Rams wide receiver dealing with lows on, off field
By R.B. Fallstrom, Associated Press
November 2, 2006
ST. LOUIS — It’s been a season of highs and lows on the field for St. Louis Rams wide receiver Torry Holt, who has three 100-yard games and three others under 50.
On Thursday, Holt was dealing with a low off the field. His high school, Eastern Guilford, N.C., burned to the ground the previous day.
"It’s pretty tragic," Holt said. "A lot of devastation right now in that community. To see that happen, it definitely keeps you humble."
Holt shot a receivers skills DVD this summer at the high school and toured the school’s redone locker room. The fire, which officials blamed on a chemistry lab accident, also brought back memories of his not-so-diligent class work.
Athletic talent was enough for Holt, a star at North Carolina State, a first-round pick in 1999 and one of the NFL’s top wide receivers. During a recent speech at the school he encouraged students to get the most out of their education.
"I barely went to class and when I did go I was fooling around," Holt said. "I don’t know how good I could have been as far as a student, as far as books, grades, smarts. I probably could have been outstanding if I applied it the same way as I did to sports.
"So I tried to relate that to them."
Holt is tied for third in the NFL with 42 receptions and tied for the NFC scoring lead with 42 points.
He caught eight passes for 120 yards in Game 3 against the Cardinals for his franchise-high 40th 100-yard game, followed up with 102 yards receiving the next week against the Lions, and in Game 6 he had a season-best 154 yards on eight receptions with three touchdowns against the Seahawks.
Holt had only 30 yards receiving, though, in Game 2 at San Francisco, 40 at Green Bay in Game 5, and was held to 48 yards on five catches last week at San Diego.
"I’m going to have weeks like that," Holt said. "I don’t think a lot of teams are going to allow me to get off three or four straight weeks. I know I wouldn’t."
Holt said some opponents make it a point to take him out of the offense, and expects extra attention this week from the Chiefs’ Ty Law and Patrick Surtain.
At times, Holt said he could run better routes.
"I don’t get open, I don’t make the plays, and I’ve had that happen to me before, and it happened last week," Holt said.
Holt said the Chargers’ defense deserves some credit for holding him down. But he pointed out that the Rams’ other two main receivers took advantage, with Isaac Bruce catching five passes for 105 yards and Kevin Curtis adding seven catches for 79 yards.
"If they focus more attention on me, that means somebody else is going to get off," Holt said. "Isaac had a good game and Curtis had a good game, and we need to get more games out of him like that to create things for myself and Isaac."
Holt is the fastest player to 10,000 receiving yards in NFL history, needing 116 games, and his average of 86 yards per game is the best ever.
He’s been chasing Bruce, who began his career five years earlier and cracked the top 10 in receptions and yards last week. Bruce has 845 catches for 12,771 yards, and Holt has 661 for 10,061.
"I know he’s going to make the plays," Holt said. "The challenge is for you to make your plays and live up to the standard he’s set."
Re: Rams wide receiver dealing with lows on, off field
Holt Dealing With High School Heartbreak
Thursday, November 2, 2006
By Nick Wagoner
Torry Holt has never been much of a chemistry buff. He spent his high school days at Eastern Guilford High in Gibsonville, N.C., concerning himself mostly with sports and other academic pursuits.
Many other members of the Holt family attended the same school and owned many of the records and championships in the school’s trophy case. So, it came as a shock to Holt on Wednesday night when he learned that his alma mater had burned to the ground after an explosion in a second-floor chemistry lab.
“There are a lot of memories in that school,” Holt said. “A lot of things were accomplished there, not only for myself, but for a lot of my friends in the community, a lot of the kids in the Greensboro area that were bused there to go to school, my family, my uncles and aunts, and my sister. A lot of things were burned away as the school went down.
“I’ve been thinking about it ever since last night and it carried over to today, so I’m still thinking about it.”
Holt will probably be thinking about if for a long time after losing the place where his football career first began to blossom. In fact, the school had special meaning for all of Holt’s family. His sister was the first black captain cheerleader at the school, his aunt held numerous records there, and his brother Terrence held just about every important basketball record for the school.
Holt found out about the fire when his sister called him late Wednesday night and had him go to a news website to read about the incident. Soon after he talked to other members of his family and spoke with his former high school coach Thursday morning.
Holt’s cousin, Brittany, is currently enrolled there and unsure of the school’s future. According to news reports, the fire started after an explosion in a chemistry room. The school did not have a sprinkler system built in when it was opened in 1974. Police and fire officials said had there been a sprinkler system, the fire would have never gotten out of hand.
For now, the school and the community are left searching for answers.
“It’s pretty tragic,” Holt said. “My cousin Brittany doesn’t know where she’s going to go to school and a lot of the seniors that were looking to graduate don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s a lot of devastation right now in that community.”
Just this summer, Holt was in town visiting his alma mater to shoot his receiving skills DVD. Holt had quietly donated some funds to help make some improvements to the football facilities including a press box and reported that on his visit everything seemed to be in order.
“I talked to the principal there, Ms. Cook, and she said the students were coming around and they were getting ready for testing, so everyone was in pretty good spirits,” Holt said. “To see that happen definitely keeps you humble.”
Holt said he planned to call down again Thursday night to get more details and find out if there was anything he could do to help.
FISHER INJURES ANKLE: With only linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa on the injury report because of his broken hand, it seemed the Rams would be almost completely healthy heading into Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.
But, near the end of Thursday’s practice, cornerback Travis Fisher rolled his left ankle and is now listed as probable for this week’s game.
“Travis Fisher got rolled up on the last period,” coach Scott Linehan said. “It was just two guys got tangled up. So he’s going to have his ankle evaluated, and probably even have it x-rayed, so I’ll give you an update as soon as I hear something. He wasn’t able to finish. We’ll see if it’s serious at all. I don’t really have anything else to tell you other than that.”
PISA IMPROVING: Tinoisamoa’s status for Sunday remains up in the air, but he continues to make progress, according to Linehan.
“He’s got the cast on,” Linehan said. “He’s got a lot of tape on that, and things on that left arm, so it’s not as comfortable. I think he was able to work through it and practice. (He) practiced more than he had (and) got in on some more of the team periods. We’ll see even tomorrow how much we would play him, and if there are any situations that we might limit him. It’s a good start, because now he’s out there and he’s got the cast on, got the pads on. I think he’s getting a little more comfortable with it.”
Tinoisamoa is still listed as questionable on this week’s injury report.
RETURN RE-DO: Running back Tony Fisher took over the kick return job last week against San Diego and it appears he will continue in that role this week against Kansas City.
Fisher took most of the repetitions with the return unit again Thursday and Linehan said the special teams need to find some continuity to help make the return unit better.
“I think we want to try and stay with something here as we try to just improve the entire team,” Linehan said. “We’ve worked very hard at some of the technical things we need to improve on as a return unit. Hopefully that will help us improve in that area.”
Re: Rams wide receiver dealing with lows on, off field
I find it hard to believe that the school didn't have sprinkler system. They upgraded the gym but no funds for a sprinkler system ??
I can see Holt donating some funds for his old school.