If Harrison Holt’s 4.6 grade-point average doesn’t warrant an imaginative nickname, maybe the fact he’s Center Grove’s senior class president should.
Trojans football coach Eric Moore refers to the versatile offensive lineman as his program’s “duct tape” because of the 5-foot-11, 220-pound senior’s ability and willingness to play nearly any position along the line of scrimmage.
Holt started at left guard for Center Grove in its 31-19 victory against defending Class 6A champion Ben Davis in Week 4. Last week he lined up at right guard as the Trojans celebrated homecoming by blasting Pike 59-14.
Come Friday, he’ll make his second consecutive start at right guard when the state’s top-ranked club hosts Lawrence North.
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“He’s our duct tape. He just does it and gives you everything he’s got. Great technique, strength and quickness, and I think that’s where he has an advantage,” Moore said.
“He’s the real deal. A big-time GPA and just a great person.”
But duct tape?
“Coach Moore feels like he’s able to put me at any position. He always calls me a utility guy. I may not be perfect, but I can get the job done, and it won’t make a big effect on the team,” Holt said.
After not playing organized football until the seventh grade, Holt as a sophomore played some special teams and usually was on the field late as an offensive lineman if Center Grove enjoyed a sizable lead.
Last season he didn’t play in any games due to a neck injury suffered prior to the opener against Warren Central.
“It was during a kick return in practice. My head whiplashed after me, and this other kid hit each other real hard. I was in a neck brace for two months. It wasn’t fun,” Holt said.
“Coming in this season after being injured for a full year I was kind of worried about how fast I would be able to get back playing football. If I would get the chance to play a lot or be sitting on the sideline. I’m pretty happy with how it’s going.”
Holt, like so many Center Grove athletes, has benefited tremendously by the school’s strength program. Despite being one of the Trojans’ smaller lineman in terms of both height and weight, Holt is able to bench-press as much as 310 pounds, squat 350 and power clean 265.
Even more impressive is the No. 10 — Holt’s rank academically among the 563 students in the school’s Class of 2016. He’s seriously considering majoring in business management at Indiana University.
“When I look at (ranking) I just look at how my hard work has helped me be 10th in the class. It measures not how smart I am but how hard I’m working. I know there are some kids who are a lot smarter than me. I think it comes down to how smart you are and how hard you work,” Holt said.
Holt has at least two more home games remaining, including the Oct. 16 showdown against 6A newcomer Cathedral, a state champion the past five seasons (three times 4A, twice 5A).
Whether he starts or rotates in for a tired teammate, Holt takes none of it for granted.
“I’ve been in every game this season, so that’s something I’m really happy about. I consider myself a competitor. It’s just something I love doing. Just the whole atmosphere and the idea of being a big family,” Holt said.
“All my really good friends that I trust with anything, they’re all from the football team. We’ve grown up together.”
THE HOLT FILE
Name: Harrison Holt
Family: Parents, Greg and Lisa; sister, Carolyn, 20
Favorite TV show: “House of Cards”
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite movie: “Fight Club”
Favorite athlete: Andrew Luck
Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts