Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Coach Smith was a ballhawk!

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Today's Instagram Throwback Thursdayis Linfield Head Coach Joe Smith. Coach Smith was a 4 year starter at corner for the 'Cats (1989-92). He finished up with 16 career picks (3rd most in program history), 22 pass break ups, 168 total tackles, 92-93 Linfield male athlete of the year, and a 2nd team NAIA All-American in 1992. Coach Smith was a baller. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2013 Linfield Player Interview: QB Josh Yoder

"Linfield football is some of the most talented and humble people you'll ever meet."  -Linfield QB Josh Yoder

Introducing the second of four player interviews conducted after the 2013 season. We sat down with Linfield Linebacker, Dom Forrest, QB Josh Yoder, D-End Michael MacClanathan, and WR Charlie Poppen to discuss the 'Cats 2013 season and what this football program means to each of these players during their experiences as Wildcats.

This week Linfield 2013 senior starting QB, Josh Yoder talks about the 2013 season and what makes this Linfield Football program find the success it does year after year.

Friday, April 4, 2014

2013 Linfield Player Interview: Linebacker Dom Forrest

"Trust the process, trust the preparation, trust the coaches you have leading you." -Dom Forrest, 2013 Senior Linfield Linebacker

Introducing the first of four player interviews conducted after the 2013 season. We sat down with Linfield Linebacker, Dom Forrest, QB Josh Yoder, D-End Michael MacClanathan, and WR Charlie Poppen to discuss the 'Cats 2013 season and what this football program means to each of these players during their experiences as Wildcats.  

Come back each Friday during the month of April for a new release as we go in-depth into why Linfield continues to find success on the field and at the same time producing young men of high character.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Coach Boehme goes over the top!

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Our Instagram Throwback Thursday Coach this week is Linfield Quarterback Coach Aaaron Boehme.  Coach Boehme was a stand-out two year starter for the Wildcats during the 2009 & 2010 seasons.  Coach Boe was named the Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year in both 2009 & '10 and was named a 2nd team All-American by after the 2010 season.  With Coach Boe at the helm the 'Cats ripped off a 22-3 record that included two Northwest Conference Titles, 4 NCAA Playoff victories (Including the 2009 West Region Championship), and a birth in the 2009 NCAA final four . This TD run again UPS during the 2010 season is a small sample of why Coach Boehme was a fantastic QB for the 'Cats.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2013 Linfield season highlights: at Willamette

The 2013 showdown in Salem between then #25 Willamette and #2 Linfield had a lot riding on the line in terms of the NWC title and playoff hopes/positioning. In the early moments it looked like this game was going to be a battle as Willamette popped a few big plays and took an early 7-0 lead on Linfield.  That was the 1st time all season that Linfield was down in a game, which is remarkable, but it didn't take long for Linfield to grab control of the game and lay an epic beatdown of a solid Bearcat squad.  

The 'Cats went on to paste Willamette by the score of 56-14 and it wasn't even that close.  Linfield rushed for 451 yards (wow), 6 rushing TD's, and 622 yards of total offense while hold Willamette to 256 total yards.  Linfield lit up Willamette last season (2012) as well but that was a tight game early in the 3rd quarter before Linfield took control but there was zero doubt in 2013 in who was more complete team in every aspect of the game.

Spring Football Update:  Today was the 1st day of Spring Football.  I was able to get out to the 'Catdome and as usual there is no wasted motion.  Everything is fast paced and with a purpose as the 'Cats bounced from one drill to the next.  The offense looked sharp but the defensive backfield made a number of plays in skelly sessions.  A number of young faces are going to be making a big impact on the 2014 season and we'll see how critical position battles shape up over the month of April.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Your 2014 Linfield College Football Wallpaper!!!!

Can the season just get here?
Very excited today to introduce your 2014 Linfield Wildcat Football Wallpaper.  As with the 2013 wallpaper and 2012 wallpaper, former Linfield Wildcat defensive lineman Chris Miles ('04) is the man behind all three magnificent versions.  Chris is a legitimate talent who's business CMDesign is located in McMinnville.   However, Chris can help you out wherever you might be located with logo design, media guides, web development, brochures, business cards, ect.  The list in ways Chris can help your business or a personal event is endless.  (Visit CMDesign on the web).

