Mateo Vavages-Lewis,19, and his younger brother Wayne Jackson, 17, currently attend Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma. The brothers played on Riverside’s Braves football team this past season. The high school finished the varsity season with a 1-8 record, and the junior varsity record was 1-1. The team has already begun working to improve for next year’s season by planning summer programs with another nearby high school, such as a passing league.
The Braves’ defense has improved by 10 points a game this year, and the team finished the season with 36 players.
Jackson, No. 76, who is a junior at Riverside, said being in football has kept him out of trouble since he has been attending the school in Oklahoma. It not only keeps him busy, but has helped keep his grades up and helps him continue to stay on track because his coach asked that he stay on the team for next season.
Jackson attended Riverside Indian School for both the 10th and 11th grade and played on the football team for both years. He played left tackle on left guard on offense and on defense right guard. He says he likes playing defense.
Both Jackson and his brother Vavages-Lewis are currently doing power lifting for this year. Jackson can squat 315 pounds, bench-press 180 pounds and dead-lift 355 pounds, and he is gradually working his way up each time he is in the weight room.
“I am very proud of my brother Mateo because he will be graduating this year,” said Jackson. And after Jackson graduates which will be next year, he said he plans to return home to take care of his mother.
Vavages-Lewis, No. 79, has been attending Riverside from the ninth grade to his senior year and has played on the football team since he started there. This is his last year. “I have played nose guard on defense and right tackle on offense and I enjoy playing offense,” said Vavages-Lewis. Vavages-Lewis was also crowned homecoming king, and participated on the boxing team for 2009–2010 school year.
“I did try out for other sports like track, but I found a bigger interest in playing football throughout high school,” said Vavages-Lewis. He said he really enjoyed playing football alongside his brother Wayne this year.
Now that the off season is here, Vavages-Lewis enjoys relaxing, listening to his iPod or playing a game of pool. In Oklahoma it is currently snowing, so the brothers spend a lot of their time indoors because of the 27-degree weather.
Vavages-Lewis is now weightlifting, doing his best to break records. He recently placed fourth in power lifting. In weight training he maxes out on squats at 405 pounds, dead-lift at 420 pounds and bench press at 235 pounds.
After he graduates this year, the senior plans to attend Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas to further his education.
The Vavages, Lewis, Jackson and Manuel families here on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community are very proud of both boys for their achievements during their high-school years.