To anyone who watched Joda Holloway (‘09) play soccer, his induction into Notre Dame’s Athletic Hall of Fame is not a surprise. To Holloway, however, the nomination came as a total shock.
“I was very surprised! There were so many great athletes at Notre Dame while I was there, and it is truly an honor to be considered for the Hall of Fame. I was lucky to have had many great teammates and be a part of some very good soccer teams. The achievements that we shared are certainly great memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” said Holloway.
Holloway competed in soccer and was a member of the 2006 and 2007 Class 2 state championship teams during his sophomore and junior years. He earned second team all-state honors during his junior season and first team all-state honors during his senior year, in which the Bulldogs finished third in the state.
Holloway considers himself fortunate to have been part of the Notre Dame family. “I always look back very fondly at my high school experience and am thankful for all the lessons that I learned while at Notre Dame. I didn’t know a lot of people at the school when I first showed up for soccer tryouts freshman year, but the entire Notre Dame community was very welcoming and I immediately felt at home,” he said. “I recognized that I was having a great high school experience while attending the school, but it wasn’t until later that I really appreciated how unique of an experience I had at Notre Dame.”
Holloway acknowledges his success wasn’t achieved all on his own. “There were so many people that helped me throughout my athletic career, but I must start by thanking my family. My parents never hesitated to make any contribution that would help me achieve my goals. I had decided that I wanted to be a Division I soccer player, and they were happy to do whatever they could to help me realize that dream. I am forever grateful for their unrelenting support, and look forward to one day supporting my family with the same dedication that they gave to me and (my brother) James,” said Holloway.
His gratitude extends to the school administration, and all of the great teachers and coaches he had while there. His friends and teammates also played an important role in Holloway’s success.
“I was lucky to have so many great upperclassmen to look up to. Guys like Jack Wedemeier, Abe Dirnberger, Ryan Willen, Ty Williams and Mark Himmelberg all set a tremendous example,” he said. “I also had support from so many incredible friends, like Nick Wren, Austin Greer and Josh Robert.”
Holloway’s most memorable game, however, was playing alongside his younger brother, James (’12), during the third-place game at the state tournament in 2008.
In addition to playing defense for his first three seasons as a Bulldog, Holloway also played defense for his club team, the St. Louis Scott Gallagher U.S. Soccer Development Academy. During his senior year, he was asked to switch to a center midfielder for the Bulldogs. He scored nine goals and had 11 assists during the 2008 season.
After high school, Holloway attended St. Louis University and played for the Billikens soccer team for four years.
When asked what advice he would give to future Bulldogs, Holloway said, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. I strongly believe that the people you surround yourself with play a large role in shaping who you become. I was so lucky to have such a great group of friends and teammates. We had tons of fun together, but we also supported each other in the pursuit of shared and individual goals. The Notre Dame family is filled with exceptional individuals, and it is a great opportunity to surround yourself with people who will help you become the best version of yourself.”
Holloway doesn’t get out on the soccer field as much anymore, as he currently works as a trader for an investment management firm in St. Louis called NISA Investment Advisors. While he no longer plays sports regularly, he still applies the lessons he learned from playing sports on a daily basis.
“My job can be demanding, but part of the fulfillment I get out of my career is from how it reminds me of my sports background. Ideas such as work ethic, composure in stressful environments, and the benefits of being an effective teammate are all lessons that I first learned on a soccer field,” Holloway said.
Holloway is being inducted, along with the 2002 Boys Soccer state championship team, at the Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at the Cape Girardeau Country Club.