Daughtrey overcame every challenge to dominate as a junior

Published 11:44 am Saturday, June 1, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

From year to year, every athlete wants to see their production jump to another level. Olivia Daughtrey saw that jump as a junior at Chambers Academy, but the improvement she saw did not come without a fair share of trials and tribulations. 

Daughtrey was dominant on the softball field during her junior season. Daughtrey saw her batting average jump from .245 to .345 and she finished with 47 RBIs and nine home runs. 

Daughtrey’s improvement on the diamond started in the summer as she joined Easton Elite travel ball. Daughtrey worked with the coaching staff throughout the summer and the extra work showed every time she stepped into the batter’s box as a Rebel. 

Email newsletter signup

“I definitely put more work going into my junior season from my sophomore season,” Daughtrey said. “Playing on Easton definitely helped with that. Playing travel ball over the summer and being able to work with my travel ball coaches to get me to where I need to be.” 

Daughtrey was dominant as a softball player, and she was also one of Chambers Academy’s most consistent forces on the hardwood. 

The Rebels advanced all the way to the state semifinals in the AISA, with Daughtrey leading the way with 17 points in the quarterfinals. 

Daughtrey became a leader for the Rebels on the hardwood, but she started the season with a bundle of uncertainty. 

During a summer practice in June, Daughtrey tore a ligament in her ankle and continued to play on that ankle for the remainder of the summer. Eventually, Daughtrey was told she needed surgery on that ankle. Daughtrey was still in the process of recovering from her injury and undergoing physical therapy once basketball season tipped off. 

“It was definitely tough to begin with getting back into the groove of things and trying to not be scared that I would re-injure it,” Daughtrey said. “After being non-weight-bearing for so long, I lost a lot of strength in my legs. It was tough gaining that strength back and getting back into the groove of things.” 

The thought of suffering another significant injury to her ankle constantly loomed in the back of Daughtrey’s head. Daughtrey returned to the court in December, but she was not quite confident in the health of her ankle until the team returned from Christmas break and began area play. 

“Once we came back from Christmas, I was in the right state of mind and I was a lot more confident in myself,” Daughtrey said. “I was just playing basketball.” 

Now, Daughtrey is fully healthy and back to being the multi-sport athlete that she had always been. Daughtrey now gets to add another sport back to her schedule. 

The ankle injury she suffered during the summer kept her from playing volleyball last season. Daughtrey watched the entire season from the sidelines, but now she is fully prepared to face the challenge and adjustment period similar to the start of basketball season. 

“It is super exciting to be back, injury-free, and see how much I can improve myself from taking that whole year off,” Daughtrey said. “It’s going to be the same thing just like it was to start basketball season.” 

Basketball and softball seasons were up-and-down affairs for Chambers Academy. Both teams struggled at times but also had large stretches of dominance. 

Daughtrey was phenomenal as a junior, but the season also served as a learning experience for her in each sport. 

“I definitely learned that without the right communication and trust with your teammates, you’re not going to produce the way you want to,” Daughtrey said. “It is all a team game. You have to rely on not only yourself but your teammates.”

Daughtrey was a leader in two sports as a junior, but it will be her show next season. Daughtrey has already started to take on the role of the senior leader during workouts this summer. 

“It is definitely a big role to play,” Daughtrey said. “At the start of the summer, yes it was a little nerve-wracking. Oh my goodness, I’m now a senior, I’ve got to step up in every sport I play to help my teammates and lead my teammates. I’m excited to be able to play that role.” 

Daughtrey came to Chambers Academy from Beulah High School as a freshman, but she is a Rebel down to her core. Daughtrey is a multi-sport athlete, but she started playing basketball first. Over the years, softball has become more engrained into her life each year. 

“Softball definitely takes precedence over any sport,” Daughtrey said. “That is the sport that I put the majority of my time into and the sport I hope to go to college for.” 

Next season for Daughtrey could be a big turning point for her and Chambers Academy. Daughtrey will be one of the Rebels’ most experienced players in three sports and will be expected to step up with the youth of the rosters. 

“My goals for basketball, softball and even volleyball are to definitely win more games in volleyball and be a great leader, teammate and player,” Daughtrey said. “Our teams are going to be pretty young. The main goal is just to be able to grow as a team. I’d say for softball my main goal is to be able to finally hit that one more home run to get me to 10.”