Mike Holba still has a chance to keep up with one of his former T.F. South basketball and baseball teammates.
Holba, a Lansing native, is Eastern Region sales manager for Sepialine. The company manufactures software for architecture, engineering, law and accounting firms.
The Times 1999 Illinois Male Athlete of the year lives in New York City and has a chance to see a few Yankees games where his former teammate Curtis Granderson plays.
"I haven't seen him as much this year because he has been injured," Holba said. "We get together now and then and a lot of people ask me how do I know C.J.? I just tell them we grew up together."
Holba was the youngest of five children and the fourth Holba brother to play at T.F. South.
At 6-foot-8, Mike was the tallest of the Holbas. His brother Bob played baseball and football at Air Force, Bill was a tight end at Butler, and Tom was a quarterback at Michigan State.
The 1999 T.F. South and 2003 Notre Dame grad was also The Times 1998 Illinois Offensive Player of the Year in football and 1999 Times Illinois Player of the Year in baseball. He also starred in baseball at Notre Dame.
Despite his relocation to New York, he still cherishes his days in Lansing and his other buddies.
"We won 17 games my senior year in basketball for (coach) Leo Bonin, and for South that was a lot of wins," Holba said. "That same group of me, Granderson, Bill Lebeter and Luke Hayden, we all played together since grade school and then at Heritage Middle School."
He said he had a great senior year as he played for legendary coaches Tom Padjen in football and Bill Anderson in baseball.
"We won 29 games in baseball, made the playoffs in football, and we had a lot of fun," Holba said. "I had great coaches all through growing up. Coach Padjen and Coach Anderson, you did learn more than football or baseball from them. They are great motivators."
Holba's 17 home runs in 1999 led the state. In football, he threw for more than 1,700 yards and was also an Illinois State Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society.
His job takes him to the Tri-State area as well as New England.
"It is exciting because we are providing software solutions for companies," Holba said. "You get to see different people and mix with them and be a part of helping them with their business."
He said many were surprised he chose Notre Dame, but he is glad he did.
"We were a Big Ten family, especially with my brother Tom going to Michigan State," Holba said. "I walked on campus and right away you know it is unique. I was lucky that I could play baseball and get a degree from Notre Dame."
He will be married Sept. 28 to Sara Brown, who is from Manhattan, Kan.