Transfer happy to be part of PLAS family, hopes to contribute

Published 11:38 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prior to January 2012, Ashley Dietrich had never heard of Troy, Alabama. Then her father, Noel, who has worked for Lockheed Martin for 16 years in Ft. Worth, Texas, was asked to travel to the Troy branch to work on special projects. Ashley then knew only that it was a small town. Each week he work travel to work then fly back to see his family each weekend.

After several months he was offered a position and the family packed up and moved to the Yellowhammer State.

The transition from a large city in Texas to a small town in Alabama may seem like a big one and for Dietrich it was, but she went to a small school so making the change to Pike Liberal Arts, with an enrollment of a little over 500 wasn’t so bad.

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“The school I went to before was actually smaller,” Dietrich said. “I was a little bit of an intimidating process. I’ve never had a first day of school where I didn’t know people. I was hard coming to a new state.”

The move was made easier by the hospitality shown by those at her new school, Pike Liberal Arts.

“Everybody has been very nice and welcoming,” she said. “Everyone came up and talked to me and made my feel at home.”

Dietrich, a sophomore, is an aspiring lawyer is also an intense competitor playing volleyball, basketball and softball.

Because Dietrich moved as basketball season was in full swing, she was required to sit out two weeks while the AISA made her transfer official. The 5-foot, 11-inch forward saw her first action in a Patriot uniform on Friday when Pike Liberal Arts took on Hooper. Though she didn’t score in her first outing, Dietrich is happy to be back playing her favorite sport.

“It felt good,” she said. “I love basketball. I like the competitiveness of it. It’s a team sport and you have to work together at a faster pace. Basketball is my escape when I’m stressed.”

Dietrich is descried by head coach Craig Kennedy as a good free throw shooter that will add much-needed depth to the Pike team.

As Dietrich settles in to her new home she says that she obviously misses her family and friends back home in Texas, but one thing made life a little easier.

“I was really excited to see the Chick-fil-a opening here. That was my favorite place to eat in Fort Worth,” she said with a big smile. “There are some things that are going to be different, but I really like it here.”

Dietrich has also had to make an adjustment to the climate. She says the recent cold spurt is different than the cold in Texas. After battling a brief sickness, she is back and ready to compete with the Patriots.

Pike will play its final regular season game at home on Friday as the Hooper Colts travel to Troy. Game time for the girls team is set for 5:15 p.m.