Streubel gets new perspective on football

Natalie Hyland, Staff Reporter

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In 2016, football player Nick Streubel only played in one game for CWU. The offensive lineman broke his hand in two places during the Wildcats’ first game of the season against Portland State University (PSU), but he hasn’t let an injury keep him too far away from the action.

Like most athletes, Streubel’s first thoughts revolved around returning to the game as soon as possible which would not be for the rest of the season.

“It was rough for sure. It was one of our better years in these last couple years,” Streubel says. “It was really awesome to see our guys prevail and do well this year, but it was awful to not be a part of it.”

While he wasn’t in the mix on the field, Streubel found himself filling different positions on the sidelines during the games including duties in the press box and serving a link in communication and another set of eyes for coaches John Picha and Chris Fisk.

“It kind of gave me more of an appreciation of what the coaches actually do,” Streubel says. “It was kind of eye-opening. The first time I did it…I couldn’t keep up with the plays. I was trying to draw all the blitzes and I was just completely stunned.”

Fisk, who coaches the offensive line, says Streubel’s injury had a huge impact on the team last season and that having him on the field could have been the difference between a loss and a win.

“He was a starter for us last year and was a big part of why we were almost able to beat a Division I school,” Fisk says.

Before Streubel took an interest in football he was a competitive swimmer, but like most kids he soon decided he wanted to try a different sport.

“I wasn’t really a fan of [swimming] anymore,” Streubel says. “All my friends were doing football so I thought ‘why not?’”

One of the first things he recalls about his earliest years of playing football were the intense conditioning drills he went through in middle school. Drills included numerous 100-yard sprints and many sets of push-ups.

Streubel played for Coupeville High School, where he experienced a few less than stellar seasons against stronger opponents during his time. The Wolves even went as far as declaring independence from their 1A league and playing exhibition games with other schools instead.

“One thing [high school] did teach me…was learning how to lose and still coming back the next week and fighting that adversity and just trying to be better,” Streubel says.

Once his senior year came to a close, Streubel was invited to his only official college visit at CWU. He was shown around the school and football facilities by older linemen, but what really sealed the deal for him was the bond he experienced between teammates.

“We went back to the old lineman’s’ house and we sat down and hung out,” Streubel says. “It just kind of gave me that brotherhood type of feel and was really inviting.”

One of the teammates who has gotten to know Streubel best is his roommate Grady Graff. Graff, a junior who redshirted his freshman year, is a linebacker for the Wildcats.

The two met during their freshman year and spent time together, but only became roommates in the fall. Much of their time off the field includes activities like golfing, bass fishing and shooting.

“When he’s up and awake, he’s always doing something,” Graff says. “When he’s asleep he hibernates.”

Streubel’s sleeping pattern as even earned him the nickname ‘The Bear’ from Graff.

Graff agrees with Fisk that losing Streubel last season was a huge setback for the team and echoes everyone’s hopes that he will play a full season this year.

As camps and training begin for the Wildcats, Streubel is back to practicing with his teammates, although he says more cautious about what he’s doing. He is also setting goals for the upcoming season which include hopes of earning all-conference honors.

“In high school we went independent,” Streubel says. “I didn’t get to receive any awards like that.”

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Streubel gets new perspective on football