McAlester's Brinley Lewis living in the moment of senior year

MARK EMMONS PHOTOGRAPHY | Courtesy photoMcAlester's Brinley Lewis said she's taking in every moment of her senior year as she cheers in competition and on Friday nights.

Brinley Lewis is going to make sure and enjoy every moment.

The McAlester senior co-captain started her career in kindergarten, and has since grown up through the sport of cheer. Lewis said she’s enjoyed her journey, and noted how much she has learned through the years.

“It’s been crazy. freshman year, especially, I was working every night,” Lewis said. “Just to do my best. Because there’s a lot to change from freshman year, even freshman year to sophomore year.”

But now cheering in her final season as a Lady Buff, Lewis said she isn’t quite looking forward to the day when she performs her final cheer.

“It’s not exciting at all. I’m not excited about it whatsoever,” Lewis said. “Because, especially with cheer, it’s your last. Like, you can go on to do cheer in college, but it’s not the same…so it’s kind of hard to realize that this is it. This is my last (year).”

But for now, she’s focusing on living in every moment she can and pouring herself into each and every time she performs.

And whether it’s to a competition or to be on the sidelines at McAlester football games, Lewis said she has developed a routine that helps get her ready to put her hard-earned skills to work.

“Personally, whenever I’m getting ready, I listen to happy music,” Lewis said. “But then on the car ride to where I’m going, it’s silence. I’m just trying to process and conserve as much energy as possible.”

Lewis said it’s been an absolute honor to cheer with her teammates, and said the group have formed a very tight bond. And it’s that bond that helps make them not only stronger as a team, but forges friendships as well.

“They all especially try to make sure you’re having a good day, no matter what. And they can pick up when you’re having a bad day, and they know what you need to make you feel better,” Lewis said. “It’s a group of girls that you know care for each other and would do anything for.”

After high school, Lewis plans to go to school and learn to be a physician’s assistant. She said she’s still looking at colleges, but the University of Oklahoma has emerged as a front-runner. And she even has a specific field of study in mind.

“I love working with little kids, that’s my strong suit,” Lewis said. “So something in pediatrics, for sure.”

And while she doesn’t want to give much thought about her own cheer journey coming to an end this year, Lewis did want to impart words of encouragement for all those young cheerleaders that will one day be carrying on that legacy after she graduates.

“Have fun. I mean, that’s what it’s all about,” Lewis said. “Don’t let anybody stop you from doing that, and don’t let anybody tone it down. Because that’s who you are, and that’s what cheer is all about.”

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.

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