With continued controversy centering around sports in college, it’s nice to see one collegiate athlete who is trying to blend her love of sports with her education.
Ashley Razey, a Buford graduate and current member of the University of Georgia softball team, is not an athlete who happens to go to college, she is a college student who happens to play a sport.
As a child and family development major, Razey believes she is on track to graduate at the end of her senior year and has plans to open her own coaching facility.
“One of the really great things about being in child and family development is the wide range of jobs that you can apply the field to,” Razey said. “We learn a lot in child and family development about how the brain works and how kids learn.”
Razey hopes to take those lessons on how the young mind works and apply them to learning softball techniques.
“I feel like that could be a really good aspect of the degree to apply to teaching softball,” Razey said. “In the long term, I want to open my own facility and give lessons and things and the development degree can really help me do that.”
Razey should graduate at the end of next year, but said she wouldn’t mind staying on campus for another year.
“I would be fine with being here for an extra year as a graduate assistant,” Razey said. “That could really help me with what I want to do.”
While the junior has admirable aspirations after college, there is no doubt she is focused on the upcoming season and helping Georgia get back to the Women’s College World Series for a third straight season.
“That’s the goal,” Razey said. “To get back in that atmosphere.”
After batting .301 in 153 at-bats with eight doubles, six home runs and 28 RBIs as a freshman at Southern Mississippi, Razey transferred to Georgia for her sophomore year with the hopes of being a part of a more successful program.
She started 62 of 63 games after her transfer — most at the designated hitter position — and hit .299 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs. In the Women’s College World Series, Razey batted .357 with a home run and four RBIs.
Razey said playing in the World Series really exemplified the difference between playing in high school and playing in college.
“The stands are packed and everyone is cheering,” she said. “Pretty much everyone is out of school, so everyone that is there, parents, players, fans, is there just for softball. So it’s really intense.
“When I was in high school and had a game that afternoon, if the team we were playing wasn’t one of the better teams, I wouldn’t really even think about it much during the day,” Razey added. “But in college, especially if we’re playing one of the SEC teams, the whole team is thinking about it all day.
“So take that and multiply it by 100 and that’s what the World Series feels like.”
The Lady Bulldogs lost 5-2 to UCLA in the semifinals of the 2010 Series and finished the season with a 50-13 record. The appearance was only the second in school history and the second straight year Georgia made the semifinals.
“It was incredible,” Razey said simply. “The best experience I’ve ever had as an athlete.”
During the brief fall season, Razey started eight straight games at catcher and believes she played well enough to earn more playing time at the position come spring.
“I think I’ve made the most of my chance,” said Razey, who played catcher at Buford.
As a senior at Buford, Razey was a part of the 2007 Class AA state championship team. The Lady Wolves have gone on to win four straight state titles.
Razey keeps in touch with several of the members of this year’s state title team and is happy the tradition continues to be so strong at Buford.
“They’ve done so great these past years. They’ve been amazing,” Razey said.