Everywhere she has played, soccer player Skyylerblu Johnson has found a way to win.
It began in Guam where she played as much as she could even if it meant being one of the younger players on the team. Her experience at such a young age helped her in representing Guam on the international stage for the Masakada as a teenager. After winning championships in high school and the women’s league on island, she has won yet another title as a Highline Community College Thunderbird. She is now hoping to do the same as she starts her journey playing NCAA Division II soccer for the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
Johnson has had dreams of playing soccer in the mainland since she was in middle school. It wasn’t until her junior year at George Washington High School that she decided to try out for Hawaii Pacific University’s soccer team. It was one of her first experiences playing soccer in the states but after attending the tryout she realized there is much more involved in the college recruitment process than playing.
“I didn’t know about all the money and paperwork that was required,” she said. Due to her lack of knowledge at the time, she thought playing for Highline College would be a good stepping stone. “I would definitely recommend it to players not comfortable going straight to D1 or D2. I feel like going to a junior college would be a really good stage because you get your associate degree, finish your core classes and tuition is cheaper,” she said.
“The level of play may be a little lower but I think it eventually equals out,” said Johnson, who thinks playing in the states helped her development as a player.
In her last season as a Highline Community College Thunderbird, Johnson and her team won the Northwest Athletic Conference championship with Johnson scoring six goals and providing six assists throughout the course of the season, earning her a spot on the NWAC All-Star Team. These accomplishments made her transfer even easier as she showed she had the ability to play at a higher level.
“Winning the NWAC Championship helped because schools were looking at my team. My coach also helped because of his connections,” she said as she also emphasized how important it was to have a good coach and staff. Junior colleges only offer an associate degree after two years so Johnson knew from the moment she committed to Highline that she would leave after two years to play at a four-year university.
“(The transfer process) goes by really fast and it’s relatively easy," she said. "It’s really up to you and where you want to go.” Johnson transferred to UH-Hilo to be closer to home and play for a school in Division II.
Johnson started at UH-Hilo this fall but due to the COVID-19 pandemic all her classes went online at least until January. In the meantime, she will be living at home in Guam until she can meet up with her new team. Johnson was also training with the Masakada before the most recent pandemic-related lockdown.