Athlete Spotlight: Ben Holmes

Bailey Rae Poer, Contributor

Photo courtesy of Tarleton Athletics
Fall in Texas means football. The Tarleton State University Texans kicked off their season with their largest season-opening win since 2008 led by quarterback, senior Ben Holmes, who is this week’s athlete spotlight.

Holmes hails from Orchard Park, New York, where, like most, he started his football career by playing little league football around age six. Holmes spent most of his high school career in the wide receiver, running back, tight end and linebacker positions, only starting as quarter back his senior year.

After graduation, Holmes played for Nassau Community College in Long Island, New York, for two years where he earned accolades like, Junior College All-American, Freshman of the Year, Player of the Year, Bowl game MVP, First-Team all-conference and was a record holder for passing, completions and rushing by a QB as he threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns in 18 career games.

Following his career at Nassau, Holmes had committed to division one university, Stony Brook University, which is also in Long Island.

When his mother fell severely ill, he decided to take a year off from football in order to be available to his mom and to work on getting his grades improved. A year later, Holmes decommitted from Stony Brook.

He credits his decision to come to Tate Whitten, Tarleton’s receivers’ coach.

“I owe a lot to Coach Tate, it all started with a tweet, he direct messaged me,” Holmes explained.

The JTAC Madison White
Quarterback, Ben Holmes, gets ready to throw a pass to one of his teammates during the game against Delta State on Aug. 30, 2018 in Memorial Stadium.

Without even a visit to Tarleton, Holmes took coach Tate’s word for the quality of the school and the team and agreed to come.

“I just kind of fell in love with Tarleton and Coach Whitten really sold it,” Holmes said. “Now that I’m here and have been here for a whole year I hope to stay. I just love the way of life down here it’s so much different.”

Holmes started his season at Tarleton with one of his most memorable plays with a 70-yard touchdown pass to Zamari Manning in only the third play of the game, his first pass at Memorial Stadium. He finished the game completing eight out of 16 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Holmes plans to take the season one game at a time. He hopes to help lead the team to a Conference Championship and a playoff run this year for not only the team, but the school as well.

Like most athletes, Holmes has a pre-game tradition of watching the movie “Miracle” the night before a game or the day of, a film based on the true story behind the 1980 Men’s Olympic Hockey team’s defeat over the Russian squad. He also draws inspiration before each game by reading a letter that his mom, who passed away in May of 2017, wrote him before his first game his senior year of high school.

Although Holmes is classified as a senior on the field, he plans to graduate in May of 2020 and hopes to be granted another year of football eligibility after filing an appeal.