NFL lineman, Cactus Shadows alumnus Taylor Lewan gives back to alma mater

(Submitted Photo)

Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan donated a $10,000 grant to Cactus Shadows High School, his alma mater.

Lewan made the Pro Bowl last year and his team won. As part of winning, he could give a $10,000 grant, from the NFL Foundation, to a school of his choice, according to a press release.

He chose Cactus Shadows because he said he sees it as his hometown school and he considers Cave Creek home.

“Part of the joy of having a small-town, one-high-school feel to Cactus Shadows High School is the sense of pride and community that exists here,” Dr. Steve Bebee, principal of Cactus Shadows, said in a prepared statement.

“When students bond with their school, their desire to come back and give back drastically increases. We are so happy that Taylor felt that bond while he was here as student/athlete and we are grateful that he chose Cactus Shadows to be the recipient of his gratitude.”.

CSHS plans to use this grant toward new banners for the stadium, an industrial washer and dryer as well as other miscellaneous equipment, a release states. Jim Swetter, assistant principal of operations and athletics said he was excited when Lewan told him he would be in town and wanted to talk about a donation.

“During our meeting Taylor was an absolute gentleman and really enjoyed the changes to our campus,” Mr. Swetter said in a prepared statement. “He said he was going to donate the $10,000 to us because Cave Creek is home. We are very grateful for his generosity and his desire to help Cactus Shadows.”

Lewan attended Cactus Shadows from 2004-07 playing football.

Cameron Bender, CSHS geometry teacher and student council advisor, said she has fond memories of Lewan.

“I remember Taylor to be a hardworking and respectful student. I also remember that as a high school freshman, he was already enormous,” she said in a prepared statement.

“One day, while standing in line at Sky Harbor airport, I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned around to see the even more enormous Taylor, who was then playing college ball. He said, ‘Hi, Mrs. Bender. Do you remember me? I’m Taylor Lewan, and you were my math teacher in high school.’ I remembered him well. It’s been really fun watching his football career evolve.”

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