Batchelor on all-state soccer team|Caps off fantastic junior season

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sports Editor

Beth Batchelor had one of the best years ever for a Washington Pam Pack athlete.
She started off by going to the state tennis championships, being named the Coastal Conference Tennis Player-of-the-Year and the WDN Singles Tennis Player-of-the-Year. Batchelor followed that up with a solid basketball season, where she earned WDN All-Area First Team honors.
The outgoing, affable Batchelor completed the school year by earning a host of soccer awards. Batchelor was voted the Coastal Conference Player-of-the-Year, named to the all-region squad and, most recently, named to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association Class 3-A all-state team.
It was certainly a memorable season for Batchelor.
“I really had no clue during each season that half these awards even existed,” Batchelor said. “I just have so much fun whenever I play. I just play for fun.”
What’s even better for Washington athletics and their fans is that Batchelor is just a junior. What can she do for an encore performance as a senior?
“I’m hoping to do the same, if not better, next year,” said Batchelor, who does just as well in the classroom as she does on the playing field. “Team-wise, I’m hoping to go farther in the playoffs. I just want to help the team out any way I can.”
Batchelor is a multi-sport star, but her passion seems to be soccer. The junior can play anywhere on the field. She was understandably thrilled to be named to the all-state team.
“It feels great,” she said. “I didn’t even know I was in the running for that.”
Batchelor was just as pleased to earn the Coastal Conference’s top honor, beating out such notables as fellow all-state players Shelby Carroll and Rebecca Johnston of White Oak, Jacksonville’s Okina Crawley and Havelock’s Sarah Porter.
“That feels really good,” said Batchelor, who has been on the all-conference team all three years in high school. “I mean, our team not going as far in the playoffs as them, I was in complete shock when I heard about that.”
Pam Pack head soccer coach Jimmy Kozuch feels Batchelor is certainly deserving of the honors she’s received.
“Beth had a tremendous season,” Kozuch said. “She just played out of her mind every game. She has great work ethic and deserved every goal she scored this year.”
Batchelor credited her parents, Bill and Augusta Batchelor, for helping her succeed.
“They go to every game,” said Batchelor, who also thanked Kozuch and assistant Ed Rodriguez for their help. “They are always there for me. They are my moral support and I thank them for that.”
Batchelor led the Pam Pack (6-9-2, 5-8-1 Coastal) in scoring with 32 goals, which tied Blaine Prescott for the most in a single season in Pam Pack history. Prescott, who went on to play at Lees-McRae University, tallied the 32 goals in her junior season.
The 5-foot-8 Batchelor is knocking on the door to becoming the school’s all-time leader in goals. She has scored 76 goals in her career, just two shy of the record.
Prescott finished her brilliant career with 78 goals. She could have had more, but scored just 20 during a senior season in which she played mainly on defense.
With three more goals, Batchelor will pass her friend and former teammate on the all-time scoring list.
“It blows me away,” said Batchelor, who also has 27 assists in her career. “The only reason I keep up with goals is for colleges. I just do whatever I can. I don’t realize what I’ve done until the end of the season.
“Blaine is a great player. I loved playing with her. She was an awesome teammate.”
Batchelor capped her junior season in style, scoring two spectacular goals in the team’s 7-3 loss to West Carteret in the season finale.
With her team down 4-0, Batchelor spun away from a defender, stopped in her tracks, split two more defenders and rocketed a shot into the left corner of the net.
Batchelor’s second goal may have been even more impressive. She bolted away from one defender, juked a couple others and freed herself for a shot. Batchelor then popped the ball over a leaping goalie to pull the Pack within 5-2.
Her most impressive game offensively of the season came a few days earlier, when she recorded a school-record six goals in an 8-0 victory over South Central.
“It felt good,” Batchelor of the school record. “I kind of knew that was the record and I wanted to try and beat it. When it happened, I was kind of stunned it took place.”
Batchelor’s isn’t one to brag about her talents. Her skills alone can do that for her. But she feels confident about her game.
“I really just like working hard,” she said. “I really love it when coaches make me run sprints and distance. I like staying after practice to work on my shots. I’m a very competitive person.”
Batchelor is hoping to play in college, and is hoping somebody will give her the chance.
“I think I can offer a team a strong attack, possibly in the midfield position,” Batchelor said. “Even if I don’t get much playing time my first two years, I’m hoping to make the other players stronger.”
Batchelor, who plays for the Coastal United club team, coached by Amy Evans, plans to stay busy playing soccer this summer. She will compete in a couple camps and is really hoping to open some eyes at the State Games, which will be played June 26-27 in Charlotte.
“I’m just hoping to go out there and play the best soccer I’ve ever played,” Batchelor said. “I’d like to get some coaches interested in me.”
It might be difficult not to notice this talented, multi-talented athlete.