Holmes stays busy before Holy Family career

Ryan Holmes hopes to contribute any way he can as a freshman at Holy Family University. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Ryan Holmes is getting plenty of exercise this summer.

Holmes, a recent graduate of Penn Charter High School, is spending his summer down the shore. But he’s not just soaking up the sun or spending his time on the Tramcar. Holmes is putting in the work.

A lot of the time, he’s working as a busboy at the Wharf. And when he’s not working, he’s running up and down the courts on Delaware Avenue, playing against the best North Wildwood has to offer.

“The job is great, I like it because it’s always busy and I’m always running,” said Holmes, a Torresdale native. “People love it there because it’s good food, good music and a great view, so we’re always busy and that’s good. And you are always moving when it’s busy.

“The basketball is really good down here. The courts are really nice, they redid them with glass backboards and all. And Jerry Weiss is down here, too, so he plays there, too. We usually play against each other, but we’re going to be teammates, so it helps having him here. We’re getting a lot of practice in.”

Weiss, a 2019 graduate of Archbishop Ryan, will join Holmes next year at Holy Family University, where they’ll be teammates.

Holmes did everything you could imagine at Penn Charter.

He was one of the top basketball players in the Inter-Ac last year. He also spent three years on the Quakers soccer team before switching to football, where he was the punter and part time wide receiver for the team. He also competed on the track team, where he was a sprinter and a jumper.

He had options for different sports, but in the end, he’s a basketball player and he’s looking forward to continuing that at Holy Family.

“Holy Family was perfect because I love the school, it’s right near my house and I really wanted to stay close to home,” Holmes said. “My sister has two kids, Lucy and Naomi, they’re 2, and I really like spending time with them, so staying close worked out.

“I love the school, I would go there all the time with my dad. We’d go to a lot of soccer games, my brother (Shane) played there (last year) and me and my dad would go to a lot of basketball games there to watch.”

He’s happy because he’s familiar with the surroundings. But he couldn’t be happier about the program he’s joining.

Last year was the first year the Tigers were under head coach Ryan Haigh, a Father Judge grad. They were competitive, finishing 9-18 overall, 5-12 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. The Tigers have added some talent around last year’s team, and Holmes is optimistic that means good things for the Tigers.

“They had some older guys who aren’t there anymore, but they also have a lot of guys coming back,” Holmes said. “They have Kharon Randolph, I know him. He played at Haverford School, he’s very good. They have a lot of talent.

“I love what Coach Haigh has done with the team. I met with a lot of the guys, and they love playing for him. He’s a younger coach, and he does a great job coaching and relating to the players. I think I’ll love playing for him. I did a camp there and all of his guys loved him.”

Haigh should love his new recruit.

During his days at Penn Charter, Holmes was one of the biggest guys on the team, so he spent most of the time playing the post. But his ideal position is at guard. That’s what he played in AAU, and it’s where he’s most comfortable.

But just as he did in high school, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get minutes and help the team.

“I was a scorer in high school, but my goal at Holy Family is to make the players around me get better,” Holmes said. “I’ll do whatever is needed, but I think I’m going to be mostly a guard, either point or shooting. I’ll play anywhere.

“This year, I’ll be thankful for any minutes I get, if I get any. I’ll come in ready, I feel like I was in the best shape of my life when I was practicing for track. I just want to play, but I’ll do whatever I can. As long as we’re playing well and doing whatever we can to help the team, that’s all you can ask for.”

Holmes expects a lot out of his basketball career.

He also expects a lot out of his academic career.

A good student, Holmes is planning on majoring in nursing. He knows it will be challenging while playing basketball, but he’s willing to put in the work.

“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, but during the whole coronavirus, my friend’s mom is a nurse and she has been working so hard to help people, so that was an inspiration,” Holmes said. “She got coronavirus, and it was bad, but she’s back working now. It was an inspiration.

“My sister (Erin Gil) has two kids, but she’s going to Holy Family to become a nurse. She graduated from Temple, but she’s going back in an accelerated program. She has two kids and is doing it, so I think I can do it. It’ll be hard, but I’m going to try it out.”