Southampton Academy athlete commits to Chatham University
Published 10:01 am Friday, January 22, 2016
Southampton Academy senior Tyler Dodson has committed to play baseball at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The two-sport athlete, who also excelled on the football field, will play catcher and in the outfield for the Cougars.
“Their baseball program is just beginning, and I really like the challenge of being a part of a startup program,” Dodson said. “It gives me a chance to compete for a starting spot my very first year in college instead of waiting due to seniority. The coach [Tim Banner] has guaranteed me a spot on the roster and tells me that it is up to me to perform to get playing time, which I have no problem with that. Chatham also just went coed this year, and I think it’s a great opportunity.”
He said that the school’s sustainability program was the reason he chose Chatham over St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg.
“The world is changing so quickly, and the job opportunities for a sustainability major are growing every day,” Dodson said. “The program is very hands-on and part-engineering, part-economist, part-chemist, part-agriculture and part-geologist. I plan on getting a job with a consulting firm or large company that is trying to lighten their impact on the world while relying less on our resources.”
He said that he wouldn’t have been afforded this opportunity if not for the dedication of his coaches, mentors and the Southampton Academy family.
“The coaches are more concerned about making you a better person and teammate than what the score is,” Dodson said. “That usually means better performance on the field, as I have been a part of two state championship teams — one in baseball and one in football. Our coaches and our teammates are our family first, and we play like it.”
He specifically noted athletic director and football coach Dale Marks, Tim Nixon, Dave Easterling and Michael Bradshaw as influences on his career.
“I hope to make them all proud one day because I know that they work hard for me,” Dodson said.
Mainly, though, he singled out his parents for all that they’ve done for him to get to this point.
“My dad [Jeff] will drive all night for hours on end to make sure I am everywhere I need to be and gives me the coaching I need when no one else is around,” he said. “My stepmom, Kelly, works two jobs and one is night shift to help pay for gas, hotels, food, lessons and travel ball dues. She never gets recognized like she should, but I know I couldn’t do this without her sacrifices.”
“It truly takes a team of people around you and pushing you to make you realize your dreams,” Dodson continued. “Without my ‘team,’ I wouldn’t be where I am.”