Chris spent over 9 hours in creating this awesome wallpaper that you can grab for your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. Again, I can't express my full gratitude that Chris took extra time away from his family and other obligations to give the 'Catdome a great piece that would cost any other customer hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in effort and craftsmanship.  Chris did this, once again, for at ZERO cost to the program.  Why?  Because he loves Linfield College and the 'Catdome and it feels good to give back to a place that means as much as Linfield does to him and his family (I know the feeling).  

Click on this link to download the full sized image or you can just click on the photo above for the full sized image.  Once you've done than you can right click on the image and set as your wallpaper.

A project like this can't even be started without incredible donations of photography from Professor Brad Thompson, Linda MacClanthan and Kelly Bird.  Brad Thompson donated the photos of Alex Hoff (#55), Tavon Willis (#7), Spencer Payne (#28), Evan Peterson (#9), Wes Meng (#16), and Jeremy Girod (#48), Kelly provided the photo of Brian Balsiger (#5), and Linda provided the photo of Eric Pitassi (#62).  Again, these are HIGH END sports photos that are labored for and these photos being provided for this use isn't a small gesture.   

Again, a major thank you to Chris Miles and CMDesign for the fantastic wallpaper. If you're looking for a graphic artist to help with an ad campaign, creating brand imaging, or even a slick T-Shirt, Chris is the right person for the job. Visit CMDesign on the web, go like his facebook page, or drop him a call 541.619.7062.

CMDesign on Facebook
Brad Thompson's Photo Gallery
Linfield Sports Photo Gallery

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Coach Hire clearing the road.

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Our Instagram Throwback Thursday Coach this week is Associate Head Coach and Offensive Line Coach Doug Hire.  Coach Hire was a beast for the 'Cats offensive line (1st team All-American) that saw coach win two national titles for Linfield as a player (1984 & 1986).  Coach dominated from his guard position but might have struck the most fear into defenders when he lead the way in open field.  The prime example of this was the 1986 NAIA Division II National Title game vs Baker College.  Late in the 4th quarter the 'Cats held a 10-0 lead over Baker and marched down on a methodical game salting TD drive.  The final TD was set up on a QB keeper by David Lindley and Coach Hire (#70) cleared the path with a KO block in the open field.  LOOK OUT!

Monday, March 24, 2014

2013 Highlights: Linfield vs CLU

The 'Cats opened the 2013 home schedule in style in hammering the Kingsmen from Cal Lutheran University.  The 38-point margin of victory was the largest against a CLU team in the 2000 season.  This game put an end to a 4 year regular season series that ended with Linfield holding a 3-1 edge and these two squads met in the 2009, '10, and '11 playoffs.  The 'Cats would be victorious in all three recent post-season meetings meaning these two program played against each other 7 times over a 36 game span. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Coach Haze puts 'em in the spin cycle

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We'll be digging around the archives over the upcoming weeks to roll out clips of our Linfield coaching staff in action. (many who played for the 'Cats). Our first offering is Defensive Back Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Brandon Hazenberg, who was a two-way player and All-American for the 'Cats through the 2005 season. The play below is from the 2005 2nd round playoff match up between Linfield and Concordia-Moorehead (MIAC Champions). Linfield was actually down 14-7 at half before erupting for 21 2nd-half points in the 28-14 victory. A key play was at the 4:28 mark of the 3rd quarter when Coach Haze took an 18 yard screen pass from Brett Elliott and threw about 5 different moves on his way to a weaving game tying touchdown.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2013 Hardin-Simmons Highlights (bonus vid: GoPro)

OK...I've been a slacker with the blog as of late.  I'll be the first to admit that but after getting a few ducks in a row, I'll be back with new entries as we edge every closer to the start of Spring Football (1st week of April).  Above is the 2013 Hardin-Simmons highlight as the 'Cats open up the season in blistering the Cowboys.  I'm not 100% satisfied with this clip as I messed up the play-by-play recording, my field mic was brutal, and the HSU lack of home crowd took something away from an electric performance by Linfield. 

