Nansemond River field hockey player Shelbi Holloman signed to attend and play for Roanoke College at a ceremony on Monday afternoon in the Nansemond River High School library.
Nansemond River field hockey player Shelbi Holloman signed to attend and play for Roanoke College at a ceremony on Monday afternoon in the Nansemond River High School library.

Holloman signs with Roanoke College

Published 9:27pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nansemond River field hockey standout Shelbi Holloman is storming a trail less traveled after signing Monday to attend and play for Roanoke College in Salem.

Holloman is a four-year letterman who was named to the all-district first team the last two seasons and had a significant number of schools interested in her, including Division I programs. Roanoke College is a Division III school, and it has a field hockey program led by coach Briana Banks that is still looking to make a name for itself.

Holloman shared what this signing means to her.

“Just that I have to keep pushing myself and that I get to go to a college that has everything I need, plus play field hockey,” she said.

She said she had wanted to play field hockey in college since the eighth grade, and like most athletes, she wanted it to be at a Division I school.

“But then I was studying and playing, and then I found a couple D-III’s I liked and I narrowed it down,” she said. “I love everything — the coach, the team, campus, everything. I’m going to the college for academics anyways, so field hockey is just a bonus and a plus.”

She plans to major in athletic training, “because I want to be a trainer for the (National Football League).”

“A lot of students have gone into professional (sports training) after they left the athletic training program there … so I think with hard studying it’ll happen,” she said.

Lady Warriors head coach Ali Mowry was on hand at the ceremony in the Nansemond River High School library and addressed those in attendance and then Holloman.

“I know Coach Banks is getting a good all-around athlete to add to her roster,” she said. “I’ve coached you three out of your four years on varsity, and I’ve seen you mature as a young, talented athlete to a talented team leader, and that was something I really appreciate from you.”

Nansemond River girls’ soccer coach Darryl Yandle, who served as field hockey coach when Holloman was a freshman, offered his input after Mowry.

“I think Roanoke got a bargain, but I will say in the same breath, get ready to step it up,” he said to Holloman.

Her family was also in attendance.

“Seeing her grow and seeing what she’s accomplished, I’m very proud of her,” Bonnie Holloman, Shelbi’s mother said.

Holloman’s mother highlighted her daughter’s driven nature.

“She has goals, right now, for Roanoke,” she said. “She’s already told the coach what some of her goals are going to be. She’s shooting for Rookie of the Year, and she’s going into it with that frame of mind.”

Related to that mindset is also her natural leadership ability, which Coach Mowry has enjoyed for the last three years in which Holloman has been a team captain.

“She’s a good leader, she’s not afraid to speak up,” Mowry said.

Roanoke’s Coach Banks has had an eye on Holloman for the past three years, largely because of that ability.

“That’s what they need there, according to Coach (Banks),” Phillip Holloman said.

“It’s not the best of the D-III schools, but Shelbi sees a challenge,” Bonnie Holloman said.

Aside from the academics, Coach Banks was the other major influence in Holloman’s decision.

“She’s young and reminds me of Coach Ali a lot,” Shelbi Holloman said. “We got along from the beginning. So, I think that me going there, I can bring a lot of leadership to the team and hopefully feed off of each other on the field.”

Holloman has primarily been a midfielder at Nansemond River, but she can play any position and has been told she will likely be called upon to be a scorer for the Maroons.

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