“The win means a great deal to our team,” said Malcolm Ashley. “It just means a lot, especially since Conley came in undefeated. The coaches pumped us up for the game and we went out and played hard.”
Despite the win, Ashley wasn’t completely satisfied with his performance.
“The first half – I don’t think I performed that well,” he said. “But in the second half, I came out and did my job and played well.”
Ashley, who ended his recruitment months ago, said East Carolina was the best fit for him.
“The coaches – they loved me from the get-go,” Ashley said. “When I made my first visit, I was checking out the facilities and talking to the coaches, and it seemed like the right place to be. Coach (Ruffin) McNeill is just a good guy all the way around and he played a big role in my decision.”
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Ashley could end up playing on either side of the ball for the Pirates.
“They are recruiting me as an offensive lineman, but the defensive line coach wants me on the other side of the ball,” said Ashley. “I’ll play either one – it doesn't matter.”
Although he has been committed to East Carolina for some time, other schools have continued to recruit him.
“South Carolina, N.C. State, and North Carolina are still sending me letters,” he said. “Right now, East Carolina is my only scheduled visit, but later on, I will probably visit some other schools. I’d say I’m about 90 percent committed (to East Carolina).”
With his college decision made, Ashley’s main focus is helping Havelock repeat as North Carolina's Class 3A state champions.
“We are just going to have to keep practicing hard and keep our minds right,” said Ashley. “We also need to depend on each other, listen to the coaches, and do our jobs.”
Havelock takes on Washington this Friday.