No matter the sport, Carroll County’s Lucas Holder is an imposing figure at 6-6, 270 pounds.
Headed to Liberty Unviersity this fall on a football scholarship, Holder is also a standout in the classroom and on the basketball court. While he is one of the most positive young athletes you will ever find, Holder also has a witty sense of humor, which is evident in his mastery of the fine art of Talking Trash.
How did it feel to win the first regional championship in boys’ basketball in 33 years, and how proud are you of Carroll County’s boys’ basketball team? Without a doubt, the best sports moment of my high school career. To know that I was a part of something greater than myself was very gratifying. I’m proud of everyone that made that accomplishment possible. My hat’s off to the players, coaches, faculty of Carroll County High School, the cheerleaders, the students, and most importantly all of our parents. I think we all lose sight of the fact that the team wasn’t compiled only with great basketball players, but also kids that were raised the right way. The humility on our team happened to be present during the games by making the extra pass when we really shouldn’t have. It was wonderful playing with great basketball players, but it was astonishing at the lifelong friendships we all made with each other because we were all so selfless.
What is your favorite football memory from Carroll County High School? Although it’s very difficult to choose just one, I would have to say the Homecoming Game against Martinsville. We played a complete game that night and won by a substantial amount. It was wonderful after the game walking into a packed gym for the homecoming dance seeing everyone’s smiling faces. I was so tired and sore but I danced through the pain. Oh, shout-out to Taylor Martin for being my Homecoming date.
Don’t shoot the messenger Lucas, but we heard your brother can beat you up and your dad can beat you one-on-one in basketball. How do you respond to these charges? My brother could honestly still beat me up, I’m man enough to admit that. He’s dirty, point blank, he has an immeasurable mean streak that I will never be able to contest.
Now with the accusation that my father can beat me in basketball, there’s some lines being habitually crossed there. If we play what he calls, “Chicago rules” then he will make it a close game. If you weren’t aware what “Chicago rules” are, it’s simply a pick-up game where there are no fouls. If my father and I play no fouls then he has a decent chance at beating me. If we play the normal rules of a standard pick up game: go to 11, win by two, call fouls, then I would beat him nine times out of ten. Now as to beating Morgan in a pick-up game of basketball, I would still lose. He is one of the best shooters I’ve ever been around. Regardless of the score, there will always be bruises and blood at the end of the game. I’ll always give credit where it’s due.
Why would a 6-6, 270-pound behemoth like yourself be afraid of Mickey Mouse? When I was a child, for lack of better terms, I was a wimp. I was terrified of anyone who was wearing a mask, whether that be clowns, Halloween costumes, etc. Why it’s so specific to Mickey Mouse is our family took a trip in the summer to Disneyland and Universal Studios when I was of the blossoming age of three. As soon as we stepped foot in Disneyland I saw Mickey Mouse. Holy cow, it’s probably my first concrete memory, I can remember it as if it were happening today. Mom says, “Look Lucas, there’s Mickey Mouse!” Then Mickey and the entire gang proceeded to walk in my direction and attempt to give me a hug. Unfortunately for my family, I threw the biggest squalling temper tantrum that any family on vacation should ever have to endure. The rest of the day I sat in my stroller, didn’t say a word, and stayed a safe distance away from any Disney character in sight.
How good does it feel to pancake an unsuspecting foe on the gridiron? It feels like peace. Ironically enough, to the common person reading this they would ask, “How in the world would throwing your body at someone and then proceeding to hit them feel like ‘peace’?” I feel at peace when I’m hitting people, my happy place so to speak. It’s the rush of seeing them when they don’t see you. You know it’s getting ready to happen, then BOOM, that defender is on the ground. Suddenly, you’re standing over a helpless teenager who honestly didn’t know what he was getting into when he put his pads on. It’s simply exhilarating, moving a person from Point A to Point B without their consent, taking their will. If I had my way, everyone would have to experience that feeling at least once in their life.
How good does it feel to pancake an unsuspecting foe from Abingdon, who the previous year heckled you about getting him a drink of water during a boys’ basketball game? Details Lucas, we need details. My sophomore year during basketball season I retrieved water for one of our players during a timeout. Suddenly, I hear an obnoxious voice yell from across the gym, “Hey 42, how about you come over here and give me a cup of water!” We went on to win the game with a Wesley Smoot tip in at the buzzer, but I made sure to remember what the kid looked like. I told myself, “I hope that kid plays either baseball or football, because I’m drilling him regardless of the sport.” My chance came my junior year when that same obnoxious chunky boy lined up right across from me on the first play of the game. Connor Lundy called the cadence, I blocked down, next thing I know I’m laying on the kid who said unwise words the year before. He was on his back while I looked right into his eyes and said, “Do you remember me? I’m number 42, and I was wondering if you still wanted that cup of water because it’s looking like it’s going to be a long night for you.” By the way, that play happened to be a 65-yard Brooks Hash touchdown. (Editor’s Note: That is classic, Lucas! It sounds like you have mastered the fine art of Talking Trash!)
