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Unique set of circumstances facing Chantler in Gig Harbor debut

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on Aug. 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm with No Comments »
August 28, 2012 8:53 pm

Aaron Chantler chuckles at the thought of it.

Here is the uncommon set of circumstances facing the new Gig Harbor High football coach in his debut Thursday night:

* His Tides face perennial powerhouse O’Dea, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A.

* The season-opener at Roy Anderson Field will be televised on Root Sports.

* Chantler is a high-energy, jittery type under normal circumstances.

Chantler

“Maybe the young (coach) part in me, or former player in me will take over,” Chantler said. “I will have to mellow that out.”

It was about two weeks ago when Tides’ athletic director Bob Werner approached Chantler with a high-exposure proposition.

“He asked, ‘Do you want more pressure?'” Chantler said. “Twenty-four hours later, the game was set up.

“It is a great opportunity for the kids – it is awesome they are going to be on TV. They’ve been really good about it – excited but nervous.”

On Sunday, Chantler and his staff deliberated on who would start at quarterback heading into the season. The nod went to Garrett Gallanger, the starter last season, over Conor Scanlan.

“His throwing ability is what (the choice) came down to,” Chantler said. “It was a close battle.”

So under the stadium lights – under the scrutiny of anxious fans and 15 excited family members, including his parents (Dennis and Jeannette), twin brother (Brent), wife (Jenna), coaching father-in-law (Gordon Elliott) and coaching brother-in-law (Chris Paulson) – how would Chantler script his first offensive series as new coach?

“I want a 12-play drive that takes eight minutes off the clock – and ends with a 6-yard touchdown run,” Chantler said. “That, or return the opening kickoff for a touchdown.”

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