Published 6:17 am Wednesday, August 15, 2007
By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Walter Lewis sat in the spotlight Monday afternoon, recalling the experiences and people that led him from his hometown to a successful football career at the University of Alabama and beyond.
Lewis is taking part in a documentary series on the most defining moments in Alabama football history, and he and a film crew returned to Brewton Monday for interviews with former coaches and friends.
Lewis, a former quarterback for Miller and later Alabama, recalled how the community became involved in his football career from the very beginning, when residents supported him through his national title run for the Punt, Pass and Kick contest when he was just 8 years old.
When Lewis and his family returned to the Pensacola airport after the national competition, a crowd of Brewton residents - including three local school bands - was waiting to greet him.
The documentary series, produced by Defining Moments Alabama of Memphis, Tenn., will focus on five important plays in Alabama football history - and on the players behind them.
Lewis' touchdown pass against Auburn in Coach Bear Bryant's 315th victory was not the only memorable play from that game, Guffin said. But Lewis' play was more significant in turning the Tide toward victory, he said.
The producers have chosen four other significant Alabama plays to highlight: the goal-line stand by Barry Krauss in the 1979 Sugar Bowl; George Teague's takeaway in the 1992 national championship game; Kenny Stabler's run in the mud against Auburn in 1967; and Van Tiffin's kick in the 1985 Iron Bowl.
The documentary series - titled “Defining Moments: The Stories Behind Alabama's Greatest Plays” - will be released next August. For each documentary, producers have interviewed friends and coaches as well as the players themselves to trace the influences of the players behind each play.
In his interview, Lewis praised the coaches and fellow players from whom he learned discipline and leadership, including Donnie Rotch, his high school coach, and current Miller coach Jamie Riggs, who was a player when Lewis was a younger student.