I’ve been around it my whole life. I kind of grew up on it. I’m hearing about football all the time.Lynnesy Holder
SPRINGFIELD — The seasons don’t change for Lynnesy Holder. Her calendar is permanently stuck on football.
“I like football,” she said without taking her eyes off the players practicing in front of her at Effingham County High School on Sept. 23.
Her affinity for the game comes naturally. She is the daughter of longtime Rebels head coach Buddy Holder and used to play it in her backyard with her older brothers, Robbie and Brady.
“I’ve been around it my whole life,” Lynnesy said. “I kind of grew up on it. I’m hearing about football all the time.”
Lynnesy isn’t just a football observer. She is actively involved in it. She records Rebels practices and games for her father and his assistants.
“I like helping him out,” she said.
Although assisting her father is important, Lynnesy admitted to a bigger reason for taking on the Rebels’ recording responsibilities.
“Well, it’s like this,” she said with wit as dry as California brush. “It was either this or cross country.”
Lynnesy’s parents told her a few weeks before the start of the current school year that they expected her to participate in two sports. Her mother, Effingham County art teacher Donna Holder, suggested that cross country be one of them.
“Picking football was the easiest decision I've ever made,” Lynnesy said. “I don’t like to run.”
Lynnesy said she received no pressure from her father to opt for football.
“I don’t think it really mattered to him but I think he liked it whenever I chose filming over cross country because I get to help him more,” she said. “He knows I will be here and do it like he wants it done. It’s easier for him to tell me what I’m doing wrong so I can fix my mistakes.”
Lynnesy said her father isn’t shy about giving her tennis instruction even though his hardcourt skills are questionable. She is an excellent player who boasts a powerful but erratic serve. She took up the game in the third grade and started competing in Junior Team Tennis three years later.
“He tries (to give me tips),” she said. “We will watch the U.S. Open together and he will tell me what I need to do to improve and what I need to do to be like (the professional players).”
When asked if she could beat her father in tennis, Lynnesy laughed heartily, leaving no doubt as to her opinion.
“He can’t play that well,” she said after she composed herself.
A freshman, Lynnesy hopes to play tennis for Effingham County in the spring.
“Hopefully, the season won’t get canceled,” she said, referring to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Like her father, Lynnesy is extremely competitive. Her will to win didn’t come exclusively from him, however.
“My mom is really competitive, too,” Lynnesy said. “She cheers for me at my matches.”
Lynnesy’s personality and mannerisms are more in tune with her father’s.
“We are alike, probably too much alike,” she said. “I am told that I look like him. I have a very serious facial expression.”
Lynnesy said she didn’t inherit any of her mother’s artistic ability. She said her only hobby is shopping.
“I can’t sing or draw,” she said sadly.
When recording, Lynnesy sits under a tent at the edge of the field and operates a small camera that is mounted atop a tall pole. She can rotate the camera via remote control, giving her father multiple angles of his team at work.
“It was easy to learn,” she said. “I say it’s kind of like playing a video game — the use of the controls.”
Lynnesy strives to always do a good job. Her father is effusive about the quality of her work.
“He tells me that I do a good job,” she said. “I’d rather not do it wrong.”
Lynnesy is happy that her contribution helps her father and his staff.
“Actually, I think the players get more out of the video than the coaches do,” she said. “The coaches can see what they need to improve on and the players can see how they are doing.”
Asked if she might consider giving up the camera in favor of running shoes next year, Lynnesy made her intention crystal clear.
“Oh no! Not at all,” she said. “I will probably be doing this until I’m a senior.”