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December 19, 2014

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Basic grad takes over girls soccer team

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Richard Brian

Basic girls’ soccer coach Ashley Perez talks to her team during practice.

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Basic's girls soccer coach Ashley Perez, 23, runs through drills with her team during a recent practice.

Click to enlarge photo

Basic girls' soccer coach Ashley Perez talks to her team during practice.

Basic graduates coaching at alma mater

  • Football: Jeff Cahill; assistants Leonard Taylor, Marcus Anderson
  • Boys basketball: Steve Bentz; assistants Tony Carducci, Anderson, Taylor, James DiNicola
  • Girls basketball: Teresa Gallegos; assistants Julian Green, Andrea Ramirez, Randi Flippin
  • Girls volleyball: Robin Wood; assistants Brent Scoble, Sarah Anderson, Jordan Drury
  • Girls soccer: Ashley Perez
  • Boys soccer: William Fitzgerald
  • Boys volleyball: Paul Kendall Hollingsworth; assistants Rob West, Troy Steadman, Justin Amazaki
  • Swimming: Jenny Osterholt
  • Baseball assistant: Kyle Bondurant, Jeff Bondurant, Austin Bales, Kevin Wells
  • Athletic Director: Barb Gillaspy

Expanded coverage

When Ashley Perez graduated from Basic in 2003, her thoughts were solely on her upcoming college soccer career.

Years of hard work, playing club and prep soccer, paid off as she was awarded a scholarship to Cypress College in Southern California.

Everything was going fine until a club game the summer after her senior year of high school when an opposing player slid for the ball and hit Perez in the knee. The result was devastating for Perez — a career-ending injury.

The injury happened one month before she was scheduled to leave for college, and with Perez's career over, Cypress took away her scholarship.

"I think it made me stronger," said Perez, now Basic's girls soccer coach. "It made me realize that you can't always count on a sport to be your future. Scholarships are great, but you have to look at your future and your grades."

After the injury, Perez returned to soccer by coaching the Devastation Soccer Club. She has emphasized focusing on grades to her players.

Perez enrolled at UNLV to study athletic training and she returned to Basic to work as an apprentice to the school's trainer.

She returned to Basic's girls soccer program this season as head coach to become the eighth Basic graduate helming a team at the school.

"I think a lot of people are drawn back to Basic because you know you will have the administration to support you," Perez, 23, said. "You are always welcomed back, and once you're here, you don't want to leave."

Perez is not afraid to admit her pride in coaching her former team.

Even though the Wolves were never a dominating program while she played, Perez fondly remembers her years playing for Basic.

"I was one of three players on the team with club experience when I played," she said. "The biggest thing we learned was about having the heart to play."

Perez inherits team that made the playoffs a year ago and what she called "the most experienced team to ever come out of Basic."

Basic lost its first three Southeast Division contests but have come on strong of late with two consecutive wins to sit at 2-3. It is one game ahead of Southeast Career and Technical Academy as of Jan. 26 for the league's final playoff berth.

"We have so much potential for this year," junior fullback Lacey Morrison said. "We have individual talent, we're just having trouble coming together as a team."

Perez said she has the talent on defense, which Morrison leads, and in the midfield, which is led by sophomore Ashley Munson who has a team high five assists.

"The pressure has increased after playing so well last year, but this team is more skilled so hopefully that will cancel it out," Munson said.

Sean Ammerman can be reached at 990-2661 or [email protected].

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