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Athlete of the week: Buford shortstop goes out a champion

POSTED: October 31, 2008 5:00 a.m.

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Buford High shortstop Whitney Holman isn’t afraid to say that her senior softball season ended perfectly.

As one of only two starting seniors in the Lady Wolves’ lineup, Holman was required to take on a leadership role on a young team that needed experience in order to repeat for a state championship.

But what Holman did in the Class AA state tournament last week may have been her best feat all season. On Day 1 of the Elite Eight tournament against Dodge County last Thursday, Holman was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a run scored and an RBI to lead Buford (34-2-1) past the Indians in the opening round.

The day only got better. In the Lady Wolves’ second-round game against Lovett, Holman hit a three-run home run to lead Buford past the Lions to clinch a spot in the winners’ bracket finals.

To put the icing on the cake, she made a diving stop on a bloop hit during the state championship game that Lady Wolves’ coach Tony Wolfe called “the finest catch he has ever seen.”

The reward for her heroics? Another state championship victory in her last game of high school softball.

“It hasn’t really set in yet,” Holman said. “I didn’t think the season would go by this fast.”

Holman finished the season with impressive numbers. At the plate, she had the third-highest batting average on her team (.374), led the team in home runs with two, finished second on the team with 29 RBIs, and was third with 11 doubles.

Her defensive numbers were even better; she committed only four errors in 37 games in this season.

“I couldn’t ask for a better senior year,” she said. “It played out like I had imagined.”

Her ability to make a difference at the plate and on the field made three-year starter a valuable player to Buford during their championship run. And with 12 years of experience at shortstop and six months of the year committed to travel softball, her veteran leadership also came in handy in nerve-racking situations during the tournament.

“She’s an incredible athlete, extremely competitive and a hard worker,” Wolfe said. “Softball ball is her sport. It’s her love.”

But like all seniors, Holman is preparing to move on. With college right around the corner, she is left with the decision to pursue a future in softball, or to attend school to earn her degree in nursing.

But the best solution is to do both, and that may not be far from reality. With several colleges interested in her, including Georgia, Reinhardt, North Georgia, Georgia State, among others, Holman may earn the opportunity to play softball at a school with a strong nursing program.

“I’m trying to find one with a good atmosphere,” she said. “When you go on visits, there will be one college that will have a special place in my heart, and that’s the one best fit for me.”

Despite the fact that she has an exciting future ahead that’s guaranteed to include at least one of her two chosen endeavors, Holman’s days of dominating the shortstop position on the field at Buford High will always hold significance with her.

“I’m going to miss the team and the coaches,” she said. “It’s amazing how we got. They became my family."



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