The Duncan Banner
It’s no secret that one of the most demanding jobs in the world of sports, is being a professional football player in the NFL.
So what did Detroit Lions defensive end and Oklahoma native Ronnell Lewis have in mind for a vacation?
Simple, come enjoy some rodeo action at the Claud Gill Arena this past weekend at the Noon Lions Club Rodeo.
“I’m here with some friends and family out here having a good time,” Lewis said. “I’m a country boy raised in Oklahoma. It’s nice to be able to come out on a nice day like this and support everyone in all the events. This is my vacation area, and when I get time off I’m going to be smart about what I do.”
Born in Dewar, Oklahoma on September 17,1990, Lewis grew up around rodeo events, and of course the game of football.
“Back in high school I did a little bull riding,” Lewis said. “I kind of miss it, but I’ve got bigger things to worry about now. I’m able to put myself in their shoes now which is cool for me. Personally, I think it’s tougher being a bull rider. When you’re dealing with a thousand pound animal you can’t control, that’s a lot harder than being in the NFL. I wouldn’t mind trying it again sometime down the line if I’m given the opportunity.”
As a member of the Dewar High School football team, Lewis made a name for himself on the field, rushing for 2,000 yards and 40 touchdowns as a junior, along with 11 interceptions.
During his senior season at DHS, those numbers grew, when Lewis finished with 2,219 yards on the ground on 150 attempts. He totaled 33 touchdowns and was named Mr. Football for Oklahoma, becoming the first player from a small school to do so.
There was also the small matter of being named First Team All-State in the Tulsa World, along with earning unanimous Oklahoma All-State honors on both offense and defense.
In three seasons as a member of the Oklahoma Sooners, Lewis earned the nickname “The Hammer” for his smothering yet devastating hits on the field.
After finishing the 2008 season tied for the team lead in tackles with Austin Box, Lewis kept producing results, eventually earning him All Big-12 first team honors in 2011.
Lewis would then go on to be a fourth round selection by the Lions in the 2012 NFL Draft.
During his rookie season, Lewis got to see the field, earning two tackles along the way, and he says the Lions are working harder than ever to improve in 2013-14 as they look to put a 4-12 season behind them.
“I’ve mainly been working hard and focusing on the task at hand,” Lewis said. “I love the opportunity I have, I’m extremely blessed to have the talent I have. We’re just taking it day-by-day. Everyone is getting their minds and bodies right for training camp. If we keep working hard then we’ll be just fine.”