Behind the scenes
You never know when your curiosity will turn into an opportunity.
For former Sacred Heart athlete, Sam Hollier, the chance to turn his curiosity into a job opportunity will come to fruition when he reports to McNeese State University in the fall.
Because of his inquisitiveness, Hollier will become one of a long list of Ville Plattians to serve the Cowboy athletic program in a supportive role, as he takes a job as a manager for the football team. Hollier joins a staff led by Ville Platte native and Bulldog alumnus Matt Saucier, who took over the title of Head Equipment two years ago.
Hollier’s chance to become part of Cowboy athletics came in an auspicious way.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, Saucier, who is related to Hollier, happened to be visiting Hollier’s family. As the conversation unfolded during the visit, Saucier began talking about his job and what happens behind the scenes.
As Saucier continued to explain his job, Hollier became more and more intrigued.
“Matt and I were talking about his job and I kept thinking to myself that it must be really cool to do that type of job,” stated Hollier. “I always wondered what it would be like to be behind the scenes. I mean its a major college and just to see how they operate to get the equipment to the players and to the games was really interesting to me.”
Before Saucier left he gave Hollier’s mom, Leah, his card and said that there was a student-manager position coming available in the fall.
“Before I took off, I told Sam that he could go work for Wal-Mart or Home Depot or he could come work with me,” Saucier said with a deep laugh.
Hollier did not hesitate, he quickly jumped on the latter job opportunity.
“For me it was a no-brainer,” commeted Hollier. “It is a chance at a great experience. I would do it even if they didn’t pay me for it. Being able to travel with the team and be around the game of football some more is something I couldn’t pass up.”
Fortunately for Hollier, the dream job does come with pay. Hollier will be on a scholarship service grant.
That means that whatever money he makes, Hollier can do one of three things. He can apply his earnings to his college expenses, he can get the money in the form of a check or he can split the money between school and a paycheck.
One thing that Hollier has to his advantage is that he is a sports guy. Since Hollier was little, the former Trojan athlete has played baseball, basketball and football.
Hollier began his football career as a Flea in the annual Flea-Fly battle sponsored by the Lions Club. A little later, Hollier also entered the baseball diamond, playing in the machine pitch league and the basketball arena as an EPYB participant.
But out of all the sports, Hollier was attracted to football the most, especially because of the atmosphere on Friday nights. His gridiron career continued in fifth grade and finished this past season as a senior member of the Trojans.
“I started to drift away from baseball as I got older because it was not as fast paced as football or basketball,” said Hollier. “Don’t get me wrong, I loved basketball. When we played EPYB it gave us a chance to form a bond with the people we played with and against.”
Unfortunately Hollier ran into some serious injuries during his high school football career that resulted in surgeries on the meniscus in both knees. By the time Hollier had entered his senior season, the cartilage in his right knee was down to 12 percent.
Because of those injuries, doctors told Hollier that playing his usual position of cornerback would be impossible. Hollier was even told that he should never squat again in his life.
But, being the competitor he is, Hollier went to head coach Josh Harper and told him that he wanted to contribute to the team in any way he can. So, Hollier decided he was going to become the Trojan place kicker.
Taking his new role very serious, Hollier found kicking camps to go to so that he could hone his new skill to the fullest.
“I hadn’t really kicked before,” stated Hollier. “I found a camp with St. Louis High School head coach Pat Neck. Before I went to his camp I could barely kick it 30 yards. After I finished the camp, I kicked a 45-yard field goal the next day. People do not realize what it takes to be a place kicker.”
Hollier’s effort and work ethic paid off as he was named to the All-Parish second team this past season.
Hollier’s inquisitive and adventurous nature really showed through when asked what his major would be once he entered McNeese.
“I want to become an electrical engineer and use it as a way to see the world,” said Hollier. “I want to be that guy that gets that crazy job offer in a random country. The farther away and the more exotic the better. With the money I make, I want to eventually start an electronics company.”
Got to love a guy who knows what he wants.