Hanging up the cleats: Callaway grad Emma Bryan looks back on softball career

Published 8:15 am Saturday, July 1, 2023

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Emma Bryan was a stalwart for the Callaway softball team the last several years, but the Cavaliers will have to find somebody to fill the big shoes she is leaving. 

The big shoes are metaphorical as Bryan was typically the smallest player on the diamond, but she made up for it by attacking the game with a tenacity unmatched by her peers.

“It really motivated me and made me feel like I had a chip on my shoulder,” Bryan said. “I think I put most of the pressure on myself. I wanted to prove a point that it doesn’t matter what size you are.”

Bryan had to fight hard to earn a starting spot as she was often overlooked. It did not take her long to make an impression after earning a first start in her sophomore year despite being a ball of nerves on the diamond.

“I was nervous and so scared,” Bryan said, laughing. “I thought I was going to screw up, but it ended up going really well.”

Bryan really grew up on the diamond at Callaway. Her shyness slipped away over the years as she gradually became a real leader on the team. 

She enjoyed a real breakout campaign in which she hit over .300 while having an on base percentage north of .450. She finished top three on the team in runs scored and RBIs.

“My senior year went really well,” Bryan said. “Everything really clicked. I started off really well and I was able to keep it up for the whole season.”

Bryan’s softball career has reached its end. She has no plans to continue to play softball in her post-high school life as she had to say a heartfelt goodbye to the game last fall.

“It really is sad that I have to let it go,” Bryan said. “I cried after the last game. It was hard to let go.”

Despite having to deal with a coaching change during her time as a Cavalier, Bryan was able to adjust quickly and keep improving. The coaches made quite the impression on her and she made quite the impression on them as well. 

“Since the start of my time here she has played an integral role on the Callaway softball team and has enjoyed extreme success,” Callaway coach Josh King said last fall. 

“I always measure a season on ‘did you leave it better than you found it.’” Callaway assistant coach Dalton Reed said. “I look at it and say yes she has left it in a better place than you found it, especially during my two years here. Your dedication, leadership and sacrifice has been phenomenal.”   

To be a Callaway Cavalier meant the world to Bryan. She envisioned herself suiting up for the Cavaliers since she was a little girl and got to live that dream.

“I would never think about going anywhere besides Callaway,” Bryan said. “I always wanted to be a Cavalier. We really are like a family.”

The next stop? Either a two year college or the military Bryan says. No matter what, she feels led to be a leader and an example of what Callaway aims to produce with their graduates.

“I just want to help people,” Bryan said. “If I go to a two year school my plan would be to be a social worker.”