When Therrell High School was looking to field a wrestling team this year, Coach Brian Ashley offered to coach without hesitation. Ashley is also the current assistant football coach at Therrell. He competed in wrestling, football and track in high school and attended college on a football scholarship.
With an extensive background in sports as an athlete, Coach Ashley saw the opportunity to help make a difference in children’s lives through sports. “I look at coaching the same way I look at education,” he explained. “Coaching is teaching, except in an athletic venue instead of the classroom.”
He feels that sports can have a positive impact on students because it teaches concepts of discipline, hard work, teamwork and pride. “Sports teaches kids about the basics of life,” said Ashley.
In its first year, Therrell wrestling had 15 students compete. The team practiced four days a week for two and a half hours. They would spend 45 minutes in weight training and conditioning, using the remaining time to work on technique.
Hard work paid off big time for senior Dexter Brown, who is ranked 5th in the state in the heavyweight division after competing recently in the Georgia High School Association’s State Traditional Wrestling Championships. Dexter has received a wrestling scholarship to attend Arkansas Baptist Junior College.
Coach Ashley says that Dexter worked extremely hard and he wished he had him one more year. He is proud of Dexter and he believes that his accomplishments will encourage even more students to participate in the sport.
Having a state qualifier in the very first season is a big deal and has already put the Therell High School wrestling program on the map.
For more information on APS Athletics visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/athletics.