Chris Smoot is riding a kiddie ride in the mall. You are videotaping your teammate’s escapades. What is your reaction when your entire basketball coaching staff and high school principal catch you in the act? Chris and I are always looking to have some sort of fun. I saw the kiddie ride and he looked at me knowing that we had the same idea. I gave him 50 cents and he started riding the little bus and making car noises. Half way through the ride I realized how funny the shoppers faces were when they saw a teenager in a kiddie ride. I then pulled out my phone and started videoing Chris and then the faces of the people walking by, it was hilarious. Then I hear a shout from the top floor, “Lucas! What are you doing?” I look up and see Coach Jackson, Coach Hawks, Coach Holderfield, and Principal Thompson all leaning against the rail. Hawks was shaking his head, trying to act serious while holding back laughter. I looked at Chris and said, “Dude get out of the ride Hawks is up there.” I looked up again at the giggly bunch and said, “Did y’all see all of that?” They proceeded to literally look down on us and synchronized their answer by all saying at the same time, “Yes we saw all of it.”
Who is your favorite athlete and why? I try to look at every aspect when thinking of these types of questions. As of right now, my favorite athlete who is now retired, happens to be Michael Irvin of the Dallas Cowboys. He was inhuman on the football field, but off the field he was as human as the rest of us. I’m personally touched by his 2007 Hall of Fame Induction Speech when he encourages people to, “Look up, get up, and never give up.” Irvin made mistakes in his life and uses his social status to inspire people and encourage them to not take the same path as he. That’s special, when a man admits to his greatest faults in life and tries to make them right. Football flexed its muscles that day as he left people crying and inspired after his speech. Do not tell me that football is just a game.
You were being recruited by some Ivy League schools. So, Mr. Smartiepants, in your best Harvard-attending, ascot-wearing, upper crust of society, better-than-you impersonation, what would your trash talk have sounded like against an opposing argyle-sock wearing foe on the gridiron? Since I can’t really express what I would say in full, I’ll give you the edited version. In a calm melancholy voice I would stare my counterpart in the eye and say, “I’m sorry, but daddy can’t buy you this one.” Then Chris Smoot and I always throw in a, “Hey your girlfriend looks like my mom.” That always throws people off because they aren’t intellectual enough to realize that we just made fun of ourselves. (Editor’s Note: Somebody get this man his own drink of water. He’s on fire with the trash talk!)
Tell us about your new workout regimen for Liberty University? It’s the hardest thing I’ve done. It feels like someone filled a pillowcase full of soap bars and beat the crap out of you the next day after you wake up. (Step Brothers reference)
Speaking of Liberty, how freaking good does it feel it to go up to members of the opposite sex and say, “I am Lucas Holder, a future Division I athlete bay-bee?” I would be lying if I said I never said that line. As terrible as that sounds, I can rationalize these actions. If I feel like a girl is becoming disinterested and they don’t know me personally I throw that one-liner out on the table. It starts an entirely new conversation, interest is regained, and the date goes on. I’m not going to wow anyone with dashing looks, or a brilliant sense of humor, I have to pull all of the tricks out of my sleeve.
And speaking of girls at Liberty, Coach Hale tells us you have been bragging about getting text messages and pictures from some of Liberty’s finest co-eds. That’s all good and well Lucas. We are proud of you. At the same time, we don’t want you to be the next Manti Te’o, okay? I’m not going to get caught up in any hoax and be made a fool on national television. I recognized the fact that these girls somehow mysteriously got my number. But, I will not have any close relations until I step on campus and see with my own two eyes, in the flesh, that they are indeed real people.
What did Marion Harris tell you about your officiating ability after the student versus faculty basketball game on March 1? He told me that if my football career didn’t work out then I had a future in biddy ball recreation department refereeing.
Coach Hawks said you nearly knocked him out running sprints one time, and it sounds like Jay Holderfield and Tee Jackson may have been victims of this, too. What do you have against the basketball coaching staff? When we run sprints the coaches are standing out on the court. I just put my head down and run so I can make it to the line before time is up. Coach Hawks was in the way and I some how stopped myself from totally running over him. But then again, you better get off the tracks if the train is coming.
Why did you have to bow in front of the entire football team and say Cody Robinson was a better lineman than you? Cody Robinson stole my phone and had it over an hour. I was freaking out, I can’t live without my phone. I had many peace offerings before we came to the agreement to get on my knees, while videoed, and saying that Cody Robinson was better in every aspect of life than I was including football. The experience was kind of a figurative punch to the gut.
I think we’ve had too much fun with this Lucas, so let’s ask a couple of serious questions to balance this out. How do you think Carroll County will fare in the River Ridge District next year? I think that it’s going to be a challenge. Is it going to be an insurmountable challenge? Absolutely not. If we go out and compete and play the best of our ability then I think we can go as far as we set our mind to. All of those Roanoke schools will take us lightly, ask Salem, Pulaski, and Christiansburg how that worked out. The great thing about the new district is that all of our athletes will finally get considerable exposure to not only television coverage, but also college recruiters at every game. It’s important that our athletes be seen by college scouts, because trust me, there’s a lot of talent walking up and down the halls at Carroll County High School.
Who have been the most positive role models in your life? Keep in mind if you say the people who do Talking Trash, your time at Liberty may be short. My father, mother, brother, and grandparents have played a key role in life. They always had such a passion for life that I hope I can match one day. They always encouraged me to try my hardest and if there was a bump in the road to face it with clear eyes and a full heart. They always encouraged me to chase my dreams. Secondly, all the coaches at Carroll County High School have molded me into a better person. Finally, a man by the name of Keith Grubb. He has been a mentor for me since I was in the eighth grade. Keith always taught me how to approach problems and situations similar to what he faced growing up. I can’t put into words the positive impact that he’s made in my life. The Grubb family has made their home accessible to me with open arms. I love them and I’m thankful they are in my life, thank you Keith, Nancy, Jordan, Hunter, Nance, and April!