Ashley Dent was a student at Spring Valley High School and just days before the beginning of a new school year when she unexpectedly died in 2006 on her way home from a soccer practice with friends.

I think about this talented and smart soccer player often as I drive the streets and highways of Columbia each and every time I see a “Team Ashley” sticker on a car.

Team Ashley

Team Ashley

I wonder how many people around the Columbia area that didn’t know her see these stickers and wonder, “What is Team Ashley?”


Three years ago I volunteered to cover the memorial service as a reporter at The State newspaper. Hundreds of students and athletes wearing soccer jerseys, flip flops, sneakers and other athletic apparel gathered at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church to celebrate her life.

I didn’t know her at all but I think about her often. Ashley would be about 19 and most likely a college student somewhere. Team Ashley definitely lives on.