Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

Taylor Rhodes named Tech Athletics' 2023 January Unsung Leader

Taylor Rhodes named Tech Athletics' 2023 January Unsung Leader

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – An injury cut short her stellar sophomore season, but her perseverance off the pitch and overall positive personality contributed to Taylor Rhodes being named the Tennessee Tech Athletic Department's Unsung Leader Award for the month of January.

After her strong play pushed the Piperton, Tenn. product into a starting position at the onset of OVC action, Rhodes' campaign ended abruptly with a season-ending injury in a win over SIUE on Oct. 6. Despite the setback, the Golden Eagle sophomore did not let it deter her in her efforts in the classroom, with her team and within the community.

"Taylor worked hard to overcome the challenges associated with transitioning into college," TTU Athletics academic advisor Dr. Samantha Bates said. "She had finally begun to find her place on campus, but that was disrupted when she was injured last fall during a competition. This was a setback, but she has found the strength and perseverance to push forward."

Rhodes was in the middle of a strong second season in purple and gold that saw her become an offensive force to be reckoned with as the calendar flipped to conference play. In Tech's OVC opener at Eastern Illinois, Rhodes provided the heroics with a 77th-minute score to break a scoreless deadlock and ultimately push the purple and gold to a 1-0 nod. The goal was part of a strong surge that saw the 5-foot-6 sophomore tally a combined 13 shots in her first three conference contests.

"Taylor built up her mental toughness and developed into an amazing support person for her teammates as she grappled with her injury and could be a positive role model to others on the team struggling with injuries," Bates noted. "Taylor is a kind and generous person and her actions don't go unnoticed. She is a supporting member that truly works hard to help her teammates and others that may be struggling without expecting anything in return."

It is for these qualities and dedication that Taylor is the recipient of the 2023 January Unsung Leader Award.

The Unsung Leader Award is selected from student-athletes, who have been nominated by their coaching staff, for exemplifying outstanding leadership qualities during the past month. The leadership can be shown on the field, in the weight room, at practice, in the classroom, in study hall, on campus, in the community, or for a student club or organization.

The award honors a varsity student-athlete who has made a positive impact on their team and the Tennessee Tech community as a whole, through his or her dedication to demonstrating leadership traits, such as:

  1. Keep learning, growing, and improving
  2. Follow through with excellence
  3. Accomplish more than expected
  4. Inspire and motivate others

Photo by Emily Armstrong

© Tennessee Tech Athletics

1100 McGee Blvd. // TTU Box 5057 // Cookeville, TN 38505

Privacy Policy