Tarleton QB Holmes Returns for Final Season
Samuel P. Tucker– Sports Writer
Ben Holmes, senior business major and quarterback for Tarleton State University, has returned for a final season at Tarleton after his hardship appeal was approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
“We filed a…hardship appeal…I used my ten semesters to play four years and that’s what we had to appeal,” Holmes said.
The NCAA gives student-athletes ten semesters to play eight semesters of football. Essentially this means each student-athlete has five years to play four years on the field. However, once those four years begin, you can’t sit out a season and maintain eligibility – unless you file a hardship waiver such as Holmes did.
Holmes stayed with the team despite not knowing if he would be able to play in the 2019 season.
“I did all summer workouts not knowing if I could play or not, and then when fall camp started, I practiced as well, still not knowing anything. Finally, when that decision was made, I was ready to go,” Holmes said.
The dedication to stay with the team despite the uncertainty of his future paid off when the NCAA approved his hardship waiver, and he was cleared to play. Holmes hopes his dedication pays off in the form of another Lone Star Conference (LSC) Championship.
“Getting another conference championship is key,” Holmes said.
Being the reigning LSC Champions does come with its own set of hurdles. Every team will be out to prove that they can beat the undefeated champions of 2018, and this means the Texans are going to face fierce competition this fall.
Holmes said, “We’re going to get everybody’s best game each week just [because] we were conference champs and we went undefeated.”
This means every week will be a tough week, because every opponent is going to know who the Texans are and what they can do. The Texans have a target on their back this season, but Holmes isn’t worried about that.
“We’ve got that target on our back now, but I don’t think that means anything to us, though. We’re going to go out every game and play like it’s a regular game,” the All-LSC Second Team Quarterback said.
Holmes is worried about his squad and his squad alone. He doesn’t care that the opposing side is going to remember that they beat them last year, in some cases by more than 20, and even 30 points, according to tarletonsports.net.
“I just want to win at the end of the day,” Holmes said of his 2019 season expectations.
To Holmes, the only thing that matters is winning. He doesn’t care about stats; he cares about putting the ball in the end zone more times than his opposition. However, one question looms large over this season: can the Texans replicate what they did in 2018 without star running back Xavier Turner?
According to Tarleton Athletics, Turner accounted for 1,469 yards on the ground last fall. That production is now going to have to be made up by other players. Holmes thinks the team will be fine.
“We got a few running backs that came in that, in some peoples’ opinion, are just as good if not better than [Turner]. [Turner] was a huge part of our offense last year…[but] we [have to] move on,” Holmes said.
Ben Holmes believes the team will succeed and his two years of experience at Tarleton under his belt will definitely help.