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Southwest Orange Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2020 4 months ago

Southwest Orange Observer: Sports Spotlight — Justin ‘JT’ Lewis

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Olympia junior Justin “JT” Lewis led his team in RBI fore the season was suspended.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

As a junior on the Olympia High baseball team, Justin “JT” Lewis already has found himself getting a ton of playing time in his first year on varsity. The 6-foot-5 first baseman led the team in RBI and was tied for third in batting average before the season was suspended.

 

When did you first get into baseball?

Like most people, it definitely came from a young age when you first start exploring what you want to do as you grow older. I think it was my dad’s influence. He was a really big baseball guy — still is — and he is one of my leading inspirations. 

 

What has kept you in the game for so long?

I think it is the adrenaline and the feelings you get from playing a sport. When you’re in the game, it’s like you become a different person — you get to be loose and have fun, and it just has always been like that for me.

 

What is your favorite thing about playing at first base? What is the hardest part?

Playing first base, you’re involved in almost every single play. From the beginning of the inning to the end, there is always something that involves you receiving the ball. The hardest part about playing the position is knowing what to do in a given situation — knowing how to move yourself so you’re in the right spot to make the right play.

 

What are the best words of advice that you’ve been given about baseball?

It’s that you always have to focus on the now, and not the past. You can’t let a mistake get you down — you have to keep yourself up in the now, rather than living with your past mistakes.

 

How do you mentally get past those struggles?

I think it is reverting back to what you know — the basics. For me, if I’m entering a bad hitting streak, I’ll analyze my swing. I have my own set of basic things that I need to do with my swing.

 

Is there a highlight moment for you during your time at Olympia?

I do have one from sophomore year. I was on JV, I was hitting in the four hole, and it was a game against Windermere — so it was a really important game — and we wanted to crush them so bad. I go to the plate, and before I know it, I hit the ball deep to left field — that was my one home run I’ve had so far.

 

What has your first year on varsity been like?

It’s been a great experience so far. There is already a lot of cohesion with the guys on varsity, because when I first moved here, I actually played travel ball a year up with them, so I already knew a lot of them. Being able to play with them again is great.

 

How are you staying in game shape right now with the season suspended?

I do have my home set-up. I’m hitting and fielding, and my dad is helping me out. It is a little difficult, because we’re not all together. … We still are able to communicate, so we are talking with each other in a little group chat so we can keep ourselves motivated.

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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