JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Even though he wears jersey number 43 on the field and the court, he’s actually number one in the hearts of Cougar fans everywhere, especially those under his roof and in the school house. A throng of supporters skipped class to sneak away to Brown Gym on Tuesday to support Campbell Cougar Will Lester. See Tuesday night’s interview with Lester on demand from WLAF.

Lester signed with Union College of Barbourville, Ky, to play football for the Bulldogs.

Lisa Lester, mother: I’ve gotta game plan; I’ll meet him halfway for dinner on Wednesdays. We’ll also have to meet for me to pick up his laundry. I’ve got this planned out. He’s sort of a homebody, and moving away will be good for him. It’s not that far, about an hour. Gosh, he was being recruited by some schools five hours away. He’ll likely be home for some of Momma’s cooking on Sundays.

Jennifer Fields, director of schools: This is an exciting day, and I’m glad Will is being recognized for his hard work. He’s been a team player on and off the field and court, and he has become a great role model. I’ve been to all the games and watched Will from middle school on through high school, and even my two sisters were his teachers along the way.

Chloe Lester, sister: He’s the favorite child (laughing). He’s so sweet and good to me and Bella (other sister). We’ll miss him, but we’ll probably take over his room.

Mike Stanfield, grandfather : Everyone knows Will. He’s a good one, and a real ball player. I listened to all his games on the radio. He was one of the first to play on the football field the City of La Follette built over at the old East La Follette School.

Bella Lester, sister: I have mixed emotions, and even though I’m sad he’s going away, I’m really happy for him. I’ve always looked up to him, and that’s what motivated me to play football in fourth grade. I was a running back just like Will.

Brent Lester, father: I’ve coached Will since he was 4- years- old. In some form or fashion, I’ve been there coaching him almost every step of the way right on through his 2022 senior season. I knew when I saw him cry after his last high school game that he truly loves the game. You can’t coach love of the sport.

(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/08/2023-6AM)