Kansas Wesleyan women’s soccer coach Henrik Sohn was in a bind late last summer. A freak accident during a practice session resulted in a torn Achilles tendon that required surgery just before the start of the 2021 season.
Back on the pitch immediately after surgery Sohn was relegated to using a scooter that allowed him to keep his injured leg off the ground but sorely impacted his mobility.
Conducting practices and other seemingly simple tasks became a sizable dilemma. What to do about it was the issue, though.
Enter Cameron Hunter, exit many of Sohn’s concerns.
Hunter, a graduate assistant, stepped in and relieved considerable pressure, allowing Sohn do as much as he could as he recuperated.
“I was very worried because I wasn’t able to be the coach I wanted to,” he said. “Cam stepped up in a big way because he had to. He ran a lot of things behind the scenes because we were just short a person and he helped up in a big way.”
KWU posted an 11-7-2 record (7-3-2 in the Kansas Conference) and advanced to the KCAC tournament semifinals with Hunter and Sohn leading the way.
When Sohn was told during the offseason he could hire a full-time assistant coach for the 2022 season the choice was quick and easy.
“It was a natural choice,” Sohn said. “We’re very proud of what he did last season and he can be proud of himself. It’s not easy being a first-year coach and coaching women for the first time – just the amount of work he was willing to do. I think that is huge for an assistant coach.”
Hunter will take his place beside a healthy Sohn this fall, giving the Coyotes a veteran staff.
“For me it’s a lot more security as well knowing that it’s not a ‘two years and you’re out’ kind of thing,” Hunter said. “I have a chance to stick around a little bit longer and actually get my feet on the ground and really get going.”
For Hunter, life won’t change much.
“It’s more about my involvement within the school,” he said. “Taking further steps into the recruiting process and also helping out with other games and other sports going on and helping administer those games. Essentially helping the whole athletic department.”
Academics will be a priority as well.
“That’s something I did a little bit as a GA,” he said. “We do study hall hours and I watch over those and make sure girls are coming in and getting their work done when they need to.”
Hunter’s no stranger to KWU or Salina. A native of Pomona, Calif., he played center back at Chaffey College (Calif.) for two seasons before transferring to Wesleyan. After his playing career ended he became a coach working with the Puma FC, a Salina club, and spent three seasons at Salina Central High School working with the boys’ teams in 2019 and 2020 and the girls in 2022.
The recruiting piece is something Hunter relishes. He spent time this summer in San Diego looking for new Coyotes.
“You’re out there doing what you love to do, watching the game and identifying talent and also getting to meet people on the recruiting trail as well,” he said.
“He was a captain and as a coach I think he has a way of getting through to the players, connecting with the players with his background of playing at K-Dub,” Sohn said. “His background of playing in junior college in California and him being from California is a great way of connecting with them and building the relationships and trust that is needed to be successful.”
Hunter said working with Sohn has been the best part.
“It’s been great,” he said. “He’s been a great mentor for me, just showed me the ropes and stuff. Didn’t really have too much experience at the college level and he’s helped me out every step of the way.”
Sohn appreciates Hunter’s can-do attitude.
“We’ve got to take pride in washing the jerseys just as much as we’ve got to take pride in coming up with a game plan for the next game,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if the task is big or small, coach Cam took pride in it and that’s huge.
“He’s someone who has the ability to be extremely successful at this level.”