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Arkoma’s Lexis Watkins – Athlete Of The Month Presented By Sans Bois Hospice

“Beautiful, crazy…she can’t help but amaze me
The way that she dances…ain’t afraid to take chances And wears her heart on her sleeve
Yeah, she’s crazy…but her crazy’s beautiful to me…”

The words from the hit song by Luke Combs are a picture perfect description of Lexis Watkins, a senior at Arkoma High School.

Faced with the challenges of Alopecia,  an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to come out, “Lulu” looks into the mirror everyday with confidence. “I don’t let anything or anyone bother me,” explained Watkins. “Yes, it does bring me down sometimes but I always remember no one’s opinion matters and I’m beautiful. It’s really made me become successful.”

With a smile on her face and the determination to always achieve greatness, Watkins has earned praise from those who know her best. “She is a phenomenal talent who shows students and staff alike that you don’t have to be defined by something that is difficult,” said Shelly Harmon, cheer coach at Arkoma. “Lexi has really learned to be comfortable in her own skin.”

Choosing words like beautiful, unique and talkative in self-description, the captain of the Arkoma cheer squad who has been involved in cheer since she was five years old is confident in her opinions about cheerleading as a sport. “A sport is an activity involving physical skill and teams that compete against each other and in cheer you are required to have a lot of skill and physical exertion,” explained Watkins. “You also go and compete against other cheer teams.”

Calling her highlight moment as being named All-American by the Universal Cheerleaders Association and the opportunity to serve as a UCA summer camp instructor, Watkins cautions others not to think of cheer as something that’s easy. “There’s nothing easy about stunting,” proclaimed Watkins. “It’s the toughest because we go from mastering easy stunt to always trying and mastering the more difficult stunt.”

And yes, according to Watkins, teamwork is a must.  “It makes you a better cheerleader and you also get a lot of things accomplished and reach goals as a team,” replied Watkins. “I really enjoy cheering at the games and making new friends because it gets me so excited and I get to share the same interest about cheer with other cheerleaders.”

Crediting the influence of her mom, Watkins’ future plans include a career path of helping others. “My mom has definitely inspired me because she’s always positive and she always puts others first before herself,” Watkins said in appreciation. “I plan on going to college and become a physical therapist.”

But between now and graduation day, Lexis Watkins will continue to prove that character counts as she leaves a legacy footprint for others to follow. “When i graduate I want people to remember me as someone who was always there for people and someone who put others first and someone who was nice and always happy.”

Photo courtesy Jodi Olson Photography

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