Austin Holloway was fresh off an efficient 7-of-9, 104-yard, two touchdown passing performance when he was greeted with the question he knew he’d be asked.
How does it feel to receive the honor of being The Covington News’ Athlete of the Month?
The Eastside senior quarterback flashed a quick, slight smile, and gave an answer that his coach, Troy Hoff, has probably come to expect from him.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized, but I can’t do anything without my teammates,” Holloway said. “My teammates, coaching staff and everybody are really the ones that made this happen. But it makes you proud for everyone to get that recognition.”
It doesn’t take much interaction with Holloway to understand that that’s just the kind of kid he is — Humble; Quick to deflect the spotlight; Dutiful and respectful to those who aid in his success. There’s not a lot of bravado in his game. He just goes out and takes care of business. And that’s exactly the reason why Hoff said his signal caller was deserving of the accolades.
“He’s earned it,” Hoff said. “You can’t say enough about the kid as a leader. I mean, the things he’s done that nobody sees. The film he watches, the time he puts in. As many snaps as he’s taken, he knows the offense like a coach. And when he’s out on the field, the players have no doubt who they’re putting their confidence in.”
Holloway’s October was full of big wins and big plays, as Eastside’s only loss was to No. 3 Woodward Academy — a team that few have been successful against over the last several years. But under Holloway’s leadership, Eastside went 3-1 in October, which put the Eagles in a position to host Spalding in the first round of the playoffs next Friday at Homer Sharp Stadium.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder has thrown for close to 2,000 yards while completing more than 60 percent of his passes. He’s registered 20 touchdown passes to just three interceptions. And through the month of October, he was at his best, with a 70 percent completion rate as he guided Eastside through some of its most crucial wins. In addition, he'll be signing a letter of intent to play baseball at Georgia College Thursday.
“He’s had a big month and a big season, really,” Hoff said. “He’s thrown a lot of yards, but when you look at Austin, it’s not just that, but it’s also the decisions he’s making. He’s getting you in and out of the right plays. He fixes things on the field. He’s all that you want in a leader. He’s another one of those who you’d like to have around for a couple more years.”
As for Holloway, the attention and praise aren’t swelling his head. He’ll be the first to tell you that he still has a lot of room for improvement. And even as late as he is in his high school career, the four-year starter is still looking for ways to make himself better and get an edge on the opposition.
“When you first start a game in your career, everything is happening really fast,” Holloway said. “But with more experience on the field, the game starts to slow down. My improvement now, it just comes down to studying film and doing my homework,” Holloway said. “It’s about knowing what the defense is going to do before they do it. It’s knowing what you have to do before it happens. I attribute that to what my coaches have taught me.”