Boys soccer notes: Senior midfielder Truitt Battin plans to turn pro after St. Charles East's season
St. Charles East’s Truitt Battin said the best part of his game is how little it fits any recognizable pattern.
The only thing predictable is the senior midfielder’s unpredictability. In a game where feet reign supreme, Battin said his ability to play with either foot without sacrificing accuracy or touch is the key to his success.
“Ever since I have grown up playing, I have had the ability to play with both feet,” Battin said. “My right foot is my natural one, but I have always been able to utilize both.
“I am better able to get to the ball or wherever else I am needed on the field. I feel very free in playing the way that I do.”
A three-year starter, Battin has scored eight goals with five assists for the surging Saints (8-3, 3-1), who are playing their best soccer of the year.
After defeating Batavia 1-0 on Tuesday, St. Charles East had won five consecutive games and seven of its last eight.
The 6-foot Battin combines ideal size with strong, versatile abilities. But there’s more.
“In my three years on the varsity, my role has been about leadership and helping the team,” he said.
Battin has always been ambitious. The other unusual part of his game has involved his summer and training development over the last five years.
Since 2013, Battin has spent his summers playing overseas on youth club programs. Most recently he played in Belgrade, Serbia.
“The experience of playing in Europe has just helped me develop as a young guy,” he said. “I faced the different barriers of learning the language and adjusting to the different play they play over here compared to here.”
Battin is planning to graduate after the fall semester, bypass college and move permanently to Belgrade. He looks to play for the Red Star in the Champions League.
“That is a good starting point for me,” Battin said. “The plan is to get into a developmental league and just stay there. I have always had the dream of playing professional soccer in Europe.
“It has been a thrill to see all the hard work pay off.”
Top seed: Led by prolific forward Omar Lopez, who has 25 goals, Elgin (12-1-2) secured the top seed of the Class 3A Hampshire Sectional. Streamwood (9-3-3), which played Elgin to a 2-2 draw, earned the second seed.
The Sabres are also regional hosts with Huntley, DeKalb and Rockford Auburn. Dundee-Crown (13-2-3) is the third seed. Sectional host Hampshire (9-3-3) is the fifth seed.
The Hampshire Sectional winner faces the winner of the Addison Trail Sectional in the Conant Supersectional. St. Charles North (10-4-1) and St. Charles East are the fourth and fifth seeds, respectively.
Repeat champs: Joshua Johansen scored the winning goal Sunday as St. Edward defeated Lincoln-Way West 1-0 in the U.S. Navy bracket championship game of the PepsiCo Showdown at Robert Morris.
The Green Wave won the same bracket last year.
St. Edward’s only loss came against Wheaton Academy, a 3A school that suffered its first defeat of the season against Morton in the championship game of the PepsiCo Showdown’s top bracket.
Johansen has scored a team-best 25 goals with 12 assists for the Green Wave (16-1-1). St. Edward earned the top seed in a sub-sectional of the 1A Genoa-Kingston Sectional.
Patrick Z. McGavin is a freelance writer for The Courier-News.