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St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holliday once quarterbacked big-time comeback against Tulsa Union

100 YEARS OF OKLAHOMAN ALL-STATE TEAMS — Matt Holliday now stars with the St. Louis Cardinals, but in 1997 he led Stillwater to a win over Tulsa Union. Next up was a brutal loss to Jenks that Holliday prefers not to recall.
by Scott Wright Published: December 1, 2012
/articleid/3733932/1/pictures/1897981">Photo - Matt Holliday, Stillwater high school football quarterback
Matt Holliday, Stillwater high school football quarterback

“You have to stay to the end of the game to see what's going to happen when the Pioneers play,” coach Bill Defee said after the Union win.

Stillwater back then was actually ahead of its time in some respects, as Defee molded his offense to fit his players, primarily at quarterback, and let Holliday toss the ball all over the yard.

“At the time, we were one of the smallest 6A schools, and we didn't have the amount of players to choose from that a lot of other schools did,” the 32-year-old Holliday said. “I think he adapted to his talent really well. We threw the ball a lot — more and more as he built trust in me from my sophomore year to my senior year.”

Holliday finished his high school career with 6,211 passing yards and 68 touchdowns. His 35 TD passes as a junior were an 11-man state record at the time.

He thoroughly enjoyed his career as a high school quarterback — though he wouldn't mind changing one small detail.

“We were pre-shotgun,” he said. “I was under center all the time, so I wish we would've had shotgun back in the day.”

by Scott Wright
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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