Wales Focused on State Championship
By Dalton Washle
Visiting Louisville Central High School is nothing new to college coaches. Since 2004, Central has produced six players that have gone on to play at major Division 1 football programs. 2011 is no different; with the Yellowjackets poised to win their 4th state championship in five years senior running back Anthony “Ace” Wales is attracting college coaches to west Louisville.
At 5’9” 170 pounds, Ace Wales has terrorized opposing defenses, leaving players and coaches speechless and searching for answers. A four-year letterman, Wales contributed to Central’s 2008 state championship run as a freshman and burst on to the local scene as sophomore with over 1,900 yards and 31 touchdowns. Last season as a junior, Wales attracted the attention of Division 1 college coaches, after dancing his way to 2,750 yards, 35 touchdowns and a 2nd state championship.
Now a senior, Ace Wales is four wins away of a 3rd state championship, 909 yards shy of Kentucky’s career rushing record, a candidate for Kentucky’s Mr. Football, and three months from the biggest decision of his life. This season he has rushed for 2,213 yards and 32 touchdowns. Although the attention is on him, Ace Wales could care less about the individual accolades. “Even though I’m up for Mr. Football, and the rushing record, it really doesn’t matter. As long as my team is winning, and putting up numbers, is all I’m worried about.”
While Ace Wales is making defenders miss on the gridiron, the impact he’s making on the community is another story. Whether the Yellowjackets play home or away, Wales is the main attraction. “He is the leader of the team, everyone in the community knows him,” said Central coach Ty Scroggins. When the clock hits zero, young fans flock to find number two, seeking autographs and a chance to meet their hometown hero. Scroggins added, “You see a lot of kids wearing number two now, not just in football, but in basketball. He is a big part of the community, and he knows that.”
Wales currently holds offers from Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, and Western Kentucky. Big 10 school Northwestern has shown interest, but he says he is in no hurry to commit, “I will take official visits after the playoffs. I’m still open to everyone, I’m not locked in on any schools right now.” Academics and relationship with staff and players are important factors in his recruitment, “I want to bond with coaches outside of football, be able to talk to them about stuff other than football, like life.”
Regardless if Anthony “Ace” Wales breaks Kentucky’s rushing record, is named Mr. Football, or wins his 3rd state championship, he will undoubtedly leave an inspiring legacy at Central High School. Already one of the most decorated athletes to play in the city of Louisville, fans and coaches alike, are waiting to see where “Ace” will play college ball.