Nerdpod: The unique talents of Damien QB/hoopster Jake Holtz

Damien's Jake Holtz was tough to bring down as a runner and could air it out as well. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

He could be the tallest quarterback in Damien history.

Jake Holtz, at 6-foot-3, close to 6-4 and 215 pounds, has been more than a statuesque passer from the pocket. Holtz’s passion and toughness make him a playmaker unlike the usual signal-caller. His athleticism makes him a threat on the basketball court, too, where he has the hops to play in the post, but has the skill level to play in the backcourt. Whether he chooses one sport or both in college is still a question mark.

Jake Holtz, Damien
Measurables: 6-3, 215, Sr.
Crunch this: 9 games — Pass 127-252-5, 1,630 yards, 13 TDs; Rush 88-466, 8 TDs
Passing yards per game: 181.1
Completion rate: .504
Yards per attempt: 6.5
Passer rating: 116.99
Rushing yards per carry: 5.3
Rushing yards per game: 51.8
W-L: 8-3 (6-2 ILH D-I)
Top 10 wins: @ Lahainaluna, @ Waipahu, Moanalua
Top 10 losses: @ Leilehua, ‘Iolani, ‘Iolani
Game by game / Passcode (¥ statistical values):
@ $Lahainaluna (Aug. 3) Pass 19-35-1-224, 3 TD; Rush 16-71, TD = ¥43.75 + ¥13.1 + $5.0 = ¥$61.85
@ Radford (Aug. 15) Pass 12-23-0-257, 3 TD; Rush 9-70, TD = ¥29.25 + ¥13.0 = ¥42.25
@ $Waipahu (Aug. 23) Pass 13-33-0-214, 3 TD; Rush 7-22 = ¥25.25 + ¥2.2 + $5.0 = ¥$32.45
St. Thomas More (Canada)** (Aug. 31) Pass 8-16-1-191, 2 TD; Rush 2-30, TD = ¥16.0 + ¥3.0 = ¥19.0
@ Castle (Sept. 6) Pass 18-31-0-191, 0 TD; Rush 10-82, TD = ¥8.25 + ¥14.2 = ¥22.45
@ $Leilehua (Sept. 13) Pass 24-45-0-173, 2 TD; Rush 10-9 = ¥18.75 + $5.0 = ¥$23.75
$‘Iolani (Sept. 20) Pass 15-26-2-142, 0 TD; Rush 8-37, TD = ¥0.0 + ¥9.7 + $5.0 = ¥$14.7
Kailua (Sept. 27) DNP =
@ Aiea (Oct. 5) DNP =
$Moanalua* (Oct. 11) Pass 8-18-1-102, 0 TD; Rush 10-45, TD = ¥0.5 + ¥10.5 + $5.0 = ¥$16.0
$‘Iolani* (Oct. 25) Pass 10-25-0-136, 0 TD; Rush 8-37, TD = ¥3.75 + ¥9.7 + $5.0 = ¥$18.45
*Aloha Stadium
** Skippa Diaz Stadium
To date: ¥$250.9 / ¥$27.8 pg

The skinny: (Nov. 4) The season is done for the Monarchs and QB Jake Holtz. The tall — he is actually close to 6 feet, 4 inches — and athletic Holtz ended his football career with a truckload of highlights, success and question marks. First off, he loves basketball. And he was a Star-Advertiser Basketball All-State Fab 15 selection by coaches and media. Likes football, but luh-uhhvs hoops. That’s the same heart that many, many pro football and baseball players had during their high school years. He showed a tremendous ability to create yardage in open space, in tight quarters, on the perimeter, in the pocket. He did much of it without training consistently through the off-season. This past summer, perfect example. He traveled for basketball camps, invested most of his free time into his sport of choice. Returned to Damien, immediately led the Monarchs to a signature win over Lahainaluna on the Lunas’ home turf. That hasn’t happened in years.

