2017-06-15 / Sports

A Patriot for every season

Errol Ashby competed in five sports for Viewpoint
Jonathan Andrade
@J_ Andrade_ on Twitter

THE ULTIMATE PATRIOT—Errol Ashby competed in five sports during his time at Viewpoint High. “I feel most comfortable on the field,” said the multi-sport athlete bound for Marquette University. BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers THE ULTIMATE PATRIOT—Errol Ashby competed in five sports during his time at Viewpoint High. “I feel most comfortable on the field,” said the multi-sport athlete bound for Marquette University. BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers Among multisport athletes, there’s no one like Errol Ashby.

Ashby, a recent Viewpoint High graduate, competed in five different sports in his four years roaming the campus on Mulholland Highway.

The Patriot played football all four seasons of high school, earning time as a punter, kicker, receiver and defensive back.

He ran track for three seasons, specializing in the 400- and 800-meter races.

The 18-year-old played multiple positions during his three years on the lacrosse squad.

He suited up at goalie on the soccer team for the first three years of his prep career before moving to forward this winter, where he tallied eight goals, second only to star junior striker Ari Brozki, who notched 11 goals.

Ashby joined the tennis team during his senior year, where he played doubles on the junior varsity squad.

In other words, Ashby took full advantage of his time as a prep athlete.

“I feel the most comfortable on the field,” he said.

It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the numerous athletes who decide to train year-round in one sport.

“They kind of lose some of that high school experience where you get to go and play on a JV team just for fun like I did this year with tennis,” Ashby said. “It’s not all about ‘Oh, I need to meet this mark on this team’ or ‘I need to get this much playing time.’ It’s best to sit back and relax and enjoy sometimes.

“Some people miss that when they decide to only play one sport.”

Ashby made the most of his high school experience, creating memories and building bonds with teammates and coaches. He even earned the respect of coaches he never played for.

“Coach Prince would always tease me because I never played his sport,” Ashby said of boys’ basketball head coach J.J. Prince, “but I know he’s got a lot of love for me. Even though I didn’t play the sport, I was still really close with a lot of coaches.”

The friendships that came along with the grueling practices, late-night study sessions and long bus rides made it all worthwhile.

Brozki said Ashby’s strength was his adaptability.

“He’s not a master at one sport,” Brozki said. “He figures out each sport and develops as he goes. . . . He could take advice from anyone and apply it immediately.”

Ashby’s football skills transferred to lacrosse and soccer.

Brozki said Ashby’s aggressiveness helped create numerous scoring chances in the winter.

“That’s what got him to score a lot of goals this year,” Brozki said. “He would honestly run through players like he would in football.”

Jonathan Gan, a recent Viewpoint grad who has known Ashby since seventh grade, called his good friend a remarkable talent.

“It’s amazing he was able to compete in so many different sports,” said Gan, a soccer goalie. “He was so crucial to every single team he was on.

“He’s a great teammate. He brought a positive attitude to practices and games.”

Ashby, the only child of Nicole Ashby, was always interested in many sports, even as a child. The Northridge resident also dabbled in baseball and basketball in elementary school and middle school.

Ashby said his prep career taught him valuable life lessons that he’ll carry with him to Marquette University in the fall.

“I learned two things,” Ashby said. “One is, I hate losing more than I like winning. That’s one desire I’ve always had. The other is that I like to prove people wrong. It doesn’t only have to be in sports. When someone says I can’t do something, I like to do everything I can to do it.”

Ashby, who served as president of the Black Student Union on campus for two years, plans on studying physical therapy or sports management in college. He’s also considering walking on to the men’s lacrosse team at the Milwaukee school.

Gan said he has no doubt Ashby will continue to thrive, especially since the athlete has an incredibly positive outlook on life.

“I just hope he stays the same person he is,” Gan said. “He’s not only a great athlete, but he’s just a great friend. He’s a genuine, caring person. He always helps bring a smile to everyone else’s face.”

Despite all the memories Ashby created as an athlete, the Patriot said his most memorable sports moment came as a team manager on the Viewpoint girls’ soccer team this winter.

Those Patriots captured a CIF-Southern Section Division 5 championship. Ashby recalled the team battling Santa Paula in the playoff quarterfinals, a hard-fought 4-2 Viewpoint win on penalty kicks.

“It was a long game,” Ashby said. “The relief when they finally won, and how happy they were— that’s what sports is all about.”

Email Jonathan Andrade at jandrade@theacorn.com.

The Patriot in a nutshell

Errol Ashby is the ultimate multisport athlete. The 18-year-old, a recent Viewpoint High grad, played five different sports in high school to earn the Patriot Award of Distinction. He played football, lacrosse, soccer, track and field and tennis, and he was manager of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 champion girls’ soccer team this winter.

Food: Caribbean
Restaurant: Dog Haus
Hip-hop artist: Chance the Rapper
Athlete: Usain Bolt
TV show: “The Arrow”
Movie: “Now You See Me”
Phone app: Snapchat
Vacation spot: A beach in the Caribbean
Dream destination: Europe
Dream job: Owner of a professional sports team

This story was updated at 9:28 a.m. June 28, 2017.

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