Lufkin Panther Demontrai Lewis inspires through action, not words

Football is a loud and violent game, but for Lufkin defensive end Demontrai Lewis it is completely silent. Of course that doesn't mean he can't feel the electricity of a Friday night in Texas.

"On Fridays, when I'm sitting down on the sidelines I can feel the band and stuff," said Lewis. "I can feel the vibrations, but I can't hear it, I can't hear anything, I'm totally deaf. I can feel the vibrations with the band and it gets me excited."

When the game gets heated his interpreter Rene Heintschel says Lewis likes to sit back and laugh it off.

"He laughs at me. He will come over to the sidelines and says that boy is saying something to me," said Heintschel. "He just looks at them and says my ears don't work keep talking. It's just a big joke to him. He says whatever, the ball is about to snap and you are about to get yours."

If you've been to a Panther game it's clear the impact Lewis has on defense. You also probably noticed how he likes to express his excitement by raising his arms and flexing after each tackle.

"I want to show off that I can hit and to tell people to yell and get excited and get into the game," said Lewis. "The more I can feel it the more I want to tackle and I just want to say I'm too big."

Coach John Outlaw can't help but be proud of his defensive star.

"I'd take 22 Demontrai's," said Outlaw. "He always has a grin on his face, he isn't ever frowning and he loves playing the game. He is a happy boy and an inspiration to high school football."

Lewis says he couldn't have done it without his friend, teacher and coach Ms. Heintschel. Lewis and Heintschel have been a team since he was just three years old.

"I remember when I was little when I first met Mrs. H we would walk together holding hands. I never knew it would lead to playing football for the panthers."

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