Full speed ahead for Avondale's Joshuwa Holloman | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
Forgive Joshuwa Holloman if he has to keep track of his accomplishments.
His father, Willie, was a star quarterback and athlete at Auburn Hills Avondale High.
Older brother Paris was a star running back at Avondale and makes sure any record he set is mentioned to Josh.
So Josh, a junior sprinter and running back, gets an earful from his favorite role models.
“My dad was like. ‘I ran a 3.6 (40-yard dash) in high school’ and my brother tells me about the records he set as a running back,” said the youngest Holloman.
On a limited schedule because of injuries and hamstring tweaks, Holloman won the state 100-meter dash in Division 1 a year ago as a sophomore with a time of 11.11 seconds.
“I ran in the regional and won, and I ran in the county meet the next week and won,” Holloman said. “At the state finals, they had me ranked 17th or something like that, and I had beaten the guy ranked No. 1 (Justin Flynn) at the county meet, so I felt good about my chances. I caught some people by surprise.
“I don’t really get caught up in times. I like getting in the blocks and competing and seeing who’s the fastest.”
Holloman has been timed at a blazing 4.19 seconds (handheld) in the 40-yard dash.
“I’ve been laser-timed at 4.28/4.29,” he said.
Oh, and add in the fact that Holloman is a football player running track — and doing it very well.
“I’m a football player,” Holloman said. “I’ve been running the football since the fourth grade. I love football. I realized in the fourth grade that a lot of guys couldn’t catch me.
“My dad told me that I had to do something else other than football. I tried basketball and baseball, then I started running track. I like to compete, and I started doing well.”
Colleges have noticed.
While on spring break this week, Holloman visited Ohio State on Wednesday on a recruiting trip, and Friday he was at a Nike football camp. Michigan also has shown interest.
“I relax by not talking about football and track,” Holloman said, laughing.
Healthy and with a full track season ahead of him, Holloman plans to participate in the 100- and 200-meter dashes along with running in the 400 and 800 relays. Avondale’s season starts next week with a triangular meet.
Division 1 sprinters don’t have to worry about Holloman terrorizing them this year at the state finals — because Avondale is in Division 2. “The plan is for us to win the state title in track this year and have a better football season than we did a year ago,” Holloman said.
He’s ready to do his part.
A powerfully built 5-foot-11, 180-pounder, Holloman is an elusive obstacle for defenses.
As a junior, he rushed for 1,164 yards on 111 carries and scored 18 touchdowns. He averaged 129.3 yards per game and 10.49 yards per carry.
“I’ll do something on the football field, and (then) my dad will pull out these pictures of himself back in the day,” he said.
Avondale football coach Steve Deutsch said there’s more to Holloman’s game than speed.
“He’s a great kid,” Deutsch said. “He’s a great football player and a great track athlete. He’s getting better every day. Great work ethic; does all the little things not just to be good in football, but track also. He works his butt off; very self-motivated, and what a lot of people don’t know, he’s a very unselfish kid. Has all the intangibles: the size, the speed, obviously.
“He doesn’t get the ball 40 times a game with the offense we run, but he does a lot of things in five carries that it takes a lot of guys 15 carries to do. His speed is deceptive to a lot of people. He has really worked on his ability to run between the tackles and put his shoulder down and run people over. He’s really a good inside-the-tackle runner now.”
First-year track coach Shelby Johnson has worked with the likes of Tyrone Wheatley, Fred Russell, Chester Taylor and Edward Johnson. He’d like to get Holloman away from football recruiters and on the track more.
“It’s apparent to me that last year they allowed him to rest and race on demand because of tweaks in his hamstring,” coach Johnson said. “He was allowed to pick and choose the quality of races he could excel in, like the 100.
“Our training has to be adjusted so he can be physically fit to run the 100 and the 200, not to mention the four by one and the four by two. He’s doing a lot of college trips, so it’s hard to make adjustments.
“I told him that most of the sprinters that compete and win the 100, some of them come back and win the 200, but those guys can run the quarter (400). So we’re going to see how training goes and a couple of races go. I’ll see how he performs. I’m going to put him in a relay. I’ll put him in the open 100, obviously.
“This year we’re focusing on agility, flexibility, endurance and speed endurance.”
Look out if he gets better.