By Rick Hinton
“I’ve been playing basketball since kindergarten. Volleyball started in the sixth grade,” said Ashley Eck, a 17-year-old senior at Center Grove High School. The longtime Center Grove resident is one busy girl, with juggling two sport activities – basketball (point guard) and volleyball.
For more icing on the cake, Eck has participated in the Circle City Volleyball Club, located in Plainfield. Involving three practices a week, the traveling league teams will play at least two tournaments a month.
Ashley is a competitor. She’s a middle kid – an older sister, a sophomore at Ball State, the other a freshman at Center Grove (also in volleyball) – which produces sibling rivalry. “Ever since I was a kid, I just always wanted to win – whatever I did,” she said. Ashley’s mother, Pam Eck, echoes that sentiment. “Everything she’s done since 2 years old was a competition with her sisters. In the backyard it was who could get the most Easter eggs. At the grocery store – being in line first.”
Kevin Stuckmeyer, girls varsity basketball coach, has known Eck since her sophomore year and would agree with the word competitor. “She quickly caught the attention of the coaches with her attention to detail and ability to pick things up. This is a tribute to her focus, willingness to learn and attention to detail. She’s been amazing at committing to both sports and priding herself in doing whatever it takes to be successful,” he stated.
Eck’s volleyball coach, Christopher Due, has known her since she started playing at Circle City when she was a seventh-grader. He claims because she was athletic and well-coordinated, she was able to pick up pretty quickly. “Ashley is very competitive and doesn’t like to lose,” he said. “She’s also a great team player and will do whatever she can to help the team succeed – even sacrificing her position.”
One memorable experience stands out for her: “Beating Providence (a Catholic school in Clarksville, IN) in the regionals,” she remembered. “We lost to them the previous two years. It was a really big deal to all of us.”
“She has a quiet confidence in what she does and has prepared/worked to the level that allows her to expect and deserve success,” Stuckmeyer stated. “She is a natural leader and someone people gravitate towards due to her loyalty, passion, composure, competitiveness and toughness.”
Due reflected when Eck was suddenly thrust in the role of setter instead of her usual back row position this year. “She came in never setting a match in her life and had one practice to prepare. She stepped up and helped carry the team to an 8-2 record to help win the MIC conference and kept the five-year streak of not losing the conference match alive!”
THE ECK FILE
NAME: Ashley Eck
SPORTS: Basketball and volleyball
POSITION: Point guard for basketball; back row for volleyball
HEIGHT: 5 feet 7 inches
HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Pretty much volleyball and basketball.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Me Before You.
FAVORITE TV SHOW: Friends.
COLLEGE PLANS: I’m going to play volleyball at Indiana State and study business.
PARENTS: Randy and Pam Eck