Charlie Obaugh RV & Outdoor Center Student Athlete of the Week: Ashlyn Herring

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 12:23 PM EDT
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ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) - Ashlyn Herring is a two-sport standout and leader at East Rock High School with an infectious positive attitude who has continued to achieve her goals even after dealing with a personal tragedy.

“I just always like to do my best because I knew what I was capable of, if I could keep pushing myself I could get it done and that was just something I constantly thought about. That’s in the classroom and off the court, push yourself to your hardest, and good things happen,” said Herring, a senior at East Rock High School in Elkton.

Herring has been a four-year varsity athlete in basketball and softball as well as a team captain. Her coaches said she always works hard and makes her teammates better.

“She’s been our unquestioned leader. She’s been a two-year captain for us but more important than that she’s been the vocal leader of our team. It’s positivity from her all the time and she’s able to push her teammates,” said East Rock Girls Basketball Head Coach Paul Comer.

Comer said that while Herring has never been one of her team’s leading scorers she has played a vital role on the team by rebounding, setting screens, and being a fierce competitor.

“She’s a great role model for one, she comes to work every day ready to go. Her number one thing is really taking care of the younger kids, we had a lot of eighth graders on our team this year in the JV program and they really look to her for guidance,” he said.

Comer reflected on one game this past season that showed Herring’s importance on the court.

“Everybody on the team scored but her that night but she made at least ten plays in that game that we don’t win without her,” he said. “It’s not always about scoring or rebounding, it’s the value of what you bring to your team and she was phenomenal.”

Herring has also been a key player and a big bat for the East Rock Softball Team.

“Softball has always been something I’ve loved. When I was a kid I wanted to go throw in the backyard and I knew when I’d come to school I’d see my friends all the time but being able to play with them on the field, that’s something that’s awesome. We’re all out there doing something we love and doing it together,” she said.

One way that Herring shows leadership on her teams is by trying to be positive and encourage all her teammates.

“I’m not always the best one on the field or the best one on the court but I try my best to keep everybody as positive as I can because half the battle is mental. I mean if you can play the game that’s really good but being able to get along with everyone and keep positive all the time, sometimes it’s not easy and that can be the hardest part so I try my best to keep everybody up,” she said.

Herring also shines in the classroom where she has a 4.02 GPA.

“She’s always smiling, always positive, always working hard. I might have ten other kids off-topic and she’s still interested in learning and smiling and trying to make deep points that I have up there, not just being satisfied with being able to do the problem but understanding what it’s useful for,” said Doug Ameigh, a math and physics teacher at East Rock.

Ameigh said that Herring is an inspiration to him and others with her day-to-day positive attitude.

“Honestly I have learned a lot from her about staying positive, trying your best, coming in every day, and doing the best you can whether it’s a good day or a bad day,” he said. “We’ve all had bad days but when I see her and know that there have been times when she’s had good days and bad days and is still so positive and trying to pick up her teammates and classmates, it’s really inspirational.”

Herring is also the Senior Class President at East Rock and a member of several student organizations including the National Honor Society, the Educators Rising Club, and the Sources of Strength Club.

“One of my favorites is Teachers for Tomorrow. I’m actually going to JMU this fall for elementary education to be a teacher and we actually got to go to River Bend (Elementary School) for our club time. That was one of my favorite things was being able to go see those kids and read to them and create a relationship,” said Herring.

Doug Ameigh said that when Herring does become a teacher her students will be in good hands.

“Those families and those kids are going to get a caring individual that’s out there trying to help everybody whether it’s her current classmates or her future students she wants everyone moving forward as best we can,” he said.

Herring has achieved academic and athletic excellence even in the aftermath of a personal tragedy. She lost her mother at the end of her sophomore year but her connection with her teammates and coaches helped her through tough times.

“That’s definitely not an easy thing for anybody and having all this strong support behind me really helped push it. I know that if I wasn’t in sports and I didn’t have the coaches and friends that I have I can see it being so much more difficult and I really couldn’t have done it without my family, my East Rock family,” said Herring.

Paul Comer said that he is very proud of Herring for all she has accomplished and said that she continued to be an exceptional leader and student after her mother’s passing. He said her attitude could still light up a room.

“Her big lasting impact is she’s been a two-time sportsmanship award winner here. In my 20 years of coaching, I’ve never done that but I can’t think of a better role model and a better person to represent our school and our community in how you preserve through things and keep pushing through,” he said. “Ash has made everybody around her better, she made me a better coach and a better person and I think she did that with everybody in her program.”

Herring said that as she prepares to graduate in the spring she hopes everyone will remember to smile.

“I always try my best to smile at everybody and sometimes a smile is all it takes to make somebody’s day. There’s so much negativity going around, it doesn’t matter where you are something bad is going to happen or something around you is not going to go the way you plan but smiling at somebody can do a lot. That can change someone’s day so everybody keep smiling,” she said.