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Avery Batson is on the right track to be a future Olympian. The Bob Jones soccer player is on her way this week to participate in the Olympic Development International Soccer Tournament in San Jose, Costa Rica. It will be held Feb. 14 through 21.
“It is very exciting,” Avery said. “I am very honored to be invited.”
A freshman at Bob Jones, Avery was selected when she attended the US Soccer Olympic Development Interregional Training Camp in Boca Raton last Nov.
Held through US Youth Soccer Association, the interregional events are held throughout the year at various locations in the United States. The National Team Coach or a National Staff Coach is present at these events to observe, train, and identify players for placement in the national pool or on a national team.
Avery was the only player from Alabama to make the grade to be invited to the International tournament.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team. Having great coaches and putting in a lot of hard work has given me the chance to chase my dreams and keep working for the future,” Avery said. “I want to represent my school, church, community, coaches, and my friends and family as best as I possibly can.”
At six years old, Batson started playing with the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). Later, she joined the Lady Freedom Club and Huntsville Futbol Club, along with guest plays for Birmingham United Soccer Association and Elite Clubs National League.
When she returns from Costa Rica, Avery has already been invited to another US National Training Center in Jacksonville, FL for the weekend of March 1-3. She will be participating in games that will be coached by the US Women’s National Full coaching staff.
“This is a huge step in the right direction to realize her dream,” Avery’s father, Paul Batson said. “She works out at soccer or conditioning every day without prompting and keeps a 4.0 average, so she sometimes misses out on social activities, but she absolutely loves soccer and her teammates.”
The Costa Rica International Tournament is a unique opportunity for Avery. She will get a chance to compete against foreign youth national teams.
“It is an experience that will create life-long memories and friendships,” said Avery.
Avery is the daughter of Paul and Jo Batson.