Lakewood football head coach James Lewis was named Coach of the Week by the Carolina Panthers. Not only does he receive the honor, but the Lakewood football department gets a $1,000 donation from the Panthers.
“This was a total surprise to me,” Coach Lewis said after a recent ballgame. “I’m honored. I really don’t know what to say.”
Throughout the football season, the Panthers honor high school coaches across North Carolina and South Carolina. These coaches are recognized for their dedication and hard work with young people. They have made a difference in the lives of their players, as well as the school and community as a whole.
Coach Lewis was nominated by his assistant football coach, and baseball head coach Larry Bass.
Coach Bass said he wrote a two-page letter to the Panthers about all the things Coach Lewis, who is also the Leopards’ athletic director, does for the school, the sports program, and the community.
“He is a fine example of what all coaches should be. He shows his players, as well as his fellow coaches, fine moral character, high standards of sportsmanship, and he works to make us all better as a person for being associated with him,” Bass stated.
On the sidelines, fans see Coach Lewis pacing back and forth, speaking into his headphones, and talking to the quarterback in between plays.
Last year, he was recognized by the Leopard Booster Club for the 100th win in his career as a head coach at Lakewood.
Coach Bass said he and all the coaches who work with Lewis are proud to be a part of his team.
“He works to instill sound work ethics as well as wanting his student-athletes to succeed in life after athletics,” he added.
For the last several years, he has coached the Leopards into post-season play, and this year they begin the first round of the playoffs at Louisburg High School on Friday night.
Besides the honor and the $1,000 to the LHS football program, Coach Lewis is invited to the Panthers’s Dec. 15 game against the New York Jets. This also puts him in the running against all the other weekly winners for Panthers’ HIgh School Coach of the Year.