Tushka’s Mackenzie Huffman - Athlete Spotlight - Presented by Stuteville Ford
Ten percent luck…Twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure…Fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name…
The well-known lyrics have been shared in a variety of ways to emphasize the difficulty in achieving victory over any challenge. While the percentage definitions may vary, the words can be applied to describing the endless list of accomplishments earned by Mackenzie Huffman.
During her high school career at Tushka High School, the need for luck has been minimized by the 2021 senior’s will and determination to master her skills on the softball field as well as the basketball floor or running cross-country for the Lady Tigers.
A four-year regular in the lineup, “Mack” has been a constant game changer on the softball diamond whether she’s pitching in the circle or playing second base and without question with her bat in hand. Ironically, it was on the basketball court where she encountered an injury that would sideline most players. Not Huffman.
In just the second game of her senior season, Huffman tore the ACL in her right knee requiring surgery that doctors said would end her high school sports career and keep her name off the spring softball lineup card. “That was never an option,” Huffman said with conviction. “I knew I would prove them wrong. And after going through intense rehab with a physical therapist three days a week and working out on my own, I’m probably about 70 percent now but I can and will do whatever the team needs to be victorious. Give me a bat, I can still drop a bomb or two.”
The competitive nature of Huffman is her motivating energy in everything she does, in sports and in life. “I’m easy going but I’m definitely competitive,” she said with emphasis. “I’ve never been the best athlete on the field but I believe my competitive spirit has given me a big advantage.”
The commitment of Huffman is proof of what she defines as character. “Character is about your actions and how you treat others on your team,” said Huffman. “You can’t lead without character and I’ve tried to show others my character through hard work.”
And speaking of the one hundred percent to remember the name, Huffman makes her desires known to everyone. “My dad told me when I first started playing sports to always play for the name on the front of the jersey, never the name on the back. Always be a team player, a good teammate and give 110 percent in everything you do,” Huffman said in an emotional voice. “That’s who I try to be. It’s why I’ve had ‘110%’ written in sharpie on my cleats so I could always be reminded to give my all.”
And as the slowpitch season enters the playoff schedule and graduation draws near before she moves on to Rose State College to pursue a degree as a dental hygienist, the footprints of legacy are well defined for others to follow and remember the names, Tushka Lady Tigers and Mackenzie Huffman for a job well done.”