Sophia Boothby spent much of her childhood outdoors with her father and because of that, she’s had a special connection with nature.
She grew up in various towns like Fredericksburg and Quantico, Virginia, and Durham, North Carolina. Boothby enjoyed the Appalachian scenery of these towns, and it’s a large reason why she remembers these places so fondly. The impact that nature had in Boothby’s childhood is still important to her today, and its importance is why she pursues its protection.
“In the future, I could see myself going into environmental law, or just protection through policy,” Boothby said. “I think that that’s the most effective way.”
Boothby, who is also of Cherokee descent, has spent ample time learning about her heritage, which has connected her environmental activism to Native American rights movements. Not only has she learned much of the Cherokee language and culture, but she has also protested with her father to defend protective lands of tribes. She wants others to help protect those areas since many of them are filled with untouched wilderness.
“Native Americans have a hard time fighting and using their voices because they’re often gone (and not listened to),” Boothby said.
Her parents aren’t the only ones who have played an important role in her life. Boothby’s older sister, Brie, is also one of her biggest supporters. The two played together as children, and both attended Ohio University. Even though Brie currently resides in North Carolina, she always jumps at the opportunity to support her sister on the field.
Boothby is in her fourth year with the program now and she believes that 2019 is a special season for the Bobcats.
“My class in particular has been given such an opportunity to watch this program go through such a transition, just through coaches, as well as the culture of our team,” Boothby said. “We talk about all the time that this team in this season is super special because we know what we want, and we’re all very connected to it. It’s showing on the field.”
The redshirt junior goalkeeper and starter has an important leadership role on the team, and good communication is vital to her position. Part of her success on the team has come from her position because she has to make calls and communicate with her teammates throughout the match.
Following the 2019 season, Boothby plans to return to Ohio for one more year. While she might see a minor drop off next year because the talented senior class will have graduated, the one drop off that won’t happen are the Appalachian views and the nature that surrounds her in Athens.