Football star Holes heads into Armstrong Hall of Fame
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Clint Holes is still in disbelief.
Holes, a 1992 graduate of Apollo-Ridge High School, remains incredulous that the undefeated 1994 Penn State football team, to which he was a key contributor as a defensive back, wasn't national champions.
“It still hurts; we still feel like we should have at least shared it,” Holes said about the championship that was awarded to Nebraska in both major polls. “I really wish we would have played. Who knows who the real national champion is?”
That question may never be answered in the eyes of Holes or the Penn State faithful, but Holes can at least say he's been honored in a different way for his performance at Penn State and Apollo-Ridge.
Holes is one of 11 people being inducted into the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame on April 28.
“I'm very honored,” Holes said of his induction. “It's a privilege to be enshrined. It's great company to be in.”
Holes — who lives in Oil City with his wife Kelly and daughters Jorja, 7, and Jessie, 4 — said he looks back fondly on growing up in Apollo.
“All we did was play sports all year round,” he said. “We'd always play pick up. Rain, snow, sunshine, whatever. We had a nice group of kids that were always outside playing.”
Holes said he remembers his Apollo-Ridge football team being close-knit.
“It was nice playing for a small team,” he said. “A lot of us never came off the field, except for maybe kickoffs.”
Playing at Penn State was a new challenge when he arrived there in 1992.
“I remember throwing up after the first couple of workouts,” he said.
One experience he still recalls vividly: He started at the “hero” safety position in the team's victory over Oregon in the 1995 Rose Bowl, which capped the undefeated season.
“They gave me a shot and taped my shoulder up real good,” he said. “On the first series, my shoulder popped out.”
Holes didn't play the rest of the game, but he still remembers the Rose Bowl victory.
“My favorite memory has to be in '94 when we beat Michigan at their place,” he said. “It was a back-and-forth game, and Kerry Collins threw a late touchdown to Bobby Engram.
“Brian Miller, a cornerback, had an interception on my side of the field at the end of the game to seal it.”
With football in his rearview mirror, Holes fuels his competitive fire another way.
“My wife and I are professional poker players,” Holes said. “I'm home all day with my 4-year-old and can take my 7-year-old to school. You hear of a lot of ex-athletes paying poker. You're competing, but you're not lining up and physically competing.
“It fills that competitive void, and you can make a living doing it.”
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Rossi: Pirates foolish to bet on Burnett return
- Steelers’ Mitchell taking cautious approach about dealing with injuries
- Strip District, Shadyside startups headed to White House
- Obama’s Clean Power plan doesn’t change much; opponents remain firm
- Big-game hunting means navigating Third World country political systems
- Technology helps VA Pittsburgh expand ability to serve veterans
- Doctors to be given star ratings on UPMC site
- Inside the Steelers: Wide array of receiving options shine
- WVU to intensify workload amid shorter training camp
- Steelers notebook: No decision on surgery for rookie CB Golson