Ottawa Hills High School senior Aashray (Ash) Chhabra started out as a talented soccer player with a powerful leg. His strong kicks soon caught the eye of Ottawa Hills head football coach Christian Verley who suggested that Chhabra try out as a kicker for the football team.
Chhabra is now a dual-sport athlete and a three-year varsity letterman. This season, he also was recognized as a member of the Division 2 Academic All-State Football Team and the Academic All-State Dream Team.
The Academic All-State Football Team nominates any senior who has achieved a 3.5 GPA or higher and the Academic All-State Dream Team selects two students per division from the Academic All-State Football Team to be recognized as a “Scholar Athlete.”
As a scholar who had a GPA in the top ten out of the entire Academic All-State Football Team and a history of athletic success and volunteer experience, Chhabra was proud to be chosen as part of the Academic All-State Dream Team.
His academic awards follow a season in which he was a consistent kicker for the Bengals going 13-17 on PATs and 2-3 on field goals.
Outside of sports, he also participates in club skiing and snowboarding where he medaled last year.
Chhabra not only dedicates most of his time to academics and sports, but he gives back to the community as well. He volunteers for food drives and participates in water bottle drives led by the Ottawa Hills football team.
He has also worked with one of the school district’s community partners, Vibrant Futures, to provide assistance during their youth summer football programs.
“Anything he is available to do as far as giving back to the community or football team, he will do,” Verley said. “He takes advantage of his downtime and makes it happen.”
Chhabra was not the only scholar-athlete leading the team to success this football season. Ottawa’s football team had a lot of talented younger scholar-athletes who are returning next season with a year of playing and practice under their belt.
The team has started a youth program for middle school students to get involved in football practices prior to entering the GRPS program, as well as a partnership with the Grand Rapids United Football League.
Verley was proud to see his scholar-athletes grow their football skills throughout this past season and is eager to see what the future holds for them next year.