A legendary Cavalier: Batchelor named 2A player of the year for boys soccer

Published 3:27 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

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What words can be used to describe senior Greyson Batchelor’s time at Callaway High? State champion, player of the year, salutatorian, leader, history maker and captain are just a few of many descriptors that could be applied to the soon-to-be graduate. It has been a remarkable four years for Batchelor, who applied himself to the max in both academics and athletics and as his time walking the halls of Callaway High nears its end, he cannot help but look back on the journey it has been.

“It’s crazy to think about how fast those four years go by,” Batchelor said, pondering the journey he has been on for four years. “You don’t realize how fast it will go by when you’re a freshman.”

The journey got a little bit sweeter for Batchelor last week. The senior soccer player was named the 2A player of the year and a DiVarsity All-Star.

“I was at my sister’s volleyball tournament last week and coach (Mike) Petite texted me and told me to check the DiVarsity page, I saw it and showed my mom and she started crying,” Batchelor said. “It was crazy, it was surreal, to be honest.”

There are 65 schools in 2A with over 1,000 boys soccer players in the state. To be named the very best of the lot is an honor unlike any other Batchelor has ever received.

“Anytime I do something I want to be the best, but to get player of the year is really incredible and not something I could have ever anticipated,” Batchelor said. “I think this is my biggest sports accomplishment. There are so many incredibly talented players in the state.”

Batchelor’s individual goal for this soccer season was simple: make an All-State team and break the single-season goal record. He accomplished the former, but fell just three goals shy of the latter, finishing with 29 goals during his senior season.

Little did Batchelor know after he played his final game with the Cavaliers, that he broke the career goal record at Callaway High. His benchmark of 51 goals will now be what all aspiring Cavaliers boys soccer players will strive towards.

“I’m super proud of that and I think it holds a lot more weight than the single-season record,” he said. “I never thought I would break that record and had no idea I did it until they told me after the last game.”

It has been a long and winding road for Batchelor to end up as the highest goal scorer in Callaway history. He attended Heard County and Gardner Newman in middle school, but beneath any blue or maroon clothing he was forced to wear there was always red and black. Batchelor always felt most at home with the C on his chest and finally got back to his home school system as a freshman.

Putting on that Callaway football jersey and eventually the soccer jersey for the first time was a special moment.

“It felt amazing to be here and wear the red and black. I mean, obviously, those are my favorite colors,” Batchelor said, flashing a big smile and showing off his University of Georgia apparel. “To put the C on is special because it represents so much of what our community is.”

Like any journey, there were bumps and bruises along the way. Feeling burnt out from the sport and focusing on football, Batchelor did not come out for the soccer season in his junior year. Halfway through the season, he felt a change of heart and came back to the team with a steely determination.

“It was a spur of the moment, one day it really hit me that I missed soccer and I texted Petite and told him I wanted to come back and he got right back to me,” Batchelor said. “I’m so glad I came back.”

Four years of life on the gridiron and the soccer pitch went by in the blink of an eye. In the spring, Batchelor carved up defenses in the soccer field, but in the fall he was the team’s starting kicker and was a member of the 2020 team that won the first state championship in school history.

For the football team, Batchelor was a guy. Reliable and important, but one of many cogs in the machine. On the soccer pitch, Batchelor got to be THE guy and at times willed the Cavaliers to victory. That was most evident during Callaway’s 4-3 win over Towers in which Batchelor scored a goal from open play, a stunning free-kick and a late penalty to give the Cavaliers the victory and a home playoff game.

“That was my best memory from high school because we lost to them last year when we shouldn’t have,” Batchelor said. “I told the team before the game we were not losing and then to go out there and score three goals in a 4-3 win is something I will never forget.”

Batchelor is as cerebral off the pitch as he is on it. He did not end up being named salutatorian by accident. As he sets his sights on attending the University of Georgia to focus on academics, he is finding it increasingly difficult to say goodbye to the sports he loves. But life brings change and Batchelor is ready to start the next chapter of his story.

“Sports have always been a part of my life. And honestly, it’s something I’m still trying to handle and figure out right now because it’s weird. I was telling some underclassmen, friends like, “it’s weird not being at spring practice right now,” Batchelor said. “I won’t be done being involved with sports whether it’s playing on the intramural team or something else.”