Standing tall among her peers
HURON — If someone were to take a quick look at Bryn Huber, they wouldn’t likely see a state champion athlete who received multiple statewide recognitions for her sports achievements her senior year.
In fact, one opposing coach during last year’s girls’ basketball season pretty much summed up Huber when asked about players on the Huron Tigers’ roster that the opposing team needed to prepare for in a pregame interview.
“She’s five-foot-nothing and a hundred-and-nothing,” the coach said about Huber. “Yet, she always ends up a thorn in our side during the game.”
When told about this quote, Bryn had a hearty laugh and agreed with the view.
“The word I always like to hang onto is grit,” Huber stated. “You’re shorter and smaller than everyone else; I don’t have the ‘extra’ that other people are born with.”
She added, “But I’ve always put in the work in the weight room, worked 110% all the time, and you know that at some point, that will pay off.”
Huber, the daughter of Corey and Erika Huber, is not your prototype high-achieving female athlete. In pictures with fellow award recipients, she’s often notably shorter or of slighter stature, but she completed a senior year at Huron High School with multiple recognitions for her athletic feats.
In the fall, Huber had multiple games that put her in line to break the single-game dig record from her position of libero on the Huron volleyball team. On Sept. 1 and Nov. 18, she recorded 48 and 46 digs, respectively, in a single match, falling just short of Havyn Heinz’s record 49 from Nov. 15, 2018.
She surpassed 1,000 career digs during the year and set the school record for single-season digs with 762 in the season. Her 1,489 career digs rank her third all-time among Tiger volleyball athletes.
For her efforts in the fall, she was selected All-ESD (Eastern South Dakota) conference and was second team All-State. As the Tigers made their 14th straight state tournament and came away with a seventh-place finish, Huber was selected to the all-tournament team.
Then, she participated in basketball for the Tigers. Huber was a starting guard for Huron, rarely if ever among the team’s leading scorers. However, as the opposing coach noted above, she was a very strong defender and always capable of making a long-distance shot that could turn the momentum the Tigers’ way.
Courtesy Craig Wollman Photography - Bryn Huber shares a moment with her mother, Erika, during Parents Night for the Tiger girls’ basketball team. To her right is her father Cory.
Then came spring, leading to Huber’s top sport, golf.
After finishing tied for third in the State AA Golf Championships in 2022, Huber had her eyes set toward a big year, but that’s not how the season started for her.
“For those who weren’t following it, my senior season was not looking good at all,” Huber stated. “I was actually at a low in my golf game.”
Her swing came around over the last few weeks of the season, however, putting her in prime position to compete for a title at the state tourney.
“About two weeks before state, I finally got my ‘mojo’ back,” Bryn relayed. “That pushed me into state.”
After the first day, Huber was in third after firing a 3-over 75. She was five shots behind leader Allison Meyerink - one of those with whom she tied the year before - of Mitchell. Huber and Huron teammate Olivia Rink both had tremendous second days, with Huber firing a 70 and Rink shooting a 71, the best scores for each in their respective high school careers. Rink would finish tied for fifth.
Huber’s efforts allowed her to make up ground and force a playoff hole - one that she wasn’t exactly prepared to play.
“After day one, I had the mentality that, ‘This is your last time in a Huron polo’ and there’s no pressure. Go have fun,” Huber said. “It was a REALLY fun day. I shot my personal best.”
Even with her excellent play, she wasn’t aware how close she had put herself to the championship after she walked off the course in regulation.
“I was in the clubhouse, just enjoying the end of the day, and someone came up and told me, ‘if she bogeys that shot, you guys have to play,’” Huber laughed. “I jumped up to get ready but didn’t really know what to do because I’d never played a playoff hole before!
“I went out and thought that it’s now or never,” Huber added. “I figured I would just go for it, because you’re not losing anything by playing aggressive.”
Huber birdied the playoff hole, earning her a state championship, the first girls’ golf state championship in Huron High School history.
Courtesy Photo - Huber poses with golf balls for one of her senior pictures.
She added to that success this summer, winning two event championships in the Sanford series this summer with the South Dakota Golf Association junior tour. Huber then went out and won the SDGA junior championship in late July.
Even with her accomplishments in other sports, golf has always held a special spot in Bryn’s heart.
“My seventh grade year is when I started playing on varsity,” Huber remembered. “It’s all individual, and when you’re golfing, you’re by yourself. I really like that in golf, you have to mentally challenge yourself.
“In volleyball, you can work hard to control your performances, but not in golf,” she continued. “A very little physical thing can throw off your whole golf game, so it’s definitely a game that relies on mental toughness. That’s what’s made me stronger as an athlete in all the sports that I play.”
Her senior year accomplishments didn’t really surprise Bryn, though.
“Ever since you start playing sports, you have that dream of winning and being competitive,” Huber recounts. “It wasn’t really surprising, but it was what you hope to see...all that hard work paying off in the end.”
Bryn’s attention is now focused on a future golf career with the University of Sioux Falls.
“I was between volleyball and golf for college,” Huber recalls. “It was in my junior year that I decided that it would be nice to go play college golf.
“I love the sport. I love the relationships that you gain,” Huber explained. “One of the other incoming freshmen for USF is a girl from (Rapid City) Stevens that I’ve played with since I was about 11, so those relationships can go on a long time!”
She likes the direction that Sioux Falls women’s golf coach Wade Merry has the program headed, which was a draw for her to the school.
“They have a really good recruiting class, and he’s looking to challenge Augustana to begin,” Huber stated. “Once we can do that, Wade says we are going to be really good in that third year, competing for bigger things.”
Bryn intends to major in sports marketing and media in college, and she hasn’t narrowed down what she wants to do with her degree yet, stating that there are numerous directions she could go with that in the future.
Asked what she will miss about Huron, Bryn didn’t hesitate:
“The support of the community that we have,” she quickly responded. “It’s amazing how people who have no kids in the school and aren’t part of the school consistently show up and cheer us on.”