Kallum Holdsworth has some mad skills, but whether it’s on the soccer pitch or the basketball court, it’s his unmatched work ethic that sets him apart from others.
Over his last four years at Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School, Holdsworth was a key player for the Flames in football, ultimate frisbee, basketball, and soccer.
During his Grade 11 year, Holdsworth went on an epic run to help make school history on the soccer pitch.
After finishing 1-3-1 in the regular season, the Flames entered the playoffs as the third-ranked team in the Catholic division.
Holdsworth netted three consecutive game-winning goals in four games, including the only goal in the Georgian Bay Secondary School Association (GBSSA) championship game, snapping a 13-year championship drought for the school’s soccer team.
“That was pretty crazy, I can’t lie. When playoffs hit, we became a different breed,” the striker said.
“It was unreal. I will always remember that moment,” he recalled. “It was like a dream come true to get the game-winning goal and celebrate with guys who are like family to me.”
In 12 combined regular season, tournament and playoff games, Holdsworth buried nearly 30 goals and added nine assists.
Holdsworth says he expected to be a key contributor.
“I knew I had to rise up and be the guy to lead our team, that’s been my goal playing soccer my whole life,” he said.
In his Grade 12-year, Holdsworth earned Patrick Fogarty’s senior boys’ soccer leadership award for his efforts and, especially, his ability to come up clutch in big moments.
“When it came down to the wire in those close games, I just dug down deep and pushed harder than anyone one else I played on the field. I find ways to make things happen,” he said.
Holdsworth’s leadership and work ethic in soccer has translated to the basketball court where he has spent the past four years playing at small forward for the Flames.
Senior boys’ basketball coach Brad MacNeil says Holdsworth has been a model student that teammates and even opponents can pattern their attitude, work ethic, and play after.
“I got so many compliments over the years from not just teammates and parents, but opponents, opposing coaches, referees … anybody who was in the gym would speak so glowingly about how he played the game in such a hard-fought way, all while being very respectful,” MacNeil said.
Holdsworth was recognized this year with the Josh McParland award, an honour that is given to a student-athlete who participated in basketball for all four years of their school career while going beyond the sport to give back to the school community by providing valuable qualities such as leadership, teamwork and doing well in the classroom.
MacNeil says Holdsworth was deserving of the award for demonstrating consistent effort in everything he did at Fogarty.
“He works hard for everything he gets, he sets a great example for the other players on the team, and, going forward, I think the athletic experience he’s had at Patrick Fogarty is going to lead to so many more successes beyond school and sports, and into the larger scope of life,” he said.
This past season, Holdsworth and his basketball team compiled a 5-1 regular-season record, finishing second in the senior boys’ Catholic School Athletics of Simcoe County standings.
However, the Flames fell short in the first round of the playoffs, leaving the 17-year-old feeling like he let his team down.
He and his teammates had high hopes of excelling at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) tournament.
“I’ve never been the most talented basketball player, because my main sport is soccer, but I always left everything I had on the court for my team. It sucked that it wasn’t enough,” Holdsworth explained.
Holdsworth said from the moment the final buzzer sounded at the end of his Grade 12 basketball season - in disappointing fashion - he knew he would be back for Grade 12 B.
“I had the goal of getting to OFSAA with our soccer team, and I’m going to get this goal with the basketball team done too,” he said. “We have unfinished business.”
Making a high school return even more appealing for Holdsworth, is the players coming up from the school’s junior team are coming off back-to-back GBSSA championships.
If secondary school sports are cancelled this fall due to the pandemic, Holdsworth will take a year off to train for a college or university opportunity where he is hoping to earn a scholarship with his soccer skills