Nevotne balances cello and football


Varsity football player Tristan Nevotne, junior, walks toward his coaches, cello in hand anticipating their reactions. The moment he starts playing the “Bach Cello Suite” by J.S. Bach, he is automatically transported into his own zone. They have been waiting to hear him play to see if he was the “real deal.”

“I thought they were pretty impressed, but the [coaches] don’t expect you to have intellectual talents or artsy talents,” Nevotne said.

“What? What’s the cello?” are most of the reactions from people when the six feet three inches, football starter Nevotne tells them that he plays the cello. “People say it’s different, but I don’t care, I love it,” Nevotne said.

This was Nevotne’s first year starting for varsity football. He starts on the offense and defense line, playing in the positions of nose tackle and left guard. He started playing football in seventh grade following his dad, a Division I football player. “I’ve continued to play football because I have a dream of playing Division I football like my dad,” Nevotne said. Nevotne has jump-started this dream by sending in videos to different colleges, receiving letters from a few already.

According to Nevotne, his passion for cello will be a lifetime, whereas his participation in football may lessen over time.

“I’ll like football [until] probably the end of college, but cello is probably going to be forever,” Nevotne said. He explained that his health and more importantly his brain are very important to him in his college football career. The chances of concussions and damaging his brain aren’t worth the risks.

Nevotne started playing in third grade. “I ended up playing in the orchestra because I like[d] the sound of the cello, and I’m drawn to it. I thought [cello] was a beautiful instrument,” Nevotne said. He aspires to continue playing in college and plans on playing in the non-major orchestra in college.

“It’s really calming. Whenever I get stressed out, I’ll just go play my cello. You’re always learning new things playing music, and I guess it makes me different, and I kind of like that,” Nevotne said.

Besides playing cello and football, Nevotne also competes in track and is a member of the Robert Crown Health Board. On top of this, academics are a priority to him and balancing his time between these activities sometimes becomes a challenge. “It’s really hard, to be honest,” Nevotne said.

“Academics always come first,” Nevotne said. His parents require that he complete his homework before practicing cello and doing other activities. Occasionally, Nevotne wakes up early before school to practice his cello, in order to prepare for auditions and Orchestra Honors.

Nevotne especially loves playing the cello for his grandma, explaining how his grandma doesn’t get out much. According to him, the most rewarding thing for him is to see her smile. “It’s the best thing seeing my grandma smile, which I know she can’t do much, and just to see her happy and excited to see me play. It’s all worth it,” Nevotne said.

Nevotne always finds time for the cello.“I think by far, the greatest achievement is making people happy when I play music for them,” Nevotne said.