NCCC student-athlete-musician earns Scholar All-American honors
SARANAC LAKE – In her nearly two years at North Country Community College, Chloe Nott has impressed many people with her play on the soccer field and her hard work in the classroom. As a talented banjo player, she’s also made fast friends in the local bluegrass music scene.
Now the second-year student, who hails from Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia, has been named to a select group. She was recently selected as a first-team Scholar All-American, one of only 11 junior college student-athletes across the country to receive this honor from United Soccer Coaches.
“I knew she was special when she got here, but I didn’t realize she was going to be everything she was,” said Saints women’s soccer coach Kent Egglefield, who recruited Nott to the college in the summer of 2016.
“Being selected on the Scholar All-America first team is such an honor and privilege,” Nott said. “It means a lot to me to be recognized for both my soccer and academics as a student-athlete. It’s also a great reminder that all the hard work I have put in over the years does pay off.”
To be selected for Scholar All-America recognition at the junior college level, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.30 GPA, start more than 50 percent of all games and “significantly contribute to their team.”
Nott exceeded all those requirements. A Sports and Events Management major, she’s at the top of her class with a 4.0 GPA.
“She absolutely is one of the best students I’ve ever had, but I would contend one of the best students the college has ever had,” said Larry McFaddin, chair of the college’s Sports and Events Management program. “She’s gotten straight A’s for every course she’s taken. The quality and depth of her work is just extremely well-thought-out. We have a lot of great students here, but Chloe definitely stands out.”
In soccer, the defensive midfielder has won Rookie of the Year and Coach’s awards, was a team captain this year and has been an All-Conference selection two years in a row.
“She basically runs our team,” Egglefield said. “She’s played 90 minutes of every game she’s ever played in. She never came off the field. I wouldn’t let her.
“Chloe is the most talented player I’ve ever had, in 19 years of coaching. It’s not just the skill on the field with her — she’s all around. You just feed off of being around her. She’s such a positive person.”
Nott had never been outside of Australia before coming to NCCC. Although she had offers to go elsewhere, she said she was attracted to the college because of its mountain setting and its local music scene. Nott has been playing the banjo since she was 12.
“I love the way it sounds, the happiness of it despite how sad the songs are that you’re playing, and the speed of it,” she said. “Sometimes your hands don’t do what you want to make them do. You really have to be persistent and determined. But it’s worth it.”
Nott has never had any formal banjo instruction. She’s largely taught herself by watching online videos, reading guitar tabs, playing with other musicians and immersing herself in the world of bluegrass music, which she was first exposed to through the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival in her hometown.
“There’s a bunch of amazing musicians that go to the festival who’ve been encouraging and helpful mentors,” Nott said. “I think I know most of the banjo players in Australia. We’re few and far between.”
Since arriving in the U.S., Nott has gone to a string of bluegrass and country music festivals, taken bluegrass workshops and networked with other musicians. She took a music class at SUNY Plattsburgh but hadn’t found as many opportunities to play locally until she heard about the regular Wednesday night bluegrass/acoustic jam at the Shamrock Bar & Grill in Gabriels.
“I decided to venture out to see what was going on, and I found this amazing place in the middle of nowhere that has all these amazing bluegrass people turn up to it every week,” Nott said. “They’ve really welcomed me, as has everyone.”
Nott had considered studying design when she was back in Australia, but she said she’s really enjoyed event management and the business courses she’s taken at North Country.
“The teachers I’ve had have been very great, and helpful and supportive,” Nott said. “The small atmosphere rather than the big lecture rooms – it works for me in terms of learning. There’s not a day that goes by that you don’t say hello to 50 people you know as you walk through campus. You don’t feel like you’re just a face in the crowd here.”
Nott will graduate in May and plans to continue her education. She said she’d like to stay in the U.S. and has had offers to transfer to four-year colleges to play soccer. Ideally, she’d like to find a school that has a strong music program or is in an area of the south with a big bluegrass scene.
“I’d like to do something in that industry in terms of music management and event management,” she said.
Players on this year’s Junior College Scholar All-America Teams were formally acknowledged for their accomplishments on the field and in the classroom at the All-America Luncheon on Jan. 20, 2018 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in conjunction with the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Convention.