Football standout was ready for the season

Published 8:00 pm Monday, August 2, 2010

Tyquan Lewis couldn’t have been any more ready for his senior football season with Lakeland High School.

Lewis, a wide receiver and defensive back, missed most of last season because of an injury. The Cavaliers posted their best record in nearly a decade and narrowly missed a regional playoff berth, giving Lewis and the whole senior class a huge goal to work toward.

Thomasena Lewis, Tyquan’s aunt, said Monday he just got new football cleats for the upcoming season. He was so excited for the season he put the shoes on and wore them around the house.

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In the early morning Sunday, Lewis, 18, was shot and killed on Walnut Street after leaving a party on Manning Rd.

Lewis is the second Lakeland student and football player to be killed in eight months. Michael Lee, a senior, was shot outside of a party in Norfolk on Jan. 9.

Lakeland head coach Glenwood Ferebee learned about the most recent tragedy shortly after it occurred.

“I found out about 3 a.m.,” Ferebee said. “Something told me to wake up, and I looked at the phone. I had missed about 20 calls between 2 and 3 a.m. My brother, one of my assistants, had called six or seven times.”

Some of Lewis’s teammates and classmates were among those calling Ferebee Sunday morning. Ferebee said about 40 percent of his players knew what had happened before the team’s first preseason practice Monday.

The rest of the Cavaliers were told by Ferebee at practice.

“No one really got excited today. It was very somber, but we pushed ourselves through it,” Ferebee said about the morning practice, the first of two practices the Cavaliers had Monday.

“He lived and breathed football. He had played since he was 7 years old. I don’t think he would want us sitting inside and not doing anything,” Ferebee said.

The last part of the morning practice was spent with the players kneeling in the middle of the practice field. Ferebee spoke quietly to his team.

After Ferebee finished speaking, he and his coaches headed for the locker room. The players stood up and huddled for a moment of silence. After the silence, the players held up their helmets above the center of the huddle. It looked like a normal break at the end of a team’s practice, but it, too, was very quiet.