Sports can teach life lessons like getting through struggles, bonding and handling the unexpected. When you do it alongside your sibling, it can make the job easier.
Sophomore outfielder Reagan Hukill and her brother, junior pitcher Trevor Hukill, have had the opportunity to do so at UTA.
The Hukills each have had decorated careers, with Trevor playing baseball and Reagan playing softball.
Trevor earned First Team All-District and Academic All-District during his time at Mansfield High School. In 2017 he attended Vernon College in Wichita Falls, Texas, spending two seasons with the baseball program.
He then transferred to UTA, spending two seasons with the baseball program before being named to the 2018-2019 Sun Belt Academic Honor Roll.
Reagan obtained many accolades during her time at Mansfield High School, where she holds multiple school records, earned multiple team MVPs and was named Dallas-Fort Worth Offensive Player of the Year in 2019.
Reagan started all 24 games as a freshman at UTA and didn’t make a single error on defense, having the third best batting average on the team at .305.
One of the key reasons why Reagan chose UTA was the proximity to home, she said.
“It’s really nice because it’s only 20 minutes away from home, so if I ever wanted to go see my mom or go out to dinner, it’s so easy,” Reagan said.
She said that she was nervous coming in as a freshman and starting, but it was amazing to her knowing that she could start at that level.
“It’s really nice for sure, knowing that she came in, and she’s actually starting for the softball team, and knowing I’m right over across the way at the baseball field,” Trevor said.
Some of the help she’s received has come from her strong bond with her brother, Reagan said.
“Since baseball and softball is a brother-sister sport, it has brought us closer together because I have a built-in throwing partner or a built-in front tosser,” Reagan said. “It was always nice to have someone there for me.”
The bloodline of collegiate athletes runs deep in the Hukill family. Melodie Hukill, Reagan and Trevor’s mother, played softball and volleyball at the collegiate level at Cameron University.
“When you’re younger playing the sport, you don’t think ahead. But now looking back, I’m living through them again because I know they are getting to experience a lot of things that I got to,” Melodie said. “They’re doing it at a way different level than I did and much better than I ever did.”
Reagan praised her mom for motivating her to be a better player.
“Growing up, my mom was always the coach,” she said. “She was always tough on me, which I think made me a better softball player because it made me work harder.”
There came a time when Trevor and Reagan had to make a decision to play at the next level, and Melodie had to step back from being a coach and focus on being a mother.
When they made the decision to become Mavericks, Melodie couldn’t have been more excited.
“They both decided they were going to go in that same direction, and of course my inner self was thrilled,” Melodie said. “Seeing her go in the same direction as I did was the best thing ever because I know a little bit about the game.”
Even with her family’s influence, Reagan wanted to make the decision that was best for her.
“I wouldn’t say they had that big of an impact on me because I wanted to go where it would make me happy and where I felt the most at home,” Reagan said.
Personality-wise, Reagan and Trevor do not lack confidence, Melodie said. They show it in different ways, however.
“She is going to be, ‘Hey I’m in your face, here I am, look at me, I am going to prove you wrong,’’’ Melodie said. “Trevor has the same competitiveness too, but he is just a little more mild mannered about it.”
Off the field, one of the main hobbies Reagan and Trevor share is riding bikes.
Throughout all of the trials and tribulations that 2020 brought, the Hukills relied on family through the tough times.
“COVID kinda pushed everything back,” Trevor said. “I wasn’t able to see my teammates, so being able to see [Reagan] helped.”
Reagan praised Trevor, saying he taught her to never give up, especially with everything being shut down.
“He was like, ‘Just keep pushing through, and we’ll get back out there one day,’” Reagan said. “Here we are 11 months later.”
Reagan looks to continue making an impact for the softball team in the outfield with the season officially being underway.