When North Duplin’s Kyle Holland earned his spot on the varsity baseball as a freshman, the short-term excitement was palpable.
He was eager to play alongside upperclassmen and make his presence felt right away.
However, he quickly learned there were more long-term benefits to making varsity as a freshman.
It was not just the prestige of making varsity as a freshman, as he also benefitted from the upperclassmen’s teaching at a young age.
Holland is now a senior, and he had three years to soak in what those before him did, and that has allowed him to maximize the opportunity as a team leader this season.
Holland, who also plays football, is one of the Rebels’ most reliable playmakers and leaders.
He started playing baseball when he was a child, and he was immediately hooked. Baseball became a way of life, and he quickly realized there was so much room to grow in the sport.
“I probably like baseball a little bit more. I’ve always liked baseball,” Holland said. “I just wanted to play with my friends, and I love the game, so I want to keep going as long as possible.”
Holland stands out as one of the most accomplished and versatile baseball players at North Duplin.
As a freshman, Holland sharpened his craft and blossomed into one of the team’s most dangerous hitters during his sophomore year. As a sophomore, Holland had a .345 batting average.
His junior season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Holland appreciates that he gets to play baseball with teammates for one more season.
“It’s been a pretty good experience,” Holland said. “We all get along really well. I think we are going to look really good this season.
“We’ve been itching to get back on the field.”
Holland joined the football team as a sophomore. He was inspired to join the football team after watching the Rebels reached the state championship game in 2017.
The Rebels have reached the playoffs every year Holland has been on the roster.
“It’s a tough sport to play, and it really builds character in you,” Holland said. “It makes you a stronger person physically and mentally.”
This season his goal is to bring the team together as much as possible while also winning some games. And he hopes to register a couple more momentous memories before the season ends.
Holland also participates in several extracurricular activities. He is a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Science Olympiad, and the Beta Club.
And during his time in high school, Holland had managed to find a balance between school, sports, extracurricular and his social life.
“Starting out, it was a little overwhelming, but once you get down it and start doing it over and over again, it becomes pretty routine,” Holland said.