Many football fans throughout Eastern North Carolina got the chance to see Holton Ahlers play in high school, whether it was in person, or Friday night’s on WNCT’s Touchdown Friday. But this past Saturday was the first chance to see the true freshman quarterback inside Dowdy-Ficklen stadium as a member of the Pirates.
“One thing that I will say is that it was great to be able to see Holton in this stadium and be able to get live reps, we had already seen Kinglsey before, but seeing him in this stadium,” said ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery. “He was able to bounce back, threw some great balls, a lot to learn, but he is in a good place.”
What some Pirate fans may not know is that Ahlers enrolled early at ECU to get a head start in the classroom and on the football field. His coaches know that he is no where near a finished product, but they are very excited about Ahlers early progress during spring practices.
“Holton is playing way above himself as far as a kid that should be a senior in high school,” said ECU offensive coordinator, Tony Petersen. “But, he still had some mistakes out there today, which was expected. But, for a guy that’s supposed to be a senior in high school, what he has done with our offensive is unbelievable.”
What has helped Ahlers in the very early stages of his college career have been the bonds that he was able to build during his short time at ECU. It has been a help that he has had some familiar faces, such as former Conley teammate Duce Fuller.
“There has been a lot of relationship building between Holton and a lot of players,” said Montgomery. “Also, Duce (Fuller) and most of our quarterbacks. That’s kind of a combination that has worked out well because they were on the same team. I think if Duce was on the other team you would have saw some of the same things and if Holton was on the other team would have seen some more connections with the slot. So I think that it’s perfect to see these Greenville guys. A lot of Greenville kids out here on the field today making plays.”
Pirate fans next chance to see the team in game action will be Saturday, September 1, when the Pirates host in-state foe North Carolina A&T.