The value of athletics in schools is significant and has a profound impact on individuals, schools, and communities. Being involved in athletics in the high school years can bridge gaps in age groups, bring people together who might not interact otherwise, both on the teams and in the stands, and provide opportunities to see the importance of teamwork and reaching out to others. Athletes may get accolades during their playing days, but few get the recognition that brothers Travis and Whit Holcomb-Faye received recently when they were inducted, together, into the RJ Reynolds High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Healthy Competition Never Hurt Anyone!
Travis and Whit Holcomb-Faye, born three years apart, were competitive growing up, as most brothers are, pushing each other to do better.
“While at Reynolds, I chose to play basketball, because I had dedicated the most practice, preparation, and training to that sport. I always watched college basketball and realized that not only did I need to get the job done on the court, but I needed to excel in the classroom to accomplish my goals of playing in college. I was very fortunate to grow up around friends and my brother, who were good athletes and our competition pushed us to do our best. Whit and I competed day and night, whether we were playing basketball at home, playing video games, board games, you name it we were competitive. I was blessed to be mentored and coached by some of the most competitive coaches in our community and high schools, including Howard West at Reynolds and AAU coaches, Walter Faye, Jr, my dad, and Andre Gould. I continued to play in college at ECU and today I try to pass along, as the varsity coach at Winston-Salem Christian School, what I learned as a player,” recalled Travis. Whit shares similar memories of staying on his game.
“Being three years younger than Travis, I really couldn’t compete with him, but it ended up making me better. I learned through sports how to work with and understand others. After graduating from Radford, basketball led me to play professionally in Europe over a 10-year period. I think it is important to pass along what I took from my time playing to my players at Moravian Prep and my AAU team, Winston-Salem Big Shots. My brother and I were so excited to be inducted into the Hall of Fame together and getting the call about the induction and ceremony from Mr. Stan Elrod, our former principal at Reynolds, made it extra special,” Whit commented.
Special Young Men Grow Up to Be Special Men in Our Community
Both Travis and Whit have not only good memories of their days playing at Reynolds High School, but also of their interactions with their principal, Stan Elrod.
“I began my career in education in 1981, beginning in the classroom and then becoming assistant principal and principal at Reynolds during the years that Travis and Whit were there. They were not only amazing athletes, but good young men who gave back to their community and still do today with their coaching efforts. It was a joy and honor to make the call and share with them that they were being inducted into the Reynolds Sports Hall of Fame. The banquet and induction ceremony was very special to me, to be there to honor two great athletes and men was a highlight of my 30 year career,” stated Mr. Elrod.
Travis and Whit both excelled in sports, but also appreciated the importance of an education, passing that along to the next generation. “My players have the same dreams of playing at the next level, just like Whit and I had, and I always let them know that it doesn’t matter how good you are on the court if you can’t get it done in the classroom. Developing self-confidence, motivation, being grateful, having respect for others, and determination are traits that high school sports help to develop,” Travis said.