Etched in Stone

Player Profile: Ashley Steffeck

Olivia Doro

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Fossil Ridge High School junior, Ashley Steffeck, has broken a school record at the Gillette Tournament this past weekend. The Fossil girls basketball team won two of their three games during the tournament, congratulations Sabercats.

Steffeck is already building her legacy at Fossil in the basketball department, the 16 for 16 free throw record Steffeck just broke is the third school record she’s broken in two years. In fact she broke the most points scored in a game record, which her sister had previously held, and the number of steals in a season. While playing with varsity the team broke two records together last year; most points scored in a game and the least amount of points allowed in a game.

Steffeck’s response to what it feels like to break a school record as a junior was inspiring, saying, “It is pretty awesome that I broke a record as a junior. It shows hard work is paying off and motivates me to work harder and strive for more things. But ultimately, my goal is to get to the Great 8, Final 4, or beyond that.”

Steffeck has been playing basketball since kindergarten, specifically she first started at the Community Recreation Center in Windsor, Colorado. The long term basketball training and playing paid off when Steffeck made varsity her freshman year at Fossil. And up until her junior year, she got to play side by side with her older sister. Playing with her sister gave her someone on the court she could always trust and rely on, as well as argue and discuss the games with on the way home.

Although playing with her older sister was a great opportunity and feeling, being a younger sibling is always tough, especially when your older sister has also left a basketball legacy and gone off to bigger and better things in college, like playing basketball at division two school. When asked if Steffeck felt like she had a legacy to live up too, her response was more than honorable. “I used to believe that, but my parents have encouraged me to create a new and different legacy for myself, not just following in my sister’s footsteps.”

Currently Steffeck plays for a club team located in Denver, BC Denver, when she’s not playing for school. Not only is Steffeck a basketball player, she started running track last year and says she will continue to do so for the next two years. More words of wisdom come from the student athlete on her perspective of the difficulties of playing competitively in her junior year, “Yes it’s difficult, but it teaches a lot of life lessons such as time management, to prioritize, and to keep working hard.”

Steffeck for a point Photo Credit: Ashley Steffeck

Yes they’re probably my closest friends, and my friends who are not playing, come out and support me and I’m grateful to have friends like that.” This is the answer Steffeck gave when asked if most of her friends are her teammates. Along with her team Steffeck’s other supporters are “My family and my coaches are my biggest supporters. Social media helps out a lot because most of my family lives in other states, but they watch every single game on the computer or ask for updates from my parents. One of my coaches, Kenny Smith, has been my coach since second grade, and the others are fairly new. They love seeing improvement and they push you to become better.”

Steffeck’s favorite aspects of her team are, “We are a great big family. We are able to laugh and travel with each other. It is a different group of people than who I would sit with at the lunch table, and I look forward to going to practice, competing, and seeing them each day.” And the way basketball has affected Steffeck personally is that, “Basketball has taught me many lessons that will help me throughout life.  Basketball affects me each and everyday and I love playing this sport.”

Although it’s still early in the recruiting process, Steffeck says she is not yet committed to school and continues to talk and look at different schools. While Steffeck hopes to have basketball as a part of her life, she does not plan on pursuing basketball for a career. In fact Steffeck doesn’t have a specific career path in mind, focusing on some interests but keeping her options open. Hopefully we will soon see Steffeck at a signing day, our next signing day is this spring of 2018.

Advice she gives to young athletes is this, “Keep working hard. You will go through ‘funks’ and setbacks, but just keep striving. It will always pay off.” Her favorite aspect of playing a team sport is, “The family it creates and the lifelong friends I can count on.” So to all young athletes at Fossil, and outside of Fossil, a role model in basketball is definitely Ashley Steffeck.

To show this amazing athlete and person support in her high school basketball career, come out to girls basketball games. Congratulations on your third broken record and good luck this season!

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Player Profile: Ashley Steffeck