 BONUS CLIP!  Above is an extra clip that I put together over an evening and it turned out to be a fun clip that utilized nothing but footage from our GoPro cameras we used this season.  You'll see the GoPro footage throughout the highlight video as the little but powerful action cameras could take you places that we couldn't go before. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2013 - A Season To Remember

2013 was another year to celebrate in the 'Catdome.
(Photo Courtesy of Brad Thompson: View Brad's 2013 Linfield Football photos here. )

By Cory Edmonds

They say all good things must come to an end, and that may be true, but great things are never forgotten. It’s safe to say the second principle applies to Linfield Football's Senior Class. Although their college careers, and for most their football playing days, came to end in a hard-fought defeat to UW-Whitewater (who went on to win the National Championship), this group leaves an enduring legacy. Their legacy is represented in following accolades:

41-5 record over four seasons (with all five losses coming in the postseason)
Four straight NWC Championship Titles
A 24-0 record against NWC opponents
Six playoff victories
Two consecutive trips to the NCAA quarterfinals
A two time NWC defensive player of the year (Forrest)
A NWC offensive player of the year (Yoder)
A two time West Region Defensive Player of the Year (Forrest)
Four All-American Honors
An averege ranking of 6th over four years
Thirteen victories against top 25 teams

Additionally, the following stats demonstrate just how well this 2013 team stacked up to great Linfield teams from the past:

Most rushing touchdowns scored in a season
Second most points scored in a season
Third most offensive yards in a season
Third highest completion percentage in a season
Third hightest rushing yards total in a season
Most fumbles forced in a season
Most pass breakups in a season
Fourth most tackles for a loss in a season
Ninth most sacks in a season

Yet, the accomplishments of these young men transcend simple numbers and go far beyond what occurred on the field. Over the course of four years, the members of this team transformed into leaders, into role models, and into responsible citizens. Soon they will be future businessmen, educators, engineers, journalists, and so forth. Their experiences and the lessons they have learned at Linfield will impact all facets of their future lives and they will be better because of it. More than anything they will remember and appreciate the bonds they formed and will always know that a brotherhood exists that will always provide needed support. I know football fans and poetry fans don't often mix, but the masterful Walt Whitman once wrote a series of lines that I believe these young men can all relate to. Whitman penned the following stanza during the Civil War as he served in an effort to reunite the country:

"I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America, and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies;   
I will make inseparable cities, with their arms about each other’s necks;   
        By the love of comrades,   
          By the manly love of comrades."

It is because of this group's companionship and this group’s sense of camaraderie that they were able to accomplish so much on the football field and these same values will serve them well as they forge forth into their bright futures. Best of luck gentlemen, and go Cats!

Monday, March 3, 2014

2013 Linfield Highlight Opening Clip

Here is it!  The opening clip of the 2013 Linfield College Highlight Video.  The start of 1 hour and 26 minutes of wall-to-wall 'Catdome action.  I'll do a post later this week thanking everyone who plays a role in getting this project out each year and I can't wait to do again in 2014.  Go 'Cats!

Friday, February 28, 2014

The 'Cats celebrate 2013 during the program's annual banquet.

Team, Excellence, Attitude, Class
The 2013 Linfield Wildcats met for the final time last night at Michelbook Country Club in McMinnville for the team’s annual banquet.   It was a packed house as the program celebrated another tremendous season jammed full of accomplishments. 

The 11-1 season saw Linfield capture their 5th consecutive Northwest Conference title, ranked as high as #2 in the country, advanced to the elite 8 of the NCAA playoffs before falling to the eventual National Champions (Whitewater) in Wisconsin.  The ‘Cats had the #1 scoring offense in the country in racking up 48.8 points per game and boasted the #1 rushing defense in the country in only yielding 60.2 rushing yards per game (only gave up 4 rush TD’s on the year).  On top of that, you throw in numerous team and individual honors and it was another remarkable season to celebrate in the ‘Catdome. 

Below are this year’s team awards and it’s great to see so many players recognized by their peers and coaches for the work they’ve put into this program.  Go ‘Cats!

2013 Linfield Football Team Awards

Best Defensive Scout Player:   Logan Krellwitz, Defensive Back, Senior, West Linn, Or.

