The NKyTribune features one player from each of the 21 high school football teams in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties ahead of the opening games of the 2022 season on August 19. We will then provide targeted coverage of our local teams throughout the regular season. season and in the playoffs.
By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune Sports Journalist
Tayquan and Quantez Calloway were the offensive leaders of Holmes’ football teams that posted a winning record each of the last three years. One or both twin brothers rushed for more than 1,000 yards each season during the hit streak.
The Calloways graduated last spring, but Holmes coach Ben Nevels says senior running back Curtez Hill is an explosive runner who could make big numbers for the Bulldogs this year.
“Coach said he wants to give me the ball for about 20 runs a game, so I have to be in shape for that,” Hill said. “I feel like this year is going to be my best year.”
Hill got off to a slow start last season with a sprained ankle, but he rushed for 528 yards and eight touchdowns in the last eight games to help the Bulldogs finish with an 8-3 record.
He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown, had a pair of two-point conversions and scored two runs on a safety as a defensive back for a total of 60 points that ranked third on the team. .
“I owe everything to my speed,” he said of his unique ability to provide points on offense, defense and special teams.
The speed that makes Hill an all-around football player also serves him well on the track. Last spring, he was the lead runner for the Holmes 4×100 and 4×200 sprint relay teams that won regional championships and placed fourth in both events at the Class 2A state meet.
During summer camps, Hill ran the 40-yard sprint in 4.4 seconds to attract interest from college recruiters. He said he had already received a scholarship offer from Thomas More University. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound speedster could attract more offers this season, but his main goal is to extend the Bulldogs’ three-year winning streak without the Calloway brothers.
“I feel like there’s pressure on all of us to keep our streak going,” Hill said. “Since we lost Tay and Quan, a lot of things are falling on us, but we can deal with it.”
Other returning seniors for Holmes include running back Emauroyan Arnold, who scored 11 touchdowns last season, and quarterback Miquel Garcia, who was behind center in the last six games, including a first-round loss in Class 4A playoffs.
“Coach said we were going to throw the ball a lot more,” Hill said. “Most of the time we’re a running team, but this year we have more speed and a quarterback who can get us (the ball).”
Hill also expects the Holmes defense, which gave up 15 points and 203 yards per game last season, to do even better against the same 10 opponents on the schedule this year.
“I feel like we can hold them back even less,” he said. “With the (defensive) line we have and the speed we have behind them, we should do really well.”
SEASON 2021: 8-3 record, lost in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
DISTRICT: Class 4A, District 6 with Boyd County, Harrison County, Rowan County, Scott.
THE HEAD COACH: Ben Nevels (51-46 in eight seasons at Holmes).
Aug. 19 – GRANT COUNTY, 7 p.m.
Aug. 26 – NEWPORT CENTRAL CATHOLIC, 7 p.m.
September 2 – BOONE COUNTY, 7 p.m.
September 9 – NEWPORT, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 – vs. Holy Cross at Thomas More, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 — ROWAN COUNTY, 7:30 p.m.
October 7 – in Boyd County, 7:30 p.m.
October 14 – in Harrison County, 7:30 p.m.
October 21 – SCOTT, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 – BELLEVUE, 7 p.m.
Other NKyTribune preparatory football previews:
HIGHLAND BLUE BIRDS
CAMPBELL COUNTY CAMELS