The Gig Harbor High School football team has only been to a state title game just once in the program’s history. That was in 1993, when the Tides lost Prosser in the Class 3A title game, 22-20.
Gig Harbor, led by up-and-coming coach Steve Gervais and quarterback Christian Lindmark, put together the best season the Tides have ever seen.
Now, Christian Lindmark’s son, Dylan, a senior slot receiver at Gig Harbor High, hopes he can finish the job for the 2015 Tides.
“I think it’s an awesome opportunity,” Dylan Lindmark said. “These guys work hard. It’d be cool to be able to compare our games with his and say, ‘I experienced what you experienced.’ Hopefully I can win (a state title) and maybe have some bragging rights.”
If Gig Harbor (10-0) can win its next three games, the Tides will play in the 4A state title game at the Tacoma Dome. If they do, Dylan hopes it goes a little better than it did for his father.
At the 1993 state championship game in Seattle’s Kingdome, the elder Lindmark threw four interceptions in the first half.
“I had a rough game,” Christian said. “You have those games sometimes.”
But the defense didn’t allow a single point in the second half, and Lindmark and the Tides mounted a comeback. Down 22-20 on the final drive and marching down the field, Lindmark was sacked on fourth down around the Prosser 30 yard line, sealing the win for the Mustangs.
But what Christian remembers most is the energy and community support surrounding the team during that time.
“The (Peninsula) Gateway predicted us to go 4-5 that year or something,” Christian said. “As we continued to win, the excitement built. It was unexpected. The Fish Bowl (against Peninsula) was seventh game of the year. There were 5,000 people there and it was pouring down rain. From there, it just built. The mayor came to our school for the finals. We received an escort out of the city by the police department. People were waiting for us and waving at us from overpasses. It was kind of one of those surreal moments.”
The Tides face a difficult road to even get to the title game, but if they do, Dylan will have the chance to finish what his father couldn’t, and bring a state title home to Gig Harbor.
“That would mean a whole lot,” Dylan said. “All of these guys want it and I know I do, too. It’d be awesome to have a ring and make fun of my dad a bit. He didn’t do it and he wishes he could have. He tells me it was a great experience, the whole journey. I just want to come out here and finish what we started. I’ve only got so much time left with these guys.”
IT’S ALL CONNECTED
When Gig Harbor coach Aaron Chantler saw Dylan Lindmark’s name on the roster when he took the job a few years ago, it was his father-in-law who first made the connection. Gordon Elliot recruited Christian to play QB for him at the University of Puget Sound.
“Gordy told me, ‘You’ve got the son of my first quarterback,’” Chantler said. “Right away, we made that connection. It’s a good deal. Dylan is a great kid and a great athlete.”
To advance into the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, Gig Harbor will first have to get through Skyline on Saturday. Skyline was brought to prominence by — guess who — Steve Gervais. Gervais compiled a 94-22 record at Skyline and led the Spartans to three state championships.
But Gig Harbor has the weapons to knock off the Spartans. All of Christian Lindmark’s passing records have been shattered in the last two seasons by senior quarterback Davis Alexander. Alexander and Lindmark are good friends, and Alexander makes sure to let Christian Lindmark know when he breaks one of his records.
“Davis is well aware of who had the numbers,” Chantler said.
Christian is more than happy to watch his records get broken.
“I can’t believe some of them still exist,” Christian said. “It was fun to see at the banquets — there were still some records I had. Davis is a great young man. I couldn’t ask for a better kid to break every record I had. I’m very happy for him. He’s very humble, he’s not conceited. It’s fun to know the kid, too. To have another kid wearing the same number I wore — I’m proud of him.”
Christian will be watching from the stands, hopeful that the team can take it all the way and win the title.
“It would be amazing,” he said. “I hope they experience that joy around winning it all. Most of them have been playing together for seven years. I hope they do it.”