Athlete Spotlight: Wahconah's Kevin Huban
The Athlete Spotlight series is back for a third school year! To celebrate the return of our feature series, we asked Wahconah's Kevin Huban to swing in for the inaugural chat. Huban, a senior for the Warriors, is a multi-sport athlete playing soccer, basketball and baseball for his school, plus other athletic endeavors in his spare time. Huban has his Warriors off to a stellar start to the season (the team was 4-2 through Wednesday), and he opened up to The Eagle about playing a variety of sports, some hobbies he has, life with two older sisters, and much more.
BERKSHIRE EAGLE: Start first, when did you first begin playing soccer?
KEVIN HUBAN: Ever since I've been able to walk, really. I've been playing since I was 3, I think. Ever since I could walk, I've always had a ball in my hands.
EAGLE: What about soccer attracts you to the sport?
HUBAN: I like how fast paced it is. I play baseball, too, but I don't think it's as fun as in soccer, because in soccer I am always moving and am able to sprint full lengths of the field. I'm always energetic when I play, and I love that.
EAGLE: You play up top for your high school team; have you always played striker? Where do you feel most comfortable on the field?
HUBAN: I would say that I feel most comfortable at the forward position, but I've played all over through youth soccer. In third through eighth grade, I played sweeper. I developed a striker mentality near high school.
EAGLE: Do you play for any clubs?
HUBAN: Yeah, I played for Black Rock, and SDA when it was a thing, since maybe I was 10. I just stopped this year, because I'm starting to focus on college.
EAGLE: That segues into a good question; it's still early on in the year, but what's it looking like for colleges?
HUBAN: I have not narrowed anything down. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do, what I want to study, if I want to play a sport. I'm leaning toward playing tennis in college, but I probably want to study a medicine field and eventually go to medical school.
EAGLE: Something just caught me there - play tennis in college, but you play baseball in the spring. What's up with the tennis thing?
HUBAN: Wahconah doesn't have a tennis team, and I've been playing tennis since before all my other sports. My older sisters played and my mom. It's probably my favorite sport to play. I can go out there, have the mentality to myself, I'm a whole different person when I'm out on the court there.
EAGLE: Where do you go to play?
HUBAN: I worked at Country Club of Pittsfield this year, so I had the course to myself when I wasn't teaching lessons or sweeping the courts. I could use the ball machine. If I want to play tournaments, I have to go to Connecticut or Eastern Mass.
EAGLE: It's a conversation you hear a lot more nowadays, the idea of being a specialized athlete. Obviously, for you, that's not the case; how much do you like having that variety?
HUBAN: I'm going to be honest with you, sometimes I'd play four different sports in a season. I'd be like 'Mom, can I take a nap? I just want to relax for a week.' But I think playing sports has really helped me develop who I am as a person, and I think it has created a lot of openings for me personality wise and future wise. It's great to play a bunch of different sports.
EAGLE: What's it like being on the soccer team at Wahconah, knowing what the football team is like there? It seems like Dalton is a football town, but you guys are playing some pretty good soccer.
HUBAN: For the last five years, especially, even before I was in school, soccer was just depleted at Wahconah and it was all about football. It still is, but I'm on a board at Wahconah, and we are trying to incorporate other sports into the social standard, kind of. We are trying to get other people involved. It's fun. We're definitely a lot better this year.
EAGLE: What's this journey been like, seeing the soccer team get built up?
HUBAN: I think I joined Wahconah at the perfect time, because it was in our development process from becoming a weaker team into a bit of a stronger team. My freshman and sophomore year, we had about four wins each season, then in my junior year we finally made Western Mass. And broke the seal. Now, this year, it's just amazing to see how much the team has developed. We have a lot of young players, and we started as young players, and we are all developing together.
EAGLE: What's it like playing for John Kovacs?
HUBAN: He's a great coach, he's a great soccer player, he knows the game really well. It's just great to have someone that can relate to you as someone who loves the game. He really devotes himself to it. In school, he's our guidance counselor right now, and you'll see him wearing our jersey on game days, and trying to be emphatic about how we are playing and stuff. I love it.
EAGLE: What do you like to do when you are not playing sports?
HUBAN: A lot of homework seems to revolve around my life. What kinds of things are you talking about?
EAGLE: Anything; what do you like to do?
HUBAN: I mean, I like to solve Rubik's Cubes. I like to read a little bit. It's really not much. I like to sleep whenever I can, I value that so much.
EAGLE: Rubik's Cubes? Talk to me a little bit about Rubik's Cubes.
HUBAN: My fastest time is about 40 seconds. I have to shrink that down a little bit, it's alright. I have a bunch of different kinds. I have the 3x3, the 2x2, the 4x4, the pyramid one, I love them, just for fun. I would bring them into school all last year, and when we weren't doing anything I'd be solving them under my desk.
EAGLE: How does this love develop?
HUBAN: It's been a long time. My sisters had them. So probably when I was about 6 I learned how to do it. Then I stopped for a while, then a few years ago people started doing it and I said I was going to get back into this, and I devoted myself to getting good at it.
EAGLE: You've referenced your sisters, how many siblings do you have, and how much older are they?
HUBAN: I have two older sisters. One is 10 years older and one is 12 years older. They both live in Colorado, so I was looking to try and go out to school there if I could.
EAGLE: What's the relationship like with two siblings who are significantly older than you?
HUBAN: A lot of fighting with older siblings like that, but then as I get older and mature a little bit, I start to respect them a little more and see them as grown adults. When I was younger, I would criticize them and say 'stop being my mother,' but they are older, and they are mature. So once I got mature, I realized how special they are to me.
EAGLE: What are their names?
HUBAN: Lauren Huban and Jackie Huban. Lauren played at Wahconah, she was actually on the softball team that won states in 2011. And Jackie went to St. Joe.
EAGLE: I always like to ask food questions; where's the best spot to go after a game?
HUBAN: The best spot to go after a game? A nice Ayelada trip is always clutch, I love Ayelada. But I have to stay away from the dairy, especially during soccer season. Hot Harry's is a go-to place for me.
EAGLE: What's the go-to order?
HUBAN: A chicken and bacon quesadilla.
Geoff Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @GSmith_Eagle on Twitter and 413-496-6254.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.