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Nordstrom talks lacrosse | Reporter Q and A

Cole Nordstrom (red) defends during the Seatown Classic.  - Courtesy Photo, Michael Jardine US Lacrosse
Cole Nordstrom (red) defends during the Seatown Classic.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo, Michael Jardine US Lacrosse

Cole Nordstrom seen the growth of lacrosse in Bellevue first hand.

A graduate of Bellevue High School and junior with the Denver University Pioneers Nordstrom was part of the Wolverines state title season in 2010 and saw the game's popularity begin to swell during his youth.

Nordstrom was a First Team All-State selection as a midfielder in 2009 and again during the state championship season of 2010. He was also the winner of the team's Wolverine Award, given to one player each season that exemplifies the mission of the program.

Bellevue head coach John Baumann said Nordstrom's most memorable qualities were his work ethic, determination and of course, outstanding talent.

"He was a captain in 2010 for the state championship team and was a driving force in getting the program back to the glory days," Baumann said. "He put his team first, ahead of possible individual stats and was really the catalyst."

Baumann added that during Nordstrom's senior year, he barely missed out on an All-American selection and would have made the cut in subsequent years with the number of spots awarded.

Nordstrom, who was in town for the Seatown Classic lacrosse showcase between Maryland and his own Denver University squad, took some time with the Reporter to talk about the growth of lacrosse in Seattle, how it prepared him for Division I competition and the perception of Seattle area lacrosse outside our region.

BELLEVUE REPORTER: What was your introduction to lacrosse and when did you really become invested in the sport?

COLE NORDSTROM: My older brother started playing, so I was the pesky little brother who got into it because he was doing it. I picked it up really quick. I was one of the first people in the area playing and my dad started a team. I was one of the only kids with a lacrosse background and I finally found a sport I was good at. I used to play baseball and I was the worst. I started playing lacrosse and scoring goals and I realized, wow, this is fun, how can I do this more? The love started young and lasted through middle school and high school and definitely now at Denver.

REPORTER: How well did the level of play here prepare you for what you have experienced so far at DU?

NORDSTROM: Growing up in Seattle, it's not exactly the biggest lacrosse hotbed. I always tried to work harder than everyone else to excel because my goal was always to play Division I lacrosse. Sometimes that meant I had to go play wall ball when no one else was. Where it (lacrosse) was when I was growing up isn't exactly where it is now, so I had to do that extra stuff to get to the Division I level.

REPORTER: What was it like for you to watch the game explode during the time you were growing up?

NORDSTROM: It has been absolutely amazing. In fifth grade I was on the first fifth-sixth grade team in Bellevue. Now we have first grade clinics. We have gone from one team at the high school to a varsity looking to win a state title every year, a JV and freshman-sophomore team. It's amazing seeing how many more people playing the game, including athletes coming from other sports. I would love to see lacrosse become a varsity sport in Washington. I was hoping that would happen before I graduated.

REPORTER: What is the biggest change from prep lacrosse to D-1?

NORDSTROM: Everyone is a Division I athletes. It isn't like high school where I was maybe bigger, faster and stronger. They all got recruited for the same reasons I did. There aren't nearly as many weak links as there were when I was in high school.

REPORTER: What is the perception of Seattle area lacrosse at Denver, or when you travel around the country?

NORDSTROM: Not a lot of people know much about us. With Landon (Carr) at Maryland playing in a couple national championships, they have helped put Washington on the map. Some of the club teams have started to make some noise. It's starting to get there but it's certainly not a brand name. Hopefully we will get there soon.

REPORTER: For people who are unsure of lacrosse or maybe haven't given it a try, what do you say?

NORDSTROM: It's the fastest game on two feet. If you like playing sports, you will love lacrosse. There is always something going on - running, hitting, scoring. It's a great game.

Contact and submissions: jsuman@bellevuereporter.com

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