Christian Life, Lee coming into their own

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Christian Life Academy coach Keith Doole and Dameion Lee
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Christian Life Academy coach Keith Doole and Dameion Lee

The Christian Life Academy football team is led by four players who start on offense and defense.

The Crusaders (5-1, 1-0 in District 6-1A) are off to a fast start this season. They average 33.3 points per game and have held three foes to six or fewer points.

The two-way players include seniors Jarvis Antwine (offensive line/DL) Malik Harrison (running back/safety), Sidney Nesom (RB/LB) and Dameion Lee (WR/safety).

Christian Life brings a three-game winning streak into Thursday’s 6 p.m. league game at Varnado (0-6, 0-1).

“This season has been a blessing,” said Lee, who joined the team as a freshman place-kicker and has expanded his role the past two seasons. “In the last six months, the whole team has put more effort into getting better. We have some good speed.

“We’re working on reaching our full potential.”

Lee is 5 of 5 on field goal tries this season. He’s caught 13 passes for 180 yards and two TDs, and 188 return yards, 37 tackles, a fumble recovery and one interception. Lee is also a standout soccer player and excels at the triple jump and sprints in track.

“Dameion Lee and Malik Harrison are a lot alike as players and are fun to watch,” CLA coach Keith Dooley said. “They both have a passion for the game of football and are very versatile.

“Dameion is our free safety, and he’s really good at turning his hips and defending the deep pass. Dameion is a very accurate kicker.”

“Malik and I communicate well on defense,” Lee said. “I’ll do anything to help the team. I’ve been progressing as a receiver.”

Nesom is a transfer from Catholic High who didn’t play football last season. Nesom (61 carries, 392 yards, three TDs), Harrison (36-309, five TDs) and quarterback Jacob Williams (33-225, four TDs) are the rushing leaders. Harrison has four receiving TDs on 10 catches. Williams has passed for 551 yards and eight touchdowns.

“Nesom is a tough runner and a throwback to Ohio State fullbacks,” Dooley said. “He’s our middle linebacker and has a nose for the ball.”

Nesom has 40 tackles. He’s also a sprinter and triple jumper.

“Sidney Nesom is a funny guy and hard worker,” said Lee.

“Our team has really gained confidence the last few weeks,” Nesom said. “Our offensive line is opening holes. We started to show our full potential against Albany two weeks ago.”

One of CLA’s wins came against Class 3A Albany (55-34). The Crusaders have scored at least 23 points in every game, with two games of more than 40 points.

The four two-way players rarely come off the field.

“The hardest part of playing so much is covering on special teams,” Lee said. “I know my team needs me. I’m glad to do it.”

“As long as I stay focused, I don’t realize I’m tired,” Nesom said. “Adrenalin takes over and keeps me going.

“We’re a close team here at Christian Life. I’m glad to be a part of this.”