Sports Spotlight: Padgett first local to commit to division-1 with ECU lacrosse, paving the way for area kids

“I want to be a role model to the younger kids here.”
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 6:35 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As lacrosse continues to grow in the East, players are getting better and better. One of the stars at J.H. Rose is breaking the mold. We feature Taylor Padgett in this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“I started in eighth grade so it has not been that long,” says J.H. Rose senior lacrosse player Taylor Padgett.

J.H. Rose senior Taylor Padgett hit the ground running and found a club program in Raleigh to grow her game through high school.

“Over the past four years I’ve had to drive up to Raleigh for practice once or twice a week,” says Padgett, “I’ve played against the best of the best up in Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and also down in Florida. It’s really just helped me gain more knowledge of the game.”

Knowledge learned at national tournaments transformed her level of play.

“Valuable asset to us, not only because of her skills, but because of her attitude, her work ethic, she’s just an all-around awesome athlete,” says J.H. Rose head coach Celie Edwards.

Taylor is a midfielder for the Rampants.

“She doesn’t just drive in and score goals. She looks for open teammates to give them the opportunity to shine which I really love and her teammates love,” says Edwards.

Running to make plays...

“I surprisingly don’t love running,” says Taylor, “But, it’s just different when you’re out on the field. I like to play midfield because I have control of both sides of the field.”

Both sides, and the middle. Taking draws and changing the game.

“Getting the ball is how you really start the movement and getting it to the goal,” says Padgett.

All of the work and skill Taylor has gained, earned her the first local division one commitment to East Carolina.

“The long car rides, the long weekends, and the long trips have been worth it,” says Padgett, “It’s really just an honor to go and play for them. I’m really excited. I want to be a role model to the younger kids here.”

Younger kids already look up to Taylor.

“I love being around them,” says Padgett, “I coach the middle school team on the weekends.”

And they will continue to for years to come.

“She’s influenced a lot of the girls on her team and the younger lacrosse generations to work hard,” says Edwards, “Everybody in the lacrosse community here in Greenville, all over Pitt County, even the other high schools are super proud of her.”

You can submit your athletes to be featured as our Pepsi Sports Spotlight by submitting them by email to .

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