Former Lufkin Panther still succeeding on field despite being de - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Former Lufkin Panther still succeeding on field despite being deaf

Demontrai Lewis officially signs with Lamar Wednesday morning (Source: KTRE Staff) Demontrai Lewis officially signs with Lamar Wednesday morning (Source: KTRE Staff)
Lewis was a standout for the Pack. He graduated in 2013 (Source: KTRE Staff) Lewis was a standout for the Pack. He graduated in 2013 (Source: KTRE Staff)
Lewis moved on to Kilgore College for the next 2 years (Source: KTRE Staff) Lewis moved on to Kilgore College for the next 2 years (Source: KTRE Staff)
Lewis was surrounded by his family when he made his decission (Source: KTRE Staff) Lewis was surrounded by his family when he made his decission (Source: KTRE Staff)
TRINITY, TX (KTRE) -

It has been a long road for Demontrai Lewis, but it's a road that is not ending soon.

Lewis was a standout at Lufkin High School. Lewis won several player of the week and all-district honors while becoming a leader on the Pack defense.

Lewis was like all his teammates; two legs, two arms, a larger than life hero for many. Lewis was only different in one way. While the sounds of the loud Panther Band and the screams of fans filled the stands of Abe Martin Stadium, Lewis could not hear them. Lewis started to lose his hearing when he was just 1 years old. Lewis' family did sleep studies, but doctors could never determine why he lost his hearing and became deaf.

"Do not doubt what he does," Lufkin Head Coach Todd Quick said. "Do not doubt when he gets up everyday how hard he works."

After graduating from Lufkin in 2013, Lewis moved on to Kilgore College and joined the Ranger football team. Now that Lewis has hit the limit at the junior college level, he is setting his eyes on Beaumont and Lamar University. Lewis talked to us about his progress through sign language that was interpreted by his mother.

"I am completely deaf," Lewis said. "I can play football. Everybody thinks I can't play, so now look at me. I feel great to sign for Lamar University. I know God is first at all times. I can't wait to play for Lamar."

Lewis has lived in Trinity his whole life, but since the age of three, traveled to Lufkin for school. The district is the only one in the area with a deaf education program. His hard work would be noticed early on by Quick.

"He's been a fighter his whole life," Quick said. "Ever since he was small and got bused over her everyday with the sacrifices he has had to make everyday."

Lewis said the last two years have not been a walk in the park. Lewis has had to continue pushing hard and not slowing down, knowing Kilgore was not the end of the road.

"My life is hard," Lewis said. "I have been busy trying to get my grades up at Kilgore."

As Lewis signed the last few letters of his name on his letter of intent, he did so knowing he was looking forward and not backwards.

"I made it," Lewis said. "I never gave up all my life with being deaf. No bad feelings for me because I am a man."

Lewis said his ultimate goal is to make the NFL and become the first deaf player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

If you have a survivor story, email Jawtrey@ktre.com

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