Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Player Profile - Hollie "Hamm" Rhodes - Retired

First she was tall.  Then she wasn't.  By fifth grade in school, Hollie was 5 feet tall, the tallest girl in class.  Then she stopped growing.  The rest of the kids didn't stop growing.  Soon everyone was taller than she. 

Being vertically challenged might be considered a weakness but Hollie's philosophy in life is "find your strength and go for that."  When she played basketball she learned to position herself to draw fouls as taller opponents ran over her back.  She was great at fighting for rebounds and very strong from the three-point line.  In volleyball, she was a great server and digger in the back line.  In track and field, she did the discus, javelin, and shot-put, events where height isn't an issue. 

She has always been stocky -  her football playing weight was about 230 pounds. But she is strong; in working out with weights, she could lift more than many of the guys.  And she has always been in excellent physical condition.  Her love of sports kept her active and in shape.  While playing for the Outlaws, she also participated on two recreation league softball teams.

 Football was never an option until Hollie discovered the Austin Rage.  She played for them until the team folded and then she moved to the Outlaws with several other Rage players.  She compliments Lily and the Outlaws for welcoming Rage players on board even though they may have been rivals before the Rage folded.

Hollie's physical strength and competitive spirit made her a natural for the defensive line where she lined up nose-to-nose with the offensive center.  Her low center of gravity made her a serious challenge for anyone trying to block her.  (I once tried to persuade Outlaw's center KJ to help me create a funny photo sequence with Hollie.  I wanted diminutive Hollie to get low and follow the ball through KJ's legs as KJ passed it back to the quarterback.  It never happened - Hollie with shoulder pads was too wide.)

Hollie slipping free of the blocker to get a shot at the ball carrier.

Hollie played football for about five years but had to "retire" when she enrolled in nursing school.  She had worked as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) when she lived in Oklahoma so a nursing career was consistent with her "find a strength and go for it" philosophy.  She is currently working in the VA Hospital in San Antonio, on the pre- and post-op floor. 

Her work and family keep her too busy to do much in sports but she still manages to get in some travel - Europe, Vegas, Disney World.  She does deep sea fishing twice a year. 

Hollie has been working on weight loss, including surgical procedures, and is currently a slim 200 pounds, down from her playing weight of 230 (and a bit more than that after retirement from football.)

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