Favorite athlete: Naomi Osaka
Favorite team: Eagles
Favorite memory competing in sports: While playing doubles, on the final point of a tough three-set match, I aced my opponent on my serve.
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: During practice a few years ago, my coach was trying to teach me how to have a better grip on my racket for my serve. On one of my first attempts, my grip slipped and my racket slammed into the ground. It shattered the top of it and, to this day, it is my one and only McEnroe moment. It happened in front of everyone in my class, the sound captured the attention of the classes happening on the two courts next to me and the parents on the sidelines.
Music on Playlist: A snippet from the songs on my playlist are: The End of Everything, July, and Dear August by Noah Cyrus, Frozen by Sabrina Claudio, Halley’s Comet and Happier than Ever by Billie Eilish, Say by Ruel, and Mansion by NF
Future plans: I plan on going to college at University of Pittsburgh and getting a degree in business.
Words to live by: “In Omnia Paratus,” which translates to “Ready for all things.”
One goal before turning 30: I am determined to learn how to cook and not shy away from the kitchen.
One thing people don’t know about me: I enjoy reading.
By GORDON GLANTZ
If all goes according to plan, it will be Pitt.
But she is not ruling out Northeastern or Villanova.
Wherever the next stop is in the journey of North Penn senior Ashley Bohling, she plans to bring her tennis racket and look for a court to play on.
Her favorite person to play against – her dad, Jim – won’t be around, but she is sure to find other like-minded individuals.
At this point, the game she has played since fourth grade is too engrained to give it up.
It has become a part of who she is.
However, there was a point when Bohling was citing burnout and not so sure she wanted to play anymore.
She had her schoolwork as an AP/honors student, and she had other outlets, such as playing classical piano.
“At that point, I was feeling kind of burned out,” she recalled. “I was feeling kind of tired. I had been playing so long without a break. It was one of those times when I was feeling overwhelmed.”
Before last season, Bohling was bumped down from third singles to first doubles, a move which requires a much bigger adjustment than it sounds.
This certainly had a lot to do with her soul searching.
However, she and doubles partner, Brynn Janney, instantly clicked and Bohling was reinvigorated.
“I don’t know if I would have come back to tennis without her motoring me through everything,” said Bohling of Janney.
The pair had an undefeated regular season and Bohling believes they would have done better at districts had she not jammed some fingers, limiting her backhand.
“At first, I was disappointed. It was all new to me,” said Bohling, who is enjoying ongoing success with new partner Sanjana Jacob (Janney was a senior last year). “Brynn was really encouraging, and she helped me to be a better doubles player. I’m more of a defensive player and she is offensive, so I was able to set her up and she was able to put the balls away. We really clicked.”
Bohling thanked her parents, and credited her mom, Rose, for reminding her to be “ready for all things.”
“That’s something my mom told me,” she said. “It’s kind of ironic, because you can’t really be prepared for everything. You can do your best, but you don’t really know until you are there. I like to believe that I’m at least ready to do the best I can for all things.”
What Bohling wasn’t fully ready for was making varsity as a freshman.
“I was put on varsity right away, which I thought was really interesting,” she said. “There were already some really good people on the team, so I was really proud to be put there.”
That may have made it tougher for her to swallow, getting moved to doubles as a junior, but she battled through it.
It did not go unnoticed by North Penn coach Renee Di Domizio.
“Ashley has been devoted to our tennis team for four years,” said Di Domizio. “She was always willing to fill a void wherever the team needs her. She is always on time for practice and enjoys working with our younger JV players, sharing with them her knowledge of doubles strategy and overall tennis IQ.”
Nonetheless, tennis is a full-year commitment. While the school season starts in late August and runs through the early fall, a serious player goes indoors until it is warm enough to go outside again in the spring. Come the summer, Bohling would ramp up her playing time for the school season.
“I started playing tennis when I was in fourth grade,” she said. “I really enjoyed it, so I just continued with it. I don’t think I got a single break until COVID started. I had a lot of friends who did it, too, which really motivated me to keep me going. I’ve met a lot of nice and supportive people on the team.”
And that also goes for her parents as well.
“My mom and dad have been really helpful in keeping me calm and not stressed out,” she said. “They have always been there for me, and they listen to me when I talk.”
Setting an Example
Off the court, Bohling has been a member of the ENACT Club since 7th grade. Enact is a club that focuses on community outreach, education, and environmental efforts.
It’s an activity strongly encouraged by the coach, and Bohling is all in.
“One of my personal goals, as a coach, is to be sure that players pick up after themselves or others after we leave the court area - at home or away matches - by ‘leaving no trace behind,’ said Di Domizio. “Players always bring snacks to eat before or after matches. With that comes trash. Ashley is 100 percent dedicated to making sure our team never leaves a trace behind. Other players take her lead and are reminded of picking up after themselves.”
The service doesn’t end there as Bohling is a teen ambassador for an organization called Mitzvah, an organization that helps families in crisis.
“I’ve doing that for three years,” said Bohling. “My mom used to volunteer there, which is how I became involved. It also really helps me with public speaking. What we do is we take clothes, and sometimes food, for families that are in need. As teen ambassadors, we lead groups and volunteers to help them find clothes that will be helpful for the families. We help them pack it all up, and we’ll send it off.”
After school, Bohling has a job at Brittany Point, a retirement community, working with a medical dietitian as an aide.
“My sister (Caroline) worked there,” she said. “She was a server, but instead of serving the food, we plate it so that the nurses can give it to them. I deal with the sicker residents.”
In addition to playing the piano, which she has done since kindergarten, Bohling has found a fun diversion in North Penn’s Badminton Club.
“I wanted to try something new,” she said. “One of my friends was on the badminton club in 10th grade. She really enjoyed it, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to do it again. I volunteered to join the club with her, so we could do it together. They have tournaments where we go against each other, but it’s more of a fun thing than a competitive thing.”
Di Domizio, meanwhile, is grateful that Bohling was able to channel her energies as a doubles player and stick with tennis, contributing positively to the team for four years.
“She is a great example of what a student-athlete can be," the Knights' coach said. "I am so proud to have Ashley on my tennis team. She is a wonderful example to the rest of the team, on and off the court.”
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