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ASH Football continues its legacy of developing multi-sport athletes

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 4:33 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Some might believe the start of history began when the Alexandria Senior High Trojans made their first trip to the Class 5A State Championship. However, the term “trend-setters” was associated with the football program long before 2020.

“As a kid, ASH had the most success,” Jaguars wide receiver, and former ASH Trojan, DJ Chark said. “Whenever a kid went to the next level, there was a good chance they came from ASH.”

For years, the Trojans have been the New England Patriots of Central Louisiana football, breeding some of the most successful athletes.

“We worked hard,” Tampa Bay Buccaneer specialist coach Chris Boniol said. “We didn’t have much to entertain us back then, so we used our weight room out in the shed and spent a lot of extra time on the field.”

That extra time spent led seven players to the NFL. Those players include Chris Boniol, DJ Chark, Nic Harris, Demar Dotson, Blake Miller, Reggie Nelson and Craig Nall. Dipping into other sports played a major part in their success as well.

“I hated track, but it helped me with my speed and conditioning,” Chark said. “Track also helped me with my passion to win.”

That mindset has carried over into the program today. Currently, more than 20 players on the football roster participate in one or more sports at ASH.

“Our kids are playing basketball, soccer, track and doing anything to help with football,” head coach Thomas Bachman said. “If they aren’t doing anything, we’ll find something for them to do.”

The reward has been priceless for a few of the players involved in multiple sports. In fact, a few have received offers in football because of their ability to play multiple sports.

“When I received my offers, I already knew that it had to do with my ability to play basketball and run track,” ASH wide receiver TJ Johnson said. “Track and basketball have helped me so much with football so it’s only right to look at all of the sports I’ve played and credit my success to that.”

“After I ran at 10.61 in a track meet, colleges saw that and immediately offered me,” running back Jarvis Newton said. “I was shocked because I never thought I would get offers in football but now I’m happy because schools see I can bring a lot of speed to their program.”

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