The Tewaaraton Foundation has named former Navy lacrosse star and National Lacrosse Hall of Famer James C. "Jimmy" Lewis as the recipient of the fourth annual Tewaaraton Legends Award.
"Jimmy Lewis is a natural selection for the fourth Tewaaraton Legends Award," said Jeff Harvey, chairman of The Tewaaraton Foundation. “He was an outstanding player during a championship era at Navy, and upon graduation he went on to serve his country.”
Lewis began his career at Uniondale (N.Y.) High on Long Island as a standout attackman from 1960 to 1962. An All-Nassau County pick for three years, he won the Rutgers Cup and the Outstanding Player Award for Long Island lacrosse in his senior year.
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In 1966, The Baltimore Sun called Lewis the "greatest living lacrosseman.” Lewis ended his college career as Navy’s leading scorer and now ranks sixth on Navy's career scoring list with 169 points (78 goals, 91 assists). He is one of only four players in program history to score 75 or more goals and dish out 75 or more assists. Lewis led the Midshipmen in scoring and earned first-team All-America honors in each of his three years at Navy (at the time, freshman were not permitted to play varsity sports.)
He also won the Jack Turnbull Award as the top collegiate attackman in 1964, 1965 and 1966; he's one of only three players ever to win the award three times. During this stretch, Navy won 22 games in a row (against zero losses) and three straight National Championships at a time when the top team was voted on by the USILA.
While in Annapolis, Lewis also played soccer, though he had never played before making the team at Navy. As a junior, he scored the game's only goal in the NCAA championship game that gave Navy its first and only soccer title.
At graduation ceremonies in 1966, Lewis was awarded the Sword for Men, presented annually to one midshipman for excellence in athletics. He went on to graduate from TOPGUN, the elite United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, and became a fighter pilot, flying F-14s toward the end of the Vietnam War. He spent the next 20 years as a Navy test pilot.
The Tewaaraton Legends Award annually honors one recipient who played college lacrosse before 2001, the first year in which the Tewaaraton Award was presented. Recipients are chosen on the basis that their performance would have earned them a Tewaaraton Award had the award existed when they played. The previous three Legends Award winners were Syracuse’s Jim Brown (2011), Cornell’s Eamon McEneaney (2012) and Johns Hopkins’ Joe Cowan (2013).
Lewis will receive the Legends Award during the Tewaaraton Award ceremony May 29 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington.
Ex-Mid Looney to be honored posthumously with Tewaaraton Spirit Award
The Tewaaraton Foundation has named former Navy player Brendan Looney as the recipient of the Spirit of Tewaaraton Award. The Looney family will be presented with the award in his honor at the Tewaaraton Award ceremony.
The Spirit of Tewaaraton award is presented to an individual who has contributed to the sport of lacrosse in a way that reflects the spirit of the values and mission of the Tewaaraton Award. Past recipients include former Maryland men's coach Dick Edell, former Loyola College women's coach Diane Geppi-Aikens, former Bucknell men's coach Sid Jamieson, Baltimore native A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard, former Syracuse coach Roy Simmons Jr., Richie Moran (Maryland) and former Johns Hopkins men's coach and athletic director Bob Scott.
“Brendan Looney defined his life through his dedication, leadership, courage, service and loyalty to his family, friends and country. He embodies the spirit of the game and the values of the Tewaaraton Award,” said Tewaaration Foundation chairman Harvey.
A three-sport standout at DeMatha, he earned letters in football, track, and baseball. Brendan played football for two years at Navy and then joined the lacrosse team. The first official lacrosse game he ever played in was the 2002 season opener. He was a sophomore. Brendan saw action in all contests in years 2002-2004 and in 2004, Navy recorded the most wins in Academy history and earned its highest ranking — No. 2.
Looney graduated from the Naval Academy in 2004. He started his military career as a naval intelligence officer and later transferred to Navy Special Warfare/Operations. During his fourth tour of duty, Looney, a member of SEAL Team Three, was one of nine U.S. service members to lose his life in a September 2010 helicopter crash in Afghanistan.