This is the eighth and final entry of the football diaries with senior wide-receiver Scooter Hollis, who has shared weekly insights about the team both on and off the field. The series is part of “From the Lion’s Mouth,” Spectator’s initiative to allow athletes and alumni to share their athletic experiences.
The Light Blue fell to Cornell 42-40 this past weekend in a back-and-forth game that was the final home contest of Hollis and his fellow seniors’ careers—causing him to reflect on the mark he’s made in his five years in the program.
At the beginning of season I put a piece of tape on my locker that says, “Leave a legacy.” I just want to be remembered as a great teammate. As a guy that, when things were going wrong and we were down, we could feed off of his energy or he could make a play to sort of keep people in it. I think I was able to do that at some critical moments in games this year.
Last Saturday’s game, which included five lead changes, featured a trick play in which Hollis was tasked with throwing the ball instead of catching it.
[What I’ll remember the most from my final home game] is throwing a pass to Ronald because, even compared to my high school quarterback days, that was one of my top five, top 10 balls that I’ve thrown. ... It’s always fun [when the momentum is shifting a lot]. That’s not something we’ve gotten a chance to experience a lot. Of course we want to end up on the victorious side, but games like that—where it’s going back and forth and is 60 minutes of competitive football—that’s always fun to play in.
In Hollis’ career, he’s seen the end to both a 25-game losing streak and a 17-game Homecoming skid.
One of the best experiences was probably [during] the 2015 season versus Wagner, because that was such a big deal for our program and a big deal for the students and players that were here. … The most recent [big game] was probably Dartmouth, just because of our history playing in Homecoming games. To be able to get one, and be a part of the team that broke that streak—that was definitely memorable.
In order to reach those high points, Hollis and his teammates persevered through a coaching change and multiple winless seasons.
Within the first half of my career here, we had a lot of adversity both on and off the field, which really built my mental toughness and my ability to handle a lot of adversity—to be able to fight and be resilient when a lot of things were going wrong. Jump to the second half of my career—that’s when we started seeing more success. The program was heading in the right direction. Guys were having fun. It’s good to go out on that note, especially considering where we came from as a program. It’s special for me to have seen that change from the dark days to now.
And yet despite the change he’s seen, the Bowling Green, Kentucky native has just one final wish for his last game in the Light Blue.
Honestly, I just hope they remember that we won. That’s what I want for Columbia football, that’s what I want for myself, that’s what I want for my teammates.
Edited by Sagar Lal