Lee Shaffer was probably the most dominant football player Episcopal produced during the 1970s. He was the one player Episcopal's opponents feared the most, and he set the standard for his own teammates. But what really stands out is that, as captain, he led the 1977 football team to an 8-1 season and its first victory in seven years over arch-rival Woodberry Forest.
"He was the best linebacker I ever coached," said EHS Athletic Director Ed Rice.
Mr. Shaffer played with an intensity that filtered down to the other players, Mr. Rice once told an Alexandria Journal sports writer in 1977. The Alexandria Gazette in 1976 described him as the "glue holding the Maroon defense together." In that same article, Mr. Rice said, "it is Shaffer's self-confidence tied in with his natural aggressiveness, his quickness and his football sense which makes him a player his teammates rely on."
As a linebacker his junior and senior years, Mr. Shaffer was voted onto the All-Virginia Prep League team and received honors from the Alexandria Touchdown Club and The Alexandria Journal. The Roanoke Times listed him in his senior year as one of the top five football players and the number one linebacker in the state of Virginia. Mr. Shaffer was the first player from an independent school to be selected to the All-Metro First Team by both The Washington Post and The Washington Star. EHS recognized him for his talent on the football field with the Moncure Award for Football. At The High School, he also played basketball and lacrosse, and he ran track.
Mr. Shaffer attended the University of North Carolina, where he lettered four years and started as inside linebacker his junior and senior years on teams that ranked in the top 10. As a senior, his team members voted him defensive captain. He was named to the All-ACC First Team, and the Associated Press named him All-American Honorable Mention. Also, the NCAA-member strength and conditioning coaches voted him to the 1981 All-American Strength Team.
Mr. Shaffer is vice president of operation services for Kenan Transport Co. in Chapel Hill, N.C. He lives in Durham with his wife, Laura, and their children Laura, 13, and Thomas, 11.