Holsinger enjoys dream season with Heroes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Shane Holsinger had a dream. After realizing that dream, he had a dream season.

Although he was undistinguished in high school, Holsinger continued to follow his dream and landed a spot on the Huntington Heroes arena football team last spring.

Holsinger, a 6-foot, 190-pounder, played wide receiver and linebacker for the Heroes who went 9-6 and made the AIFL playoffs.

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Holsinger capped the season by being named to the American Indoor Football League North Division Pro-Star second team along with James Hawkins and Chris Nunn. Huntington quarterback Freddie Ray was the team’s only first team selection.

“I just wanted to play again,” Holsinger said.

“It’s a receiver’s dream to play in an offensive game. You do a lot of catching the football and there’s not much running. When you play outside it’s without a wall. Playing indoors is different with a wall, but I don’t think about it.”

After a high school career at South Point, Holsinger walked-on at Eastern Kentucky to play basketball before trying out for the football team.

Holsinger said he always believed he could play football, but constant coaching changes in high school left him as an underachiever, so to speak.

“I knew I could play (college football). The revolving door of coaches kept me out,” Holsinger said.

When Huntington announced it was putting together another arena team, Holsinger decided to try out. This time Holsinger caught a break because the wide receiver coach was Brent Wilcoxon who was one of his head coaches at South Point.

Wilcoxon, who installed a wide-open offense at his current job as head coach at Fairland, had nothing but

“He was our most durable receiver,” Wilcoxon said.

“We played against a lot of Division I caliber (college) players and he hung with them, so that says a lot about his ability.”

Holsinger said he isn’t the same player that he was in high school.

“I picked up weight and speed since high school,” Holsinger said. “Speed counts, but (arena football) is about catching the ball.”

Holsinger led the Heroes in receiving statistics including receptions, yardage and touchdowns.

With a solid season under his belt, Holsinger would like to use his success as a springboard to another level.

“I’m trying to move on. I’m looking to go bigger. I’d like to play at the Arena One level, the Canadian League or get in a pro camp,” Holsinger said.