WAYNESBORO, Miss. (WTOK) Ashton Stanley was born to attend Wayne Academy....literally.
“I actually went to my first football game at Wayne Academy when I was a week old," Stanley said. "My mama had concession stand duties so I was in the concession stand as a baby.”
Stanley enrolled at Wayne Academy when she was three years old. As she got older, she became interested in the school’s different sports offerings.
“The first sport you can play at on a JV level is track and cross country," Stanley said. "I ran cross country for two years but then it got so busy I had to quit to be able to do everything else but I’ve ran track since sixth grade.”
Stanley was a state champion for track in eighth and ninth grade, winning the 400 meter dash individually and the 4x200 relay with her teammates.
She even holds a state record in track and field for MAIS 3A.
“I actually set the state record last year in triple jump for 3A," Stanley said. "I was hoping we could compete again this year and maybe try to beat it again."
Track is only a snippet of Stanley’s athletic ability. She also plays softball, competes in cheer and will continue on her basketball career next year at Northwest Community College.
Stanley shared she was originally going to attend Mississippi State but is happy she chose to continue her basketball career.
“I’m really excited to go play there. I’m glad that I did it. I’m glad that I wasn’t too scared to do it," Stanley shared. "This is once in a lifetime, not everybody gets to do this so ‘Go Rangers’!”
Along with her athletic abilities, Stanley’s hunger for success sets her apart from others according to Wayne Academy boys basketball coach Forrest Daws.
“First thing that comes to mind when I’m asked to describe Ashton is her competitiveness. I would say that is the single most important characteristic she possesses that accounts for her success," Daws said. "Whatever she’s involved in, she wants to be the best and because of that, whether you’re taking a test or competing in a ball game she wants to win.”
As a four-sport athlete, Stanley has had numerous accomplishments from state titles in track to being named an All-American for cheer, but what is even more impressive is her accomplishments as a student.
Stanley holds a 4.0 GPA, serves as president of student government and scored a 30 on her ACT.
“Wayne Academy has not always been known for its academics in the past. We do well in sports but sometimes it’s hard to balance both and get students that can do both," Stanley said. "They have really done well and I can’t say enough about how good the teachers are.”
While Stanley is thankful for being part of the Jaguar community, she is looking forward to what’s next in her life.
“I hate to see it end," Stanley said. "But I’m happy for new things to come too and to see how it goes."