Holtz’s start to the 2019 season was impressive. In three games, he passed for 695 yards and nine TDs. He was 44-for-91, just above 48 percent, but had only one interception. He also rushed for 163 yards and three TDs in those early games. While much of the football world is content to dink and dunk out of four-wide sets, Holtz was perfect in this attack, always prepared for the next huge chunk play by air or ground.

He does hope to play both sports in college, which is rare, but possible. When I asked Damien coach Eddie Klaneski about Holtz’s projection as a college athlete, he was cautiously optimistic. Klaneski played DB at Hawaii, and he was a very good one.

“If he puts on more weight, he already has huge hands. To me, he’s a tight end but he’s a solid 6-3 1/2, one of the fastest, and 215 pounds. He’s already being looked at as a TE, but he wants to be a QB,” Klaneski said.

2019: 9 games — Pass 127-252-5, 1,630 yards, 13 TDs; Rush 88-466, 8 TDs
2018: 8 games — Pass 99-212-7, 1,228 yards, 9 TDs; Rush 58-(-43), 0 TDs

He would have played in 11 games, but was suspended by league rule for two games after being ejected from the first matchup with ‘Iolani.

Holtz came to Damien from Saint Louis, turned out to be a surprise on the basketball court for the Monarchs, who spent the 2018-19 season in the Top 4 of the Star-Advertiser Top 10. On the gridiron, his improvement from year to year is substantial. Undeniable.

X factor: (Nov. 4) The grass is greener where you water it, the old saying goes. Whatever sport Holtz focuses on more will yield more success. He is capable of bringing his team success on crucial short-yardage situations. He can wing the ball deep. It’s the in-between throws that will need polishing, and Holtz will have plenty of time to work on that if he chooses football. There will be plenty of college coaches who look at Holtz’s frame and agility, his pure hops — he goes coast-to-coast for dunks regularly on the hardwood — and see a potential tight end, as Klaneski said. Or wide receiver. Or safety. Or defensive end. But it will come down to his dream, and sometimes, that’s what it takes to fuel happiness, particularly if the well runs dry elsewhere. Playing football and basketball in college, at any level, has to be sheer joy, stress, heartache and fun. And rare.

Legend: Passing
¥ point values per game
Completion +.25
Incompletion -.25
25 passing yards = 1 pt
200 yards = 1 bonus pt
300 yards = 2 bonus pts
400 yards = 3 bonus pts
TD pass = 6 pts
Int = -3 pts

Legend: Rushing/Receiving
¥ point values per game
1 rushing yard = .1 point
Minus-1 rushing yard = -.1 point
100 rushing yards +1 pt
150 rushing yards +2 pts
200 rushing yards +3 pts
100 receiving yards +1 pt
150 receiving yards +2 pts
200 receiving yards +3 pts
1 reception +1 pt
1 receiving yard +.1 pt
TD = 6 pts
$ Top 10 opponent


  1. Unko chris November 5, 2019 6:39 pm

    Love this kid, most talented I’ve seen in a while. Wish the best for you Jake!

  2. Anonymous November 5, 2019 10:07 pm

    That’s actually pretty wild that he might play both, can’t even imagine how much that would take a toll on the body at the collegiate level. But hey, you do you.

  3. Falcon Future November 6, 2019 8:02 am

    The only way he plays both sports is if he plans to go to a Division 3 college where they don’t offer scholarships and the competition level is relatively low. I sure hope he is getting proper guidance for this.

  4. Yessuh November 6, 2019 9:10 am

    @Falcon Future From what I heard he has a division 2 offer for basketball already

  5. BLUEBUBBO November 12, 2019 6:29 am

    One of my nephews was in this predicament a couple years ago. He was one of his states best athletes in his class in both football and basketball. He was heavily recruited but ended up choosing the college (D1) that didn’t have a problem with him playing 2 sports. He did football and basketball his freshman year and after that freshman season of basketball he chose to put basketball on the side and focus on playing football. He said his days were around 14-16 hours which left him very little time to study…

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