Most high-school athlete begin their careers with lofty goals, but very few of those individuals ever leave a lasting mark.
Four years ago, Sydney Holden joined the Wheelersburg Lady Pirate basketball program with similar expectations as her fellow peers. However, Holden has not only lived up to those expectations, she has surpassed them.
And now, Holden has accomplished a milestone that very few high-school basketball players — boys or girls — have the opportunity to experience. She scored her 1,000th-career point in a Dec. 17 contest against the Portsmouth West Senators.
Holden scored 16 points as the Pirates beat the Senators 67-25.
“Ever since my freshman year, I knew I had some big shoes to fill,” Holden said. “It’s always been my goal to join the 1,000-point club. Now that I’ve reached that goal, it’s taken a lot off my shoulders. It’s just a big relief to be in the 1,000-point club because it’s always been one of my biggest goals. It’s just an awesome feeling.”
While Holden has received the accolades, she credits her teammates for helping her sustain her success.
“It’s an awesome feeling to have my team behind my back,” Holden said. “Without my team, I wouldn’t have made it to 1,000 points. It’s just an awesome feeling.”
Before the game against West, the Wheelersburg student body was promoting the contest, drawing a larger than normal crowd for a routine conference game.
“My entire school knew about it and I was the only one that really didn’t have a clue what was going on, but they were telling everyone to be at the West game, that there was a surprise coming,” Holden said. “It wasn’t the biggest game of the year and that’s why I was confused.”
However, as the game was unfolding, Holden realized it wasn’t just an ordinary game.
“I kind of figured out as the game was happening because people starting bringing out posters and everybody had toilet paper,” Holden said. “When it happened, everybody in the cheer block threw up toilet paper and started holding up signs that said 1,000 on it. It was just an amazing feeling because my mom was crying and my dad, it was just an emotional day for everybody.”
Once she reached the milestone, Wheelersburg announced several of Holden’s accolades as her teammates and the crowd celebrated the achievement. After the game, Holden enjoyed pizza and a congratulatory cake with her teammates. All of the festivities was orchestrated by Pirates head coach Dusty Spradlin.
“Dusty had all of that together for me and I appreciate it so much,” Holden said. “I don’t know what I would do without him honestly.”
While Holden achieved a personal goal, she acknowledged the Pirates still have lofty expectations, beginning with an SOC title.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.