Sports Person of the Week
Lewis and the Cougars Take a Huge Step Forward
Junior Kedarjah Lewis moved from the midfield to forward and scored 19 goals for the Shoreline Conference champion Haddam-Killingworth girls’ soccer team this fall. (Photo courtesy of Kedarjah Lewis )
Kedarjah Lewis found her groove on the field for the Haddam-Killingworth girls’ soccer squad this fall. Kedarjah, a junior, moved from the midfield to the attack and became a prolific goal scorer who helped the Cougars have a historic season. Kedarjah netted 19 goals for H-K, which bounced back from last year’s four-win campaign to notch 15 victories and claim the Shoreline Conference title in 2019.
“This was the best year so far that I’ve had in my high school career,” Kedarjah says. “It was exciting to be around everyone on the team.”
Kedarjah had confidence that things were going to change for H-K this year. After the team met new Head Coach Mike Shea in the spring, Kedarjah and company felt positive about the direction the program was heading in.
“He came in with a very positive attitude,” says Kedarjah of Shea. “We had a new pair of eyes watching over us.”
Kedarjah scored five goals while seeing some varsity time as a sophomore. When Shea came aboard, he took a good look at Kedarjah’s game and decided to move her to the forward position.
“He noticed right away that I was shooting almost directly at the goalie. He showed me how to keep my head up and spot where the goalie was playing me,” Kedarjah says. “I was able to hit more spots and score more goals this year.”
Kedarjah and the Cougars scored plenty of goals throughout the season as H-K averaged 3.5 per contest. Up top, Kedarjah was part of a nice 1-2 punch with sophomore forward Yumi Imai, who scored 16 goals.
Kedarjah says that H-K gained some serious momentum following a 6-3 victory over Valley Regional on Sept. 23. The Cougars went on a roll that took them to the Shoreline Conference Tournament, where they earned wins against Cromwell (6-5), Old Lyme (2-1), and Valley Regional (3-2) to take the title.
“After we beat Valley the first time, we began to believe that anything was possible,” says Kedarjah. “Our confidence level hit a high level. We thought we could beat anyone after that.”
Kedarjah scored four goals for H-K in its 6-5 win versus Cromwell in the Shoreline quarterfinals. Coach Shea says that Kedarjah is a natural scorer who has a nose for goal and a tremendous will to win.
“She’s amazing. Kedarjah has the ability to receive passes both in the air and on the ground, and she can do it under pressure,” Shea says. “She’s very quick, finds her target, and strikes with great accuracy. Kedarjah’s motivation to win resonates through the team.”
Born in Jamaica, Kedarjah came to the United States as a seven year-old with her mother Nicola and her father Henry. Sadly, Kedarjah’s dad passed away shortly thereafter. Kedarjah has a stepfather, David, and an older brother, Kedor.
Kedarjah didn’t play organized sports in Jamaica, although she did enjoy playing soccer with her cousins in the yard. When she was in 4th grade, Kedarjah’s friend Jill invited her to kick the ball around during recess. Right away, Kedarjah knew that soccer was the sport for her.
“Jill went home and told her parents how good she thought I was,” says Kedarjah. “I ended up on the youth team in town.”
Kedarjah joined the girls’ soccer team at H-K in her sophomore year. This winter, she’s going to try her hand at indoor track.
“Everybody tells me I should try out to run either the 400 or 800,” Kedarjah says. “I want to do the sprints, but if the coach wants me to do [the 400 or 800], I’d be willing if it helped us to do well.”
Kedarjah is looking to pursue a career in medicine after she graduates from high school. She has a goal of working as a physician’s assistant one day. Kedarjah also wants to play soccer in college.
“I’m taking a chemistry course now, and I find it very interesting,” says Kedarjah. “I’m starting to look around for colleges that will offer me an opportunity to earn a degree and one where I can also play soccer.”