Christiansen ready for bigger role

Published 9:11 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy 2016 graduate Cole Christiansen is hoping for big things in his sophomore year at Army.

Football season is starting back up for many high school and college programs across the country. That means playing time will be earned or lost depending on how you’ve prepared yourself for your respective season. Former Saint standout Cole Christiansen is excited for what’s to come in his sophomore year.

Last season, Army went 8-5 last year and got a chance to play in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. Christiansen enjoyed his freshman season of NCAA Division I football, but he’s even more excited for his sophomore season.

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“We have a lot of veterans coming back, and everyone put on good weight over the summer,” the former Saint said. “I personally feel more confident this year with a better understanding of our defense. I’m also up to 231 pounds, so I feel good on the field.”

Right now, Christiansen is second on the depth chart at middle linebacker. He also starts on all special teams for Army. He is hoping a good camp could push him into significant time at the middle linebacker position. The former Saint said the hardest thing he had to adjust to in his freshman season was the speed of the game. Playing Division I football, Christiansen is playing with and against future professional athletes.

“The game itself is hard to get used to, but one day it clicked, and I was able to keep pace,” he said.

Christiansen finished his freshman season with a total of two tackles but saw significant time throughout the season. He even saw time in the team’s bowl game, in which it defeated North Texas 38-31. The whole experience was refreshing for the former Saint.

“It was incredible,” he said. “We were in Dallas for like a whole week, and every day we had something different to do. It was my first Christmas away from home but being with the guys made it OK. We were able to win and get a ring.”

Army is not the normal “college.” Christiansen describes it as completely different but exactly what he wants. They go to class just like other schools, but everything revolves around the military. Most everyone takes at least 20 credit hours per semester. They have three formations a day, they take military science classes and the students have a different military training regimen each summer.

For his sophomore season, he is hoping to start a few games and be productive as possible. He wants to help Army beat their rivals, Navy and Air Force. Christiansen came back home to Suffolk for six days before heading back out to West Point, N.Y. to get ready for this season.

At NSA, Christiansen was a two-time Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year. He also helped lead NSA to a state championship in 2015.