What is your background in the sport?
Jeremy Norden: I began playing ultimate with Chris Hansman at The Northwest School from 01′-07′. In high school I played youth club with Moho from 04-07, Seattle YCC 05′-07′ and with the USA junior national team 06′. In College I have played with the Sweets of Whitman College from 08-current and mens club with Seattle VooDoo 07′-09′, USA junior national team 08′, with current teammate Jacob Janin. and on U23 Team Canada in 2010. I have been coaching since 05′ for Lakeside middle school, Mercer middle school, Seattle Youth Ultimate Camps, DiscNW Outreach and this last summer the 2010 women and open junior Colombian national teams.
How did you come to play at Whitman?
I heard about Whitman from family friends in Seattle and decided to visit Walla Walla during my junior year of high school. The school academically was everything that I wanted, excellent academics, small classes, engaging students and a tight community. I met the ultimate team on campus that spring and knew right away this was the program that I wanted to play for. I visited the campus again fall of my senior year in high school and decided to apply early decision. After committing to Whitman in the Winter I began recruiting for ultimate right away. Two of my good friends from NWS, Chris Hansman and Matt MacQuivey decided to go to Whitman and play for the Sweets. I have worked in the admissions office for the last four years and it has been great to see perspective students apply from all over the country that are looking for a West coast, liberal arts school with a strong ultimate program and attend Whitman.
What is your role on and off the field?
My role on the field is to lead the offense, and work with Chris to call lines and make in game strategic adjustments.
My role off the field is to captain and coach the Sweets. The Sweets have always been coached by the captains and this creates a atmosphere in the team different than most of the top ranked college programs. Chris and I plan practice, balance the budget, figure out logistics to tournaments, recruit perspective students, put on ultimate clinics in Walla Walla, organize Onionfest (A annual co-ed tournament hosted by the Sweets on the beautiful Whitman College campus in the spring) and are constantly strategizing on how to improve our team.
How are you getting prepared for the Sweets first trip to the big show?
We are getting prepared for the big show by working hard at practice.We play our best when we are focused, a little goofy and having a good time. We have a couple weeks to practice in the beautiful Walla Walla spring before flying to nationals and getting a couple practices in at altitude in Boulder.
What does making nationals mean to you?
Making Nationals is a dream come true. I knew in high school that I wanted to go to a liberal arts schools with an ultimate program and help them make nationals. I have been working toward this moment since I decided I was going to apply early decision to Whitman College in the Fall of 2006. The team agreed that making division one nationals was our goal this season and ever since that meeting the team has gone above and beyond all expectations. Our team has improved at every tournament and it has been so much fun to be one of the Sweets.