A nice shirt, tie, slacks and dress shoes. That’s the uniform for Mount Si soccer players when they’ve got a home match on the docket.
Senior midfielder and captain Kyle Hunter is cool with the attire.
“I love it, honestly. It just attracts more attention to our home game. Kids in the hall and teachers — they know what’s up,” said Hunter, 18, whose Wildcats qualified for the 4A state tournament with three consecutive victories over Eastlake (2-1), Inglemoor (2-0) and Issaquah (2-1) in the KingCo tourney.
Hunter began playing co-ed soccer at age 5 and has spent his last four years on the Mount Si varsity squad. He said that nothing beats playing for coaches Darren Brown and Ben Tomlisson.
“In the new year, that’s all I look forward to,” Hunter said of Mount Si soccer, which draws a lot of hype around school and in the community. Matches at the school stadium are special occasions, Hunter — a first-team all-KingCo player — added.
Aside from Mount Si ball, he’s enjoyed success with the Olympic Development Program (ODP), Pacific Northwest Soccer Club, Eastside FC and Crossfire Premier. Last July, he was thrilled to be selected to participate in the ODP regional camp at the University of Idaho.
“I always wanted to do that really badly,” Hunter said of the ODP camp. “This year, I finally got an email from Washington Youth Soccer. Oh my god, it was unforgettable getting that email.”
Coaches at the camp passed on crucial tips to advance to the next level: passing the ball swiftly, raising your head up quicker when handling the ball and always anticipating where the ball is going to end up.
Hunter also gained invaluable people skills when rooming with other players and communicating on the soccer pitch.
In the fall, he’ll attend Oregon State University, where he’ll major in business and marketing management and plans to walk on with the soccer squad. At OSU, he’ll join his best friend since third grade, Jesiah Irish, who will be playing football at the school. The pals have always pushed each other to succeed.
Over the years, Hunter has learned “how to stay focused on yourself and your game, and not worry about who the other players are and what team they play for.”
The Reporter asked Hunter a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life.
Reporter: What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
Hunter: Ana’s Mexican.
Reporter: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Hunter: When I wake up in the morning and one of your other siblings is in the shower when I need to shower.
Reporter: What’s your dream vacation spot?
Reporter: What’s your favorite hobby?
Hunter: Trying new food.
Reporter: Who was your idol growing up?
Hunter: Neymar (Brazilian soccer player). I always felt myself playing similar to him. A fast winger on a lot of attacks.
Reporter: What’s your favorite kind of music?
Hunter: Hip-hop and rap. I do like country as well.
Reporter: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Hunter: “Miracle.” When the US hockey team beat Russia in the (1980) Olympics.
Reporter: What’s something unique about you?
Hunter: I think of myself as a good poem writer. My LA (language arts) teacher thought so as well.