Will Olson catches on at Augustana
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Though playing catcher wasn’t Will Olson’s preference, the Omaha native made it his position of choice because....
“In high school baseball it’s competitive just to get on the field, and college is even more of a giant with that, and if you can contribute behind the dish and swing it you’re a lock for a lineup.” Olson says.
It earned him the opportunity to play college baseball at his parents alma mater, the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
Until his chance to stay on the field was put in jeopardy in his first season of 2018.
“I figured if my coach is texting me this is probably pretty important. And he tells us skip your 10 AM class, get to this building, I’ve got some terrible news.” Will says.
Kearney dropped its baseball program, leaving Olson searching for a new home.
“It was definitely a shock at the time. It was a terrible situation for so many guys. I mean there was seniors who contributed so to the program and, just like that, they’re told this is it, get out of here.” Olson says.
Just as Tim Huber and Augustana were searching for a catcher.
“Just went down and watched him play that spring his freshman year. It’s the first time I’ve ever watched another four year school and recruit one of their players. Had some familiarity with him out of high school and so just it was won of those things where I think we were a good fit for him.” Huber says.
Joining the Vikings after their national championship season of 2018 meant Olson had to earn his stripes.
“Oh absolutely. This is probably one of the toughest programs to play in. There’s so much talent around us that you really have to work your tail off to get in the lineup.” Will says.
Which he’s certainly done, batting .333 or better each season, hitting 40 homeruns and driving in 166 runs in 167 career games.
“If I’m able to be well rounded it helps the team tremendously.” Olson says.
A force at the plate, Will has become one behind it, handling the talented Augie pitching staff and becoming one of the top defensive catchers in the NSIC.
“The biggest testament I give to Will, he’s had a great offensive career, but he’s worked really hard behind the plate and turned into a really solid defensive catcher.” Huber says.
Though it’s not the journey he first imagined, Will has helped bring the Vikings to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament with the same goal he had in high school.
To keep playing.
“It would be a dream to end my last college game with a win. I think we got the squad for it.” Will says.
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