It’s not because he’s the Saints’ primary offensive weapon, averaging 27 carries for 185 yards a game, returning kicks and punts and even kicking field goals.
And it’s not because he ranks second in the area in rushing with 1,485 yards through eight games for the Saints (5-3).
They call the senior running back “The Mayor” because he knows everyone, always has a smile on his face and is a natural leader.
“He just has a big personality,” said St. Mary’s quarterback Spencer Coyle, a 16-year-old junior from Annapolis. “Coach Tony Marino, our quarterback coach, says [Lewnes] runs the school.”
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Lewnes also runs the football — a lot.
“[Coach] told me before the game I was going to get a heavy dose and I’m fine with that,” Lewnes said. “Whatever I have to do to get the win I’ll do.”
Football isn’t Lewnes’s main sport; he’s also a standout lacrosse player who was named second team All-Met last spring. He has committed to play for UMBC, which does not have a football team.
Lewnes says over the summer he worked hard in the weight room to increase his speed and power, attributes that have helped him rush for nearly 1,500 yards so far, when last year he doesn’t even think he reached 1,000.
“He’s a horse,” Coyle said. “He has a tough job because he carries it so many times; he’s getting beat on the whole game.”
That beating cost Lewnes late in the Pallotti game, spraining his left ankle, an injury that limited him to just nine carries in St. Mary’s 43-20 loss to Archbishop Curley on Oct. 22. He hopes to be back for the Oct. 28 game against The John Carroll School.
“All the guys really look up to him,” Coyle said. “He’s like a big brother to me, and I think all the guys have taken in all the work [Nate] and the other captains have put in this year.”