Evan Lindeman named CCS Spirit of Sport Award Recipient

May 14, 2015 — by Allison Lin

The California Interscholastic Federation uses these characteristics to define the best and most honorable high school athletes. The award acknowledges one male and one female student-athlete during each season of sport from 10 sections in California. Chosen winners exemplify principles of pursuing victory with honor, are active in school and community service and exhibit leadership qualities.


Versatile. Resilient. Committed.

The California Interscholastic Federation uses these characteristics to define the best and most honorable high school athletes. Senior Evan Lindeman was named recipient of the CIF/SUBWAY® Spirit of Sport Award for the Central Coast Section and given a $1,000 scholarship.

On April 17, his passion, courage and devotion on and off the field were recognized by the CIF. Though the award is for football, Lindeman is also a key player and starter on the baseball team.

The award acknowledges one male and one female student-athlete during each season of sport from 10 sections in California. Chosen winners exemplify principles of pursuing victory with honor, are active in school and community service and exhibit leadership qualities.

“These students have demonstrated and understand that a positive attitude and teamwork is what education based athletics reinforces to all of our students across California,” CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake said in a press release. 

Out of all male athletes competing in CCS, Lindeman best personified the ideals of CIF’s “Pursuing Victory with Honor” code both on and off the field.

“I was told there are athletes from more than 100 schools in CCS that are considered for the award,” Lindeman said. “It’s a huge honor, and I feel incredibly blessed for it.”

In the fall, athletic director Tim Lugo nominated Lindeman as the school’s candidate for the scholarship. Lindeman submitted an application along with a personal essay.

“I was both surprised and humbled when I was nominated for this award,” Lindeman said. “I had never considered my actions as outstanding enough to receive these accolades.”

This year’s essay prompt asked candidates to consider the life lessons learned through participation in athletics.

Lindeman decided to take an unique approach: He considered why Lugo had nominated him. Attempting to put himself in Lugo’s shoes, Lindeman realized the key reason Lugo may have chosen him for the nomination is the way he has reacted to adversity.

Back in August, Lindeman was surprised when he was named one of the four varsity captains of the football team after the players concluded the summer conditioning and training program. Three captains had already been named at the beginning of the summer to establish clear leadership for the team.

Lindeman plays quarterback on offense and outside linebacker on defense. Although he had the starting outside linebacker job secured, his summer preparing for quarterback was very different. 

It was a tryout for starting quarterback; a competition between him and sophomore Will Liddle. He worked hard and so did his competitor, but at the beginning of the second to last week of the summer training camp, Lugo called him over to his golf cart before practice.

Lugo told Lindeman that he had chosen the sophomore as the team’s starter because Liddle showed great tools. Giving Liddle the job provided a chance to start building experience for Liddle to be the future of the program. Lindeman learned he would be used in a backup role and in certain special personnel packages.

Lindeman was, of course, disappointed and frustrated, but still saw it as a chance to improve his skills on defense and help focus his time teaching his less experienced backups at that position.

“I felt I owed it to the team to not get down and turn my back on my teammates just because I was no longer the starting quarterback,” Lindeman said. “I have always felt a sense of responsibility to whatever team I am a part of, sports related or not.”

Two weeks later, as the team closed the last practice of the summer program, Lugo brought the JV and varsity teams together to recap the summer and discuss the upcoming season. At the end of his talk, Lugo announced that he had decided to name a fourth captain, instead of a traditional three. He had Lindeman stand up as he explained his decision to the team.

Lindeman was caught off guard by Lugo’s announcement and said he did not fully understand the decision in that moment.

“[Lugo] alluded to the fact that after being demoted, I never complained or even showed disdain for his decision or the team,” Lindeman said. “He said that because I was visibly unchanged at practice and worked just as hard, if not harder than before, I had shown that the team’s success was more important to me than anything, and that leaders are capable of putting personal setbacks behind them in order to help the team.”

In Lindeman’s mind, he hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary. The way he handled himself was how he always handled himself in life.

“My dad always taught me that humility and faith in your superior’s decisions were the way team players and honorable people behave,” Lindeman said.

In November of 2013, Lindeman’s father, Mark Lindeman, suddenly passed away. Lindeman’s father was a regular fan in the bleachers and loved by many in the athletic program. Lindeman attributes his sports ethic to his father. Not only does he have his dad’s mindset on the field, but he also applies it to every aspect of his life, such as in the classroom.

“[My dad] insisted that I always push myself to be the best I could and love the competition within the team,” Lindeman said. “It is never too late to win that spot back and the competition helps make both myself and my teammate better.”

Over his years of being on different sports teams, Lindeman has come to the conclusion that true leaders lead by example, and are not always the most vocal or outspoken ones. Lindeman never thought that leading by example could include anything except letting performance or work speak for itself.

“Being rewarded with such a profound accolade as being a captain, for doing what I thought was expected of me, gave me tremendous pride in my upbringing and how I live my life,” Lindeman said.

Lugo was overjoyed when the CCS commissioner told him Lindeman was selected for the award.

“[Lindeman] will go down as one of my favorite all-time players. He is the consummate competitor but does so with such class and integrity,” Lugo said. “He was one of the reasons a young football team, like the one we had this year, overcame the odds and was able to advance to the CCS playoffs.”

Lindeman’s teammates agree that Lindeman deserved the award for his work ethic and attitude.

“[Lindeman] is the kind of teammate every player wants,” senior wide receiver Joey Medeiros said. “He is constantly looking to get better, and if a teammate has an issue, whether it’s football related or not, he is always the guy to talk to.”

Lindeman’s family and relatives also expressed their pride in his achievement. In a text to Lindeman on the day he received news of getting the scholarship, his aunt, Marcia Proctor, sent him a congratulatory text message.

“Wahoo!!! I am so proud of you. You have honored your dad in the best way possible,” Proctor wrote.

Despite being a fairly reserved person, Lindeman strives to advocate to his teammates what it takes to sacrifice for the team and push themselves to not accept less than stellar effort.

“Whether it’s not missing weight lifting sessions, being punctual to team activities, or following team rules despite how trivial they think the rules are I try to instill within my teammates the desire to do these things rather than just bossing them around or nagging,” Lindeman said.

He admits that being a captain was not easy, and that he learned valuable lessons in the process of becoming a better leader.

“Part of being a captain is to be willing to grow myself and work even harder than I normally would to exceed what is expected of me,” Lindeman said. “That has always been important and normal to me, but now it is imperative to those who depend on me that I grow and learn in this way.”

He also says that participation in sports has taught him almost everything he knows in life.

“I will strive every day to apply that lesson to my life. It will help me to develop into a person that people are fond of and trust,” Lindeman said. “These two qualities will sustain me throughout my life.”