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Ennis baseball’s Lewis headed to North Central Texas College

When junior college signing day arrived last month, Lion senior Chris Lewis finalized a decision he’d been leaning toward since November.
Lewis will play baseball for North Central Texas College in Gainesville. The NCTC baseball team has a rich tradition and is coming off a 43-15 record last season.

Chris Lewis: “Their baseball program is phenomenal.
[NCTC] finished third in the nation last year, they’ve won the [junior college] World Series in three of the last seven years and six players were drafted into the major leagues last year. It’s definitely a good starting point for me.
It’s a little scary thinking about how things will change when you hear stories about five-mile runs at 5 a.m., but it’s what I want to do and I’m ready for anything. I’ll be a starting pitcher, but I’ll still have the opportunity to play first base or outfield and be able to hit. That was a big factor in my decision because I love more about the game than just pitching.
Everything I do there academically will transfer to another school, which was a big key for me. It’s hard to describe the excitement to know that I’ve worked so hard for this and now I’ll get my chance to play in college. I’ve been focused on getting an opportunity like this since I was a little kid.
My parents [Randy and Deliah Lewis] and my brother [Jon] are the biggest reasons I’ve made it this far. My brother has caught me [pitching] since he was eight years old and I don’t know where I’d be without him throwing bullpen every day. My parents have been so supportive to take me all over the place to games when I was younger.
My dad has been a huge influence on my baseball career by trying to steer me in the right direction. I didn’t always listen, but I realize now that he was right.
All of my coaches through the years have been great and I’ve gotten something out of every team I’ve been on. Being a student of the game has been key for me. Edward Pena with the Arlington Cobras stands out because he was my first coach besides my dad and that’s where my career in select baseball all started.
I didn’t learn how to pitch until I joined up with Coach K (Kevin Kalinec). My dad called all my pitches when I was younger, then I came in as a freshman and Coach K is telling me to call my own pitches.
Understanding what pitch to call and how to throw it was a huge step in learning how to be a pitcher. Nowadays hitters all have metal bats with the same swing and you’ve got to get in their head to stay one step ahead of them.”

Coach Kevin Kalinec: “The [NCTC] coach and I are friends, but Chris’ ability is what got him where he is.
There were a lot of places Chris could’ve gone, but he really liked the coach and what they have to offer [in Gainesville]. They do a really good job of helping players move on to another school after those two years.
There were a few four-year schools Chris could’ve gone to, but I think the opportunity to play right away is definitely better at a junior college. Chris has a lot of confidence in his ability to step in and contribute.
There’s no doubt Chris is a great student and he’s going to do well in college. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and comes from a strong Christian background, so I’m confident he’ll make the right decisions.
Chris has proven he can successfully face just about anybody at this level. He’s highly respected by all the area coaches and is one of the better pitchers in the area, for sure. He’s won a few games for us over the years and pitched well enough to win in some of his losses.
His leadership has been key for us in his [Lion] career. Chris is a major role model for younger kids. My youngest son [Bo] idolizes Chris and, if you want to pick a good role model for your child, he’s a good choice.
I’m very proud of Chris to be moving on to a higher level of baseball and getting his education in the process. We try to get as many of our players as possible into college baseball and I’m proud of all those guys for moving on to the next level.”

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Posted by on Feb 21 2008. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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