• John Macon Gillespie

The S(Khi) is the Limit for Holiday at New Position

Pictured: #23 Cody Coggins - #13 Khi Holiday | Photo courtesy of Angela Coggins

Since rejoining the MHSAA last fall the Tupelo Christian Prep football program has taken a giant step forward. Much of that ascension can be credited to the Holiday family. Of course the patriarch, Shaune, in his seventh season as the head coach, while his son Khi is really beginning to make his own mark on the program.

Coming off their first ever playoff appearance in school history in 2017, the Eagles were in position to make an even longer run in 2018 with a deeper roster. But there was just one problem, they needed to replace Bryce Hawkins at quarterback. Enter Khi, a rising sophomore and converted receiver/defensive back.

“I really like the quarterback spot. I have always wanted to play it since I was a kid,” Khi told SES Mississippi. “I finally got to so I put in the work to help my team.”

“I wouldn’t be able to do it without my receivers and lineman. I also spend a lot of time watching film with Coach (Dennis)Robbins. I like to watch Lamar Jackson and Cam Newton because they can throw and also run.”

Keep in mind, as a freshman last season Khi led the team with four interceptions and finished third in catches(18), receiving yards(213) and TD catches(2). So his athleticism was never in question, but coming into the season it could still have been considered a risk to move one of your best skill players to an unknown position. And on top of that, could he throw?

So far Holiday has answered all questions at the new QB1 for TCPS. Through six games he’s blistering defenses to the tune of 1,150 yards and 16 touchdowns through the air, to go with another 442 yards and three scores on the ground.

Game in and game out the sophomore has steadied and led his team from a position that now allows him to do just that. After carrying the ball just once, for a loss of four yards, in 2017, Holiday now routinely uses his legs to hurt opponents. Against Biggersville he went over the 100-yard mark. Additionally, he’s gone over 200 yards through the air in two games, while having tossed three TDs or more in four games so far this season.

His big play ability has also helped take a lid off the offense’s ability to score points. He averages nearly 17 yards per completion and nearly eight yards per rush. That has led to the Eagles going over 40 points in four games this season, and over 50 points in two of those contests.

“We play game-by-game. We try to focus more on what we need to do as a team, and that’s to keep practicing hard and focusing on the game we love,” Khi explained.

“Our coaches keep us focused on the next game, because that is our biggest game.”

The next game up is H.W. Byers, where TCPS will seek to earn their fifth win of the season. Really, it’s impressive that the program is now in a position to put together successful season after successful season. And now with foes like Okolona and Smithville still left on the schedule, the Eagles expect to flip their 2-1 division start into a regular season division title. That’s just a sign of how the program has taken a step forward. Khi has his own idea of how they’ve done so.

“We have had some lineman step up and play big roles. And we have been in the weight room getting bigger and better every day,” He stated.

#TCPS #JohnLukeMcCord

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