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Marquette Wire

From breaking records to recording them, Cole Emmanuel brings large skillset to men’s lacrosse

Emmanuel ranks second amongst all Marquette’s faceoff specialists in faceoff win percentage this season. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Ground-breaking researcher. Band member. Coach. Rock climber. Photographer. Owner of the highest career faceoff win percentage in Marquette men’s lacrosse history.

This list of epithets worthy of any historic hero belongs to none other than senior face-off specialist Cole Emmanuel.

Emmanuel is majoring in physics and working with Marquette professors on a research project on top of his full-time schedule as a student-athlete.

“We’re studying the biomechanics of face-offs,” Emmanuel said. “One professor from the department, Dr. Vigil, she comes to every game. She has a press pass, she sits on the midline with a super, super high-speed camera, NFL quality, and films every single face off.”

Having experienced major changes prior to the 2015 season and the 2021 season, face-offs are still being figured out by both the NCAA and by face-off specialists. Emmanuel’s study will be the first of its kind.

“There hasn’t been a single scientifically credible analysis of the position ever,” Emmanuel said. “The first thing you do when you’re doing this level of a research project is you look at similar projects. You look at how they analyze things, what methods you can use and there’s just not a single one.”

Junior face-off specialist Luke Rios said Emmanuel’s analytical approach is a welcome addition to the face-off room.

“It’s very helpful the approach he has to it because we’re able to really analytically look at the face off and see how it just helps us,” Rios said. “When we try something new, he finds something that might work a little bit better.”

Senior face-off specialist Luke Williams said Emmanuel helps to bring a level of out-of-the-box thinking to face-off technique that others don’t have.

“It definitely helps in bringing a newfound creativity to his game,” Williams said. “He’s not afraid to try new things on and off the field. I think it’s cool to see just the creative aspect he brings.”

In addition to the numbers game of physics, Emmanuel is also a part of The Grape Street Collective, a band that he started with another Marquette student, Genevieve Kulla. The band is signed to with Unrivaled Records and recently released their newest song, “Dive Right In,” back on April 13.

Rios said the team received the new song well.

I actually heard it before in the fall when he was still making it so it was pretty cool,” Rios said. “Our coach sent it in our group chat and it was cool to see another song come out.”

Williams said it’s important to be able to have an interest outside of lacrosse, as it helps to build connections with teammates.

“He’s found a group of guys that are interested in like playing guitar and instruments,” Williams said. “He’s had them come over to his place and play songs together, hang out and get to know each other.”

In addition to the jam sessions, Emmanuel said he’s also teaching some of his teammates and coaches how to play the guitar.

“Mason (Woodward), Noah (Verlinde), Rios and Lucas Lawas came over and we did guitar lessons and a couple jam sessions. It was really fun,” Emmanuel said. “I am teaching Joey Artinian, our Director of Operations, how to play and he has made a ton of progress.”

Emmanuel said teaching and coaching are two passions of his.

During the summers, he coaches for an organization called Faceoff Factory that hosts clinics across the country. Emmanuel said he’s coached in Missouri, Indiana and this summer will be going up the West Coast. Currently, he said he’s working with a group of kids based in Milwaukee.

“Every Sunday, I do sessions with like a group of kids. I have been working with them for a couple of months now and five of those kids are in the top 10 face-off guys in the Midwest right now, so that’s really cool,” Emmanuel said. “A couple of them hadn’t even started facing off until this year, which is really fun.”

Emmanuel said he helps out the other guys during games with notes and strategies.

“He (Williams) would come off him and I would talk about like what his move would be for the next face-off would be,” Emmanuel said. “That shows that we have a lot of trust because he was asking me my perspective. I have the iPad out looking at the film and I tell him what to do with that.”

With graduation looming, Emmanuel will soon have to face off against the demands of the future.

“I’m going to try to test the coaching path. I want to test out college coaching,” Emmanuel said. “Also, this research that I’m doing. It’s a pretty new field but in the MLB right now, teams will hire analysis guys to look at like swing angle, impact and all this pretty high level stuff, but it involves physics and it’s improving the game a lot. The research that I’m doing directly feeds into that field.”

This story was written by John Gunville. He can be reached at j[email protected] or on Twitter @GunvilleJohn.

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About the Contributor
John Gunville
John Gunville, Sports Reporter
John is a Sports Reporter at the Wire. He is a senior from Hartland, WI studying international affairs and Spanish and minoring in economics. In his free time, John enjoys playing on the Birdhouse ultimate frisbee team and has been to over 200 Marquette men's basketball games. This year John is looking forward to growing as a writer and share his passion for Marquette sports.

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