This summer, Luke Lee, a senior in the fall at Palmetto High School and captain of the cross-country team, will help his teammates to get ready for the cross-country season when school begins again.
“I like helping my team to be fit,” Lee says. “I‘m really big into fitness.”
Lee participates in many different types of competition, including the Miami Super Spartan Race, a grueling eight-mile obstacle course race.
“It was really hard,” he says. Lee finished 14th in the under 19 category. Overall, there were 11,000 racers, but he’s not sure how many were in his category. “It was a lot of fun,” he says. “Hopefully, next year I’ll do better,”
The race required a strong upper body and core, so he concentrated on cardio workouts to get ready.
Lee also plays on the Palmetto volleyball team as a right back and Libero, a defensive position,. The team had a solid season last year, making it to the second game in the districts before losing to Killian. Lee has played volleyball for Palmetto since his freshman year, first on the junior varsity before moving up to the varsity squad.
He also plays in a winter volleyball league to keep up his skills for the spring sport.
Even though he’s an athlete and has limited time, Lee has found a way to fit volunteering into his schedule. Naturally, his volunteer work centers on sports. He has volunteered as a program aide at the Mini-Canes recreational sports camp.
“I assisted the counselors, watching the kids and participating in activities with them,” he says. “It was kind of like having a full-time job, five days a week for a month from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.”
Lee also is a Baseball Buddy in the Miracle League. The league makes it possible for children with disabilities to play baseball.
“Every month or two they’ll have a game on a Saturday,” he says. “The league is trying to have the games more often and they’re trying to get their own field built.”
Lee says the league is looking for corporate sponsors to participate, in addition to the Miami Marlins who are already on board.
One of the perks of having the Marlins as a sponsor for the league is being able to play some games at Marlins’ Park. Lee was a Baseball Buddy at one game played recently at the stadium.
“A lot of the Marlins players came out and were playing with the kids,” Lee says. “The president of the Marlins was running the bases with them. It was really cool.”
Lee’s buddy was a preemie, which affected his gait, so he has problems balancing.
“I’ll help him hit the ball, hold his hand and tell him where to go,” Lee says. “He’s only six years old.”
At Palmetto High School, Lee is a member of the National Honor Society and the Social Science Honor Society. He is also on the History Bowl team.
“We go to the competitions and in March my team finished 15th the state,” he says. “It’s really cool participating in academic competitions as well sports and to be a wellrounded person.”
During the last school year, Lee was a competitor in Palmetto High’s Mr. Panther contest, participating as Mr. Cross Country.
“I think I was only one of three underclassmen to enter the competition,” he says.
Lee is planning to attend college and is considering the University of Miami, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and possibly Stanford.
“I think I want to study business, then go to law school and then, hopefully, become a sports agent,” he says.
— By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld