The on-field leadership and composure Underwood multisport athlete Nik Gardin has shown this football season while catapulting the Rockets to a 7-1 record in this, his first year starting at quarterback, is a testament to the strength and intelligence of his character as a player. Today (Nov. 9) at Moorhead High School at 3 p.m. Gardin will once again showcase the skills he used to help lead the Rockets to the Class A quarterfinals against an equally dangerous Ada-Borup team (7-1) in a bid to strengthen an already sound legacy.
Parents: Stacy and Ron Stanley, and Tim Gardin.
After graduation: Four-year university (undecided).
Field of study: Physical education.
Sport(s): Football, wrestling, baseball.
Hobbies: Ice fishing, socializing, watching movies, sports
Q: How does it feel to make school history as a member of the Rockets’ first 11-man football team?
A: It feels great. If you would have asked me this at the beginning of the year I wouldn’t have honestly thought that we would’ve gone this far — I believed we could — but it’s a lot easier said than done. So I feel great being able to be part of it.
Q: What do you attribute this season’s success to?
A: All of us having the same feel for each other and the same trust that we have. I think there’s a deep trust that we all have for each other. We trust our coaches, we trust their game plan, the schemes that they have, we know that they’re going to put us in the right spot to make plays and we’re all going to follow through.
Q: Win or lose Saturday what are you taking away from this whole experience — making school history, the playoff run, the season overall?
A: I’m taking away the memories that I made with all of my guys on the team. I’m also taking away the learning experience from it, realizing that if you put your heart toward something you can actually accomplish it.
Q: Being a senior-heavy team this year, what do you see for the future of the program?
A: I actually see a lot of good stuff coming up, I know our younger grades that participate right now because we have a senior-led squad, they can all see what can happen with hard work and I think they’re going to put in a lot of hard work as well, and they have the talent to have a good team.
Q: As an athlete how would you like to be remembered?
A: I want to be remembered as a good leader and as somebody who also didn’t slack off, actually put in work to earn what he got.