“I love it, it’s a lot of fun,” Luckhardt said of coaching. “It’s awesome to live here and it’s such an awesome community to grow up in, but also to come back and raise a family. I feel really blessed to be here with my job, to be able to go to basketball and football games and have family nearby.”
Family has always been of utmost importance to Luckhardt, as she recalls her grandparents, Sam and Eloise Fralick, making long-distant trips to follow her throughout high school and college.
“They were the most super fans, most dedicated,” Luckhardt said. “They’d come to everything in high school and almost everything in college. They’d be our only fans in a tournament in Kentucky on weekends. I’ve always been grateful with how supportive they’ve been.”
Her sister-in-law Kristy, who was a senior when Luckhardt was a freshman in high school, is also someone who’s been at her side for many years.
“I just remember her when I was in middle school and she was in the third grade,” Kristy Fralick said. “She was the tall and gangly kid that would play anything and she was always hard-working and competitive. I’ve always kind of considered her like a little sister. Our families are good friends and we went on vacations growing up.”
Kristy Kanine also received a long letter from her future sister-in-law after Luckhardt’s sophomore year, when she decided to wear Kristy’s No. 32 in basketball.
“She wrote about being part of the team and playing with me and how proud she was to wear No. 32,” Kristy Kanine said. “She said she’d put it to good use. She definitely did.”
Both her former high school basketball and volleyball coaches agreed, when Luckhardt played, you could see the fire in her eyes.
Her older brother saw it too.
“It’s great to see her get this type of recognition,” Gavin Fralick said. “I know how much time she spent into her athletic career and it’s great to see her get rewarded for all her hard work.”
Looking back, it all goes back to those days in the yard with the box jumps, where Luckhardt’s father would sit on the box and monitor her workouts.
“That was a big focus and a big thing for him to get athletes more focused,” Gavin Fralick said of off-season workouts. “If you want to get better, this was what you needed to do, but if you didn’t that was OK too. He’d show you what it took to get better and any time you have someone at home that can give you feedback and coaching, that can only make you better.”
Tamm, who’s coached a number of strong players throughout his coaching career at Petoskey, said he’s not at all surprised by what Luckhardt has been able to achieve.
“I think she probably could’ve played in Division I or Division II, but I know she wanted to go to Alma to get a quality education and to play volleyball,” Tamm said. “She’s intelligent, listens well and has a solid work ethic. The sky’s the limit for those people.
“I’ve known her since she’s been a baby,” Tamm added.
“Now, she’s a fine young lady with a baby.”