News 25 Student Athlete of the Week: West Harrison’s Luke Holland
It may be over five months until high school football returns to the Coast, but there’s never an off-season for WXXV Student Athlete of the Week Luke Holland.
This West Harrison junior approaches life as a competitor, making him not only an elite player, but also an accomplished student as well.
“I love hitting people. I just love the excitement and the adrenaline you get from the game.” At just four-years-old in his own backyard, Luke Holland fell in love with the rush younger than most, hoping to one day follow in his uncle’s footsteps by playing at Mississippi College.
His heart has always belonged to the game and that passion doesn’t stop off the field as a 4.0 student with a 30 on his ACT. West Harrison Head Football Coach Quincy Patrick said, “You don’t get this often. Teachers call and tell you good things about students and they call with good things about Luke.”
“I like to compete. In the classroom, on the field. My parents are a big part of it. They really push me to do my best all the time.”
After getting the head coaching job at West Harrison in 2018, Patrick was in search of a leader for his squad. That role fell squarely on Holland’s shoulders. “You’re talking about changing a program as a coach, he’s the type of kid you train a program or kid with. He’s first one back here, last one to leave.”
“I want to put all that hard work into play and I want to be the best guy on the field that I can be for my team. At the end of the day, I just want to beat the guy in front of me.”
At 5’11, some may consider Holland as undersized for a college linebacker, however, he’s been able to make up for his size on the field with his competitiveness and heart as well as being a student of the game. “Watching film. Listening to his coach. Everything his coach tells him to do, he does it. He calls you; he texts you ‘coach, this is happening’ and sometimes it’s like ‘Luke, I’m still asleep,’ but it’s worth it.”
“You just gotta have more heart than anyone else on the field. That’s really it. It’s not all about size. Size does play a factor, but you know if you have more heart than a bigger guy than you, then you might win that battle sometimes.”
Following his love for math and designing things, the junior is looking to major in either engineering or architecture in college. No matter what Holland’s future may hold, Patrick knows one thing for sure. “He’s just good. He’s a good kid, good player, a good person. And the person thing is the thing I’m most proud of. He’s a good person.”
If you know of anyone on the Coast that deserves to be featured as News 25 Student Athlete of the Week you can contact Grace Boyles via email at GBoyles@wxxv25.com or on Twitter @GraceBBoyles or on Facebook at Grace Boyles WXXV.