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Team Before Self: Nelson's Brand of Leadership Helps Crusaders

SPOKANE, Wash. - Northwest Christian's Mattea Nelson is easy to follow. Her selfless leadership style is only accented by her warrior-mentality on the mound, where she's helped the Crusaders to an 8-0 start this season.

"I played it when I was younger, like kindergarten, and I just kind of fell in love with it."

On her way to becoming a two-time league MVP in softball, Northwest Christian's Mattea Nelson garnered a trait that helps her stand out even more on the field.
Coach Stewart: "Her confidence in what she does, she doesn't think about, she just really has a natural ability to play ball, and you don't see that a lot."

Whether it's in the diamond, or within the lines of a volleyball or basketball court where she's also a standout for the Crusaders, playing ball isn't the only thing that comes easily.

"I guess I've always kind of been a natural leader in my sports because I'm a point guard for basketball and I'm a setter for volleyball so I've kind of always had the ball in my hand I guess."

No other place Coach would prefer the ball to start because of Nelson's team-first attitude.
Coach Stewart: "She's very selfless, it's never about her, it's always about the team and the team goals, and what the team can do and she helps the younger kids and we have this program where we go back and we work with our fifth and sixth grade students through the year and she comes down and she helps every opportunity she can with the pitchers."

After leading the Crusaders to a 27 and 2 record last year, and an eight and 0 start this year, Nelson doesn't just want to leave behind a short-term winning streak at Northwest Christian.


Coach Stewart: "The legacy she has, it's amazing I mean it almost makes me tear up thinking about it because she's more interested in what the program is going to do than what's going to happen for herself, it's always about the program and the team."
"I think that is what makes a team really successful, is the community and the bond, and that's what makes people go far and so I really hope that when I leave next year they'll know that to win state or something that it's not just athletic ability it's the community and the sisterhood that we have right now and I hope that that happens next year too."

Next year, where Nelson will be playing at the college level at Northwest University in Kirkland.


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