Holmes headed to Pitt CC
By Mike London
GRANITE QUARRY ó The list of dinosaurs includes brontosaurus, stegosaurus, triceratops ó and East Rowan senior Trey Holmes, who has accepted a baseball scholarship from Pitt Community College.
In an era of specialization, Holmes is the only senior in Rowan County to make an impact in football, basketball and baseball this school year.
That’s not saying concentrating on one sport in a quest for a precious college scholarship is good or bad ó just that college is very expensive and practically everyone makes a choice now.
Versatile athletes aren’t quite extinct, but fast, strong people like Holmes, who play everything, are a vanishing breed.
“I grew up at a small school where everybody had to play everything,” East football coach Brian Hinson said. “East Rowan is like that. Coach (Brian) Hightower and Coach (Greg) McKenzie have great programs, but we needed Trey too. He became a three-sporter with very good success, and he could be a four-sporter. He could be one heck of a track guy.”
For Holmes, starting in three sports at East has been the right decision.
Sure, he’s a little worn down, but by playing basketball and football he made friends and experienced victories he’ll cherish the rest of his life.
As an all-county defensive back/receiver last fall, Holmes scored five TDs ó one on defense ó for East’s first winning football team this century.
In the winter, the 6-footer averaged 7.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists as the perfect fifth man for one of the best basketball teams in school history. He even blocked 21 shots.
Beyond the numbers, he proved he could do things doubters said he couldn’t.
It was a surprise when Holmes first came out for football for former East coach Jim Crawley.
“I remember coming out my junior year and a lot of people told me I wouldn’t last two days out there,” Holmes said. “Well, I lasted two years.”
Holmes said he got looks from small schools in football, but he’s known since his sophomore year his future at the next level rested with his strong left arm.
He has never lost a varsity high school game on the mound, although the injury he suffered last season limited his appearances.
He was 3-0 as a sophomore and won the Easter tournament championship game. After reporting in after his junior season of basketball, he was 1-0 with two saves and an ERA of 0.70 when he hurt his arm on a slide at Davie County.
“I was pitching that night and my arm was real tight, and I kind of got it locked up with Zach Howard when I slid into third,” Holmes said.
He didn’t pitch again last spring, although he played brilliant defense at first base and batted .286.
He swatted 15 doubles, drove in 50 runs and scored 54 times for the Rowan Legion last summer and played exceptional defense at first base.He’s recently been cleared to resume pitching and is 2-0 this spring, while working at about 80 percent. He’s batting .375, with 12 RBIs, and he’s scooping everything at first base.
“In my last start my arm felt the best it has in a long time,” said Holmes, who threw six quality innings against Lake Norman. “If I just played baseball, I might be all the way back now, but I still enjoyed doing all the other sports.”
Holmes met Pitt County’s coaches when he and teammate Micah Jarrett watched Pitt take on Surry.
Pitt scouted Holmes when he pitched three innings in a 9-1 victory over West Rowan. Holmes wasn’t satisfied with the way he threw, but Pitt, which is ranked eighth nationally among junior colleges, could see the potential.
Holmes signed with the Greenville, N.C., school after being impressed with the facilities and housing Pitt offered. He’ll pitch, and he’ll also get a shot at first base as an everyday player.
“It’s pretty amazing down there with six indoor batting cages and live BP indoors when it rains,” Holmes said. “I’ll go with just baseball now and see what I can do. Hopefully, in two years, I’ll get a chance to play D-I.”
Hightower expects Holmes to do just fine.
“Trey is still getting back to his old self, but there’s unlimited potential there,” he said. “He’s such a good athlete that once he’s concentrating on pitching, his velocity will increase and his breaking ball will get sharper. He hasn’t even scratched yet what he can do, and two years from now, who knows how good he’ll be?”
Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.