Best Offensive Scout Player:    Jordy Romick, Running Back, Senior, Grants Pass, Or.

Rookie of the Year:    Spencer Payne, Running Back, Freshman, McMinnville, Or.

Most Improved:    Alex Hoff, Defensive End, Sophomore, Lebanon, Or.

Best Special Teams Player:    Jordan Giza, Defensive Back, Junior, Salem, Or.

Best Offensive Lineman:    Eric Pitassi, Offesnive Guard, Sophomore, West Linn, Or.

Best Defensive Lineman:    Jeremy Girod, Defensive Tackle, Junior, Vancouver, Wa.

Best Offensive Player(s):   
Josh Yoder, Quarterback, Senior, Canby, Or.
Josh Hill, Running Back, Senior, Portland, Or.

Best Defensive Player:    Dominique Forrest, Linebacker, Senior, Portland, Or.

Offensive Captain:    Josh Yoder, Quarterback, Senior, Canby, Or.

Defensive Captain:    Dominique Forrest, Linebacker, Senior, Portland, Or.

Defensive Captain:    Tyler Steele, Defensive Tackle, Senior. Salem, Or.

Most Inspirational:    Tim Edmonds, Linebacker, Portland, Or.

John LaRosa “Commitment To Excellence Award":   
Jacob Priester, Tight End, Patterson, Ca.

Willis Baker Team Most Valuable Player(s):
Dominique Forrest, Linebacker, Senior, Portland, Or.
Josh Yoder, Quarterback, Senior, Canby, Or.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hit or be Hit

(View in Firefox or Chome) The 2013 Linfield Football Banquet is this week and I'm fired up to roll out the 2013 Highlight Video. 1 hour and 26 minutes of the 'Catdome in action!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow Globe 'Catdome

The Pacific Northwest Valley areas experienced rare snow accumulation this past weekend as 8-10 inches of snow hit the area. While it was a fun weekend the melt-off is happening but before the melt we took some cameras out to the stadium to capture the 'Catdome in full snow glory.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2013 Linfield Senior Class says “Thank You” (Part 2 of 2)

Yesterday, we presented part 1 of the 2013 Linfield College Football Senior Thank You post.  This is a large and tremendous group of players that we thought it would be best to give you this now tradition in two servings.  Below is part 2 and the Seniors below provide you with a great reminder of why this program is so cared about and why it's so successful.  This program is more than just football, it's about helping this young men build a foundation of success for the rest of their lives. 

#21 Reid Sullivan, Receiver

I'd like to first thank everyone who I crossed paths with in my four years at Linfield. I would especially like to thank my Mother and Father who continually supported me and pushed me to execute at my best both on the field and off the field. Without them I would have never had the chance to me part of this amazing program. I'd also like to thank all of our coaches and especially coach Yen and coach Fendall who got me to Linfield in the first place. I would last to like to thank all my teammates who made training, practice, games and meetings the most memorable times in my life. Thank you catdome for the best four years of my life that I will never forget. Roll cats!

Reid Sullivan

#28 Michael MacClanathan, Defensive End

I would first like to thank my Linfield coaches who have me the opportunity to play for one of the greatest teams in the nation. I can truly say that if have never had coaches who cared for me the way our coaching staff did during my four year adventure. I would also like to thank Ryan Carlson for all the incredible work that he has done. Because of him, I can show my children what life was like as a Linfield Wildcat. I would like to thank all of the trainers who kept me going through the season. Last but not least, I would like to thank my parents Todd and Linda for always being there for. Without them, I could not be where I am today. I have a supporting father and mother who have demonstrated for me what it’s like to be a great football player and an even better person.

 #31 Brandon Funk, Corner

Over the course of my football career there have been countless people who have helped me become the man I am today and the football player I was able to be for the last 10 years or so. So first and foremost, I'd like to thank every single person who has had an impact on me both from a positive standpoint and a negative standpoint because both have helped immensely.

With that said in particular I would like to thank my high school coaching staff and in particular Craig Whitney and Doug Semler. Whit is a great coach and helped our class of 2010 think about not just the four years we would spend in high school, but the kind of people we wanted to be for the rest of my life. Semler and I had a player coach relationship that not many would understand, but it helped me develop an understanding of the game mentally and he taught me more about the mental and psychological aspect of the game.

