Zach Lewis embodies the NFA concept.
Succeed on the football field, and do the same away from the game.
In his first game as quarterback for Eastside Catholic Middle School this season, Lewis rushed for nearly 200 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. He also passed for 120 yards.
He’s actually more comfortable throwing the football, but Lewis tapped his experience playing QB and adjusted to the defense.
“I’m mainly a passing quarterback,” he said. “When things broke down in the passing game in the first game, I just had a lot of runs and got a couple touchdowns.”
Attending an NFA/QBA camp in Seattle last February and then being invited to NFA’s elite Duel of the Dozens in Canton, Ohio, over the summer helped Lewis prepare for the inevitable adjustments that occur when the whistle blows.
“I’ve leaned a lot from NFA,” he said. “As far as throwing the football, I had a bad habit of dropping my arm when I would throw and they helped with that. They also helped me a lot with footwork.”
Playing for the Crusaders this season, Lewis is operating behind an offensive line void of tight ends. His training with NFA has helped Lewis stay on his feet.
“With no tight ends, the defensive ends come crashing in,” Lewis said. “Staying in the pocket longer is something I worked on with NFA and brought back to my team. If the pocket breaks down, I’ve been able to use my speed and gain yardage running.”
Passing is his preferred weapon on the football field, and it’s a skill Lewis has developed while playing quarterback since he was six years old.
He can already throw a youth football nearly 50 yards as a seventh grader, and that bodes well in the future for Eastside Catholic High School, which is Washington’s fifth-ranked Class 3A team this season.
Whether he is throwing the football or tucking it away and running, there is no doubt quarterback is the right position for Lewis.
“I like having control of the offense, calling the plays and running the offense,” Lewis said. “I can throw the ball pretty far and I’m pretty accurate. When it comes to running, I’m pretty fast. I’ve definitely gotten faster from a couple of years ago and I hit pretty hard when I run.”
While football is his No. 1 sport, Lewis is also a standout basketball player.
As a point guard for South Seattle Kings this summer, Lewis helped lead his team to the national AAU championship in San Francisco.
He has a football mentality, and Lewis said playing basketball helps him perform even better as a quarterback.
“I feel like playing point guard and quarterback are very similar,” he said. “When you play quarterback, you are directing the offense. When you play point guard, it’s the same thing although it’s a different sport.”
Lewis is already a skilled athlete, and he fares just as well in the classroom. But there is more.
As if he isn’t busy enough, Lewis helped launch Creative Astronauts in May of 2011.
“We went through several names for the company and in September (2011), we locked in on Creative Astronauts,” Lewis said.
An apparel company, Creative Astronauts sells shirts, crew necks, hoodies and hats.
Creative Astronauts is much more than clothing and accessories.
“We are… individuals always reaching to achieve our dreams and goals,” the company says in its mission statement. “Understanding that through preparation and dedication anything is possible. Through our collection of shirts, outerwear and accessories we promote togetherness, bridging the gaps between races, sexes and ages. Bringing creativity and inspiration to everyone.”
Lewis always has a positive attitude, be it on the football field, the classroom or with a business like Creative Astronauts.
“Our company is about sending a positive message,” Lewis said. “You’ll never find swear words, and some clothing lines have beer on their shirts. We don’t believe in that. All of our stuff is positive and our motto is: ‘Create yourself.’ We’re all about being your own individual.”
Creative Astronauts (http://www.creativeastronauts.com/about-us/) currently operates as a web site, but Lewis said the upstart company is close to reaching a partnership with Zumiez, a nationwide store.
While he might be a little young to be running a business, Lewis carries himself with the same approach as when he’s on the football field.
“I’m not intimidated by anything with business,” Lewis said. “I think you’re never too young to make a business or be doing something positive. You don’t have to wait until you’re in your 20s or older to start thinking and coming up with brands and products. As long as you work hard, set high goals and do the right things, you can accomplish anything.”
Also an honor student, Lewis is hoping to play football at Stanford. Before he arrives at college, he has a lot more things to accomplish.
Zach Lewis embodies the NFA concept.