Many, many years from now when Matt Holt is telling his grandchildren about his football career, he will regale tales of his two years at Hutchinson Community College and his stories will have a unique perspective.
Holt will speak of a group of Blue Dragon skilled players who possessed big-play ability who could score from anywhere at any time by any means. He will speak of numerous team and individual records that had been broken, some were simply obliterated.
With very little argument, the 2011 and 2012 Blue Dragon offenses are the top-two offensive units in history. While names like Cordarrelle Patterson, Terrell Lane, Luke Barnes, Jatavius Stewart, Miguel Johns and Elliott Alford have all received well-deserved attention for their exploits, there has been one constant through this two-year offensive explosion at HCC.
“Those guys are good players and they make big plays,” said Holt, who prepares to play his final game for the Blue Dragons on Saturday against Iowa Central in the Salt City Bowl. “It feels good. If we do our job (on the offensive line), those guys to their job and we score points and win.”
A two-year starting offensive guard from Abilene, the 6-foot-3, 303-pound Holt is the only offensive lineman to play on both of these record-setting offenses.
All the Blue Dragons have produced in Holt’s two seasons is 1,103 points and 10,979 yards.
Last season, Holt and the 2011 offensive line blocked for a group of skilled players who scored a program-record 601 points last season. The 2011 Blue Dragons set an NJCAA single-game scoring record with 90 points against Highland.
As the only returning starter from last season, there were question marks concerning the front line as this season earned. Holt and his 2012 offensive linemen emphatically answered those questions with the following:
+ Three different time this season, the Blue Dragons broke 700 yards in total offensive, including a school-record 724 yards against Air Force Prep.
+ Luke Barnes threw for a school-record 459 yards and he twice tied the single-game touchdown pass record with six scoring tosses.
+ Perhaps the record Holt is most proud of came in Garden City on Sept. 8 when Terrell Lane broke the single-game rushing record of Mack Herron by running for 308 yards.
“I don’t feel like we’ve done anything special,” said Holt, who blocked for the NJCAA rushing leader and blocked for the NJCAA passing leader for most of the 2012 season. “We are just out here working hard and doing what we do.”
Blue Dragon head coach Rion Rhoades simply described Holt as the “leader of the offensive line.”
“He might not be the most dynamic player out there, even though he is one of the best players, he is definitely the leader of the O-line. In many ways, he’s become a coach on the field.”
Rhoades had to lean on Holt early as the only returning starter as fall camp began. Devonte Danzey was a redshirt and Solomon Normore saw limited time last season and then there was a group of talented freshmen who had to quickly learn to play at the college level.
Holt knew he had to show his position group how to pave the way.
“Solomon Normore is the most improved guy on our offensive line and he and Matt are really close. Matt has been a great inspiration and role model for Matt and has had as much to do with Solo’s improvement as anyone.”
In Week 2 at Navarro, it looked like Holt’s sophomore season was ending early. He had to be carted off the field and taken to a Corsicana, Texas hospital. Fortunately for Holt and the Blue Dragons, the injury wasn’t as serious and initially diagnosed and he was back in the starting line-up for Week 3 at Garden City.
“As a football coach, you appreciate that,” Rhoades said. “If I could have five Matt Holt’s on the offensive line, my job would be easy. He just does his job.”
(By Steve Carpenter, HCC Sports Information Director)