Christiansen makes impact in second year

Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Former Nansemond-Suffolk Academy standout Cole Christiansen was happy with his sophomore season at Army.

Christiansen is a couple of weeks removed from his sophomore season at Army at West Point. The team finished with a 10-3 record and won its bowl game over San Diego State University. It was the second bowl game Christiansen was part of after being in one his freshman season as well.

However, his sophomore season looked very different from his freshman season. During his freshman year, the Suffolk native saw time at linebacker here and there but ultimately was making his impact on special teams. Over the summer, he came into camp competing for a starting spot at linebacker, and ultimately his coach deemed him worthy of holding an outside linebacker position. From there, Christiansen went on to finish his season with 84 tackles with five tackles for loss and an interception. His 84 tackles ranked second on the team.

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“I thought this season went really well,” Christiansen said. “I think I got a lot better the second half of the year. I felt like I was able to contribute more after I got a few games under my belt. Overall, I felt like I had a good season. There is a lot of room for growth.”

The former Saint wants to become more consistent during the offseason. He believes much of that will come from watching film. In his best games this season, he felt like he knew what opposing offenses were going to do before they did it.

“I think a lot of being more consistent just comes from watching more film,” he said. “It really comes down to me studying the game in the offseason and getting bigger and faster. That way on game day I know where to go, and I can get there with authority.”

Christiansen feels more like a veteran now after completing his first season as a starter. He believes that has given him a new edge and a more aggressive way to approach his offseason training.

“I know I can get a lot better, and I know I’m capable of doing a lot of good things,” he said. “I am really looking forward to making my biggest jump physically and skill-wise since I’ve been here.”

The expectations this season for Army were high, and they were able to live up to it. Army had a hard-fought bowl game against SDSU, in which Army won 42-35. Christiansen knew what his team could do and was excited to see his team accomplish so much.

“We are all happy with how we did this season,” he said. “Our expectations were high, and we exceeded everything we did the year before. We lost some games we should have won, but that only fuels the fire to be even better next year.”

Many people don’t get the chance to be a starting linebacker at the NCAA Division I level, and Christiansen has. He takes great honor in the opportunity, especially being from Suffolk.

“I love repping Suffolk,” he said. “Especially because I came from a small pond and made it to a big program. So, it is really special to me to be able to play for the whole city and all the people that watch.”