Interview: Mark Huebsch named MSHSL AAA nominee
PERHAM -- Perham senior Mark Huebsch was selected to represent sub-section 23 in the Minnesota State High School League's AAA program (Arts, Academics, Athletics).
According to Perham Activities Director Fred Sailer, Huebsch will have his application forwarded to the Section 6A committee.
If he grades out higher than the other three area students, he will enter the state competition.
As it currently stands Huebsch is one of 32 Minnesota students still in the running.
The MSHSL AAA program's purpose is to recognize and honor high school seniors who have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the fine arts.
Mark has been involved in choir, the Garage Band, track and cross country at PHS and is also an honor student.
Huebsch cites teachers Kevin Kosiak (music), Sandra Weiser-Matthews (speech) and Jeff Morris (math, track and cross country) as significant influences on his success.
"Morris has played such a huge part in shaping who I've become."
Huebsch was set on playing baseball, football and basketball as a youngster. Morris sold him on cross country instead.
"Besides just showing us what to do at practice he helps us with how to live our lives, almost. I think if anyone turns out to be like Morris he should be happy. He's just a great guy."
Huebsch is no stranger to success having been part of the nationally recognized and state champion cross country teams, as well as making two trips to state in speech.
What may not be in Huebsch's application paperwork for the AAA award is the level of sportsmanship and the quality of teammate he proved to be during this season's cross country run.
Huebsch was a captain his junior season and one of the top seven runners competing at the state meet. In his senior season, he was bumped from the starting roster by Ben Sullivan but did not let it deter him in his running efforts.
Having been on the team since elementary school Huebsch was named one of five captains on this year's squad.
"It was a lot of fun trying to get everybody motivated throughout the summer," he said. "We had a lot of high hopes."
While helping Perham dominate many races at the junior varsity level, Huebsch was still a big contributing factor to the state and national championships at the varsity level.
"I just found a way to keep pushing them. I was definitely disappointed that I couldn't run but it was so cool just to have those experiences with those guys. I love all of them and Ben definitely earned that spot."
Huebsch joined Chris Knutson as alternates on the state meet team, which is a pivotal role should one of the top seven not be able to run.
"I was nervous about that."
Huebsch is not one to be too nervous as he has a knack for public speaking, an act most people look on with disdain.
Perham speech coach and teacher Sandra Weiser-Matthews has had a positive affect on Huebsch's success in speech.
"This year with a bunch of college classes I was really stressed out trying to get everything done and she was really there to settle me down and keep my head on straight. She's also gotten me to state twice in speech so she's good at what she does there too."
Huebsch challenged himself this year changing from discussion, which is the category he's made trips to state on to extemporaneous speaking his senior season.
Huebsch finished 18th his sophomore season and ninth his junior speech season.
On being a member of choir and the garage band program, "I have to attribute the last 'A' to Mr. Kosiak. He really got me going on music."
Mark will take his many talents to the University of Minnesota next school year and may just take along a state AAA award to go with his large collection of accolades.
"I take being nominated as a huge compliment, especially even getting picked out of Perham because I know so many of my classmates who are just awesome people and so well-rounded. The fact that they picked me it was really exciting."
Huebsch, however, is not one to take full personal credit for his accomplishments.
"Obviously, I can't have gotten where I was without my teammates in cross country and speech or the classes different teachers offered at school and how well they offered them or Mr. Kosiak and all the people who inspired me musically.
"I can't take any of the blame," Huebsch laughed.