by: Micah Morris with Ally Repko
From 2013-2017 the name Ally Repko was synonymous with Broadway Athletics. A multi-sport athlete, Repko quickly earned the reputation of being a difference maker both on the basketball court and the softball field. By the time her career at BHS ended, Repko had helped guide the BHS Girls Basketball Team to the 2016-2017 State Championship and she would have her named placed in the BHS Record Book as one of the most prolific power hitters in BHS Softball history.
After hitting 35 career Home Runs for the BHS Softball team, a Broadway High School record, Ally continued her playing career at Elon University where she was named a member of the CAA All-Rookie team in 2018, her stellar career continued as she was named to the All CAA First-Team and the CAA All-Tournament Team in 2021. In 2022, Ally transferred to Virginia Tech, playing on the Hokies team that advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Since graduation, the lure of the softball field has continued to call Ally, as she is now an Assistant Coach for UVA-Wise.
Recently, Ally took some time to look back at her BHS days and how her time in Broadway helped influence her journey since leaving the Broadway Community.
Gobblers Sports Network: Since you graduated from Broadway High School, where has your life taken you?
Ally: “After graduating from Broadway High School, I continued my softball career at Elon University in North Carolina. I graduated from Elon with a degree in Marketing and a Sport and Event Management minor. As a result from Covid, I was granted an extra year of eligibility and decided to use that year at Virginia Tech and start my masters in Information Technology. I was super blessed to be able to join that program after their deep post-season run in 2021. During my time at Virginia Tech, not only did I get to be a part of a team with high success, I made incredible connections and memories that gave me a sweet ending to my softball career."
Gobblers Sports Network: When you were at Elon and playing in the CAA and you got the chance to “come home” and play at JMU, how much fun was that for you?
Ally: “At the start of every season, the first thing I would look for was the JMU series and where it was going to be played at. Getting to play so close to family and the Broadway community meant everything to me. Not only did I have my family and friends there supporting me, but so many members of the Broadway and Rockingham County community would show out to those games. When Carley Davis joined the program, a Turner Ashby Alum, that meant even more local support would be at those games and it was always a special moment for us. Coach Bo is also a Turner Ashby Alum and would always make sure we took many trips to Kline’s during our stay. Weeks leading up to the series, we would check what flavors they would have those days we were visiting.”
Gobblers Sports Network: After a college softball career at Elon and Virginia Tech, you are now an assistant at UVA-Wise. What made you want to get into coaching?
Ally: “While living in Blacksburg, I was able to take advantage of the new NIL deals and was connected with a travel organization in Roanoke. They allowed me to use their facility to give hitting lessons to local players that ages ranged from 10-17. As the weeks went on, I found a passion in the player development from working with these girls. I loved talking the game with them and looking at it as a puzzle to find what will work for each hitter. Following my season at Virginia Tech, Coach Pete asked if I had any interest in coaching, which led to him connecting me with other coaches and schools that needed an assistant coach. I am very happy that I found UVA-Wise and that they took a chance on a player fresh out of the game to help their program. At Wise, I am in charge of defense and have enjoyed working through drills with the team.”
Gobblers Sports Network: How difficult was the transition of playing high School softball to playing major college softball?
Ally: “The biggest difference between high school softball and college softball is the workload balance. You are managing harder classes, more homework, study hall, travel days and finding internships and jobs. On top of tougher lifts and conditioning, longer practices, extra work, film and a longer season. College softball is a business, and the best person plays the position so there is a constant competition to earn playing time. When you are able to figure out what techniques work for you to be able to balance this schedule and stress management, playing softball becomes fun again. It took me a little while to find what worked for me, but when I did I remembered why I love the sport of softball and how much fun it is to play.”
Gobblers Sports Network: You were part of the first State Championship at BHS (Girls Basketball). Looking back now, how much does that mean to you?
