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A Wildcats Blood Runs Blue & Gold

1990 Team Basket Ball picture

Growing up in a small town, 30 years ago, I dreamed of being a Wildcat and wearing the Blue & Gold. My friends and I had a life that revolved around sports. We played when coaches weren’t watching; we dreamed when we were alone. We did well in school to play the game we loved… to be a part of the team.

My fondest memories came from the time on the field or the court. Wearing that game day jersey on Friday gave me a sense of pride… a feeling of belonging. To look at my teammates before a big game and know that they were going to get my best and they were going to give their best… to learn from the losses and to celebrate the successes. I saw a beloved teammate buried in our Blue & Gold and I saw my friends win a State Championship in the Blue & Gold. My heart was broken and my heart was full.

Coach Carlstrom with his team at District Tournament

My heart is still full and broken 30 years later. I see a world that kids have to live in that can be heartbreaking, but I still see kids full of Blue & Gold pride. Coaching is much different than playing; there is much less control. My perspective on winning and losing has changed. When I played, I focused on the winning. I realize now that no matter the outcome of the game, what matters are how you grow and learn about life. That is what I appreciate now from when I played… how much I grew as a person.

Almost everything I teach as a coach has been stolen from another coach. Someone probably stole that from another coach. My passion for coaching goes beyond the X’s and O’s and the winning and losing. What matters to me is what a Wildcat becomes down the road and that his journey of high school sports helps them become the best they can be… Just as it did for me. Once a Wildcat- ALWAYS A WILDCAT!

District Champion Team


When Coach Carlstrom isn't busy mentoring kids on the field or court, he runs North Park Meats and North Park Big Game Processing with his wife Chrissy and partner Nick Cornelison. He has two great kids, Bryce and Kailyee that carry on the Wildcat tradition.

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