Athlete of the Issue: Tommy Lewis ’19


David Li ’21

Tommy Lewis ’19 anticipates a pitch in a game against Kent on May 1.

Tommy Lewis is a three-year Senior and member of the Varsity Baseball team. In the fall, he was a co-captain of Varsity Football, and in the winter helped Varsity Basketball get to a Tri-State and Founder’s League Championship. His teammate, Henry Emsweiler ’22 said, “Tommy uses his leadership skills to be successful not only on the field, but off the field as well. His ability, confidence, and chemistry [with] the football team enabled younger players to benefit from his skills.”
When did you start playing baseball?
I started playing baseball around the age of four with my dad, out in front of the house. He would pitch to me, and I would hit, and it was a grand old time.
What are some of the team’s goals for the coming season?
[Our goal] as a team [is] definitely to finish above .500. We already tied our wins from all of last season; this season we already have six wins, and we want to continue to build on that. One of our main goals is to beat Taft. In the three years that I have been here, we have never beaten Taft in baseball. I think we could definitely end up around .500 with probably about 12 wins or so.
How has your Senior year gone in athletics?
Honestly, it was not what I was hoping for. It got off to a really tough start, with the football team season starting 0-8, which [left] a bad taste in my mouth going into the winter season. I think basketball really got me back on track, and it was the best sports season I have had at Hotchkiss. It got me amped up for the spring and ready to win some games in baseball early on.
What is the highlight of your sports career at Hotchkiss?
It would definitely be beating Salisbury in my Lower Mid year in football. It was the first game I was starting at quarterback. We hadn’t beaten Salisbury in five years, or something like that, and I was told the Thursday before the game that I would be starting. I came in, and we put up the most points all season. I think it was 36 points…and afterward we got to put the Cannonball trophy back in the trophy case at Hotchkiss. We held on to it for two years.
In your career at Hotchkiss, what have been the biggest changes in the athletics program?
Since I’ve been here, I have slowly seen an upward trend in sports. I think it wasn’t really until this basketball season that the school noticed how important sports are for building the community that we hope to have. When the basketball team was in the playoffs and facing Tabor [in the semi-finals], it was something for us to cheer about. Prior to that, I think that everyone was against Hotchkiss, saying Hotchkiss this, Hotchkiss that, but as soon as we started winning…everyone was supporting Hotchkiss, including alumni, current students, faculty, and even faculty children. I think that was the biggest thing, being this beacon of success with our team, because we can represent our brand in a positive way.
What is your advice for an incoming athlete at Hotchkiss?
Take advantage of all the time you have and all the options that are presented to you. We have some of the best facilities in all of New England, even nicer than [at] a lot of colleges, so really take advantage of it as you much as you can. Although it may not be easy at times, put your head down and work. Especially as a Prep, it may be tough playing against kids who are 19 or 20 years-old; they’re just physically and mentally more mature. But continue to work and take care of all the little things, and [it] will definitely pay off in the end. You’ll play under some great coaches, and you’ll learn from the Seniors. I think the Seniors at the school do a really good job of helping the underclassmen grow and develop. The only other thing I would say is that you control your own destiny. I see kids coming here and not putting in the work; they are used to being handed everything. Their career [doesn’t] end the way they wanted [it] to, because they didn’t put the work in. If you put the work in, work as hard as you can, and really grind, then things will be there for you, and at the end of the day, you’ll have no regrets.
Who is an athlete or coach who inspires you at Hotchkiss and why?
Mr. [Erby] Mitchell P ’21. Even though he’s the dean of admissions, he’s really closely connected to the basketball program and all the sports programs. Being a college athlete himself, he knows the struggles of being a high school athlete. He was there [for me] every step of the way, through the good times and the bad. He was by far my biggest supporter.