MHS Black History Month program speaker urges students to ‘Do More’
The Rev. Dr. Robert Allen Diggs Sr., pastor of Petersburg’s Tabernacle Baptist Church and a 1970 MHS graduate, attempted to provide this year’s student body with some inspiration of its own as he paid tribute to coach Steve Lewis, the mentor who guided Diggs and the other members of the Blue Devils’ 1970 track and field team to a state championship.
“Don’t Just Score, Do More” was the title of his speech, where he described the important relationship between a student and mentor, using his own experiences with Lewis as an example.
“He introduced me to my gift,” Diggs said of Lewis. As part of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness challenge to students across the nation, Lewis had Diggs and other physical education students at Thomas Hunter School go through a number of fitness tests, eventually taking the students outside to a 600-yard track that Lewis had bushhogged.
Lewis had the students go through the course, telling them they could walk it or run it, whatever they chose to do. “But something spoke to me. ‘Just don’t walk it like the rest of them—Run,’” Diggs said. Lewis wrote down everyone’s time and Diggs had the fastest of anyone in grades 6-12. “That afternoon, he had me on the high school track team,” Diggs said.
“Teachers are trying to introduce you to yourself—to your gifts,” he said..