• Jared Redding

Holiday’s dual-threat capabilities earn E10 honors

Jimmy Holiday looks downfield for an open target during a game against Brandon High School on August 17, 2018. Holiday was announced as the first member of the 2019 SES Mississippi Elite 10 on Monday. (Photo Courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA)

When Elite 10 discussions first came up among SES Mississippi staff members, Madison Central 2020 quarterback Jimmy Holiday was one of the first names shared. Rightfully so, simply based on what he’s done during his time as a Jaguar.

Having accumulated 2,975 yards of total offense and 34 touchdowns last season, Holiday is grateful that he is receiving recognition for his efforts.

“It means a lot," Holiday said. “I greatly appreciate that someone recognizes my abilities on the field. I’m just blessed.”

Holiday's wins and stats speak for themselves, but he states that one ability above all others has led to his success.

“The ability to be coachable,” Holiday said.

Coaches immediately took notice of Holiday when he was a freshman at Rosa Scott, Madison Central’s freshmen academy. A year later, he started off the first few games in 2017 in multiple areas, trying to find his fit in Anthony Hart’s ground-and-pound offense. In a September 22 game against rival Clinton, he found it at the quarterback position.

Holiday rejuvenated what was a sputtering offense and turned it into one where opposing defensive coordinators had to stay at the office longer to plan. He led the Jaguars to a third consecutive North Half trip while throwing for 969 yards, rushing for 710 yards, and accounting for 12 total scores. It would get better from there.

In his junior season, Holiday led the Jaguars to a 10-4 record while passing for 1,518 yards and running for 1,457 more. Those four losses were by an average of six points, including another heartbreaking North Half loss to eventual 6A champion Horn Lake.

As a senior, Holiday has the Jaguars once again in the 6A title conversation. This offseason, he’s looking to polish one of the most important parts of his game.

“I have to work on my arm this offseason,” Holiday said. “Everyone knows what I can do on the ground. I have to throw the ball better.”

He does has help in that area. Wide receiver Corey Rucker returns after getting 324 yards and four touchdowns last season, and Creek Robertson is also back for Holiday to target. Duke Arnold is also back to assist Holiday in the backfield after rushing for 921 yards as a sophomore last season.

Madison Central has suffered heartbreak after heartbreak since the turn of the millennium. They’ve fallen a game short of the state championship game nine times since 2000, including each of the last four seasons. Holiday is ready to exorcise those demons in his final season playing for the team that made him the player that he is today.

“I’m going to have to lead; that is the first thing," Holiday said. "Then we can do some things. [Winning state] is very possible. We have to work for it. If you work for it, you can achieve it.”

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