All the way out at Webster University in Missouri, former Kealakehe soccer player Hunter Olaso is still making waves on the field.
Right before entering his senior year as a Gorlok, Olaso was named to Webster’s 2010s All-Decade team for men’s soccer. He is one of only five players currently on the Webster roster to be named to the team.
Olaso said the news caught him by surprise. The senior midfielder missed most of his sophomore season due to an injury, but his level of play his freshman and junior year helped elevate him to a spot on the All-Decade team.
“I think I had a great first year at Webster. I definitely was fortunate to have played as much as I did as a freshman, but I think my accolades that put me within the all-decade team came within this past year,” Olaso said. “My sophomore year, I was out half the season. I dislocated my elbow about eight games into a 20-game season. I was very grateful, and felt very blessed, to be included into the team of the decade because of my sophomore season.”
For his freshman season in 2017, Olaso was named a third-team All-SLIAC (St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) selection. He has scored four goals and has six assists for 14 points in his career as a Gorlok.
He has played a total of 3,396 minutes so far in his time at Webster, including tallying 1,826 minutes as a freshman in 2017. Those 1,826 minutes played are second on the school’s single-season chart, according to Webster’s athletic department.
Kealakehe won four BIIF Division I championships while Olaso was a Waverider, a team that Olaso had dreamed about being a part of since he was a child. After his success in high school and signing with Division III Webster, Olaso said he’s continued to improve on the soccer field.
“I think I settled down a lot as a college player. I lived up the street from Kealakehe, and I went to Kealakehe Elementary and Middle School, and then I watched Kealakehe High School play from a young age. So I always wanted to play for them,” Olaso said. “When it was my time in high school, I was nervous. Especially with the coaching staff being so successful, I wanted to do my best. As time went on, I matured as a person and as a player. By the time I got to college, it kind of came to fruition and I was able to put my best foot forward and really settle down and play how I know I can play.”
As far as his senior season at Webster goes, Olaso said the SLIAC has postponed the men’s soccer season for all schools in the conference from the fall to the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Like his successful run at championships while at Kealakehe, Olaso hopes to take Webster to the same heights in 2021, with the help of another Kailua-Kona soccer player.
”I’ve been fortunate enough to have my roommate Logan (Takizawa) with me. He played at Konawaena, and it helps settle me down,” Olaso said. “I want to have a good connection with him this year on the field, so hopefully he gets as much playing time as me.”
After college, Olaso said he wants to try out to play professional soccer, whether that’s in the U.S. or abroad. Olaso is studying international business at Webster, and he said if pro soccer isn’t in the cards for him, he would like to use his degree to work overseas.
Olaso said his faith, family and fellow Big Island teammate helped him get to this point in his soccer career.
“I want to thank the man upstairs for blessing me and giving me the opportunity to extend my soccer career outside of high school. To be able to get an education and play the sport I love, and hopefully make a career out of it, it’s a blessing,” Olaso said. “I also want to thank my family and my roommate Logan, who, like I said, he’s been a huge help being so far away in the Midwest, to kind of settle me down and just have a little piece of home so far away.”
Olaso said he also is thankful to be one of many Kailua-Kona soccer players representing the Big Island on the mainland.
“With the boys I grew up playing with, there’s great talent such as Esai Easley, who plays at Grand Canyon, Kupa’a Fernandez who plays at Gonzaga and Laukoa Santos who plays at San Diego State,” Olaso said. “They came from the same small town as me, Kailua-Kona, and I’m just happy to be representing the hometown I’m from.”