For the first time in years, the outcome was not important.
Infused with an unrelenting competitive spirit, Belton standout Sidney Holman’s mentality earned her a wealth of success. Along with helping the Lady Tigers climb into the state rankings, the mindset resulted in hundreds of strikeouts and countless victories on the mound.
On Saturday, however, Holman concluded her high school career with a defeat, but it did not matter.
Despite her best efforts, Holman’s Red team lost in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ inaugural Victory Bowl all-star softball game Friday, but after seasons of striving for wins, she was finally content with a loss.
“It was just such a different kind of atmosphere,” Holman said. “I was just trying to think about more of what was really going on besides the game.”
The all-star contest capped off a week full of faith-based activities for the recent Central Texas graduates selected to take part in the event. Devotionals, fellowships and community service projects highlighted the days leading up to the Victory Bowl, and the experience caused Holman to evaluate her approach to the game.
“This game had a different meaning to it,” the Abilene Christian freshman said, “and I was playing for a different purpose. Now, I feel like since I’ve played for that purpose, I’m driven to do it more often.
“I got to meet a bunch of new people, and it was just great to be a part of it.”
Much like during her time with the Lady Tigers, Holman’s dedication did not go unnoticed.
On the heels the Blue team’s 11-10 victory at Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Dee Dillon Field, Holman was presented with the Molly “Braveheart” Award. Named in honor of Molly Martinson, who passed away from brain cancer in 2012, the accolade is reserved for the athlete who “displays character, perseverance and enthusiasm for Jesus during bowl week.”
While it was admittedly a tremendous honor, it was also refreshing to be recognized for something other than her athletic abilities.
“It’s nice when people get to see another side of me,” Holman said. “I feel like people get to see the softball side of me a lot, and I just want people to know there are things outside of softball that I’m passionate about, including giving back to the community and helping others.”
She found time to show off her other skill as well, though.
As the Red team’s starting pitcher, Holman struck out three of the first five batters she faced, and in between her first two innings on the mound, she hit an RBI single to record the game’s first run before scoring a run in the fourth inning and finishing 2 for 3.
Holman, however, relishes in something other than statistics.
“It was a great honor to be a part of the very first FCA Victory Bowl softball game,” she said. “I think we set a good standard for what it should be like.”