Watching his older brother is what inspired Nick Bauer to pick up his own lacrosse stick when he was in the fourth grade.
“My brother was really into lacrosse, and I watched a ton of his games and saw all the older guys playing,” says Bauer. “I fell in love with it.”
A fan of the high pace of the sport, the Mater Dei High School senior plays a variety of positions for the Monarchs, including midfielder and defender, but prefers to be on the defensive side of the game.
“My favorite is playing down low [on defense],” says Bauer. “I like seeing how the defense works.”
The four-year varsity player is also in the role of co-captain this season, a position that carries a lot of pride for Bauer, and one he tries to fulfill through leading by example. Mater Dei boys lacrosse head coach, Johnny Rodriguez, considers Bauer to be one of the best players the Monarchs’ program has seen.
“Nick is a powerful player on the field and an incredible leader,” says Rodriguez. “The moment he stepped onto the field, he instantly gained the respect of his teammates. Since then, Nick has been the most dominant player on the field in any game we’ve played this season. We’re thankful to have had the opportunity to coach him.”
A multi-sport athlete, Bauer also played three years of varsity football as a strong safety for the Monarchs, a decision he feels made him a better lacrosse player.
“Being in shape for the offseason is huge in lacrosse, and I don’t think that anything can do that better than football at Mater Dei,” says Bauer. “It really kept me as a top tier athlete throughout the entire year.”
Playing Mater Dei football also gave Bauer the opportunity to make an impact off the field by participating in a program called Monarchs for Marines. Partnering with Camp Pendleton, the Monarch football players visit the Southern California base each year to spend time with the marines and their families.
One of the biggest challenges Bauer has encountered in playing lacrosse is navigating the college recruiting process. Known mostly as an East Coast sport, Bauer has invested a large amount of time competing back east in an effort to get noticed by college lacrosse coaches.
And his efforts have paid off, as the Newport Beach resident is headed to Princeton University where Bauer will be playing lacrosse alongside studying business, a move that would not be a reality without the support of his two main role models—his mom and dad.
“My mom really teaches me how to be compassionate, how to be a loving person and how to be a faithful person,” says Bauer. “My dad is probably the hardest working person I’ve ever met. He really inspires me to work hard in everything I do.”