I'd like to thank the people who gave me the tools I needed physically to become the player I was during my time at Linfield. First of those people is Drew Buchkoski who over the last 6 years shaped me into a completely functional athlete from head to toe. Butch also served as a mentor and over time a close friend and I'd like to thank him for not only the gains from a strength and conditioning standpoint, but from a mentality standpoint and helping me develop into a complete athlete and person. Also, I'd like Vic Wallace who helped me get everything out of the skills that I had and then more and for teaching me that nothing in life is perfect, but to always strive to try and be.

Next I'd like to thank all the people at Linfield including everyone from the staff to the players who have become brothers to the Linfield community in general. These people and the collective impacts they've had on myself as a person have giving me the opportunity to meet the people who I will be friends with for the rest of my life and to be a part of something as great as Linfield is.

Lastly, but not least I'd like to thank my pops, Mark Funk he's not only my father but he is my best friend and has been there literally since day one. He has always given me the strength and courage to try and do what others said I couldn't. He has been my number one fan for everything from tee ball to the last whistle in Wisconsin marking my last down as a college football player. Without him I would have never gotten the chance to experience the best four years of my life to date here at Linfield so I would like to give him the most thanks.

-Brandon Funk

#49 KeAlii Poomaihealani, Defensive End

It has been a very intriguing and exciting career here at the Catdome. Throughout these four years I have drastically grown on and off the field. I've learned so much from the people I was surrounded by; coaches, professors, players, and students. I will cherish all of these moments till I go to the grave.
I’d like to thank the coaching staff, including Coach Yen and Coach Fendall, for teaching, coaching, and molding me into the person I am today. I'd like to thank all the fans and the community for all the support and bringing an uplifting energy to the games. I'd like to thank Carls for all the hard work he has done for this program and helping me get through these years. Most importantly I'd like to thank my family for all the sacrifices they have given for me to have this opportunity.

#50 Mike Maierhofer, Defensive Tackle

I want to thank my biggest fan, my mom Dorianne Ricci for all of the support that she has given me during my 16 years of playing football. Without her, I would not be where I am today and I am eternally grateful. I also want to thank the rest of my family for their continued support of my endeavors. Also, I would like to extend my gratitude to my Linfield Wildcat family as well. All of the coaches, fans and players that helped me realize what it means to be a Wildcat.

#59 Tyler Steele, Defensive Tackle

First and foremost I would like to thank my parents. Dad you've been my biggest supporter on and off the field. I wouldn't have been able to make it at Linfield and I am very appreciative of all you've done for me. Mom, thank you for the countless phone calls me venting about school, phone calls and just emotional checkups. Your support has been crucial to my career at Linfield. Gloria, thank you for being the biggest Linfield fan and supporter. No matter where we were playing I could always hear you and it was good knowing you were there. I love all of you.

Next, I would like to thank my siblings. Brad, thank you for being the reason I went to Linfield. Zach, thanks for the countless texts asking how the games went and games you came to. Alex, thank you for coming to Linfield! The 9 games we played in together are memories I will cherish forever. Continue to work hard and your potential is limitless. Hayley, thank you for helping me pass nutrition and physiology.

Coach Bacus, thank you for pushing me to go to Linfield and teaching me the defensive line technique before I even got to Linfield.

Coach Ryan Carlson, thank you for making the Linfield that much better. The highlight videos allow us to have the memories forever a play button push away.

Coach Haze, thanks for the friendship and foot jokes over the years. You’re a player’s coach, and we all need that. A thank you does not justify all you've done.

Coach Rombach, thank you for the constant energy! I've never seen anyone have the amount of energy you do.

Coach Smith, thank you for recruiting me. Thank you for giving me the experience you promised when you recruited me. You're doing a great job with this program and you do things the right way!!!

Coach Vaughan, thank you for taking a chance on me my freshman year and continuing to give me opportunities to be successful. Thank you for giving us your time when you have a family that rarely sees you during football season. Also, thank you to your wife for allowing you to spend so much time with us to be successful.

