Move over Clint Eastwood, there's a new gunslinger in town. Ace Whitehead is his name and he's a multi-sport athlete at Lampasas High School. He jumped on the Central Texas scene as a freshman and sophomore, and turned up the dial so much as a junior that his public profile sits at a personal high going into his senior year.
It started with the 2019 Texas high school football season, when he recorded his best year to date with 4,982 yards and 75 touchdowns. He ultimately quarterbacked the Badgers' football team to its first UIL state semifinal appearance in 33 years.
"I think the most memorable thing was just how we came together as brothers and let everybody know what we're about here," said Whitehead. "We didn't listen to the outside noise or whatever. We just came together as a unit and gave it our all each Friday night."
But, Whitehead's on-the-field play wasn't alone in putting him on the map. He also received statewide attention for his unique name. Twitter users have described it as "QB Name of the Year" and a "quintessential Texas HS QB name", and it's been featured in media stories like the one you're reading.
"I like it," Whitehead said of his name. "I haven't ever really known any different, so it's just kind of normal to me."
"To be honest, it really surprised me when all of that kinda blew up," he said. "Around Lampasas, it's not really special or anything. It's just been my name that everyone calls me. My real name is Asher. My great grandpa's name was A.C and so my parents gave me the nickname "Ace" at birth and it just stuck."
The buzz continued in 2020 because college baseball programs were starting to show more interest in his athletic abilities and fans wanted an encore during the Texas high school baseball season. COVID-19 wouldn't let him top his fall performances because it cancelled the spring sport's campaign, but it still worked out for him. The 2021 recruit's name appeared in more headlines when his dream school, The University of Texas at Austin, offered him a baseball scholarship and he announced his commitment on June 17th.
"It's super exciting to have the opportunity to join a team that historically is one of the greats and one that had tradition like the University of Texas," said Whitehead.
"I've been a huge Longhorn fan my entire life," he continued. "I really can't think of a time that my favorite color wasn't burnt orange."
Before he relocates to the Forty Acres, Whitehead is hoping for high school sports to start and end around their normal time so he can accomplish more in his hometown.
"It's very important to my teammates and I to be able to represent our community again," he said. "I know that our senior class really wants to give it our all one last time for Lampasas."
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