Brothers Martavius and Tommylee Lewis face each other in all-star game Saturday
Thursday, January 20, 2011
by Matt Porter
Palm Beach Post file photos
Linebacker Martavius Lewis (left) of Atlantic is looking forward to
tackling receiver Tommylee Lewis of Dwyer in Saturday's game at Boca High.
Martavius Lewis is like any other linebacker. Before a game, he pictures a speedy wide receiver on the other team, and he dreams of pummelling him - especially when he sees his brother on the other side.
Lewis, who plays for Atlantic High, will get that chance Saturday night when he faces his brother Tommylee Lewis, who plays for Dwyer, at a high school all-star game at Boca Raton High.
The Lytal Reiter Smith Ivey and Fronrath Trial Attorneys High School Football All-Star Game pits the National team (Martavius' team) against the American team. The game, formerly called the Outback Bowl, is a showcase for area seniors.
The brothers have been talking on the phone more than usual this week. "Every night," Martavius said. "Hey man, I'm coming."
Tommylee, who was the area's fifth-leading receiver with 595 yards and 7 touchdowns on 31 catches, says he'll burn past Martavius, a key member of an Atlantic defense that allowed 12.5 points per game last year.
The brothers are close, but it wasn't always that way. They didn't know each other until they were 10.
Martavius, who lives in Boynton Beach, remembers the day he met Tommylee, who has a different mother and lives in Riviera Beach. It was Christmas at a relative's house.
"It was weird," Martavius said. "I'm like, 'come on, I don't even know this dude. This ain't my brother.'"
When Tommylee arrived for the party, Martavius was ready to greet him.
"I went to my uncle's house, he was already there," Tommylee recalled. "I went through the door, and he stepped in front of the door and said something and I just like laughed."
They bonded that day over a game of basketball and football talk. In the coming months, Tommylee said, "We started growing closer and closer and closer. When we talked, it would be like emotional brother-type things."
They played football outside the Saddlebrook Apartments off 45th Street in West Palm Beach.
"Full-on, no pads, tackle football," Martavius recalled.
They were usually the youngest kids there, and far from the best players.
"It was a bunch of older guys, older guys that, basically, would sell drugs and stuff, those type of dudes."
On the field, Martavius said, it was all football.
They first faced each other in high school in 2009, when Tommylee played for Palm Beach Lakes. "He didn't get me, but he got ahold of our running backs," Tommylee said.
The two met again on Oct. 1, when Atlantic played Dwyer, where Tommylee transferred before the season. Dwyer won 41-15, and Martavius didn't get a hit in.
Now both are ready to head to college.
A small, speedy receiver, Tommylee last week committed to play at Northern Illinois next season.
Martavius, who doesn't have any scholarship offers, hopes Saturday's game is his chance to impress a college coach. Martavius is also a wrestler and hopes to get a scholarship for wrestling, but he would prefer to play football.
Tommylee said he's trying to put his brother on Northern Illinois' radar.
"Trust me, I'm already working on that," he said. "I've got them his tape. That would be the best thing ever."
Maybe, both hope, they'll play together in the NFL some day.
"I tell him, I'm on your team, bro," Tommylee said. "Whatever you're shooting for, I'm gonna do it just like you. I'm on your team."