Ashley Johnson, reporting live from the ULM backline

While nothing has gone exactly according to plan this year, 2020 has allowed ULM freshman Ashley Johnson to set a solid foundation for her future in sports, on and off the pitch.

In her debut NCAA season, Johnson played in all ten matches, starting eight of them. “The confidence that my coaches had in me from the start this year has made a big impact on me and my playing by making me want to become an important building block to this team,” she told BGN. “And it helped me gain a real taste of the game early on and gain tons of confidence to bring into these next years to come.”

The ULM Warhawks finished the 2020 season with zero wins, but there are some signs that indicate there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Johnson said, “We have 20+ new players but if you look at the results this team had towards the end of our season this year, you can see that we’re going in the right direction & with some of the recruits and players that we already have that we get to add to the mix this spring I fully expect us to be competing for a title next year.”

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, Ashley has not been able to fully enjoy everything the University of Louisiana at Monroe has to offer. While she’s grateful that she has avoided a positive test on 14 COVID-19 tests, she is eager to get the full experience of the campus and city once it’s safe to do so. But, the Dallas, Texas native has found a few great places to eat around town in Monroe. Johnson said, “I have come across a few really good restaurants here as well as awesome seafood places such as Trapps, Catfish Cabin, and my personal favorite, Warehouse No. 1.”

Ashley will continue to star on the pitch for ULM and at the same time, she will be learning how to showcase her skills in another aspect of the sports world: sports journalism. Going into that field, she’s following in her father’s footsteps. Derek Ray Johnson is a freelance sports writer. Did that have any impact on her love for sports? “Great question, I have always been super into sports since I was little which I give my dad credit for, for always making me sit down and watch every Cowboys game, Texas Rangers game, and Dallas Mavericks games with him since I was about 4 years old.”

“He is into writing about sports but I am more on the broadcasting side of it as to where I want to be an ESPN broadcaster or just something for the NBA because I love watching basketball as well as watching my Dallas Mavericks so possibly and hopefully I can get into something with them in the future, that would be ideal!”

If Ashley had the chance to interview any five athletes, dead or alive, who would she choose? She answered, “Love this question, I would have to go first with Shaquille O’Neil, Julie Johnston (Ertz), Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, and lastly, the one and only Messi!”


Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.