Charlotte Happel: Twice the Athlete

It’s not easy being a student: managing classes and classwork, working jobs on campus, having roles in different clubs and organizations, playing sports, finding the time to get eight hours of sleep, the list goes on.

Charlotte Happel, a sophomore political science major from Louisville, Kentucky, knows it as someone who plays not one, but two sports.

Happel has devoted herself to both field hockey and softball. Coming from an athletic family, Happel has been an avid player of both sports her whole life. She is currently in softball season and has since wrapped up her field hockey season in the fall.

Happel’s love for softball evolved after playing T-Ball as a child. She did not discover her love for field hockey however until middle school, but quickly fell in love with it. Before choosing the two, Happel played basketball, did swim and played track.

When asked about how she manages the two sports on top of schoolwork, Happel replies, “I’m someone who works better when I’m busy all the time. So the hectic schedule works in my favor.”

In the fall season, field hockey allowed her to be done each day before 6 p.m. On the other hand, softball requires playing a ‘double-header’ each practice (meaning the team plays two games back to back.) This averages six games a week (three games in three days) that can mean up to five hours a practice. The rain often means delays and setbacks for practices on the newly renovated softball field.

When Happel is asked if she has a favorite between the two sports, she replies with: “it really depends with whatever season I’m in. I really can’t choose between the two and I’m lucky enough to have not had to because the coaches have been so supportive of me playing both sports.”

Field hockey won their conference this year and went to the NCAA tournament. While they lost the first round of the tournament in triple overtime, Happel describes the experience as nothing short of amazing for having made it so far. “It was so much fun to be apart of [at Denison.]”

Between typically the middle of November until February, Happel gets to have a break from both sports (unless she starts doing weight lifting with softball after field hockey ends.)

Aside from the two sports, Happel is an oncall S.H.A.R.E. advocate and the PR chair, along with being the D.I.G. (diversity and inclusive group) representative for softball. Being a D.I.G. representative involves working on Denison’s campus to improve diversity and make sure everyone feels accepted and welcome. Each team has between one and two representatives that meets every other week.

Happel became a political science major after thinking she was going to be an International Studies major, but naturally gravitated more towards the political science classes after taking “International Politics” with Dr. Katz.  

After college, Happel hopes to continue being involved in these sports either as a coach for kids or in a pickup league.