PREP FOOTBALLLEXINGTON

Stepp sets new path for Wildcats

Former Dreher coach looks to rebuild program

ainelson@thestate.comJuly 29, 2013 

GERRY MELENDEZ — Gerry Melendez

After two months in his dream job at the helm of Lexington High’s athletics program and football team, Josh Stepp still is flying high.

Stepp, a Pelion alumnus who moved to Lexington after four seasons as coach at Dreher, has had a busy and exciting summer getting the Wildcats prepared for the 2013 season.

“It’s a new era of Lexington football,” Stepp said.

As the Wildcats face adjusting to the new coaching staff and absorbing the loss of athletes caused by the split of the school’s attendance area, Stepp said his goal is to “put a team out there every Friday night that Lexington High and the community can be proud of.”

“We’re going to play really hard and play with class,” he said.

Through the offseason, the Wildcats already have given Stepp reason to be proud.

“We did really well in some 7-on-7’s, won some 7-on-7 championships,” he said. “Although it’s just 7-on-7, any time our kids can build confidence and have some success, that’s important.”

The Wildcats also have made strides in the weight room in the offseason as practice begins next week.

Stepp has been encouraged by the ease with which the Wildcats developed solidarity and unity.

“There’s an excitement and a buzz in that locker room,” Stepp said. “They’ve bought into the way we want to do things. They understand that it’s bigger than (each of) them, they’ve sold out to each other and not one of them expects more from any other than he is willing to give himself.”

Stepp’s staff has a strong camaraderie. Two of his assistants were with him at Dreher, and Stepp has surrounded himself with familiar faces at Lexington.

“Everybody else that I’ve hired are guys that I’ve played with or coached,” he said. “I was able to hire some more of my guys, so it’s a staff that I was fortunate to be able put together.”

The Wildcats are looking to recover from a 3-8 season. The Wildcats are not on the list of top contenders, but that will not bring Stepp down.

“I kind of like that we’re flying under the radar,” he said. “It’s a good position for us.”

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