Going for the win

Published 8:02 pm Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whether it’s in sports or school, Rebecca Ballance likes to win.

The First Baptist Christian senior has received the 2010 Athlete of the Year award, her soccer team’s 2010 Coach’s Award, Most Valuable Player for the past four years in basketball, Most Valuable Player of the Year in soccer in the past and has been chosen for the all-conference team in basketball, soccer and volleyball.

“I love playing sports,” Ballance said. “It’s fun for me, and I just want to win. I definitely have a strong competitive drive. I just want to be the best. I want to win.”

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Her competitive spirit and hard work are now paying off in the classroom.

Ballance will graduate as the 2010 First Baptist’s valedictorian with a GPA of 4.0, before her honors courses are factored in.

“I don’t get in trouble, but I got called to the office and was kind of nervous,” Ballance said. “But, then I found out I got valedictorian and started jumping up and down and clapping my hands. I was so excited.”

Ballance began attending First Baptist her freshman year of high school and spent her four years hard at work.

“I had to work really hard,” Ballance said. “It’s not that the research papers and essays don’t come to me, but I put time and work in. I want to do the best I can. I don’t want to do a job halfway and just get by. I want to do well.”

In addition to her sports activities and academics, Ballance was president of the school’s Student Government Association, president of the school’s National Honor’s Society, vice president of the school’s Beta Club, a 2008 Peanut Festival princess and also participated in volunteer activities.

“I stay busy,” Ballance said. “In my previous years, I didn’t have a whole lot of opportunities to get involved, but at First Baptist they have a lot of different venues you can get involved with, so I wanted to get involved.”

While Ballance has been busy for the past four years, she feels her hard work has paid off.

“Being named valedictorian means so much,” Ballance said. “It shows me I can come from a completely different school and that through perseverance and dedication, I can make it. All the work I’ve done has paid off.”

The key to her success, she said, is the family behind her and her faith.

“My grandmother, Judy Ballance, has done so much for me,” Ballance said. “I want to be the best I can be. That’s all there is to it. It’s about giving honor to God and being a good steward of the talents He’s given me.”

Ballance plans to attend North Carolina College or Virginia Wesleyan College to study to become a physical therapist.