Seniors, thank you for the last 4 years. Your class is the most talented group I've seen in my 5 years. There is no doubt you'll all be successful in life. Never forget the fun we've had. I love you all.
Current and future cats thank you for your continual work ethic and passion. Continue the winning ways of Linfield. Do the right things all the time, not just in football but off the field too. You only have 4 years they go by faster than any word can describe. I would go through 5 more ACL surgeries to have one more week with my guys. To watch domo dance pregame, to have Forman blast Bangarang, to watch the defensive backs throw the chairs.

Thank you all!!!
Tyler Steele #59

#66 Zach Hickman, Offensive Guard

First off, Thanks WC11 for giving us the opportunity to do this. I know you hear it a a lot, but the 'Catdome would not be the same without you and I personally want to thank you for everything you have done for the program and for me during my time here

Wow! It's weird to look back at my football career and all the great memories I've made and people I've met. Since beginning football in the 3rd grade, I have been in love with the sport. I have learned more about myself as a person through football than I probably would like to admit. However, as my time here at the 'Catdome comes to a close, I have to say my last 4 seasons of football were some of the most fun and memorable I have ever been a part of. The 'Catdome has been the greatest class I have ever taken or probable ever will take in my life. There is no way to fully describe what this program does for you as not only a football player, but as a man. I can honestly say that I have zero regrets about choosing to play football here at Linfield and if I had to do it all over again, I would come here once again in a heartbeat.

There are some people though that I would personally like to thank for everything that they have done for me throughout my football career. I wish I could go through and name each and every person, but there are far too many to name them all

To the 2010 Hilhi Coaching Staff and Team: Thank you all for everything you did, I would not be where I am today without all of your effort and constant support, even after I graduated. You're some of the greatest coaches and friends I have ever been around. Some of you remain my closest friends and often times when things got tough around here, and I had doubts about playing, I thought of you guys and how lucky I was to be where I am.

To the Catdome staff: Thank you for all of your hard work and effort behind the scenes that many don't get to see. You guys work harder than any coaching staff I have ever seen or been around and you coached us in more than just football, and for that I thank you again.

To my Parents: I don't even know where to begin. You have been my rock since the beginning and have supported me through everything I have done. You've been there to wipe my tears after a tough loss and to share a hug filled with tears of joy after winning it all. Through it all, you have always been there and you have sacrificed more than anyone will probably ever know just to see me succeed and be happy. I don't think I can summarize how lucky I am to have both of you in my life in this simple rundown, so all I can say for now is that I love you both and this IS NOT the end of football in our house

Lastly, I want to thank all the guys that were on the teams I was lucky enough to be a part of during my time here. I got to meet some great guys and made some life long friends that I wouldn't trade for the world. It's weird to put a close to this chapter of my life, but looking forward I am excited to stay around the game I love through coaching and to continue to rep the 'Catdome everywhere I go!

-Zack Hickman

#72 Jesse Archambault, Offensive Tackle

The first people I would like to thank are my parents. They attended every home game and almost every away game over the course of my four years here at school. They supported me every step of the way, and made my career possible.

Second, I would like to thank my teammates. I couldn't have asked for a better group of men to show up to work with every day, whether it was the 6AM workouts, practices, or films, I enjoyed the time I spent with you. And to my fellow O-linemen: I hope to see you absolute dominate next year. Work hard this offseason and come back fighting.

Thanks to all of the coaches on our staff. There is no doubt that we have the best coaches in the nation, and I consider myself lucky to have learned from you. Thank you for all of the time that you put in watching film, and game planning.

And finally thank you to all of the fans. Linfield has the best fans in the Northwest Conference. Thank you to the Linfield faithful who show up and support us every weekend, no matter the weather.

-Jesse Archambault

#84 Jacob Priester, Tight End

I would like to begin by first simply saying thank you to the entire Linfield Wildcat program. This includes the coaches, the training staff, the equipment managers and everyone else who had anything to do with the program. The past four years in this family has been the best learning experience that I have ever had. Apart from gaining a more precise understanding of the game of football, I also learned a lot about being a man. The Linfield football team has taught me how to be a better man in every way.

