By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS
Tucumcari senior and Rattler footballer Eric Holt said there is no sport he wouldn’t play. Except perhaps tennis. “It’s boring just hitting the ball over a net with a racket,” he said. This guy said he needs more excitement, which is why he loves football.
Holt said he is especially enjoying the 2005 Rattler season, his best overall in his high school career, and he’s raring to go for Saturday’s game against Hatch Valley for the state championship title.
“I expect to win,” he said. Holt said he’s been a team leader all season and is glad to be back in the swing after an ankle injury sat him out for four games. “We’re all ready to play — our offense, our defense. We’ve been really exceptional, and it’s not just me,” he said, naming D.J. Martinez and Nathan McDonald as two players who stand out.
Speaking of standing out, Holt said his younger brother, whose best sport is baseball, also looks up to him. As do folks in the community.
“I’m a role model,” Holt said, “all the little kids look up to me.” With that being the case, the youth will have even more to look up to when Holt attends college next fall. He said he plans on West Texas or Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
Yes, on a football scholarship.
“I love being out there; I love the game,” Holt said of why he has to play football. “I get into my zone and blank everything else out,” he said.
But he also said it couldn’t have happened without tons of practice — Holt’s been playing football since the fourth grade —and the stalwart support of a certain relative.
“I’m his number one fan,” said mom Tina Holt. “He really plays with heart.” Holt said his mom has attended every game since his sports career started.
“She’s always been there,” Holt said, “making sure to keep my head up. She gives 110 percent. When I was younger, she used to run up and down the sideways along the stands,” he laughed. “She’s my best friend.”
Tina Holt isn’t the only one Holt said constantly rooting for him. His girlfriend of 18 months, Cydnie Rich, cheers him on at every game. It helps, of course, that she’s a cheerleader.
When this all-around chap is not playing football, baseball, basketball or running track, he says he enjoys unwinding — with hunting and fishing. And if he can’t be outside, he said he likes to play video games or read.
“My favorite author is Terry Goodkind,” Holt said, naming a writer of fantasy. And what would Holt’s ultimate fantasy be?
No, he didn’t say the Super Bowl.
“There’s more important things than that,” he said, adding his dream come true would be marrying Cydnie, having a big house, four kids and — of course — playing football.
What: Tucumcari vs. Hatch Valley for state championship
When: 2 p.m. today
Radio: KQAY 92.7 FM