First-Year Athletes to Watch: Part One

By Drew Eastland ‘21, Andrew Erler ‘22, & Ben Cutner ‘22

Sports Writers

Volleyball: Hattie Rodriguez

Hattie Rodriguez was a three-year starter for Charlotte Catholic High School’s volleyball team. For her outstanding play her senior season, Rodriguez was awarded conference player of the year honors and selected to North Carolina’s all-state team.  She characterized the transition to Davidson as “a big step up from high school,” but credited the team’s upperclassmen for helping adjust to college athletics and academics. This season at Davidson, Rodriguez has already seen significant playing time at outside hitter. Rodriguez playfully described her role as “bringing down the hammer” with powerful spikes at the net.

Men’s Soccer: Jake Myers

Jake Myers hopes to bring his versatility to the Davidson soccer pitch. A proven winger, scoring 76 goals and notching 54 assists in three high school seasons, Myers has been asked to play some outside back this season. Myers’s potential versatility will be a key determinant for his playing time. As a former state champion, Myers brings a winning mentality to Davidson soccer. “Being part of a winning team is something very exciting; I see a lot of the same components with Davidson College,” Myers said. “Every single day I try to be the best I can be.”

Women’s Soccer: Emma Nguyen

Stand-out first-year phenom Emma Nguyen has already logged many minutes on the pitch for the girls’ soccer team, playing 55-75 minutes in each of the first six competitions. Soccer runs in the Nguyen family; Nguyen’s twin sister Sarah plays for Richmond. “[Davidson] is challenging to the point where I know I’m growing and learning,” Nguyen said. “I want to be challenged in school.”

Men’s Cross Country: Coleman Mitchell

The cross-country team discovered a gem in Coleman Mitchell. In his first collegiate race, Mitchell placed 5th overall. The meet featured George Mason, Richmond, Virginia State, William and Mary, and VCU. Mitchell was also named the A-10 men’s cross-country rookie of the week on September 4th. Hailing from Cary, NC, Mitchell looked at larger D-1 schools: NC State, Georgetown, and Michigan. “The team chemistry is part of the reason I came here,” Mitchell commented. “I didn’t think I was going to go here until I took the visit.”

Women’s Cross Country: Anna Kathryn Kilby

AK Kilby represents the face of Davidson class of 2022 cross county. Kilby only started running cross country her freshman year of high school. In her first race at Davidson she finished 3rd on the Davidson team. Kilby described college cross country as a greater challenge with greater competition. “I didn’t have any girls that pushed me [in high school],” Kilby recalled. “Here, everyone keeps up with me, and I have training partners.”

Football: ChiChi Odo

The Wildcats have also landed Odo, a Defensive End from McKinney, Texas, where he was First Team All-District, First Team All-County, a scholar athlete for The Gridiron Club of Dallas, and a Dallas Morning News Sport Hero of the Week. On the field, Odo loves the brotherhood that is fostered amongst teammates and hopes to learn as much as he can from the seniors while helping the team grab some wins this season.

Field Hockey: Chloe Appleby

Chloe Appleby was a four year starter on the field hockey team at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC. Appleby was named All-Conference three times and All-State twice, and was a team captain her senior year. Appleby played defense mostly in high school, but is transitioning more to midfield here at Davidson. Appleby said the college game is faster paced, and noted that carpet turf is much quicker than the football fields she played on before. This year’s field hockey team is much improved and looking to keep getting better.

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