SAFETY FIRST: Owl’s Holt has new place in lineup


With a new head coach came position changes for some of the players on the Seymour High School football team this fall.

Alex Holt was one of those who switched to a new spot.

He’s the only returning starter in the secondary and has moved safety this fall.

“With safety, it depends on what they’re lined up in,” Holt said. “If they’re lined up in trips we check to cover three and I’m on the flat responsibility coverage, and if they line up in just twos then I’ll have whoever comes down the hash, whether that be the tight end or the wing.”

Last fall Holt had 33 tackles, 12 assists, one tackle for loss and one interception.

“We want to push everything to the inside,” Holt said. “If they’re on the short side of the field, they’re trying to get something out on the wide side, and us as DBs, we want to push everything back inside to our linebackers and our defensive guys who are crashing down and should be getting to the ball.

“About the first practice of the summer Coach (LeRoy) Wilson came up and said, ‘We’re going to try you out at safety this year.’ I was pretty excited because they call me the ‘force player,’ where I come down and make the tackle, so I was pretty excited to hear that news.”

Holt said he enjoys the home games.

“I love the turf,” he said. “It prevents a lot of injuries in my opinion. It’s nice to play on something stable. With the old field we had the mound in the middle for the runoff of the water. Now, with the turf it’s straight across and it’s really nice. The burns aren’t so nice, but I love playing on it.

“I love baseball home games, but nothing compares to Friday night at home in football. You stop and look around at the fans. There is nothing like it. The facilities at the baseball field are nice. Every facility on this campus is nice.”

On the road, Holt likes the Owls’ rival’s field.

“Blevins Memorial Stadium in Brownstown is my favorite away football stadium because when we played there last year that was the most spectacular fan base I’ve ever been a part of,” Holt said. “There were people on the track, RV’s on Elm Street. It’s amazing to play there.”

Holt began his football playing in the PAL league in Columbus in third grade.

Playing under new head coach Mike Kelly this fall has been different, and the team has adjusted.

“It’s been a huge change,” Holt said. “It’s kind of hard to put into words with him only being here for a few months, and bringing guys in and trying new things. He’s done a wonderful job at putting in the offense and defense.

“Just getting used to everything and kind of picking up the tempo at practice, and being a little more disciplined, has been the biggest thing this summer. What we’re doing is wonderful. It’s all about getting our guys committed, and get everybody onto it. That’s kind of the job of the seniors.”

Holt said he is honored to be selected one of the captains this fall.

“We did a team vote,” he said. “It’s been something I’ve been thinking about ever since I was a freshman. Having people look at me and say, ‘All right, he’s a captain, it’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders, but it’s very rewarding knowing the kids are looking up to you.’

“It’s about leading even some of the seniors. Sometimes I get frustrated. We’ll have kids maybe talk during film or mess around out on the field. The biggest thing is not to come off as a jerk, come off as a leader and say, ‘We’ve got a game in four days; we’ve got to focus.’ The coaches are looking at you to make decisions. That’s been my biggest thing. The seniors last year really took care of it so it’s our job now.”

In the spring, Holt will take to the diamond.

“I played a little bit of everything —  based on positions when some kids were out,” Holt said. “I played mostly right field, and I did some courtesy run and pinch hit. Right field can be difficult sometimes when those balls, especially if you get a left-handed hitter, they can tail. You think it’s coming at you but it can end up going way over you. It can be a hard position to judge, but it’s enjoyable.”

At the plate, Holt looks for a fastball on the first pitch.

“Last year coaches really preached first pitch is fastball, so that is what a lot of kids were doing,” Holt said. “That is one thing coach (Jeremy) Richey really liked about me. I would go up there and I was really aggressive. With my speed, laying down a bunt is also a possibility. I try to squeeze as many walks in as I can to try to get any advantage I can. I’m just going to show up and give 110 percent.”

The senior has enjoyed his time at Seymour.

“Seymour High School has been nice” Holt said. “My senior year is a little more lenient. I’m only here half days because I do work-based learning. It’s an awesome opportunity they give us seniors to go off and study the careers that we want.

“It’s been a nice four years at Seymour, and I have a few short months left so I’ll make the most of it. Thanks to the coaches for making me the best athlete I possibly can.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Holt file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Alex Holt

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Mark and Michelle Holt

Siblings: Aaron, Shelby and Stephen

Sports: Football, four years; baseball, four years

Athletic highlights: Football — all-Jackson County honorable mention

Organizations: Choir

Plans after high school: Join U.S. Navy

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite TV show: “Hawaii Five-O”

Favorite musician: Justin Moore

Favorite movie: “Lone Survivor”

Favorite team: Dallas Cowboys

[sc:pullout-text-end][sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Catch the Owls” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

What: Seymour (1-0) at Jeffersonville (0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Blair Field

Radio: 92.7 Nash Icon

Last outing: Seymour def. Evansville Harrison 40-20, Pulaski County (Ky.) def. Jeffersonville 49-28.

Most recent meeting: Jeffersonville won 29-15 on Aug. 26, 2016.

Series past 30 years: Jeffersonville 12-8.


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