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Locklear Named April Scholar Athlete - NC

Date: April 25, 2011

Payton Locklear Named The Robesonian/ Mountaire Scholar Athlete of the Month for April 2011

ST. PAULS — St. Pauls senior Payton Locklear was surprised but excited to learn he was selected as this month’s The Robesonian/Mountaire Farms Scholar Athlete of the Month.

A member of the Bulldog football and baseball teams, Locklear sports a 3.30 unweighted grade point average and a 3.83 weighted average. His GPA places him ninth in a class of 156.

“I didn’t even know I was nominated,” Locklear said. “Getting good grades comes natural to me. At home I really don’t spend too much time studying because I pay attention and don’t goof off in class. I take school seriously.”

Locklear said he was determined to get good grades because of what he saw in his family.

“Some of them didn’t finish high school,” Locklear said. “My dad didn’t finish 11th grade, but my mom is a nurse. She went to RCC (Robeson Community College) and Bladen Community College."

“They told me not to come home with a ‘C’ or lower. I didn’t want that either. I got a ‘C’ in chemistry and a C-plus in English 4. That was the hardest class I ever took. Harder than chemistry.”

Locklear hopes his achievement will help not only his brothers and sisters strive to maintain their academic work, but also other Lumbee males. He says some people tease him because he is too focused on keeping up with his homework rather than doing other things.

“They go out and have some fun,” Locklear said. “I still have my fun, but I put school first. Most of the kids that are athletes, they don’t try in class. When report cards come out I ask them to tell me their grades. They won’t tell me. I did what I had to, to be at the top of my class. I didn’t want my GPA to go down.”

Besides having to overcome the peer pressure to do other things than hit the books, Locklear added one of the biggest obstacles was keeping himself motivated, especially during his senior year.

“In my 11th and 12th grade years I got some senioritis,” Locklear said. “I got a little lazy, but I kept my grades right. After third semester this year, they locked the spots. I’m in the top 10 and I’m happy with. No one in my family has done that.”

Locklear credits playing football and baseball for helping him stay on his scholastic path.

“Sports kept me out of trouble,” he said. “I took some AP classes, but you have to get on the computer to take them. I don’t like sitting on the computer all day. I thought about transferring to Purnell Swett, but I’m glad I stayed here.”

Each month, the Robesonian/Mountaire Farms Scholar Athlete will receive an engraved, crystal trophy and recognizing him/her as the monthly honoree. Honorees will also be highlighted in Mountaire Farms quarterly newsletter.

Each monthly Robesonian/Mountaire Farms Scholar Athlete will also be eligible to receive one of two The Robesonian/Mountaire Farms $1,000 college scholarships, which will be awarded to one male and one female athlete. These winners will be named the “Robesonian/Mountaire Farms Scholar Athletes of the Year.” Both will be featured in additional articles, highlighting their yearly performance.

Story by Shawn Stinson - Robesonian Sports Editor