In an era of boundless offensive football where stratospheric exploits are seemingly redefined every week, dazzling dual-sport, dual-threat Donte Lewis ‘24 has cemented a staggering standard to measure future St. Thomas sporting achievement.

His rollicking record-smashing two-year quarterbacking career was charged with electrifying Friday night lights. He tested limits and expanded the imagination. And the last torch of football distinction for Donte’s inferno of clutch and cool and captivating came courtesy the Touchdown Club of Houston which honored Lewis as the 2023 Offensive Player of the Year at the 12th annual Hildebrand Private High School Awards Dinner.

Lewis’s three-month thrillarama delivered a myriad of swashbuckling theatrics through an arsenal of inexhaustible octane that fueled Eagle Football to a historic season, including the program’s first state championship showdown since 2001.

Despite missing the regular-season finale after an abbreviated Week 10 outing, the Kansas St. baseball signee took the elevator directly to the Lamar Jackson Schoolboy Suite.  He flawlessly executed and improvised through coordinator Matt Hudson’s astute see-through-the-matrix game planning and play calling.  When not scorching opponents, Lewis sliced and diced as if sushi master Jiro Ono were creating an omakase tasting menu.  He broke tackles, wills, and matchups wide open, doing virtually whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. He attacked every level of the field, vertically and horizontally. He delivered to the strength of the play design. He was accurate with throws underneath and down the field without risking the ball in jeopardy. His moxy was seen in a great understanding of protection and coverages.

And Lewis was most lethal in responding immediately to a broken play, flashing true belief in the open field when he shifted his speed, instincts, and vision through and beyond the second and third levels of frailing and failing would-be defenders.

In pouring season-long secret sauce, Lewis accounted for 42 touchdowns with scorching breakaways of 91, 82, 81, 75, 69, 65, 61, 47, 46, 33, 31, and 31 yards plus rambling gains of 52, 49, 48, 37, and 35 yards. His whomping worth of 30 scoring passes included 77, 75, 72, 68, 63, 52, 50, 48, 43, 43, 41, 35, 34 and 33 yards.

Lewis was turnover-free for 10-plus games and had a 30-3 TD-to-interception ratio in 245 attempts (56-10 over two seasons). He completed a sizzling 73% for 2,639 yards. His 142.0 rating included an outrageous 15 yards per completion. He rushed for 882 yards and a stunning 15 yards per carry.

To steal lyrics from the bygone rock & roll ages, Lewis was a gridworld wizard.

Ain’t seen nothing like him in any amusement hall

How do you think he does it? I don’t know!
What makes him so good?

“Donte was as dynamic a quarterback as any I have seen,” says head coach Rich McGuire, the Touchdown Club Private Coach of the Year in 2020 who has guided Eagle Football to three state semifinals in five years and four undefeated district titles since 2018 with a share of the 2021 crown. “His standard of play as a senior was phenomenal. He showed great development and maturity. He was a presence within our locker room, fearless with great confidence and that belief extended to his teammates. Donte is the total package. Talent, skill, charisma, and enthusiasm.”

Lewis played majordomo to a crew who proved to be difference-makers in different moments. He was recognized by the Touchdown Club along with a terrific ab fab trio of notable Eagle offensive teammates.

Running back Johann Cardenas ‘24 also earned POY consideration after his breathtaking breakthrough smash-and-dash senior season ended with 2,268 rushing yards in 11 games – more than nine yards per carry – and 33 touchdowns, plus 340 receiving yards and a TD.

Glue-grip man-beating man-eating receivers Luke Edgecomb ‘24 (1,362 yards with 15 touchdowns) and Larry Benton III ‘24 (805 yards with 10 touchdowns) were also award finalists along with marauding linebacker Tyler Day ‘24 (140 tackles), daredevil defensive back Aron Valentine ‘24 (six interceptions), and monster in mayhem defensive lineman Dominic Ori ‘24 (72 tackles and team-leading 12 TFL).

Lewis is the latest Eagle at football’s mission-critical position to earn such individual spotlight after Peyton Matocha (Miami, FL) shared the recognition in 2018 with St. Pius X quarterback Grant Gunnell and Maddox Kopp ‘21 (Miami, OH) captured the acclaim in 2020. Jake Wright ‘22 (Pittsburg St.) was a finalist following his otherworldly one-season wanderlust in 2021.

Lewis continues a rich St. Thomas tradition with the Touchdown Club during the previous decade. Parker White ‘13 (Miami, OH) was the 2012 Lineman of the Year, Joseph Lowery ‘14 (West Point) the 2013 Lineman of the Year, Charlie Vatterott ‘16 (Texas St.) the 2015 Co-Lineman of the Year, David Jones ‘16 (Cornell) the 2015 Ironman of the Year, kicker Paul Langmeier ‘20 (TCU) the inaugural Special Teams POY in 2019 followed by Pablo Tager ‘21 (University of San Diego) in 2020, and Jack Ward (Drake) the 2022 Defensive POY.

In November, Lewis was nominated for Male High School Athlete of the Year by the Harris County Sports Authority for their seventh annual Houston Sports Awards. The star-studded evening saluting some of the year’s most iconic athletes, legends, and moments is January 30 inside 713 Music Hall.  Saluted in the 2024 Hall of Fame Class are Warren Moon, Cynthia Cooper, and Lance Berkman.

In the previous July, Lewis was featured in the Hank Aaron Invitational, a showcase game at Truist Park in Atlanta, capping two weeks of competition, coaching, and evaluation at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Florida.

Lewis was among an elite group of 44 players invited for the exclusive event, powered by the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation and in partnership with USA Baseball. Lewis then signed in November to continue his student-athlete career at Kansas St.

Eagle Fight Never Dies!