Charles Lewis competes in the 7A 200m at the 2019 AHSAA State Outdoor Meet.
In its 34th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Charles Lewis of Sparkman High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Alabama Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Lewis is the first Gatorade Alabama Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Sparkman High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Lewis as Alabama's best high school boys track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June, Lewis joins an elite alumni association of state track & field award-winners, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior swept the 100- and 200-meter dash events at the 7A state meet, helping the Senators to a 13-place finish as a team. His season- and personal-best time of 10.47 seconds in the 100 at June's New Balance Nationals Outdoor ranked No. 11 nationally among prep competitors in the event in 2019, earning him fifth-place and All-American honors. His personal-best in the 200 (20.96) during the state meet prelims ranked No. 12 in the country.
A participant in multiple community service projects throughout the school year as a member of the Sparkman Service Organization, Lewis has served as a local Boys & Girls Club volunteer in addition to donating his time by visiting the elderly at a nearby nursing home. He is also a youth deacon with the Abundant Life Kingdom Fellowship Ministries. "Charles Lewis PR'd in the 100 dash with a 10.47 at New Balance to finish fifth and earn All-American status," said Erik Boal, editor for Dyestat.com. "Just like his 100 clocking, his PR in the 200 this spring ranks among the Top 15 U.S. prep boys to this point in the season."
Lewis has maintained a 3.13 GPA in the classroom. He remains undecided on a collegiate destination.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Lewis joins recent Gatorade Alabama Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year Marion Humphrey (2017-18, Hoover High School), Trey Cunningham (2016-17 & 2015-16, Winfield City High School), Sean Collins (2014-15, McGill-Toolen Catholic High School) and Jaalen Jones (2013-14, Thompson High School) among the state's list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Lewis also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program's inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators