Student athlete of the week: Cray Holley

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 12:59 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - ”You know, every successful high school program in the country has kids like Cray Holley in it.”

That’s some high praise. But what exactly does it mean?

“He does everything we ask him to do. He hasn’t missed a workout, doesn’t miss practice, plays hurt if he has to, help you fill-up the water, starts on both sides of the ball. On the field, off the field, he’s where he’s supposed to be, when he’s supposed to be there, doing the right things. "

Sounds like a lot of work. But if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life and Cray’s love started 4 years ago.

“Probably 9th grade, middle school wasn’t real fun for me, but 9th grade I started popping some people and that’s what got me into it you know.”

Now, Cray would be the first to tell you he’s not the best player on the team. But what makes him the best Chipley Tiger is just that... he’s the BEST Chipley Tiger.

“Being a Tiger is just the greatest thing. I mean we win a lot of games and sometimes we lose but we lose as a team.”

“He bleeds Blue and Gold and he’s going to bring it every play and he’s going to play till he’s exhausted. He doesn’t come off the field very much, but he’s going to play hard every play.”

And Cray puts so much emotion and care into each moment because he knows they are fleeting.

“I know I’m not the best athlete of all, you know, I play as hard as I can on the football field but I know, one day, my football career is going to end. And I just work really hard in the classroom because I want to be as great of a person as I can and I want to be able to raise a family one day and have a great job and I feel like schools going to get me to that one day.”

But before he takes off to conquer the business world at Chipola, Cray’s looking to finish his time on the gridiron the same way he started it... fully committed.

“Just a lot of team and working together as family. I feel like if we work together out here, I work together with my family one day. You just play hard and have a lot of memories you know, just play as hard as you can for 4 quarters, you know.”

On the season, Cray has 40 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 receiving touchdown, that’s not a stat line of someone who plays soft.