Shane Holmes was named the the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 16.
He only went to Bryn Mawr, but it was almost like Shane Holmes went around the world.
Holmes, a 2016 graduate of Father Judge High School, played for the Harcum College soccer team during his first two seasons in college, and during his stint he played with people from all over the world.
Well, actually, not all over the world. He played with people from Europe, South America and Africa. But he was the only U.S.-born player on the squad.
“It was great, I was playing at a juco Division I level, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience because I was the only American,” he said. “There were players from France, England, Spain, Serbia, Ghana, all over the world. My roommate was from England. It was great because you get to learn so many things and see how players from all over the world have different perspectives on how the game should be played. It was pretty cool.
“When I first got there, it was a little weird because I was used to playing with guys I knew, and I didn’t know anyone. But it only took about a week or so to become a family. That’s when we started playing better.”
By going to Harcum, Holmes got to see the world. And while he loved it, he realized it was time to come home, so the Torresdale native decided to go to Holy Family.
“I love everything about Holy Family, it really is a family,” Holmes said. “My cousin (Mark Tobin) went to La Salle University and he decided to transfer in, too. But it’s not just him. The whole team is mostly guys from the Catholic League. I’ve known the coaches for years. And we also have good players from the city, the suburbs and even outside the state. We have a really good team, but it’s all the same type of guys who love soccer and like being around each other.”
Holmes has been the perfect fit.
The sturdy defender was already named the the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 16.
Holmes has started every game thus far, and he’s been one of the reasons the Tigers are 4–1 in CACC play. Overall, they’re 4–5, but that’s because they loaded up on a tough nonleague schedule to prepare for the season.
“We’re playing really well, so it’s exciting because I know we really wanted to get the program back to being very good,” Holmes said. “It was good, they were good last year, but we felt we could be better. And it’s a team effort.”
Holmes has been a rock on the defensive end, and he’s been a huge help to his cousin, who was recently named to the CACC honor roll for his play in net.
Bringing home awards was a nice honor, but Holmes doesn’t look at it as an individual award.
“There’s no way I win that because on defense, it’s a team effort,” Holmes said. “This was a team award. And it’s good because we’re playing really well as a team. I’m glad we were honored for it because we’re coming along.”
Holmes is one of many local stars who are performing at a high level for the Tigers. Along with Tobin, other players include Judge grads Mark Pohl, Sean McCormick, Davis Habilaj and John Lodise, Ryan grad Georg Montag, Will Stackhouse, Joe and Ryan Stock and Christian Shoemaker, and Northeast grads Charles Afful, Mohamed Elgayar and Gilbert Anokye.
The team also has players from Roman Catholic, Archbishop Wood and Holy Ghost Prep.
“I think it helps that we have so many guys who played against each other, because even though we wanted to beat each other all the time, we all had respect for each other and knew each other before we got here,” Holmes said. “And I think playing for Holy Family means a lot to us. We play for each other and we play for the team.
“It starts with the coaches, but it’s a family. Family means a lot to me, and I don’t know many people who get to play college soccer with their cousin. But it’s even more than that. It’s a bunch of us playing soccer with our friends and representing a school we love. It’s the perfect situation.”
It’s even better for Holmes because it means he’s close to home.
Holy Family checked off all the boxes Holmes was looking for when picking a college, but the chance to play in front of his family was a huge one. Especially his two newest fans.
“I had offers to go away a few hours away and they were good situations, but Holy Family was a great situation,” Holmes said. “I’m really close with my family, and I wanted to stay close to home, especially because my sister just had twins. My nieces (Naomi and Lucy) were born in June. They’re so awesome. It’s great having them. Plus, my sister lives down the street from us, so I get to see them all the time.”
Hopefully, by the time they’re 5 months old, Naomi and Lucy will be cheering for a Holy Family team that won a CACC championship.
“We still have a long way to go, but we’re on the right track,” said Holmes, who is majoring in marketing. “It’s a tough league, but we’re doing pretty good. We just have to keep it up and get into the playoffs. We have a lot of players who could play anywhere. They’re at Holy Family because they want to be here. We want to win here.”