Kathleen High School in Lakeland has two reasons to be super excited about the big game this weekend. It has two graduates in Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens versus the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.
Albert McClellan is one. The other is Ray Lewis. Both are linebackers, but the spotlight is especially bright on Lewis, who is retiring after 17 seasons in the pros.
"He is a beast," Atrey'U Farrior told FOX 13 on Wednesday. Farrior is the captain of the Kathleen Red Devils football team.
Lewis was a standout in the NFL. That's no surprise to his former high school teammate, Irving Strickland, who says he was a cut above from day one.
"There was just something about him, day after day. Man, this kid is just not an ordinary kid," Strickland recalled.
Lewis did not only grab attention for his prowess on the field. Recently, he was accused of using a banned substance, deer antler, to speed recovery from a triceps injury. Lewis denies the charge.
Back in 2000, his career and his freedom were potentially on the line. He and two of his buddies were indicted for murder after a bar fight left two men dead. The murder charge was dropped after Lewis turned state's evidence. His two friends went to trial and were found not guilty.
His high school coach, Danny Golden, explains it this way.
"He got into a bad situation and hung around with the wrong people and came out of it, I guess. He was cleared."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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