The Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys lined up 10 players on the first play of its 62-14 Sept. 3 win at Southern Nazarene to honor former defensive lineman Zemaric Holt. Holt died in July at the age of 21.
Tech players wear ZH on their helmets, and the team keeps Holt’s jersey on the sideline. Although it appeared the Wonder Boys were a man short defensively, Holt was right there with them.
They proved just that by forcing a fumble and recovering it for a touchdown eight seconds into the game.
“It was a big ordeal on the sidelines,” head coach Raymond Monica said. “Who would ever dream of that? That’s something movies are made of. It’s very fitting to an outstanding young man.
Monica added, “The last time some of those guys wore that white jersey was at the funeral, so this was our way to honor him. It’s a lot bigger than football—it’s about honoring him.”
To add to an already emotional game, Logan Genz, a senior from West Fork, made history by breaking university record for most career tackles, churning out a three-tackle game.
“It’s unbelievable to have somebody like him who has made so many plays and is a tremendous leader on and off the field,” Monica said.
The Wonder Boys went on to score 52 unanswered points after the opening defensive touchdown.
Tech’s ground game was a force to be reckoned with, racking up 469 rushing yards. Bryan Allen and Brayden Stringer had more than 130 rushing yards each, and combined with Arsenio Favor, Kristian Thompson, and JaMarcus Walker, they accounted for six rushing touchdowns.
The Wonder Boys look to keep it rolling this Saturday at Buerkle Field at Thone Stadium for their home opener at 6 p.m. against Oklahoma Baptist.