04/03/14 — One-man volleyball team motivates Rosewood High School

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One-man volleyball team motivates Rosewood High School

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 3, 2014 1:46 PM

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Patrice Robertson, 17, watches as Ciera Satterfield, 17, returns a shot to Bob Holmes in the gymnasium at Rosewood High School Wednesday.

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Motivational speaker Bob Holmes addresses a gymnasium full of students at Rosewood High School Wednesday. Holmes was at the school to discuss bullying. Known as the "one man volleyball team," he has played against professional volleyball teams, NFL and MLB athletes and numerous high school teams.

A "one-man volleyball team" who travels the country using the gimmick as part of his anti-bullying message for students is participating in assemblies at several area schools and a free event for the public on Friday night.

Bob Holmes grew up in Boston, but was never much of an athlete.

He didn't even play volleyball in high school or college.

After extensive traveling took its toll in the form of back problems, his doctor recommended exercising. While playing volleyball with a friend from church, Holmes came up with the idea of a one-man volleyball team.

As a school principal, he found the concept allowed him to demonstrate to people that they could "beat the odds" the way he was doing on the court.

Jimmy Bryant, outreach pastor at The Bridge Church, said he became familiar with Holmes, who travels the country, a few years ago and has booked him at schools in the past.

Featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not for playing the most games in sports, Holmes has "played in like 5,500 gyms, 18-19,000 games," Bryant said.

The Bridge and area churches are bringing Holmes to the community again this year, sponsoring his visit to several schools in Wayne and Johnston counties.

In addition, he will be appearing at an event open to the public Friday night at Rosewood High School at 7 p.m.

The premise is simple -- Holmes is pitted against a team playing volleyball, followed by a motivational speech.

But Bryant said the need for the topic, overcoming bullying, is an important one in today's schools.

He shared an example of an email Holmes received after one school visit, from a young man who had been the victim of bullying for years. The youth had made a conscious decision to end his life, he said, setting the target date of his birthday.

That turned out to be the day Holmes showed up at his school, prompting the youth to not only change his mind but the course of his life.

"That is just one example of the emails (Holmes) gets," Bryant said.

To learn more about the program, visit www.beatbob.com.