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Reception held to introduce new GHS Baseball Coach Trey Holloway
New GHS head baseball coach Trey Holloway poses with Assistant Superintendent and Athletic Director Jerry Cecil during a public reception Monday evening at H.B. Stewart Arena on the campus of Greenwood High School. Cecil officially introduced Holloway to his players and their parents for the first time, and the new coach spoke to the overflow crowd about his plans and expectations for the team. A native of Booneville, Holloway was most recently an assistant coach at Fort Smith’s Southside High School, and also previously played and coached with the Arkansas Razorbacks. He takes over a very successful program from departing head coach Randy Gardner, who is leaving after six seasons at Greenwood. The Bulldogs reached the quarterfinals of the 6A state tournament last week.

Reception held to introduce new GHS Baseball Coach Trey Holloway

By Richard White

A public reception was held last Monday evening in the hospitality room of Greenwood’s H.B. Stewart Arena to formerly introduce Greenwood High School’s new head baseball coach, Trey Holloway. An overflow crowd was treated to free pizza and listened intently as the new coach explained his plans and expectations for the GHS baseball program. Holloway was introduced to the group by Assistant Superintendent and Athletic Director Jerry Cecil.

Holloway spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Southside High School in Fort Smith, after having also been an assistant coach at Alma. Holloway was considered for the head job at Greenwood six years ago, but did not have his teaching credentials at that time, according to Jerry Cecil, who led the search to find a replacement for departing head coach Randy Gardner.

“We had 18 applications for our baseball head coaching position,” said Cecil, “and three or four of them were really outstanding, but I thought the best one was Trey Holloway. The things I like about Trey are his enthusiasm, his energy, his knowledge of the game, his character, and the desire he has to instill good character in our kids. Those are things that sold me on Trey.”

A 2001 Booneville graduate, Holloway enjoyed a rare double-double by leading the Bearcats’ football team to a state title win against Nashville, and then pitching and hitting the Bearcats to the 3A state baseball title during his high school career. In that championship run, Holloway pitched 23 innings in his team’s four playoff games, topped off by a complete game victory over Central Arkansas Christian in the title game.

He also hit 23 homeruns his junior and senior seasons at Booneville, and batted an amazing .531 as a senior. As a pitcher he went 12-1 with a 0.76 earned run average. Holloway was also drafted by the Detroit Tigers and later pitched for the University of Arkansas before being added to the Razorback coaching staff.

“I’m super excited to be here,” Holloway told the crowd. “I am so pumped, because six years ago I wanted to be here. At the time there was only about five places that I wanted to [go] and Greenwood was one of them. I am so excited to be here. I’m so excited to be wearing this navy blue.”

In a presentation that lasted more than half an hour, Holloway talked about his priorities – faith, family, school, and baseball – and outlined his philosophy and expectations as a coach. A pitcher in his playing days, he stressed the importance of pitching and defense and being aggressive on offense. In his early 30s, Holloway came across as a very organized, driven coach who instills character and integrity in his players and stresses the fundamentals of winning baseball on the diamond.

Earlier this spring Coach Gardner notified the school district that this would be his final season at the helm of the Bulldogs. Gardner entered the 2014 season with six straight state tournament berths, including a pair of semifinal losses, and two appearances in state title games in 2011 and 2013. His teams won five consecutive conference titles from 2009-13. The 2010 Bulldogs were the first 5A West team to go unbeaten (14-0) since the conference realigned to the current doubleheader format in 1999.

Lacking experience, the team struggled this spring to recapture its past success, though the Bulldogs played better late in the season and reached the quarterfinals of the 6A state tournament last week before finishing at 12-18 overall and 6-8 in the tough 7A/6A Central conference.

Overall, Gardner posted a career mark of 257 wins and 93 losses as a head coach. His record at Greenwood was an impressive 160-58. In his career, Gardner also coached 32 players who received college scholarships. The former coach and his family are returning to Southeast Missouri where he will become involved in a family-owned business.

 

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