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Ashley excited to help build winning culture at new Jefferson high school

New Jefferson football program has strong leader
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 11:46 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Growing up in a family where his father Alvin was an All-American football player at Southwest Minnesota State, and his sister Shaunteva an All-American basketball player at Augustana, Taylen Ashley grew up immersed in sports.

“I’ve always had a football in my hand or basketball. Running around playing tackle football with my dad or wrestling.” Ashley says.

Taylen was just as comfortable stepping into high pressure roles early at Roosevelt High School such as guard on the varsity basketball team as a freshman or starting quarterback as a sophomore.

“Leadership, that’s a big thing. I just try to look for my other guys, I’d rather put other guys in front of me just like for basketball. I’d rather get a nice assist than maybe hit a deep three. I always like just seeing the guys happy. We went to the Roosevelt games, my sister used to play their, and we were like ‘one year we’re going to win a state championship and we’re going to be so happy’!” Taylen says.

That dream became a reality last year as Ashley helped lead the Rough Riders to the AA state title. This after amassing more than 2400 yards and 24 touchdowns as a dual threat signal caller for the football team.

“I feel like I have a really good ability to learn defenses and read stuff like that. I’ve also been gifted with the ability to be quick.” The Junior QB says.

“He always bring his team with energy. He always is leading us, giving us speeches before and after practices, before games. He’s a great guy. He’s humble, always making sure the team is first.” Jefferson Junior RB/LB Tayten Sanow says.

Something he’ll do now for the newest program in South Dakota, Jefferson High School.

“I just wanted to leave a mark at Jefferson. The right mark. Culture is a big thing at schools and I wanted to come here and set it right.” Ashley says.

“He’s really smart. He picks things up really fast whether it’s offense or whatever it might be, reading coverages. He works extremely hard. He’s who you want your quarterback to be.” Jefferson Head Coach Vince Benedetto says.

“I didn’t want it to go that maybe people get wrong mindsets of Jefferson. I want them to come here and be like ‘that’s a great school’.” Taylen says.

Whose inaugural teams certainly seem to be in good hands.

Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.

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