Ally: “March 10th, 2017 will always be a special day for my family and I. It was not only the date we won our high school’s first state championship, but it was the date I played my last basketball game. Basketball has always meant so much to my character as an athlete and a person. I knew my last game would eventually come but I couldn’t be happier with the story that team told. We knew winning states that year was going to be something special. Anyone can leave their high school saying they were state champs but only 1 team can say they were the first for their high school. Being able to say that is very special to us and we carry that award with pride for our school. After almost 6 years later, I still don’t think I’ve let it sink in all we accomplished that season.”
Gobblers Sports Network: What were some of your favorite memories while playing for the Gobblers?
Ally: “Two games that stand out the most to me during my career at Broadway is the home games against Spotswood and Lord Botetourt. I remember not being able to hear the other players on the court because the fans were so loud! Those were 2 huge games on our schedule that year and the fans did not disappoint with attendance.
All of my favorite memories include Coach [Marlin] Fulk and the imprint he left on all of his players. He was your best friend when you needed a shoulder and hard on you when you needed to be pushed. I looked forward to coming to practice every day to hear him ask, “Little Spitzer, how was your day?”. I couldn’t imagine making any of our deep season runs without him.”
Gobblers Sports Network: The Broadway community is a special, tight knit community. Talk about how much playing in the community meant to you.
Ally: “I am super proud of my roots. The Broadway Community would show nothing but unconditional love and support to all Gobblers. Most games I wanted to walk out and just hug my family, but it was almost impossible. There was always so many fans that aren’t related to you and you might not even know that are waiting for us right outside the locker room to say they are proud of each of us no matter the result of the game. We didn’t only have a lot of fans at home games, but away games too. Gobbler Nation made VCU feel like a home court and very few teams are able to say that.”
Gobblers Sports Network: If you could go back and tell your high school self something, what would it be?
Ally: “If I could go back and tell my high school self something, it would be that the world is not against you. I always listened to my critiques more than I did my fans and took a lot of things personally. I felt like that was my motive for rushing my last moments of high school to get to the college level. If I could go back, I would surround myself with more positivity so that the negativity wouldn’t be as loud. I would embrace the support from the community more because most of them always had faith in me and still do.
I would also tell my high school self to listen to all the clichés people tell you about playing sports and soaking in all the memories because they are right. Sports are a game just like Candy Land and you’re meant to have fun playing them. Enjoy every team meal, bus ride, practice and game because years later you’ll look back and realize how much you miss it and you can’t get those days back.”
Gobblers Sports Network: What would you tell the young athletes, especially young girls, who want to succeed in high school sports?
Ally: “If you want to be successful in high school sports you need to play for the pride in your school. Many athletes these days want to go to other high schools because they are more successful in their sport. Playing for the high school where you and your family grew up should be something special. Growing up and playing at Broadway taught me to have school pride and to be proud to be a Gobbler.
If you want to be successful at the next level, you have to be obsessed with getting better and the process of growth. Be excited to go to practice and get 1% better. Be excited to put in extra work at night or on you off days. This obsession will allow you to grow faster through the highs and lows that your career will take you through."
Gobblers Sports Network: What message would you have for the current athletes at BHS?
Ally: “Be proud to be a Broadway Gobbler! We are known for our blue-collar personalities and our “Special Brand”. We don’t have to be like the surrounding schools to be successful and win championships. We are able to be true to ourselves and play for a town that we and many of our family members grew up in.”
Thank you to Ally Repko for taking some time to talk about her BHS days and allowing us to catch up with her. Ally will forever be one of my favorite Gobblers. Her left handed swing was a thing of beauty. To this day, I have not seen a more feared hitter in high school softball. In reading some of Ally's responses, I have gotten the chance to remember the 2017 Girls Basketball season, and the remarkable run to the State Championship. One thing is for certain, Ally Repko left her mark at BHS, and I am fairly confident that BHS and the Broadway Community left their mark on Ally Repko.