LHS celebrates two with Hall of Fame induction

LHS celebrates two with Hall of Fame induction
Posted on 02/01/2018

Lynden High School inducted two more alumni into its athletics Hall of Fame in early 2018, celebrating the accomplishments of Leif Erickson and Rick Holt with a public ceremony.

Leif Erickson

Erickson graduated from LHS in 1981, having played football and basketball for the Lions. He moved to Lynden Schools in sixth grade, but his connection to the school was strong even before then, with his dad a teacher in the district. His love for basketball continued into high school as Erickson gained his first varsity letter in basketball during his sophomore year under Jake Maberry. As a junior, he received the honor of First-Team recognition during the state tournament. One of his greatest accomplishments on the court was taking home the 1981 basketball state title during his senior year of high school.

Throughout school, basketball was always Erickson’s favorite sport until his senior year when he really realized he had the ability to excel on the football field. At Lynden, Erickson played fullback and middle linebacker under Rollie DeKoster. He totaled 339 rushes for a total of 1,490 yards and 16 touchdowns. He finished his football career at Lynden with force. The 1980 football team brought home the first football state championship in school history.

Domination is an appropriate word to describe Erickson’s senior year at Lynden High School. The class of 1981 made Lynden history as they brought home the football and basketball state titles. This was Erickson’s proudest moment of his high school career because his team’s hard work paid off. “We worked since we were little kids to get that,” he says. “Then it happened, and I don’t think we really expected it, but we were a pretty good little team.”

Erickson continued his football career at Washington State University. He played tight end and was part of the 1981 team that brought the Cougars to their first bowl game in 30 years. After his time at WSU, Erickson continued to play football for Wenatchee Junior College.

After college, Erickson returned to Washington State University, and he now works as a maintenance mechanic for the college. He still loves to follow football at the high school, college and pro level, and enjoys watching the WSU Cougars and the Seattle Seahawks.  

Looking back at his time at Lynden High School, Erickson is grateful for the life lessons that he gained throughout his career in athletics. “Being in Lynden sports prepares you for life in general because you learn that it’s not always about you,” he says. “It’s not always an easy trip, but if you work hard, you can achieve goals.”

Rick Holt

A 1981 graduate of Lynden, Holt played football, basketball and baseball for the Lions. High school football started off the busy year of athletics for Holt, and it was his favorite of all the sports he played. Playing under Rollie DeKoster, he received his first varsity letter during his sophomore year. He played linebacker on defense and a wingback/wide receiver combo on offense. Holt was named Defensive Player of the Year for both his junior and senior years. However, Holt’s greatest accomplishment on the football field came during his senior year under the lights in the Kingdome. He was an essential part of the team that brought home the football state championship for the first time in Lynden High School history.

Holt played forward for coach Jake Maberry during his time at Lynden, part of the 1981 team that won the state title while going 27-0. He finished his high school athletic career playing baseball, gaining his first varsity letter as a sophomore while playing outfield for the Lions. Holt was All-League for his junior and senior year, and enjoyed being on the baseball field and spending time with the coaches and teammates.

After high school, Holt followed his passion for football and played at Wenatchee Junior College alongside a few other Lynden graduates. He finished his football career at Oregon Tech, where he graduated from with a degree in engineering.

Holt now lives in Cheney and owns his own surveying business. He continues to use his athletic ability to give back to his community as he often coaches youth sports in Eastern Washington. His family enjoys remembering his high school days as he has the championships recorded on VHS, allowing his kids to watch games.

Although Holt’s athletic performance was impressive, he is most grateful for the time he spent with his teammates. “Being with the guys and coaches, that was a great experience,” he says. “They were good people and good friends.”

Holt says he is grateful to have been a part of Lynden High School because of the “great people, great fan-base, and great tradition.”