FAYETTEVILLE -- Lauren Holmes of Fayetteville won two individual titles and was part of three state championships on her way to earning the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's All-Arkansas Preps female athlete of the year.
Lauren Holmes, a senior at Fayetteville High School, is the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Wednesday, May 17, 2017.
Holmes was a part of nine team and individual Class 7A championships, while working two jobs and maintaining a 3.9 grade-point average in advanced placement courses. At Fayetteville, she helped the Lady Bulldogs win Class 7A titles in basketball and track and field and another in volleyball.
Holmes at a glance
SPORTS Volleyball, basketball, track and field
NOTEWORTHY Led Fayetteville’s volleyball, basketball and track and field teams to Class 7A state championships. … Scored 13 points and made 3 three-pointers in Fayetteville’s Class 7A girls’ state basketball championship victory over North Little Rock. … Was the Class 7A state champion in the long jump. … Will attend the University of North Texas on a basketball scholarship.
"I've been on great teams," said Holmes, a 5-foot-8 North Texas basketball signee. "I've never known not winning or not trying hard.
"All of these people are like, look at all your state rings, it's crazy, but it's not crazy to me. It's part of all the hard work."
Four individual titles were in track and field, her least favorite sport growing up.
Holmes hated the non-blue ribbons.
"She wanted to throw second place [ribbons] and third place [ribbons] in the trash, even if she finished in the top three in five events," said Holmes' mother, Alicia McDaniel. "She would say those just meant you're not a winner.
"She already had that drive."
McDaniel said the "stats" were stacked against her as a single, teenage mom when she got pregnant her senior year at Fayetteville. McDaniel finished school, started working and began tossing 1-year-old Lauren miniature beach balls to catch. A year later, Holmes was hitting off a tee.
"She was so driven, even then," McDaniel said. "She was always my butterfly and I told her to spread her wings and fly, and she's excelled further than I ever imagined."
McDaniel pushed sports, but to have discipline above all else. She told her daughter that she wouldn't allow an athletic scholarship if Holmes' GPA wasn't high enough to earn an academic scholarship. Holmes' "drive" made everything look easy.
"My mom is always pushing academics over athletics," Holmes said. "Academics will always be there. Sports won't be."
Fayetteville assistant athletic director Liz Caudle is one of Holmes' former coaches. Holmes, who has coached Caudle's daughter on a kindergarten basketball team, has gotten close with the Caudle family and is often seen with the family in pictures on social media.
"She is an awesome role model for multi-sport athletes in our district," Caudle said. "You can win championships in several different sports and get a scholarship and be a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish National Honor Society. Everything."
Everything, Everything is the last book Holmes said she has read. She somehow finds time for reading between studies, two jobs and working out. She seems to find the time to train, even hitting the gym during a recent cruise with the Caudles.
Holmes will report to the North Texas campus after representing the West at the Arkansas High School Coaches All-Star basketball game Thursday.
"Most of the girls are at college already, so taking a week off isn't good for you," Holmes said. "I don't want to just sit around and eat a bunch of food and not do anything."
Sports on 06/18/2017
Print Headline: Holmes maintains constant drive