BIG HORN — Gracie Goldhammer wasn’t always sure she would be able to play college volleyball.
Until her senior season at Big Horn High School changed that.
“My plan was always kind of up in the air, I thought about JUCO, didn’t really want to do that,” Goldhammer said Wednesday afternoon. “But I was always interested in Black Hills, I had some connections there, my mom graduated from there. I just decided I would try, and it just worked out.”
Much like her dream of playing college volleyball, the Lady Rams success grew as the 2012 season went on. An even .500 entering the final season’s stretch, Big Horn suddenly got hot, reeling off a string of wins that ran them to a 2A Northeast regional tournament title, and all the way to the 2A state title game, where they would finish as runner-up.
Goldhammer was instrumental in that success, taking All-State honors as a senior after all-conference as a junior. A three-sport athlete also playing basketball and track, she’ll shift to just the one this fall, where the level of play will increase dramatically.
“Black Hills just went D2, it’s huge competition,” she said. “Before I made my decision, I just wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep up with the faster game. Bringing in our new coach we learned a lot more and trained harder.”
“I think Gracie’s going to transition really well,” BHHS volleyball coach Leigh McLaughlin said. “She has the heart, she’s a great team leader. I think she’s going to have no problem whatsoever.”
Goldhammer isn’t the first from her family to play college sports. Her older brother Grady played football for Chadron State (‘06-’07).