SULPHUR — Actions often times speak much louder than any words.

SULPHUR — Actions often times speak much louder than any words.

For Sulphur’s Presley McClure, words threatened to derail her dreams of becoming a cheerleader early on in her life.

From being told she didn’t fit the typical figure of a cheerleader, to being told that it wasn’t the right path for her, McClure had every insult imaginable thrown at her.

Fortunately for the Lady Bulldogs standout, she didn’t listen to a single negative word said to her. 

Presley McClure is the 2019 Best of the Arbuckles Chickasaw Nation Courage Award winner, for showing outstanding courage in the face of constant negativity, in pursuit of her dreams. 

“I was in shock to be honest when I heard my name,” Presley said about receiving the award. “To be honest, I didn’t even know this award existed until one of my friends told me about it. I didn’t realize that I’d even be considered for this, or why I’d even be chosen, but I’m very thankful I was.”

“It was hard hearing all of those horrible things that were being said to me and about me, I’m not going to lie,” Presley said. “Sometimes your own worst enemy is yourself, and the self doubt that creeps into your mind. After I went through everything though, I realized that as long as I trusted in God and leaned on him, he was going to get me through the tough times.” 

While she faced more than her fair share of adversity during her time at Sulphur High School, Presley was able to savor just as many good times and accomplishments. 

In the classroom, Presley finished with a 4.0 GPA and was one of many Sulphur students who graduated with honors as part of the Class of 2019. She also scored a 29 on her ACT exam.

Other academic accomplishments include being the FCCLA Vice President from 2016-19, as well as being a member of the National and Oklahoma Honor Society. 

On the cheer side of things, Presley was a two-time academic state champion with the Sulphur cheer squad, as well as a two-time national champion with the Oklahoma Outlaws Cheer and Tumble Gymnasium out of Ardmore, along with being an All-Star Cheerleader from 2013-18, and a recipient of the Top Gun Stunt Award. She was also a member of the 2018 All-Ardmoreite cheer team. 

“It means everything to me that my sister is such a positive role model,” Presley’s sister Payton said. “She really teaches us that no matter what anyone ever says, you can do anything you set your mind to. Presley always made sure everyone was always included and made them feel at home with this cheer squad.”

“I’m so thankful my sister was recognized with this award,” Payton added. “This just means that all of her perseverance and hard work was worth it. We’re going to be able to look back and see how special this was together and that means everything to me.” 

Along with her sister, Presley’s cheer coach at Sulphur Destiny Baker also had plenty of praise for her standout senior, especially when it came to not listening to what anyone had to say. 

“Presley is one of those athletes that every coach dreams of having on their team,” Baker said. “She’s smart, motivating and such a hard worker and a great role model. Presley was always the first one to roll mats, or get something off the bus. and really did a great job of leading by example.”

“It breaks my heart knowing that such horrible things were said to Presley,” Baker added. “At the same time I am so proud of her for not listening to those ridiculous comments. I’d have been super upset had she listened to those people and I’d have missed out on being her coach. To have gotten to be a coach to someone like Presley who is beautiful, strong and one of the best hard working cheerleaders I’ve ever seen has been an honor and a privilege.” 

While Presley’s high school cheer journey might be over, her cheer journey still has plenty of positivity left to spread.

Earlier this month, Presley traveled to Ada and tried out for the East Central University cheer squad.

To no one’s surprise, the Sulphur senior shined and earned a spot on the squad, further cementing her legacy as a successful cheerleader. 

“It was like a dream come true finding out I made the squad at ECU,” Presley said. “I always wanted to cheer in college, and to have the opportunity to do it now is amazing to me.”

Presley will be studying to become a pharmacist while attending East Central University. 

“It feels amazing knowing my story has had such an impact on people,” Presley said. “I hope that everyone who needs to hear this story will hear it. I hope this motivates people to keep going no matter what they are facing and to know that God is always with you through the bad times.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever completely understand how much I actually effect people,” Presley added. “I hope that I’m having a positive impact on people, and that my actions are stronger than what I can say to them. My sister (Payton) and Coach (Destiny) Baker have had such an impact on me. I’ll never be able to fully express to either of them how much they have meant to me, and how much they have pushed me to be a better person. I love them both and I’m thankful for everything they’ve done for me.”