Pinpointing a sport that epitomizes what Mary Archibald, who plays basketball, softball and golf, means to Goldsboro is difficult because they all accurately encapsulate her prowess.
In all three sports the senior plays, her consistency sets her apart.
Archibald’s leadership, tenacity and skill are on display in every game.
“My main sport is basketball,” Archibald said. “It’s the one I go at the hardest and the one I think I’m better at.”
As the Cougars’ point guard, Archibald flies around the court, dishing out assists that set up her teammates while providing leadership.
Archibald, a captain on the basketball team, is an integral part of the basketball team’s success.
She has been one of the Cougars’ most dependable contributors, most vocal leaders, and most poised players all year.
During her junior season, the Cougars finished with a 5-16 record, but they had a bounce-back season this year, and Archibald was a big reason why.
Goldsboro had an 8-4 record this season and ended the season on a four-game winning streak. Archibald scored a career-high 12 points per game to go along with two rebounds and 2.6 steals.
“We had our ups and downs, but we were always like a family, so we always come out on top,” Archibald said.
Interestingly, Archibald said it was not always that way. When she first started playing varsity basketball as a freshman, Archibald said she was timid and reserved.
Now, as a senior, it is a whole different story. She was the engine that made the Cougars go, and when the momentum was with the other team, Archibald helped bring it back Goldsboro’s way.
“It felt cool to play varsity during my freshman year,” Archibald said.
Point guard is a tricky position in basketball, and it is easy to make mistakes in such a crucial role, but Archibald has done well limiting those miscues all year.
“I guess the goal is to win a lot of games, but for me, it’s to have fun,” Archibald said. “Even practice is fun because I get to hang out with my teammates, so I guess my goal is to play my hardest and to put it all out there, win or lose.”
Over the softball diamond, Archibald has a career .361 batting average, a .472 on-base percentage, 31 RBIs, nine doubles, and three triples.
During her freshman season, she helped lead the softball team to the first playoff appearance in program history. And the following season, the Cougars went 14-9 and reached the playoffs again.
Her junior season was shaping to be another great season, the Cougars were 3-1, but the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Archibald, who plans on attending East Carolina University, said it was difficult not to get a chance to finish her junior season. Still, she intends to make her senior season a special one.
“It was bad because we were doing so good,” Archibald said. “It was hard for the season to get cut short, but we’re only losing one person, so we should be good.”
While Archibald’s personal ascension has given her a sense of pride and accomplishment, that growth is secondary to what her team’s success during her high school career has meant to her.