Watkins soaring into his future

Published 8:51 am Sunday, June 24, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Lee Watkins is about as all-American as they come.
The Washington High School graduate has the boy-band good looks, intelligence, athleticism and confidence all rolled into one.
Think of Tom Cruise in the movie Top Gun.
That’s made all the more true when you hear of Watkins’ future plans, which involves flying F-18s for the military.
Yes, Watkins feels the need for speed.
Before shipping out to the Navy, Watkins was named the Washington Daily News’ 2007 Male Athlete of the Year.
Watkins was a two-sport star for the Pam Pack. He was named the WDN All-Area Baseball first team catcher for his play this season.
A solid player behind the plate, Watkins was also solid hitter. He batted .304 and scored 12 runs.
Watkins was able to excel despite a sub-par year for the baseball team. The Pack won just a handful of games, but Watkins was still able to find something positive out of it.
Earlier in the baseball season, Vaughan heaped plenty of praise on Watkins.
Watkins said he learned plenty of first-year coach, Darin Vaughan.
Watkins was an All-Coastal Conference performer in football for coach Sport Sawyer’s football team. He played linebacker and fullback for the Pack.
Watkins was never the biggest player on the field, but that never stopped him from mixing it up with anybody and everybody on the gridiron.
Watkins helped lead the Pack to a playoff game last year, and is excited about the future of the football team.
Sawyer said he enjoyed coaching somebody with Watkins’ attitude.
As a football player, Watkins was presented with a special and emotional award. He was the football recipient of the Trent Watkins Award, named in honor of a former Pam Pack standout athlete who was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident on April 7, 2004.
One Washington football player and one Pam Pack baseball player are selected by the coaching staff of their respective teams. In order to receive the award, the athletes must demonstrate strength of character and integrity; a positive attitude with the determination and drive to win; and an unquestionable dedication to the team.
The award was all the more special to Lee because Trent was a cousin.
While Watkins was a standout on the playing field, he was just as bright a star in the classroom. He finished fourth in his class of 196 students, compiling an impressive 4.7 GPA.
Watkins said he hopes his friends, classmates, coaches and teachers remember him as a dedicated individual.
Watkins’ parents, Fred and Lynda Watkins, have always been there to cheer on their son — whether it be on the field, in the classroom or an other endeavor Watkins has been involved in throughout his life.
Watkins isn’t sure he’ll compete in athletics while at the Naval Academy.
Watkins will get his first taste of the Navy when he takes part in a “plebe” summer in Annapolis, Maryland.
Knowing what’s ahead of him, and what he’s leaving behind, what made Watkins choose such a lofty goal?
They won’t be getting a better or harder working individual.