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One-man volleyball team to raise funds for young athletes

Motivational speaker and volleyball phenomenon Bob Holmes is making a pit stop in Jefferson City on Friday night as part of a fundraiser for the Central Missouri Parochial Athletic League (PAL).

With more than 17,800 wins and 410 losses under his belt, Holmes, a 57-year-old native of Boston, has been featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” for playing more games than any athlete in the history of the world in any sport.

And he plays the sport in a most-unusual fashion: Single-handedly.

One would think those odds would reduce his chances of winning, but he does just fine. In the past, he’s bested skilled professional athletes from teams such as the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles.

“He plays teams of six by himself. He’s got an amazing story,” explained Brad Dempsey, president of the PAL league, which includes 22 area schools. “We’re really looking forward to having him come.”

Holmes will appear as a part of Family Fun Night at Helias Catholic High School at 7 p.m. Friday in Rackers Field House.

On Friday night, he’ll be playing officers with the Jefferson City Police Department, the Helias junior varsity volleyball team, PAL coaches and the Helias boys varsity basketball team.

Dempsey said not only is Holmes a phenomenal volleyball player, he also delivers a profound and inspiring message for teens between serves and sets.

“He has a strong faith ... his message is so powerful,” Dempsey said. “It’s really a cool deal for the community.”

In the past 25-plus years, he’s played in more than 5,000 gymnasiums.

The cost of seeing Holmes play is $5, which also gives ticket holders a chance to win a raffle prize with their admission. Proceeds from the event will benefit Central Missouri PAL and the United Way.

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