RUSK — Rusk student-athlete Lexie Stanley on Thursday was joined by family and friends at the Rusk Coliseum as she signed her letter of intent to continue her cheerleading career at Tyler Junior College.

Stanley has been a Rusk High School cheerleader for four years, serving as captain her sophomore and senior year. She was an All American Nominee every year she attended the National Cheer Association (NCA) Camp.

She has been a member of competitive cheer for 10 years, attending the SUMMIT competition in Orlando, Florida five times. Stanley has also performed in the All Star Worlds Competition, placing 10th out of more than 50 teams. Her squad has won the NCA Nationals twice which is the biggest award in Cheer.

Stanley said she is excited to continue cheering at TJC.

“Cheering in college has always been in the back of my mind, but now that it is officially happening I am honestly speechless,” Stanley said. “From the first cheer clinic I went to at TJC, the vibe and attitudes from all the athletes and coaches there was amazing and I knew from that moment that’s where I wanted to continue my cheerleading career.”

Stanley is the third cheerleader coming out of Rusk High School to cheer for TJC. Sarah and Jordan Crysup both went on to cheer for TJC after graduating from Rusk High School and Stanley said she is honored to follow in their footsteps.

“I have cheered with Rusk High School alumni and TJC alumni Jordan and Sarah Crysup for over 10 years. These two girls have not only been my teammates, but also close friends I would call my sisters,” she said. “They are both very talented cheerleaders and have left a name for themselves at TJC and I hope to follow along in their footsteps representing Rusk High School and T’s Tumbling Cheer and Dance in the best way possible.”

Stanley recently returned from a cheer competition in Orlando, Florida and shared she is eligible to compete in the competition one more year.

“I attended D2 SUMMIT 2022 held in Orlando, Florida with my competitive cheer team from T’s Tumbling. Attending the SUMMIT is always an amazing experience with it’s own challenges,” Stanley said. “Although this year my team did not have the outcome we hoped for, we cannot wait to make it back next year. From where my birthday falls I am excited to announce that I will have one more year of eligibility on my competitive cheer team which is also known as my “super senior” year. So now you may see me in red white and blue and black and gold.”

Stanley’s mom Jennifer said her daughter has worked hard to get to where she is now and she was extremely proud of her.

“Seeing Lexie continue to pursue what she loves is very special because she has poured countless hours of practice into many years of cheer. She has sacrificed numerous times to be able to give one hundred percent and now she gets to reap those benefits by continuing to cheer in college,” she said. “Her hard work and love for the sport has paid off. I cannot wait to see what else she accomplishes.”

Rusk High School cheer director Theresa Gates added Stanley was a joy to work with and was a true leader.

“She was a true leader and made sure it all happened for Rusk High School Cheer. She is a sweet girl, inside and out, and a true leader,” she said. “I enjoyed working with her during her senior year and we are so excited to see her continue cheering as a TJC Apache.”

 
 

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Multimedia journalist Jessica Payne covers several counties in East Texas. In 2011, she left her hometown Houston for East Texas. In 2016, she left the 9-5 office routine to pursue a passion for sharing inspiring stories and engaging with the community.