Athlete of the Week: Longmeadow’s Taj Lewis
LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WGGB) — In order for an athlete to maintain success, they need motivation. Longmeadow’s Taj Lewis finds motivation from critics who have forever doubted her. The Lancers’ undersized center lets her game silence the skeptics.
“I think what I really work on the most is my aggression and my speed. I think my quickness and how fast and how powerful I can get into the middle; that helps my game a lot,” Lewis said.
Standing at only 5’9, the numbers certainly are not in her favor. Many said the same about a Lancers team entering 2013-2014 down six seniors from last season. All the doubters were silenced when the Lancers hoisted the Division II Western Mass crown earlier this month,
“It’s a good feeling when we prove everybody wrong. We’ve been to Western Mass every year and the playoffs every year. It’s a good feeling,” Lewis said, “It’s kinda sad that no one thinks we’re good enough to do anything.”
Adding to that element of uncertainty entering the season was the fact coach Andrea Enright had never walked the sidelines in a head coaching capacity. Enright credits the maturity of Lewis and her seniors for aiding the success of her first year.
“I knew there was talent coming back. I knew who Taj was. I didn’t know how good she was but I knew that most of the kids who were going to be on the varsity team had little to no varsity experience,” Enright said, “I didn’t know how quickly they were going to be able to handle playing in big games and our seniors have really been kind of leaders out there and help pull the underclassmen out there with them.:”
While the season ended with a tough defeat in the state title game, the future is bright. Lewis just hopes the younger generation has garnered the public’s respect.
“I honestly don’t know because we’re really athletic kids,” Lewis said, “They said after the six seniors who graduated last year, we wouldn’t be good. I think we’re just proving everybody wrong.”
Maybe it’s for the best the doubters reign supreme. It has had no impact on dragging these Lancers down.