Bishop Guertin’s Holt can play some offense, too

Staff photo by TOM KING Bishop Guertin's Ethan Holt is learning the ropes at running back in addition to his usual linebacker spot.

NASHUA – New Bishop Guertin High School football coach John Trisciani walked up to junior linebacker Ethan Holt at the start of camp with a surprising comment.

“I was talking to Coach and he said, ‘You’re going to play some offense this year,'” Holt said. “I was like, ‘You sure?’

And so, you know, we agreed we’d try it out.”

Trisciani just wants, he said, to get the most out of one of his best players. At 5-10, 165, he’s not the biggest player, but Guertin doesn’t have many behemoths anyway.

“It’s a unique situation,” Trisciani said. “We have to find a way to get the best 11 players on the field. And he’s one of the best 11 players. He’s right in the mix at running back, I think that’s where he could potentially help the team best on offense.”

“Brand new position for me, I’m learning as I go,” Holt said of bwcoming a running back. “But it’s similar to linebacker, one position lets you learn about the other.”

Holt was still stunned in a way. As a linebacker who led the Cardinals in tackles as a sophomore last year, he has usually been the chaser, not the chase-ee. “As one of my old coaches used to say, it’s better to be the hammer and not the nail,” Holt said. “Whether you’re on offense or defense, as long as you’re the one delivering the hit. … But I always say every year I play wherever the coach wants me. Team first.”

Thus he doesn’t lack confidence about his new undertaking.

“I’m fast, I’m willing to work hard,” he said. “I don’t care how big you are, I’ll run straight in your face and bowl you over if I have to.”

But don’t worry, Cardinal fans. Holt will still be an active linebacker on defense.

“Evaluating him from last year, Ethan Holt was the best defensive player,” Trisciani said. “He’s the best leader that we have, the hardest working kid, and does everything the right way all the time. Somebody we can build the program around. He’s one of those guys.”

Holt, who is from Dracut, Mass., has been playing football since the third grade.

“I was bouncing in between sports when I was younger, trying to find what I like and don’t like,” Holt said. “And I saw the big guys under the lights on Sunday nights (in the NFL). I was like, ‘Wow, that’d be cool, wonder if I could do that.’ And I was, ‘You can’. And I did, and never looked back.”

Holt ironically came to Guertin as a two-way lineman, and then was moved to linebacker.

“It’s a great position,” Holt said. “The farther you move back on defense, the more you get to see the rest of the game unfold. Less contact every play, which isn’t necessarily as fun, but you there’s more learning involved. You get to be immersed in the game a lot more and help your teammates be more immersed in the game. It’s a leadership position.”

Trisciani likes Holt’s attitude about doing whatever it takes for the Cardinals to be successful.

“Not every kid is like that,” he said. “He certainly is.”

Holt, who eventually would like to play football in college while taking a biology/science type major, looks at things very matter-of-fact.

“Football is very scientific,” Holt said. “Everything that happens, it happens for a reason. … You have to see how it all fits. It’s a puzzle.”

As much as Holt is into the mental aspect of the game, he’s not consumed with it.

“You can’t really think about it year-by-year, you have to think about it day-by-day, game-by-game, practice-by-practice, snap-by-snap,” he said. “That’s how the game of football comes at you.”

So watch out, opponents. Ethan Holt is coming at you now from two different directions.