Sam Watkins memorial soccer tournament begins today


Family and friends of Samantha Watkins will use her favorite sport to help raise money for a Kilgore High School senior.

The first Samantha Watkins Memorial Scholarship Fund Soccer Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 25 with games starting at 8 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. Players can participate with or without a team.

The seven-on-seven co-ed games are for players 16 years or older and will include goalies. The games will all be played at the Kilgore Soccer Association complex on 1801 Hwy. 135 N.

Player entry is $15 per person, and T-shirts and bracelets in memory of Sam will be sold at the event. Concession stands will not be available, though.

“Soccer was Sam’s passion. Little made her happier,” Sam’s mom, Barbara wrote. “The purpose of this day is to compete and laugh and remember the beauty of teamwork and the game that is soccer. And just have fun. Who cares if it’s been a while since you played or you fear you aren’t as good as you think you should be?”

Sam Watkins, a senior at Kilgore High School, died Dec. 4, 2016, after days in a coma following a seizure Dec. 1 that deprived her brain of blood and oxygen.

Sam Watkins enjoyed life and did not care who stared when she danced in the middle of Walmart when a song she liked started playing, Barbara Watkins said.

“On this day we will honor the beauty that was Sam… She felt more sorry for the ones who never tried things because they were missing out on the smiles a spontaneous moment brought,” she continued. “We should all be more like Sam. And on this day we shall.”

The plan is to grow the event each year to benefit a graduating KHS senior. For more information on the tournament or the scholarship, contact Dawn and Chris Gratton at Gratton Wellness at 903-218-5353 or


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