FFE Player of the Week: Maroon Tide’s Ian Ashworth

Ian Ashworth made his presence felt in a big way in the state semis, rushing for 128 yards and three scores, passing for another TD, and even catching a 19 yard pass for a first down.
Published: Dec. 11, 2021 at 2:30 PM EST
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(WDBJ) - Last Saturday afternoon, Galax quarterback Ian Ashworth had a career day against Holston in a 51-21 win, helping the Maroon Tide punch another ticket to a state final.

Ashworth stuffed the stat sheet and is our final Player of the Week for the 2021 season.

Ian Ashworth made his presence felt in a big way in the state semis, rushing for 128 yards and three scores, passing for another TD, and even catching a 19 yard pass for a first down. As if that wasn’t enough, he also intercepted a pass and took it to the house for a pick 6.

“I just knew in short yardage, they really had been throwing that out route a lot and they threw it three or four times before that. I just thought it was a good time to jump.”

His coach, Shane Allen, points to how, “He just has that ‘it’ factor. It doesn’t matter where we put him. He’ll go out and do what we ask him to do and he’ll give everything he’s got. He’s a great young man to work with and he makes my job a lot easier.”

Some folks in Galax may have thought the Tide was in for a dropoff at the QB position when Ashworth took over for Cole Picket. Pickett was a four year starter who played in more than 50 games, and Ashworth learned plenty from him.

“Just watching him grow from a freshman, going from freshman starter, which I always thought was impossible. It’s really inspirational to see that.”

Allen says, “I know a lot of people thought that once Pickett left that it would be a big dropoff but Ian had been in the weight room, in the film sessions with Pickett ever since he was an 8th grader, freshman, so he was learning from Pickett and learning from me and Coach Dixon, through the film so I knew when he got a chance, he would step in and make plays.”

Ashworth was an all state receiver last season for a Tide team that made the state final and as good as he’s been, he’s still developing as a quarterback:

Allen goes on to say, “We knew he was athletic. Right now he just keeps developing as a thrower. Early in the season, in your first start in live action throwing the football, it’s understanding when to throw it and getting your timing down. As the season has progressed, he’s gotten a lot better throwing the ball.”

Football has been a family affair for the Ashworths. Ian’s Dad was a member of the Tide in the early to mid 90′s.

“Me, my Dad, and my little brother that’s a sophomore playing tackle here, we usually have some pretty cool conversations at the dinner table.”

Allen is incredibly proud of Ashworth, adding, “He’s here every day. He works hard. He’s always positive with the other guys. He’s a very coachable young man. He’s everything you want in a football player. He’s gonna come to school and he’s gonna have great grades. He’s gonna come to practice and be enthusiastic at practice. He’s just a pleasure to be around.”

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