Lawrenceville is filled with hundreds of talented athletes, many of whom have the potential to compete at the collegiate levexl and beyond. But out of these hundreds, what makes a single person stand out? Their dedication? Their natural talent? Their commitment to excellence? Well, if you ever get the chance to see Rayce Welborne ’24 on a soccer pitch, you will see him expressing all of these qualities. Fortunately, The Lawrence recently had the opportunity to understand, in greater depth, Welborne’s perspective on his journey to becoming one of the best soccer players that Lawrenceville has to offer.
Although he started playing soccer at a young age of three years old, it took until his fifth grade year for him and his family to realize his potential: “I really began solely dedicating myself to soccer around fifth grade,” he said about the origins of his soccer career. “I quit all of my other sports to just pursue soccer. Even though all sports resonated with me, playing soccer just felt the most natural.”
However, a high level of dedication was not the driving factor to his success. In fact, there were no single driving factors to his success, but rather a combination of many sacrifices. It should be considered, though, that he was not the only one to make sacrifices.
Rayce’s parents have aided and pushed him throughout this journey, and in doing so, have played a key role in his development. Out of the many core values that his parents instilled in him, Rayce recognizes a single quote, one that his father, Dean Welborne, is supposedly always repeating as a summary of his playstyle; “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
These events, though, were all leading to his Lawrenceville experience—the place where he was able to truly refine his game and become the more mature, seasoned player that he is now. Rayce has played for Big Red Boys’ Varsity Soccer since his II Form year, and has been a regular player in the Starting XI for the last two years. Currently, he is the team’s top goal contributor—with nine goals and six assists on the season—and tomorrow’s match against Hill should prove an excellent opportunity for him to add to this total.
If anything is clear about Rayce, it is that this is only the beginning of his soccer journey. He’s clear about his intentions: “Moving forward, my final goal is, in fact, to play Division 1 soccer college.” With interest from several schools across the nation, there’s no doubt that he’ll realize this mission.