Lewis Pytel (’67) – Football
The Friday, September 16, Miami Herald sports page read, “There is no logical explanation for what took place at Central Stadium Thursday night except that maybe Lew Pytel just simply refused to go home a loser. The crafty Columbus quarterback marched his troops 68 yards in the wanning moments and scored the go ahead touchdown with 1:27 left as Columbus stunned highly-regarded Coral Gables, 13-6, in the season opener for both teams. It was without a doubt the most important victory in the nine years Columbus has played this game. And the Explorers can thank Pytel for the historic conquest against a school that was the mythical national champion just two short years ago.”
Interestingly, Lew Pytel had never played football before he came to Columbus, but he was a fast learner. He played varsity all four years and, as a 10th grader, was named Dade County’s outstanding sophomore football player. Lew was first team all-city as a senior. A year that started with by the win against monstrous Coral Gables and its legendary coach, Nick Kotys. That season opener was punctuated by Lew throwing five touchdown passes against Curley in the city Catholic Championship game.
Lew Pytel also played baskeball and ran track at Columbus and was selected the school’s Athlete of the Year in 1967. Hewent on to play quarterback for three years at the University of Miami. He lettered there as a sophomore and started as a junior. He transferred to the University of Tampa for his senior year and led the team to the NAIA national championship.
After his playing days, Lew returned to Miami where he coached high school football for five years. He followed that up with 9 years as a police officer for Metro–Dade.
Today, Lew serves as an expert witness in criminal cases. Lew and his wife of 30 years, Jannie, live in Homosassa Springs.