Lufkin High School's online student newspaper

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Deaf player ‘signs’ with Lamar

Former Lufkin defensive end Demontrai Lewis signs to play at Lamar University.

Former Lufkin defensive end Demontrai Lewis signs to play at Lamar University.

Samantha Padilla, Staff writer

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Demontrai Lewis, former Lufkin Panther standout defensive end, who played the last two years at Kilgore Junior College, signed Feb. 3 to play next year at Lamar University. And it wasn’t just signing that is important for Lewis, but where – Lone Star Missionary Baptist Church at Trinity, Tx.

“God is first,” Lewis said. “God has my plan for me.”

Lewis, who said he wants to be a coach and be an ASL teacher, also had an offer from Texas State University and Gallaudet, but had already decided on Lamar University because they have many interpreters, which will make it easier for the profoundly deaf football player.

“I think Lamar University will a better place for me because I noticed that they have an interpreter program,” Lewis said. “They told me that people who want to become interpreters take the ASL classes there as their major. This is why I was interested in Lamar. Also, The Lamar University is close my home – like two hours.”

Lewis also had an offer to play in the nation’s capitol at Gallaudet University, a school designed for the deaf and hard of hearing.

“Gallaudet coaches call me and text me a lot and say they want me so bad,” Lewis said. “I said ‘no, I can’t, I want to stay and live in Texas to be close with my family.”

Besides, Lewis said he didn’t want the added distance and inconvenience to his family.

“There is another reason why I did not want to go to Gallaudet University,” Lewis said. “Because I don’t want my family to trip there then go back to the Texas everyday. It will waste their money and gas.”

Lewis will use the next two years preparing for his next endeavor, playing in the NFL like another deaf player – Derrick Coleman – who played in last year’s Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks.

“My dream goal is to get into the NFL’s National Hall of Fame,” Lewis said. “I have to work hard in college to get degrees then become an NFL professional, then Super Bowls, and finally get into the Hall of Fame. After I do them, I will retire and get my life to be better. There is reason why I want NFL’s National Hall of Fame, to be its first deaf player.”

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Lufkin High School's online student newspaper
Deaf player ‘signs’ with Lamar