By Ray Hamill — Arcata’s Connor Olson is set to reunite with his older brother Spencer at College of the Siskiyous after recently committing to play men’s soccer for the Eagles after graduation.
Olson, whose Arcata teammate Arthur Frye also has committed to play for the Eagles in the fall, says he chose Siskiyous for several reasons and it’s a fit that just felt right.
“I obviously enjoy playing with Spencer,” the Tigers senior said. “Our chemistry on the field in games works well. But there are other reasons for me to go there.”
In addition to the affordable education at the community college, Olson also hopes it will be a stepping stone on the way to a four-year school, and one in particular.
“Obviously, financially it’s a desirable option,” he said. “And I also hope to transfer to OIT (Oregon Institute of Technology) and to continue there, and they offer in-state tuition to Siskiyous students.”
Spencer joined the Eagles out of high school a year ago and enjoyed a productive debut season in the college ranks.
He played almost every minute on a team that struggled to a 2-14-2 record.
Connor got to see the team play in the fall and liked what he saw from his future teammates and the coaching staff.
“I got to see them play and got to meet some of the boys and meet the coaches,” he said. “And I liked his soccer philosophy. I think it’s a great environment for me to jump into.”
Olson was a three-year varsity player at Arcata High and also played for the elite local club team, the Mendocino Eagles, during his junior year.
The Eagles club helped develop numerous local players and prepare them for the next level, sending almost every one of their players on to the collegiate ranks.
“My coaches Ed Handl and my father Tim (Olson) have always been huge, huge influences for me,” Connor said. “Their method of coaching extends beyond the soccer field. They coach life.”
Connor’s three years playing at a competitive high school program like Arcata also has helped prepare him for the jump to college, despite having to play for three different head coaches in his time there.
“Everybody that I had was always there for me when I needed it,” he said of the coaches.
He says he will miss his teammates and the time they spent together most of all.
“I’ll remember the amazing connection I got to make with my teammates,” he said. “They were fun-loving kids who were also there to play soccer.”
As for his goals at Siskiyous, Olson is just hoping to enjoy his time while continuing to grow as a soccer player, and says he is excited about the next chapter in his career and life.
“In the long term, I think my hopes and expectations are to play for a four-year college. That’s my goal as far as soccer goes,” he said. “And I want to improve as a player and spend some quality time with my brother and help my team.”
There is still some uncertainty surrounding the fall sports season due to the ongoing pandemic, but the younger Olson is hoping to play and has been busy preparing for the season under the assumption it will go ahead as planned.
“I’ve been doing a good bit of training when I can,” he said. “And having my brother home to train with is super nice. We’re staying on top of it.”