I’m sure that more people will remember the construction of the high school football field with greater clarity than they will recall changes in curriculum, because so many people – kids, parents and other school patrons were so actively involved. I’ll never forget the two days and nights during which we virtually closed school, commandeered community trucks and trailers to dig up field sod from Carl Dougherty’s then laid in on the area which had been hastily and voluntarily graded by Mr. Savage. It was really a tremendous project and there were so many people who gave so willingly of their time and effort. Bill Harris, Hugh Smyth, Bill Fudge, Bud Dart, Marshall Coolidge, Orville Hitchens, Jack Armour and so many others worked with kids and school people.
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The field opened on October 1, 1948 with the home game against Dansville, which Holt won! Originally this field was known as Memorial Field and not only did every home football game occur on the field but a decades’ worth of Holt High School graduates received their diploma at the commencement services held on the field. At that time Mr. Fred Lawrence was Holt’s football coach. Coach Lawrence remained as the coach until the early 1950s, the exact year is unknown. It was the 1948 season that a longstanding school record was set by Bruce DePue, with 38 points scored against Haslett. After Coach Lawrence was Mr. Ted Bauer. Bauer only coached for a season or two then moved on to Lansing Everett High School where he remained for several decades.
In 1953 a new era began in Holt with the arrival of Mr. Walter Pawlowski in addition to Holt’s transition from the Ingham County League into the Capitol Circuit League. This new league consisted of Resurrection, St. Mary's, Mason, Eaton Rapids, Okemos, Howell, and Haslett. It was around this time that Holt grew into the “Rams” from the older term “Ramblers.” Coach Pawlowski built Holt football into a high quality and highly regarded program. Between 1955 and 1958, Holt built a new high school complex that included a new football field. The field was moved from the original location of Memorial Field because the new school was built directly on that corner. A new set of bleachers and lights were constructed in addition to the new field. Pawlowski remained as football coach until 1964, with a record of 56 wins-31 losses-6 ties. Pawlowski graduated up to the position of Athletic Director in 1964 and Mr. Darold Briggs was hired as the new football coach. Pawlowski remained as Holt’s Athletic Director/Assistant Principal until 1981. Coach Briggs is one of Holt’s most esteemed and most well remembered football coach in the school’s history. In his first year, 1964, Briggs and the Holt team won the league championship. Briggs also led the team to league championships in 1970, 1971 and 1972. The 1972 championship was not like the others, however.
In 1977, Mr. Dennis Bongard began as Holt’s football coach. In 1978, Bongard’s team made it to the semifinals, and in 1979 the team made it to regionals. Bongard held his position as football coach until 1986 when Mr. Rocky Shaft replaced him as head football coach. Coach Shaft, a Holt alum, had been Holt’s wrestling coach since 1980, a position that he still holds as of 2015. Shaft remained as football coach from 1986 until 1994. It was then that Mr. Mike Smith took over as head football coach. Smith’s 1995 Rams were the runner-up for the state title against Detroit Catholic Central with a score of 24-0 for the championship.