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Finley Holmes of Vero Beach wins TCPalm’s Athlete of the Week
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Finley Holmes of Vero Beach wins TCPalm’s Athlete of the Week

Congratulations to the newest winners of TCPalm Athlete of the Week for the 2023-2024 school year: Finley Holmes of the Vero Beach baseball team.

The senior infielder received 48.68% of the votes in Treasure Coast Newspapers’ online poll, conducted after the March 25-30 playing period. Each winner will receive a unique TCPalm Prepzone Athlete of the Week shirt, presented by BSN SPORTS.

The Athlete of the Week election is sponsored by Mulligan’s Beach House Bar & Grill.

Holmes went 4-for-8 at the plate with two triples, a double, three walks, six RBIs and four runs scored off three Indians. He also earned a win on the mound during the team’s 16-3 victory over West Springfield (Va.).

Latest AOTW Winner: Sophia Loreto runs the Rams softball machine as the team’s lone senior

Playoff Baseball: Vero Beach shakes off the rough start and defeats Palm Beach Central

Region overview: Results and scores for Tuesday’s regional baseball and track action

The seniors lead his team in batting average (.463), on-base percentage (.598), runs scored (30) and stolen bases (18) and help Vero Beach to its first district title since 2021.

Learn more about the senior on and off the field after speaking with sportscaster Patrick Bernadeau. Check back online for future winners and to vote in the next TCPalm Athlete of the Week poll.

Q&A with Vero Beach senior Finley Holmes

TCPalm: How would you evaluate the season so far?

Holmes: “You know, we played great. The start of the season started a little slow, but it’s part of our bond. We went on a trip to Virginia and we stuck together, you might say. And that’s about when we really started picking it up. The last few games have been fun and we are doing really well at the moment.”

TCPalm: What do you remember most about the trip to Virginia?

Holmes: “I would just say probably the proximity. We split up into groups that wouldn’t normally hang out together and we got to know each other a little better, along with team dinners and breakfasts like that. It was just a good bonding experience. So I would definitely say closeness and being a brotherhood.

TCPalm: This is your senior season. And how was this different from any other season?

Holmes: “I think a lot of the reason why it’s different is because we only have three seniors on the team this year. So last year I think we had about 15 or 20. So it’s definitely different when you only have three seniors. But there is certainly a major leadership role to play. For me, Chase Wilson and Gavin (Childers), the three seniors, we took on that leadership role and filled that spot where we lost all the seniors. Plus, this is the last season I get to play high school baseball, so I’m really trying to soak it in.”

TCPalm: I have a few questions about your team. Who is the funniest teammate?

Holmes: “That’s a tough one, there are a lot of funny guys. It would definitely be Cam McFarland in my opinion. I think Jace Romans is in second place, as is Marshall Cobb.”

TCPalm: Which teammate has the most swag?

Holmes: “I think it would have to be Terry Pugh, he’s got a lot of swag.”

TCPalm: Who is the most competitive?

Holmes: “I’d say probably Cole Morgan. I think Marshall Cobb too, and Cody Morgan too, but Cole is a Bulldog.”

TCPalm: This could be a teammate or someone you are playing against. Who is the one player who will take your game to the next level?

Holmes: “Well, every time we saw speed, you knew you couldn’t have length in your swing. You have to compete and be at your best, but I would say on the team, probably Chase Wilson. He is an excellent player. And he’s someone I look up to and I aspire to be as good a player as he is. He definitely picks me up and just seeing him succeed really encourages me and pushes me to want to succeed.

TCPalm: ‘Let’s play a word association game. I say a word or name and you say the first thing that comes to mind. First, Coach Rahal.

Holmes: “Family would definitely be the best word. He’s just an excellent person and I really enjoyed playing for him. He always says he wants us to remember the time. He doesn’t really care about the wins or losses, but you want to remember the time we spent between the wins and losses, what he taught us and what he didn’t. So he certainly guided me.”

TCPalm: Rival

Holmes: “I think it will be a difficult one. I would say Sebastian, but we didn’t play against them this year. So I don’t know, I don’t really have a good answer for that.

TCPalm: Goal

Holmes: “To bring glory to God, that is absolutely my goal. You know, I want to idolize him both on and off the field. I’m blessed to be able to play baseball, and that’s why I do it. I like to play and I like to do it. I do it to bring him honor.”

TCPalm: You’re playing baseball at the next level at Palm Beach Atlantic. What are you most looking forward to next year?

Holmes: “I’m excited for the next level. I’m excited to meet new people and have a brotherhood to enjoy again, and I’m just looking forward to continuing to play baseball.”

TCPalm: Then a few more questions that have nothing to do with baseball. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Holmes: “I think it should be steak.”

TCPalm: How do you like your steak?

Holmes: “I like medium rare to rare.”

TCPalm: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Holmes: “I think my words would have more influence, that’s what I’m trying to do. And I want to be as influential as possible. I want to be a speaker and most of all I want to be able to lead people to Christ, but I also want to share how I do things.”

TCPalm: If you had one place to travel to, where would you go?

Holmes: “I would probably say Italy and I’m going there this summer. So that gets checked off the list.”

TCPalm: Finally, what’s on your music playlist?

Holmes: “I like a lot of country, a lot of worship music and some 80s and 90s.”

Patrick Bernadeau is a sports reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at (772) 985-9692, at X at @PatBernadeau or via email at [email protected].