Sports

Former 3A state player of the year at Bellevue talks about college career | Reporter Q and A

Peter Nguyen runs the ball in a game against Idaho State.  - Courtesy photo, Samuel Wilson, Montana Kaimin
Peter Nguyen runs the ball in a game against Idaho State.
— image credit: Courtesy photo, Samuel Wilson, Montana Kaimin

During his time at Bellevue, Peter Nguyen helped the Wolverines win a pair of state titles and was named 3A Player of the Year during his senior season in 2008. He continued his career and education at the University of Montana, where he recently earned the team's MVP award after a season where he led the Grizz with 926 rushing yards and 1,306 all-purpose and five touchdowns.

Montana finished its season with a 16-7 loss to rival Montana State and Nguyen took some time with the Reporter to talk about his days on Wolverine Way, Montana football fans and his advice to younger brother John, who will head to Missoula in 2013.

BELLEVUE REPORTER: Sum up your college career in one word.

PETER NGUYEN: Exciting.

REPORTER: What was one thing you took from your time in the Bellevue program that translated and helped you during your college career?

NGUYEN: Competing. We had good athletes come through Bellevue and the way we competed and worked hard against each other, that type of attitude.

REPORTER: Missoula is a pretty different place from Bellevue. Was there any culture-shock when you got to school?

NGUYEN: Yeah, it's different. Bellevue was a lot of the city life. Out here, it's more mellow and relaxed. For me, there was no shock, I just noticed there was a culture difference and I adapted pretty well.

REPORTER: I read a story that talked about the connection you formed with some people at Montana through religion. How did that help you feel comfortable and aid in your development away from football?

NGUYEN: They were just friends I had that go to my church. It made it easier knowing I would have friends out here that knew me. I knew I could come here and hang with them and eat with them and it would sort of be like home.

REPORTER: Talk about the Montana fans.

NGUYEN: It's die-hard out here. Grizz fans, it's a lifestyle. They are really into it. They are really passionate fans who want the Grizz to succeed and win. That's what they live for.

REPORTER: What did it mean to be named team MVP?

NGUYEN: It meant a lot. I'm just so thankful to know that my coaches and teammates appreciated me.

REPORTER: Bellevue has a nice pipeline going to Montana. You were one of the first, what do you tell people about the school, city and program?

NGUYEN: I just tell them it's going to be tough and it's very competitive. The fans will really help you out during the home games and it's an exciting atmosphere. I let them know if they come here, they have to work. No one should expect to play, you have to earn the respect. Especially when I was a freshman, it was very competitive. It's getting back there, but it's a little different.

REPORTER: What advice have you given John about Montana and how to take his success to another level?

NGUYEN: I just told him to keep focused mentally. Everyone has talent at that level, it's mostly mental. If he comes here, he's hard-working and I know his character will be displayed here. I don't know how he's going to play, but I think he will contribute to the team in a big way either on the field or off. He's going to compete and earn his spot.

REPORTER: What are your post-graduation plans?

NGUYEN: I'm going to try for the NFL. If that doesn't work out, the CFL. I might take two more years to get another degree. Right now, my mind is just focused on football and how far my body can take me.

Contact and submissions: jsuman@bellevuereporter.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.