This award is given to a deserving athlete that performed at Bennett at a high level in the competitive spirit of the late Earle Hannel, but technically is not eligible for our Bennett Sports Hall Of Fame. In George’s case, he started his secondary academic career at Bennett and was selected to enroll at the new “city honors” wing at Bennett. Three years later City Honors became a high school onto its own, and that is where George actually graduated from.
From the perspective of athletic achievement, George should have been selected much earlier that this. Among his achievements, Lewis was an All-High runner on two undefeated “Columbia Cup” cross country championship teams. In 3 years of varsity track, George ran every event and relay from the 220 yard dash to the 2 mile run. All three Tigers squads were undefeated in “Scalp & Blade” competition. Although All-High in several events, George’s specialty turned out to be the 880 yard run. George was not only All-High, but SectionVI individual champion, and finished 4th in the New York State track meet, winning his heat with an admirable time of 1 :53.1 clocking, a school record. Coach Veronica recalls of George, “the hardest worker in practice that I ever coached in track, bar none”. George Lewis’ success in track was due to his intense preparation and hard work, words that would make Earle Hannel very proud.
Lewis continued his running career at Buffalo State College after high school, and is a long standing employee of Niagara Mohawk (National Grid).