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Al Asad driven to taken on different challenges

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By Sam Draut

Specializing in one thing isn’t what Khaled Al Asad does.

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The senior at Oldham County High School seemingly does it all, because he basically does. When he isn’t a kicker on the football team, playing on the soccer and tennis teams, Al Asad is a drum major, bass clarinetist and journalist for the school’s magazine.

After moving more than 6,000 miles from Jordan, Al Asad arrived in Oldham County five years ago. He decided wanted to do everything he could to take advantage of the new opportunity.

“Where I came from there wasn’t all these athletic things, it was very limited,” Al Asad said. “Each of these things give me something different. Music gives me patience, sports disciplines me and I’m a journalist with the news magazine, so I get to meet the wonderful people in our school.”

The transition to America started slowly. He could barely speak English. Al Asad called himself “a loner” for the first year, but did join the band. He started to make friends and his English improved.

“I came here with the most messed up accent,” Al Asad said. “My English teacher was from Australia, my math teacher was from England and my history teacher was from the U.S., so I had all these different accents coming in. I came in speaking an English that no one understood.”

He caught onto the language quickly and joined the soccer team, a sport he had played in Jordan.

During the weekdays in the fall, Al Asad goes back-and-forth from football, soccer and band practice. His range of talents is on full display Friday nights.

Al Asad sends kick offs down the field, he even made a tackle against North Oldham last Friday, along with kicking extra-points following Colonel touchdowns. He is 7 for 10 in Oldham County’s first two games this fall, but has yet to attempt a field goal.

When halftime comes around, Al Asad becomes a leader of the marching band. While still wearing his football uniform and pads, Al Asad directs Oldham County’s marching band on a podium as its drum major.

After marching in the band for two years, Al Asad tried out for drum major in his junior year.

“It really is me trying to be an influence for the incoming freshmen because they look up to the drum major,” Al Asad said. “You make them feel comfortable and want to stay in that atmosphere. I want to make it a good experience for them.”

When halftime ends, Al Asad returns to the Colonels’ sideline as their kicker.

His path to become a kicker started out of fun. Al Asad’s friend Brandon Harrelson had a football, tee and belief that a soccer player should be able to kick a football.

“I kicked it and it actually went a good distance,” Al Asad said. “He videotaped it, we put it on my story for fun. We put a poll, ‘Is my friend good at kicking?’ A lot of people said yes.”

Al Asad started training with Sean Ralls, a kicker at Eastern Kentucky University who graduated from Oldham County in 2019. They trained together for eight months.

“I would not be as good as I am without Sean Ralls,” Al Asad said.

Though he plays soccer for fun, football isn’t as enjoyable for Al Asad.

“Kicking is the most stressful thing I have had to do in my life,” Al Asad said. “I miss a kick at the beginning of the game, and we lose by one point, that kick is why we lost the game. Every single kick I have to tune out everything. I’m a leg for that kick. Eyes on the ball the whole time.”

Oldham County football coach Michael Fox said Al Asad had a great relationship with the team before joining, so he has been embraced by the roster this fall.

“He is a leader in our school with what he does in every sport, what he does academically, what he does through the band. He is a world-class musician,” Fox said. “Anytime we can add someone like that to our program, it’s good for all of us.”