First of all, congratulations to this year’s Fish Bowl Prediction winner, Joe Kaldestad. Kaldestad is a 17-year-old senior at Gig Harbor High School who picked the Tides to win, 41-12. The final score was 40-14. Thanks to everyone who participated in the #FishBowlPrediction contest on Twitter. For those who didn’t win, there’s always next year. For Kaldestad, there is a nifty Gateway hat.
For the record, I was pretty close with my prediction as well, picking the Tides to win, 38-17. (Ok, horn-tooting over). Moving on, here’s what we learned from the 2015 Fish Bowl.
GIG HARBOR IS FOR REAL
The Tides dominated and lived up to all the offseason hype they’ve received, including a No. 2 state ranking from The News Tribune. The Tides were as good as advertised on both sides of the ball, benefiting from a veteran roster, good line play, explosive players at the skill positions and great overall team speed. While it’s only one game, the Tides did nothing to dispel the belief I have that they’re a legitimate contender for the Class 4A state title.
EXPECT RECRUITING TO PICK UP FOR ALEXANDER
Gig Harbor QB Davis Alexander was great, and he didn’t even have his best game. And that’s saying something, because he threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns, and added 81 yards and a touchdown on the ground. But he missed — barely — on a few deep balls that would’ve put him over 300 yards easily. Despite that, he showed why he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the state. He has a strong arm, reads defenses well, scrambles like Russell Wilson, and commands the offense with confidence and ease. Alexander hasn’t received a ton of recruiting attention because he’s a bit undersized, but he’s a special QB.
PENINSULA IS YOUNG
It didn’t surprise me that Peninsula struggled in the Fish Bowl, given how young the roster is. There’s going to be some growing pains. The Seahawks returned just two starters on offense and four on defense. But Ross Filkins’ teams have been consistently good over the last decade, and this team will be no different. The Seahawks will improve rapidly and will be a force in the SPSL 3A. The Tides are the best team they’ll face all year. Junior quarterback Ryder Johnson struggled in his debut, but he showed some flashes of good play, and as he settles in, he has the potential to be a very good quarterback for the Seahawks.
THE FISH BOWL IS SPECIAL
I arrived to the Fish Bowl a couple hours early, in part because I wanted a specific parking spot, but also because I enjoy the build-up to the big game. Walking into Roy Anderson Field, I passed people tailgating, decked out in Columbia blue or green and gold. By the time kickoff rolled around, there was still a huge line to get into the game. I’m not sure how many people attended the game, but I would guess it was around a couple thousand. It’s a special event for the community and is always awesome to see how many people show up, lined around the entire field for the game.