fall, said there’s a different dynamic to playing an All-Star game with some of the players he’s lined up against in the past now his teammates.
“Now we’re all one team playing for one goal,” Lee said. “It’s a bunch of good guys and respectful guys, so it’s a good experience.”
Despite the game being an exhibition, Lee said he and his teammates will come out and play hard for the same goal they’re used to playing for.
“You always go out to win, especially when it’s for a good cause,” he said. “We’re going to go out there and put on a good show for the county and whoever else comes out to see us play.”