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Work ethic defined Laurel female Athlete of the Year

Tyrah Cobb-Davis wasn't a star athlete at St. Vincent Pallotti, but she was the type of athlete that coaches just love.

Cobb-Davis excelled at lacrosse, volleyball and swimming and mentored underclassmen on and off the field while carrying a 4.21 grade point average, helping underprivileged children from the inner city of Washington D.C., and serving as a member of both the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.

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The 2015 Laurel Leader female Athlete of the Year also served as co-captain of the lacrosse team.

Pallotti girls lacrosse coach Mark Mozier said few of his athletes worked harder than Cobb-Davis.

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The Laurel resident will attend Randolph College in Virginia in the fall on an academic scholarship. There, she will play lacrosse while majoring in engineering.

"I have coached a lot of girls and have gotten a lot of girls into colleges," Mozier said. "I mean a lot. Someone like her doesn't come around that often. She busts her butt out there. The people who have better athletic ability think they are all that, and they don't do the things that she does."

Cobb-Davis didn't think much about playing college lacrosse as a junior.

The attacker didn't score a goal the entire season, but Mozier, a second-year coach, made her a co-captain to help get the team headed in the right direction.

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That's saying a lot when you consider that Cobb-Davis only started playing lacrosse as a sophomore.

"I made her captain because of her leadership," Mozier said. "She did everything I asked her to do on the field. She had to preach my message. She was strong-willed and fair."

As a senior, Cobb-Davis was even more important as a leader. Pallotti had an extremely young team. Sixteen of the 26 players on the roster were underclassmen.

If that wasn't a big enough challenge, Pallotti struggled through a seven-game losing streak in the middle of the season.

"I was always encouraging and understanding," Cobb-Davis said. "I just had to be very helpful because we had a lot of girls that were new to the sport. It was all about their being patient and learning the game. I was

always there, serving as a mentor whether it was academics or athletics."

The 5-foot-5 Cobb-Davis also showed a lot of determination in improving her on-the-field skills for her senior year.

She spent the offseason working on her stick skills and conditioning.

"I was surprised at how far I came," she said. "I was able to play at a high level."

Cobb-Davis scored eight goals this spring and had a five-goal streak late in the year to help Pallotti win four of its last five games.

Mozier said that during this time Cobb-Davis' shot went from 34 miles per hour to over 50.

He said that was a huge thing in making her a college-level type of player.

"She shoots really well now," Mozier said of Cobb-Davis, who was also aggressively recruited by Goucher College and University of Cumberlands in Kentucky.

Cobb-Davis also made great strides as a swimmer for a Panthers team that won an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference title.

She knocked six seconds off her time in the 50-yard freestyle between her junior and senior year and became a valuable part of the 200 and 400 free relay teams.

"She just kept getting better and better," Pallotti swimming coach Bill Bayly said. "She made colossal improvement in the (50) freestyle. She was always at practice working hard. She was a leader by example and looked out for the younger swimmers."

In volleyball, Cobb-Davis earned a spot on the varsity after three years on the junior varsity. She played outside hitter.

Cobb-Davis also hit the books just as hard as she played sports.

"Sometimes, I would get up at 5 to get in an hour of studying before school," she said. "And sometimes I wouldn't go to bed until 1 or 2 in the morning."

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