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Holt softball coach savoring every moment of ‘The Last Ride’

Holt softball coach Joel Adam and his wife, Amy, walk across the field during Senior Night Oct 2. [Provided photo by Joel Adam]

Holt High softball coach Joel Adam always has been one to stay grounded in the moment and prepare for each season, practice and game with the total intent of helping his team improve on the field and in life.

In roughly three weeks that process will change as he retires from a 20-year career that will arguably go down as the best in Holt softball history.

As the Indians begin Class 4, District 7 playoff play Thursday, Oct. 17, Adam admits he has been soaking up and savoring every moment possible with the 14 seniors in this year’s club. His team is calling it “The Last Ride.”

“That’s been our thing all year, one last ride,” Adam said. “We had one of our dads make a special shirt to with the logo “One Last Ride” on the back, so it’s kind of our special jersey and it’s pretty cool. It’s got the logo of the state of Missouri on it and that’s kind of what we’ve gone with. We’ve got 14 seniors, so we’ve got a lot of one last rides.”

One of the most special moments of the season happened Oct. 2 against GAC South rival Francis Howell when the Indians celebrated Senior Night. Being short on underclassmen to escort seniors onto the field for the ceremonies, Adam enlisted the help of the football team and coach Ethan Place.

“Not only did they show up, but they brought their entire team all dressed in uniforms and they brought a big American flag. There’s a picture of my wife and I walking down and one of my daughters walking down with the flag above our heads. It was pretty cool to have all that and just the amount of people that were there,” Adam said.

 

Holt softball coach Joel Adam and his wife, Amy, escort their youngest child, Claudia, across the field during Senior Night Oct 2. [Provided photo by Joel Adam]

Walking on the field on Senior Night with his youngest daughter, Claudia, and his wife, Amy, was a moment that left Adam choked up with emotion.

“It is pretty hard to describe in words, honestly,” Adam said. “To be able to do that with them was like ‘It’s almost over.’ To think that when I started coaching softball Claudia wasn’t even born yet, and she grew up there – it’s pretty amazing.”

Just last Friday [Oct. 11] when the Indians hosted St. Dominic several of Adam’s former Indians baseball and softball players, including his son Brady and daughter Meredith showed up to tell him congratulations and wish him well in the future.

Adam said he’s been blessed to be able to coach Brady in baseball and both Meredith and Claudia in softball. The bond with his children on and off the field has been a very special part of his career.

“Not many people can go to work and spend time with their kids,” Adam said. “The first day Meredith ran across the outfield for tryouts I was like, ‘Oh my God, she’s finally here.’ It’s been pretty cool.”

Adam credits his wife with allowing him to positively impact the lives and careers of so many players over the years.

“This week marks my 1,000th game coaching and with 1,000 games comes about 3,000 practices but a lot of credit goes to her,” Adam said. “They say if you find a decent coach, you find a great wife. She’s been a big part of it. She played college softball, so she understands.”

Adam is not sure what the future holds but he knows he’ll stay busy.  He may continue to coach in the St. Charles area at the college level. But first, he is hoping to guide the Indians as far as they can go on this last ride.

Holt enters the playoffs at 23-2.

“As I sat in church this morning [Sunday, Oct. 13], I thought it’s been a good run and whatever happens, happens,” Adam said. “This week or the next few weeks are not gonna define me or my team or anything. Hopefully, we’ll be No. 1 at the end of the season because of a lot of hard work.”

Adam retired from coaching Indians baseball in 2018 after 25 seasons and with a 396-243 record. He has a 269-88 record as Holt’s head softball coach over the past 13 seasons.

 

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