Josh Hunealt to play soccer at Salkehatchie
By Chris Sokoloski
Georgetown High’s Josh Hunealt signed to play soccer at the University of South Carolina – Salkehatchie on Wednesday.
“It’s just another step in playing ball somewhere else and it gives me an opportunity to go to college as well,” Hunealt said.
Hunealt has been soccer since he was seven. Along with the high school team, he also plays with the Georgetown Soccer Club and with a local men’s league.
Bulldogs’ coach Chris Hapeshis called Hunealt a “great kid” and a “team leader.”
“He played goal keeper, he played forward, he played midfield, he played everywhere we needed him this year,” Hapeshis said. “So he’s kind of a utility guy.”
Hunealt visited Salkehatchie during an open house in January and went through some drills for the coaches.
“He showed a lot of soccer intelligence with the way he played, but the thing that I like the most is that he’s looking to set up his teammates for success rather than just looking out for himself,” said Indians coach Bill Glass. “The thing that impressed me about him is that he’s a team player, he’s a playmaker, he’s a very unselfish player. Technically he’s a very advanced player, you can tell he’s played some club soccer.”
Hapeshis is a strong believer that travel ball and club teams are better conduits to college than high school teams.
“It’s not a requirement … but the level of play is some much tougher it definitely prepares you,” Hapeshis said. “I think it’s pretty rare for a kid that plays high school to go out and play.”
Hunealt and both coaches said the biggest transition for players from high school to college is the level of play.
“They’re not used to be taken to the cleaners and schooled,” Glass said. “Some of them react to that by becoming more competitive, by learning the trade, learning the tricks from the more experienced players and some of them have problems adapting. It’s always a challenge.”
Hunealt said his favorite Georgetown High soccer memory is scoring an 80-yard goal against Wilson last year. The wind helped carry the ball and then the ball bounced over the keeper’s head.
He also played football as a senior, setting a school record with a 43-yard field goal, and is active in the ROTC. Outside of school his is active at Georgetown Presbyterian Church and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Georgetown County.
After finishing his two years at Salkehatchie, Hunealt wants to complete his accounting degree at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
Glass said Hunealt has the opportunity to see some playing time as a freshman.
“It’s not easy to crack the starting lineup but, aside from our starters we usually go to out bench quite a bit,” Glass said. “Based on what I saw of him, he has the potential of coming in and carving out a role for himself.”
Hapeshis hopes Hunealt is a soccer inspiration.
“Hopefully he’ll be kind of a gateway kid,” Hapeshis said. “Hopefully he’ll inspire some of the younger kids to go play hard.”
Hunealt received an honorable mention for the Region VII-AAA All-Region team. Matthew Moore was named to the second team, and Dustin Pack also got an honorable mention.
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