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Sikeston Standard Democrat Football players of the Year - Trey Lewis - Offensive Player

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trey Lewis
SIKESTON -- Learning something new can sometimes be frustrating.

Learning to play quarterback for a state championship contending team with no prior experience, and with just one off-season to become proficient, could leave some high school players scratching their heads and throwing their hands up at the same time.

Sikeston senior Trey Lewis, however, took it and ran with it -- straight into the record books.

The adaption Lewis went through from playing sparingly as a rusher, receiver and defensive back his junior year into one of the most dangerous quarterbacks Sikeston High School has ever had is a testament to what kind of athlete Lewis is.

That transition was fueled by a strong will to win.

"I knew I wanted to come in my senior year and leave with a bang," Lewis said. "I wanted to have a good year and I was going to do whatever it took to have a successful season and win. I knew if that was something I had to do then I was going to have to be good at changing into a quarterback.

"I was pretty much driven to have a good year."

Not only would it be a 'good' year for Lewis, it would be one the most productive seasons for a quarterback in Sikeston school history.

Lewis, who stands at 6-foot, 2-inches and is 175 pounds, now holds three individual school records in total touchdowns (40), passing yards (1,546) and total yards (2,957). He also led the Bulldogs to their second-straight semifinals appearance.

"The amazing thing about that is, he had never played quarterback before," Sikeston head coach Kent Gibbs said. "When you can have a kid that's capable of running the ball and getting you yards and then throwing the football where it can be caught, it opens up the rest of your game."

Lewis had to always be accounted for when the ball was in his hands. It made it almost impossible for opposing defenses to gameplan for, which meant the Bulldogs could practically do anything at anytime.

Merely Lewis' presence opened opportunities for the rest of Sikeston's dynamic playmakers such as All-State running back Darryl Howard and Sikeston's receiving record holder, Janeil Hatchett.

"I wanted to focus on making the players around me better and getting our playmakers the ball," Lewis said. "I knew we could execute on every play."

Establishing Lewis and the Bulldogs' prolific offense had it's growing pains while first making the switch to the All-State quarterback -- and why wouldn't it? Commanding an option offense mixed with the expectations of reaching the Class 4 state semifinals for the second year in a row could bring unwanted pressure.

But Lewis didn't show it.

In his first career game as quarterback, Lewis threw for 113 yards on 8-of-13 passing and rushed for 89 yards including a touchdown. From there he kept progressing and eventually flourished under center.

"He had his moments and he had his growing pains," said Gibbs. "Not every decision Trey made was right, but the thing he did, he was able to admit his mistakes, not blame others and use his ability each and every play.

"The biggest thing he did, being the great athlete that he is and the competitor that he is, he allowed himself to be coached. He made himself into a heck of a quarterback."

Lewis will be most remembered for his ability to scramble out of the pocket in an offense built for quickness, not many like Lewis possess. Numerous times, he would operate his cat-like speed and reflexes for a game-changing play -- usually ending with him standing in the endzone.

It helped that the 2010 state champion track star could out-run most anybody on the field.

"(My speed) helped me out when I was passing the ball," said Lewis. "If nothing was really there I knew I could use my legs and out-run some of the players on the defense. It just made me more calm in the pocket."

He scored 24 rushing touchdowns, 1,477 rushing yards for a per-carry average of 12 yards on his way to accepting the Carr Trophy -- given to the best player in the SEMO Conference.

"He's a great athlete, he's a great competitor and he had an open mind about things when it came down to teaching him things," Gibbs said. "When it comes down to it, you can be a great athlete and a great competitor, but if you just can't simply play at the high level that's needed or at the level that you expect, your not going to be successful."

Lewis' future is strongly leaning towards playing football in college. He currently holds an offer from Southeast Missouri State University but is interested in Southern Illinois University and Murray State as well.

"I think he can be successful in a college program," Gibbs said. "I would be surprised if you don't find him playing next year provided he finds the right fit.

"With the athletic ability he has, he's got things people are looking for."

Knowing his history in transitioning, Lewis shouldn't have a problem adapting to the college game.

"Looking back on it now, it was a good overall season," Lewis said. "I wouldn't change the players I played with, the coaches we had. I just had fun playing as a Sikeston Bulldog."

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