George E. Lewis Jr.
George Lewis was a ferocious, super-pumped, relentless defensive football player for
RFA and UMASS, and always in top physical condition. Save for an injury suffered in training camp with the Washington Redskins, George E. Lewis Jr. might have made it to the NFL. He was certainly talented enough and had the right attitude.
Born in 1959 on December 17th, Lewis was an early Christmas present for his parents. His dad was a member of the United States Air Force stationed at Griffiss. When George Jr. was just a kid his dad got transferred to the Netherlands and took the family with him. Lewis played Little League baseball and helped his team win the Netherlands championship and make it to the European Little League World Series. Baseball was Lewis’ first taste of athletic success and he liked the feeling of being part of a successful team effort.
The family returned to Griffiss in 1972. Lewis was 13. George played both football and baseball at RFA, but football became his first love. His senior year at RFA he was a Central Oneida League (COL) All-Star and a first team All-State defensive player. He won the Black R as RFA’s Most Valuable Player.
UMASS-Amherst was next for Lewis where he was a four-year letter winner for the Minutemen and a two-time, first-team All-Yankee Conference player as a defensive end and a linebacker. Lewis also was picked for the All-New England first-team in 1981. After college, Lewis went to work for the New York State Office of Family Services.
During his thirty-year distinguished career with the state, Lewis also worked for the Office of Mental Health at the CNY Psych Center. Most of what he did dealt with youngsters and he relished being able to make a positive difference in kid’s lives.