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AOTW: Marissa Holder leading Lady Cougars during sophomore season
Marissa Holder
Despite not being able to play due to injury, Marissa Holder still attends all practices and games to assist any way she can for the Lady Cougars. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

Editor’s Note: ‘Athlete of the Week’ (AOTW) is a weekly series that features local athletes’ recent accomplishments. An athlete will be featured in every Wednesday print edition.

MONTICELLO, Ga. — Piedmont Academy’s girls basketball team has a sophomore star that is filling up the statistics line game in and game out. 

Marissa Holder is currently leading the Lady Cougars by averaging a double-double with 26.2 points and 11 rebounds per game. She also leads her team in assists (3.7), steals (4.2) blocks (1.6) and free throw percentage (87%). 

Holder credited practice as a proponent to her on-court success. 

“Practice, practice and more practice,” Holder said. “My dad is an assistant coach for our team so there’s no escape from practice.  I shoot and dribble almost daily along with running and using the dreaded stairmaster to stay in shape.” 

The sophomore guard encountered a slight setback recently by sustaining an undisclosed injury. But she returned to the court on Saturday and dropped 36 points, which featured seven three-pointers. 

Though she missed a few games on the court, Holder never missed a beat supporting her team. . 

“I haven’t missed a practice or a game,” Holder said. “I’m encouraging them from 

the bench and talking to them during the games.  I tell them what I’m seeing from the other team and what they can do to improve their play.” 

So far, Holder’s favorite game she has played in was on Dec. 16 when the Lady Cougars downed Central Fellowship Christian Academy (CFCA) by 27 points. CFCA is the No. 1 ranked team in GIAA-AA. 

But winning is just one of many parts of why Holder started playing basketball at 5 years old. 

“I enjoy being a part of a team and getting to play with my friends,” Holder said. “There’s a bond that comes with being teammates and I know I can count on my teammates and friends both in the games and anywhere else. I also like to compete.” 

When she returns from injury, Holder mentioned her desire to build off this season’s success. She plans to work on her conditioning, get stronger and improve upon her dribbling and shooting abilities. 

Holder anticipates the Lady Cougars and herself to have a successful season as it progresses forward. 

“I think we can win it all,” Holder said. “There are several good teams in our division this year so getting back into the finals will be a challenge.  If everyone can stay healthy, I think we’re up to that challenge.”