Florida commit transfers to Kingwood

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

ALABASTER — Kingwood Christian School picked up a great deal of momentum heading into the 2013 football season with the announcement C’yontai Lewis will transfer to KCS and play football for the Lions.

Lewis, a highly touted recruit, is a verbal commit to the University of Florida, and comes to Kingwood from Tuscaloosa County High.

Lewis was ruled ineligible to participate in sports during the 2013-2014 school year by the AHSAA following a transfer from Northridge High School to Tuscaloosa County after the 2012-2013 school year.

Lewis’s transfer to Northridge his junior year following two seasons at Greene County High was also found to be in violation of the “Bona Fide Move” rule, which states that a player must reside in his new school zone for nine months to be considered valid and that the move of the family must precede the transfer.

Because of his move to Northridge was declared invalid, his participation in the school’s football and basketball programs was found to be illegal. Per an AHSAA ruling, Northridge must forfeit all five of its football wins, 10 of its basketball wins, pay a $300 fine and submit to probation for one year.

KCS Head Coach Steve Birmingham said Lewis’s decision to come to Kingwood happened almost by accident. Birmingham said Lewis (who was out of town and unable to be reached for comment) found out about KCS through two teammates on a travel summer football team who played for Kingwood.

Birmingham went on to say that he felt the controversy surrounding Lewis was unfair.

“Some of the stories out there that have come about have been kind of negative,” he said. “We sat down with him (and he comes from) a really nice family. Everyone seems to forget he’s a 17-year-old kid in a big frame.”

Despite the publicity surrounding the 6-5, 212 pound tight end, Birmingham said he felt Lewis would be in an ideal situation at Kingwood.

“I think it’ll be a win-win,” Birmingham said. “He’ll definitely help our athletic programs, and spiritually and academically Kingwood will help him get ready for the next level.”