Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
Cass Tech High’s Kyra Jefferson is a multi-talented Detroit Public School League champion.
Pershing High’s DeJuan Lewis is hopeful of winning his first league championship this weekend.
They’re both in the spotlight as the PSL’s Proud Strong Learners of the Week.
“It’s a good accomplishment because I’ve never won it before,” Jefferson, a 5-4 junior, said of the honor. “I feel like now people can look up to me.”
Last week, she copped four gold medals, winning the 100 freestyle, the 200 individual medley and anchoring two winning relays, in leading the Technicians to the PSL girls’ swimming championship. That stellar showing shadowed her performance in last spring’s league track and field meet, where she was a double individual champion in the 100 and 200 and ran on the winning 4X100 and 4×200 relays to lead Cass Tech’s girls to the team title.
“I’ve been running track a long time and that’s what I like most,” said Jefferson, who credits her mother for her sprinting acumen. “My mom ran track in high school and set a lot of records. But I enjoy swimming, too, because it helps me get in condition and stay fit for track.”
Jefferson won the 200-meter dash state title as a freshman two years ago, but chose not to defend her title last spring. Instead, she represented her country as a chosen member of the USA junior team that competed in Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational. Spanish is her favorite school subject and speaking the language served her well on her trip.
“I met a whole lot of people and I still talk to my teammates today,” she said. “In a way, I regret that I didn’t go to state. But really I don’t. Puerto Rico was a lot of fun. I can always go to state, this year and next year.”
Lewis, a scholar-athlete with a 3.17 grade point average, will try to lead Pershing’s football team to the PSL’s B Division championship Saturday. The Doughboys (4-4) play Central (5-3) at Northwestern High after last week’s 22-0 semifinal victory against Finney. In that game, Lewis ran for a career-best 188 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored a pair of two-point conversions and made eight solo tackles and six assists on defense.
“I’m proud of myself and my team,” Lewis said. “We did a good job that game.”
Lewis has received interest from a number of college football programs. “I have letters from different schools, but I’m waiting on a scholarship offer,” he said. “There’s great talent and great competition in the PSL and a lot of people from this league have gone on to get recognition. That’s my goal, to be known for something good and positive. ”
The frosting on the cake for Lewis would be to win a PSL championship.
“It’s gone well so far. We’ve just got to keep working,” he said. “I’m confident and the team is full of confidence. We deserve to be there. Our goal is to win the championship.”