Laker Alumni and current employee Olivia Koester shares her softball story


Kaitlyn Bloemer, Photographer and Reporter

Sports have always impacted Olivia, previously Mintun, Koester, an alumni and current employee of Lake Land College. They allowed her to travel the country, and Olivia met some of her best friends while playing softball. Because of her undeniable talent, she had the opportunity to use her skills as a way to earn her degree at no cost, and she chose Lake Land as the perfect place to start her journey. After graduating from Neoga, Olivia attended Lake Land from 2010 to 2012 as a softball athlete and to earn her liberal arts degree. While here, she also participated in numerous volunteer opportunities, such as ringing bells for the Salvation Army and fundraising for the American Heart Association. After completing her two years at Lake Land, she transferred to Stony Brook University in New York for their softball program, scholarship opportunities and academic programs. 

When looking back on her time at Lake Land College, Olivia described one of her favorite memories as being part of the team that attended back to back NJCAA tournaments. This team was the first Lake Land College team to achieve this, and she described this event as “an amazing achievement.” This memory is one of the countless memories she has at the college, and Lake Land had an incredible impact on her. According to Olivia, “Lake Land laid the foundation for my work ethic. Every day we were expected to show up and be great… Lake Land also helped me with time management and gave me the ability to utilize every minute of every day.” 

Balancing the life of being a student athlete can be difficult for anyone, but Olivia knew she wanted to perform as well in the classroom as she could on the field. After prioritizing the different aspects of her life, she found she could even fit in a social like and a little bit of sleep into her busy schedule. She said that “everyone has 24 hours in a day. How and who you spend that time with is completely up to you.” 

She also gave the current student athletes at Lake Land some amazing advice as part of the interview. “Put in all of the extra work that you can. Coaches talk…and will know when you are taking extra reps and putting additional time in. The other thing that is important as an athlete is to ‘buy in.’ Your coach in college is going to have different methods and ideas than your travel ball or high school coaches. Buy into what they are saying. They want nothing but the best for you and would never set you up to fail.” Currently, Olivia is part of the admissions team here at the college and is a big part of the student ambassador program. Lake Land College is blessed to have her on and off the field!

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