September 9, 2015 Edition

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Jake Hollister (#72) and teammates (from left) Wesley Friend, Martin Crisler and Drake Smith lead the Bobcats onto Sexton Field Friday night. Jake's dream of being a member of the football team has come true thanks to his classmates and the WRHS football players and coaches.
TD Photo ~ Ashley George

Hollister is newest member
of Bobcat football team

Gretchen Hunt

Jake Hollister has wanted play football for the Bobcats since he started high school last year.

Because of a disability, Jake may never take a snap or make a block, but that has not stopped him from wanting to be a part of the team.

His mother, Lisa Hollister, said the coaches and players were aware of Jake's dream and had said he could be a Bobcat.

"I mentioned to Grace Callahan, one of Jake's friends, that I needed to talk to Coach (Larry) Treadway, and she said 'I will take care of it!'"

She was true to her word, and last Friday, Jake found out he was indeed the newest member of the Bobcat football team.

"Friday morning, coach gave him a jersey and he was automatically a welcomed team member!" Lisa said. "He did all the festivities with the team Friday, voted for homecoming queen and enjoyed the pep rally!"

Jake does not do well in crowds and can be bothered by loud noises.

"At game time he got a little scared in the huddle," Lisa said. "You can see in the video that that those boys quieted down and instead of running out took his hand and let him lead them out walking. It was precious!"

Plans are in the works to get Jake suited up with pads and a helmet in the near future, according to Lisa, who expressed her amazement with the WRHS student body.

"The whole student body had a part in his big football debut!" she said. "I'm so thankful for this loving, caring and accepting community."

Jake is looking forward to many more games with his teammates.

"He loves the Bobcats, and his favorite TV show is Friday night lights," Lisa said. "After the game he said, 'Mom, football is hard!'"

Jake is also the son of Mike Hollister. He has an older brother, Ty Hollister, who is a freshman at the U. of A. and made his halftime debut with the Razorback Marching Band on Saturday. Their younger brother, Jayden Hollister, is a sixthgrader.

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