Athlete of the Month: Griffin Watkins


Leanna Bernish

Griffin Watkins swims year-round and on the West team. He is one of the co-captains this season.

Leanna Bernish, News Writer

Junior Griffin Watkins is the big brother of the swim team. Playing music on the way to meets, helping the younger swimmers improve and encouraging his teammates to always do their best, he is a source of support for everyone he interacts with. A natural leader, Watkins strives to be a role model for his teammates as co-captain of the boys swim team this year.

“I just love the younger kids and helping them through things and with their strokes and just showing them the right path,” Watkins said.

Possessing a love for the sport as pure as water with a pH of seven, Watkins has been swimming since he was 5 years old. His passion for swimming is evident in his commitment to the sport; he practices two to three times a day, taking Sunday as his only rest day. Despite his hectic schedule, he still finds time to bond with and support his fellow swimmers.

“He’s Mr. Social Butterfly. He has a way of bringing all the teammates together and getting them riled up and ready to go. We have a large amount of freshmen this year, so they really need someone to look up to and some guidance, and Griffin’s [the] perfect candidate for that,” West swim coach Sandy Thomerson said.

Every great leader has their own role models. Drawing motivation from his peers and his dad, Watkins remains humble about his athletic prowess.

“It’s different; I’m not really the leader in club. I’m actually in the middle; I swim with guys that are way way faster than I am, and they’re pretty cool. I really learn my leadership from them,” Watkins said, speaking of his teammates at Enfinity, his club team.

Despite his boundless effervescent attitude towards his teammates and friends, Watkins is centered by his dad, being his greatest source of support.

“A lot of people say we’re the same person. It’s crazy. All the stuff he does for me… [he] always goes out of his way. He understands the work I’m putting in, and he really appreciates that. My dad is by far my best friend,” Watkins said.

The consummate teammate and leader, Watkins hopes to continue to drop time and be a role model himself for his fellow swimmers. Looking forward to new memories and meets, he’s ready to help make this next season go swimmingly.

Here are some fun facts about Watkins:

Events: 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle

Pre/post meet traditions: Playing and listening to music on the way to and from meets, going out to eat after meets, team dinners on Sundays and the annual Christmas party

Favorite movie: “Dazed and Confused” (1993)

Favorite dog breed: Great Dane

Favorite kind of breakfast food: Eggs

Craziest thing you’ve ever done: Swimming with sharks in the Bahamas