Volleyball wonder to play SDSU teams

Krista Tschetter

Krista Tschetter

Bob Holmes beat the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He creamed the Minnesota Vikings. Cal Ripken Jr. and the Baltimore Orioles didn’t stand a chance.

And he did it all by himself.

A one-man volleyball wonder, Holmes travel 28 weeks a year promoting an anti-drinking-and-drugs message.

Playing 40-60 games a week, he has won nearly 13,500 matches since 1986.

He’ll be playing Wednesday, Sept. 11, at South Dakota State University’s Frost Arena at 7 p.m.

Sponsored by the South Dakota Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Holmes will play members of the Brookings police and fire departments, a team of SDSU all-star coaches and athletes and members of the SDSU women’s volleyball team.

Holmes has played in high schools, universities and other venues since 1986, and is often sponsored by groups like Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) and Students Against Drunk Driving (S.A.D.D.).

With only 240 total losses, Holmes has an impressive record.

Holmes never considered himself an athlete until he picked up backyard volleyball to help relieve a back injury in the mid-1980s.

Having spent previous years as a motivational speaker and advocate of abstinence, Holmes decided to combine the two.

“I never even thought I’d beat a team,” Holmes said.

Holmes counts beating the professional teams among his most rewarding wins.

“It was tied 20-20 in the Orioles game and I got them by two points,” Holmes said. “It kept it real exciting.”

Holmes has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not and USA Today, as well as on the CBS This Morning show.

The SDSU match is free to students, with a optional donation of $2.

There will also be a pizza feed before the game on the field north of the HPER.

While the match is not supporting a specific charity, the police and firemen will be honored as part of the Sept. 11 anniversary.

“We are going to recognize local fire and police departments,” Brian Hansen, Director of the South Dakota FCA, said. “It’ll be something that will acknowledge them for what they do.”

Holmes said he looks forward to playing teams from SDSU and the community.

He said he often tries to get the crowd in the action as well, inviting audience members down to play a matchs.

“I do a lot of crowd games where I take on everyone who wants to play me at one time,” Holmes said.

“The most I’ve had at one time is 1000 people.”