BATAVIA – Evan Holden has found that the discipline he learned playing football is transferable.
As a result, the Batavia High School senior is a standout not only on the state champion Bulldog football team, but in the classroom and in his service to others.
Holden, 18, has earned a long list of athletic and academic honors all while serving in a variety of charitable and community service activities.
“The most valuable thing I got out of football is a work ethic,” Holden said. “If you don’t put the work in you won’t get the results. I can carry that through life.”
His latest honor was being selected as a recipient of the Chicago Bears Community Champion Award, which recognizes community involvement along with achievement in the classroom and on the playing field.
The honor comes with a $4,000 college tuition scholarship from the National Football Foundation and earned Holden a visit to Halas Hall for an awards ceremony with Bears broadcast announcer Jeff Joniak.
What may be the most impressive of Holden’s achievements is his community service work.
Holden is active in the Batavia United Methodist Church and has been a repeat player in the church’s participation in the Appalachian Service Project.
With fellow church members, Holden has spent time in communities in Tennessee and West Virginia, working to repair the homes of people in need.
Holden labored to rip out and replace rotting insulation, tear up dilapidated flooring and install new support posts to shore up homes that were sinking into the ground.
“The big thing is connecting with the homeowners,” Holden said. “They always had a smile and showed me that I have it all.”
Holden will be joining his church team on another visit to Appalachia this summer.
“It’s awesome. There’s a sense of accomplishment and I’ve gained a new perspective on life,” Holden said.
Holden also has rendered service closer to home, volunteering at the Marklund home for people with disabilities, serving with the CHIP IN Batavia program helping people with temporary housing, as well as working on the Batavia Christmas Toy Drive and the Batavia Youth Football Camp.
In the classroom, Holden is carrying a 4.21 GPA and earned a 34 on his ACT. He is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, National Math Honor Society and the National Science Honor Society.
During the 2018 Bulldog state championship football season, Holden played left tackle on the offensive line, served as team captain and was named All-Conference and Academic All-State.
“Evan has an unquenchable thirst not only to improve himself, but to inspire those around him to be their best,” BHS Assistant Offensive Line Coach Alvin Cole said.
In addition to playing football, Holden participated on the BHS boys track team during his freshman through junior years in school.
Now, Holden is contemplating a bright future.
He wants to pursue a career as a mechanical engineer and is considering enrollment at either Iowa State University or the University of Minnesota. Both schools have offered academic scholarships.