Former teachers, coaches excited for Lindstrom
By Anya Grondalski
Citizen Chronicle Writer
DUDLEY — Just a few years ago, Christopher Lindstrom was playing under the Friday night lights of Carmignani Memorial Field at Shepherd Hill Regional High School. Tomorrow the Boston College offensive lineman is projected as a first- or second-round pick in the NFL Draft.
Lindstrom graduated from Boston College in December with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and human development with a history dual major. He is a legacy in the football realm, as his father, also named Christopher, was a Hall of Fame lineman at Boston University and spent three seasons playing in the NFL. His Uncle Eric was a defensive end at Boston College from 1984-88, and Uncle David is a former defensive end who played eight seasons for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. This familial family football success makes the elder Lindstrom both proud of his son yet concerned.
“It’s such a demanding sport, both physically, mentally, and socially,” said Lindstrom Sr. “You have to be very careful not to make a mistake while also laying it out there every single second.”
Lindstrom is described by his former Shepherd Hill history teacher and close friend Matt Morway as “mature, humble, relatively quiet, and down-to-earth.” Morway feels more proud than excited for Lindstrom’s draft prospects, and is happy that Chris is achieving his dreams.
Nathan Skermont, one of Lindstrom’s former gym teachers, said “I’m lucky to know Chris as more than just a former student and football player. I mean, him and his brother were part of my wedding. He’s as humble as you can get and there is no level of success that has ever or will ever change him — It’s easy to root for a person like Chris.”
Asked to make a prediction about which NFL team may ultimately select Lindstrom in the draft, Skermont noted the difficulties of such prognostication. “There are so many variables with the draft that it’s impossible right now to predict where he goes. Wherever he goes will be the right place because they chose Chris.”
Scott Provost, Lindstrom’s former Spanish teacher and basketball coach, said he knew Lindstrom would make it big when he was a sophomore at Shepherd Hill.
“I witnessed his early morning workouts and his individual afternoon workouts in the spring when no one was around,” Provost said. “I knew that if he cared enough to push himself and prepare when most high school kids were out doing many other things, then he would have a chance playing in college.”
Provost described Lindstrom as an incredible athlete who understands the game, and noted he’s an even better person. Provost added that he thinks any team will be lucky to have Lindstrom with its organization.
Shepherd Hill geometry teacher and football coach Ryan Dugan noted the odds defied by Lindstrom, his stepbrother.
“It’s hard to think that someone ever will become a professional athlete; the percentage of playing college is already so small,” said Dugan. “Chris had a fantastic career here, he got a scholarship to BC. After seeing how well he performed, [the draft] was something that we thought was certainly possible — it’s surreal.”
Dugan will be at the house with the rest of the Lindstrom family on Thursday when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell steps to the podium to announce each team’s draft pick. He is grateful that Lindstrom and his agent chose to stay at home rather than traveling to Nashville for the NFL Draft, which will allow more people to feel a part of the experience.
Dugan admitted he is secretly hoping that his stepbrother is drafted by the hometown team, the New England Patriots.
“It would be cool to see him playing for [head coach Bill] Belichick and blocking for [quarterback Tom] Brady,” Dugan said.
Lindstrom’s father, Shepherd Hill gym teacher Christopher Lindstrom Sr., feels for his son as the next chapter begins to unfold. The former NFL player thinks the hardest struggle for his son will be the mental strain.
“Most of us don’t understand how hard it is mentally, learning all the material you have to and translating that over into a physical play,” he explained.
Lindstrom Sr. thinks his son’s fierce determination, stubbornness, and drive to be the best will help him conquer any struggles he may face in his football career. While the NFL Players Association claims the average player’s career lasts just 3.3 years, Lindstrom Sr. expressed no worries.
“When I played, it was 1.3 years,” he explained. “We put our hands in God, and we feel that there is a plan for Christopher and we’re not in control of that.”
Most of the immediate family will be at the house Thursday, discluding Lindstrom’s youngest daughter Ingrid, who will be in Dallas for Volleyball Nationals. Everyone else will be at home with some reporters As soon as he is drafted, they are having an open house for anyone who wants to come and congratulate him, and are hosting another one on Sunday for anyone who can’t come Thursday.