— FROM STAFF REPORTS
Former Weatherford High School multi-sport standout Kapron “Big Kap” Lewis-Moore is hoping to finish his collegiate football career with a BCS championship when his undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish team takes on Alabama.
The title game is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. CST on ESPN. Notre Dame (12-0) is ranked number one but is a slight underdog according to oddsmakers to the 12-2 Crimson Tide.
“Playing for the National Championship is something pretty spectacular,” Lewis-Moore told WISD spokesman Derik Moore, “and every time I’m on the field, I know I’m also representing Weatherford.”
A fifth-year senior and one of the team’s captains, the 6-foot-4, 310-pound former ‘Roo is ranked by some NFL prospect services as one of the top defensive linemen in this year’s draft.
Lewis-Moore graduated in May but was granted an additional year of playing eligibility after having suffered a detached medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury against rival USC on Oct. 22, 2011, that required season-ending surgery.
Kap is part of a defensive unit which has allowed the fewest touchdowns in the country (10) and is sixth overall in total defense (286 yards per game). He was also part of two pivotal goal-line stands against Stanford and USC.
In 2012 Lewis-Moore registered 39 tackles playing in all 12 games, including 16 solo takedowns. He has 8.5 tackles totaling 49 yards lost for opponents. He had six quarterback sacks totaling 41 yards and was credited with two forced fumbles.
His mother, Wanna Lewis, teaches at Juan Seguin Elementary and has made just a handful of Notre Dame football games to watch her son play in person. She attended Notre Dame’s “Senior Day” recognition on Nov. 20 before its final home game of the year and said it was a day that will hold a special place in her heart.
“It was hard to contain my emotions when I saw him running across the field headed toward me,” Lewis told Moore. “Just last year, he was hobbling with crutches underneath his arms.”
Lewis-Moore said his mother is the main reason he chose to play at Notre Dame.
“She, being a teacher, knew the importance of academics,” Lewis-Moore said. “At first I didn’t understand, but now that I’ve graduated, I know she was right.”
Wanna Lewis said her proudest moment came when her son earned his degree last May.
“That was my happy ending,” she said. “That’s all I asked him to do. I wouldn’t mind if he took his education further, but that’s on him. My wish now is to see him go for whatever dream and whatever purpose that God may have for him.”
Other ‘Roos in South Bend
Kap won’t be the only former ‘Roo taking the field for the Fighting Irish Monday night.
Blake Weaver is a 2010 Weatherford High School graduate and is a member of the select Notre Dame band that plays for events, alumni, etc. Weaver plays the clarinet for the Fighting Irish band and was selected to travel to Ireland for the first game of the 2012 season. He is pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering, Moore said.
The Notre Dame marching band is comprised of 380 members.
Also attending Notre Dame from Weatherford is Karly Denkhaus, the 2009 Weatherford High School valedictorian. She has worked as statistics teaching assistant since her freshman year and interning with Notre Dame’s sports marketing department as an event planner and a research assistant in both the psychology and marketing departments.
She will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing with a second major in Psychology.