Brownwood Lions senior catcher Chase Holmes has found a new home in the collegiate baseball ranks. Holmes has signed to play for the University of Texas-Permian Basin Falcons, an NCAA Division II program located in Odessa.

Holmes opted to become a Falcon after also garnering interest from Temple College and Navarro College, both two-year schools, along with Oklahoma Panhandle State, which competes in the Heartland Conference the same as UTPB.

“UTPB has a good, strong, solid program. I talked to the coach and he said I had a good shot to play for them and he felt like I could play a key role on the team,” said Holmes of his decision to head to Odessa.

The UTPB baseball program’s winning tradition is another reason Holmes cited for becoming a Falcon. Last season, the Falcons posted a 35-21 overall record and were 30-19 in Heartland Conference action.

“What brought me to UTPB was their success over the years and the strong foundation of their baseball program,” Holmes said.

At Brownwood, Holmes was a key cog both offensively and defensively during the Lions’ runs to the postseason in his junior and senior years. Brownwood reached the Region II-4A semifinal round in 2007 and this past season the Lions were bi-district finalists.

“Chase has been a great talent for us for three years and we’re awful proud of him,” said Lions head baseball coach Scotty Nichols. “We wish him the best of luck and want to thank him for what he did here. He’s got a good baseball family behind him with his parents, and we look forward to big things from him at UTPB.”

Being able to compete in the Class 4A state playoffs allowed Holmes to not allow fine tune his game, but catch the eye of college coaches around the state.

“The playoffs helped me tremendously,” Holmes said. “In the playoffs, all the teams are good and they have guys that are going to play in college. Playing against college caliber talent allows you to get more experience and understand the speed of the game. In college it’s a lot faster and everything is more intense.”

As for what awaits him during his freshman year at UTPB, Holmes believes the possibilities extend from being redshirted to competing against seniors for playing time.

“The playing time will be different,” Holmes said. “We don’t know right now if I’ll redshirt or not. I could see a lot of action, or get a lot of experience learning from the other guys. The coach said if I beat out some of the senior guys, I would go ahead and play.”

The most important thing to Holmes, however, is doing whatever it takes to help the program remain successful.

“I will help out any way I can to improve the program and help them win a national championship,” Holmes said. “I’d like to have a good, successful career and hopefully win a lot.”