For Goldsboro’s Peyton Wilkins, the game is not over until it is over. He is going to do whatever he can to help his team pull out the win.
Wilkins, a senior captain, and standout on the Cougars baseball team is always there to give his teammates moral support and concrete baseball advice.
“Ever since I was little, I just fell in love with baseball, and it’s something that I’ve done all year round,” Wilkins said. “It’s just a passion that’s carried over into my high school career.”
Wilkins first started playing around age seven, improved over the years, and eventually became one of the Cougars’ top players.
When he first arrived on the high school baseball scene as a freshman, he helped the Cougars have a 9-12 overall record. In the previous three seasons, the Cougars had won only seven games.
Wilkins took a significant step as a sophomore when he had a .411 batting average, a .417 on-base percentage, 20 RBIs, six doubles, and one triple.
The Cougars had an 11-11 record and reached the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
The pandemic canceled what would have surely been another successful season, but now he is back as a senior, eager to pick up where he left off and help the Cougars thrive.
“It was terrible. We were off to a really hot start. Everybody bought in, and we really believed in ourselves,” Wilkins said about losing his junior season. “It feels great. After a year without my teammates, it felt really good to get back on the field and start winning again.”
Wilkins knows what it is like to join the team as an underclassman, and he is embracing the opportunity to guide the younger players as a senior now.
Those who know Wilkins describe him as kind and hardworking and always happy to lend a hand to someone in need.
While he is extremely competitive, he does not let his desire to win affect the poise he carries on the baseball diamond.
“I just want to set a good example for the younger guys,” Wilkins said.
After graduating from high school, Wilkins plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and major in business.
“I’ve got a full-tuition scholarship in Naval ROTC, so after Carolina, I plan on going into the Navy and being an aviator.”