Coach Joseph Smith frequently reminds us of the trials and tribulations of life after football in terms of having a family, paying bills and climbing the employment ladder. I think because of my time with the Linfield football team, I am prepared to face these challenges head on and succeed. Without having learned about the Wildcat culture, I think my future would be much more uncertain. But this team has given me the greatest educational experience that I could have ever asked for because it taught me how to lead a good life as a good man.

The four pillars that our team is built on are team, excellence, attitude and class, and these values have become a part of my life both on and off of the field. On the field, the program trained me to play football with integrity and great effort. Outside of football, the team has given me a great work ethic and accountability which separates all football players from other students. I am excited to face the challenges that the world has for me outside of college because of the tools that the Linfield football team has given me.

Finally, and most important to me, the team introduced me to my best friends. Some of which I know will be truly lifelong friends. This friendship is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life because I know that these friends are men of character.

-Jacob Priester

 #97 Josh Smith, Tight End

First and foremost, I would like to thank my wonderful parents Bruce and Sherri, and my sister McKenna. The past eight football seasons have been a wild ride, and I thank you guys for being there every step of the way. I would also like to thank you guys for always supporting me in my endeavors, and always being my number one fan. There is not one group of people I am more indebted to than you guys, as without you guys my four years at Linfield would not have been achieved. Thanks again for everything you have done for me, I love you guys.

I would next like to thank the coaching staff. I really do appreciate the hard work that each coach puts in to ensure that we as a team are prepared on a week-to-week basis. There really isn’t a staff better in the country in my opinion. I would also like to give a special shout out to Coach Smith and Coach Fendall for recruiting me and giving me the once-in-a lifetime opportunity to be a Linfield Wildcat, it’s an honor that means a lot to me, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to wear the purple and red.

I owe a large thank you to my teammates, thank you guys for making these past four seasons the incredible ride that they were. I battled through injury throughout my four years on campus, but knew that you guys always supported me. I met some of my best friends on this team, and that alone has made the journey worth it. Guys like Jacob Priester, Brynnan Hyland, Bobby Nix, Erik Knapp, Josh Repp, and Mike Maierhofer make it fun to be at practice every day, especially through fall camp and the daily mid-season grind. From players past and present, thanks for making Linfield Football the program that it is. Finally I want to congratulate all my fellow seniors on a successful career at Linfield, I wish nothing but the best to you all in the future.

Catdome forever,
Josh Smith

P.S. big thank you to Ryan Carlson and everything he does for the Linfield Football program. You're the best in the business WC11 can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve in the future.

Monday, February 3, 2014

2013 Linfield Senior Class says “Thank You” (Part 1 of 2)

There are so many great things I could say about the 2013 Linfield Seniors.  Hard working, fun, determined, passionate, resolve, daring, family, and a hundred more positive words I could use to describe this group of GREAT young men.  The success on the field speaks for itself as this senior class finished with a four year record of 41-5.  That record includes 4 Northwest Conference championships (24-0 NWC record), 6 playoff victories, and back-to-back trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals. 

This team only experienced one regular season loss and that was the opening game of their freshman year (2010).  Since that loss, this group experienced 35 consecutive regular season victories and a 24-1 home record over their time in the ‘Catdome. 

This Senior Class had players named the Northwest Conference Player of the Year three different times (Yoder - Offense 2013,  Forrest - Def 2012 & 2013) piled up 13 Northwest Conference 1st Team honors, 6 - 2nd Team honors, and 6 Honorable Mentions.  Six times, players from this class have been named to the All-West Region Team (Dom Forrest was twice named the West Region’s Defensive Player of the Year) and this class has collected 4 All-American honors.   Lastly, during their entire career at Linfield, their teams have never been out of the Division III top ten rankings in finishing #8, #6, #5, and #4 in the country and have defeated thirteen top 25 teams along the way.

This is a group of winning young men and took the lessons from the classes previous to them and applied those lessons to their craft.  They have been great students of the game and have been great mentors to the classes coming up behind them.  I can’t wait to see what these Wildcats do in their lives after Linfield.  I know it’s going to be filled with numerous success stories and people making huge impacts on the future communities they will call home.   But now is the time for them to say thank you to those that have helped them to this point of their lives. ‘Catdome!

(Since this 2013 Senior Class is so large we're running this in two parts.  Part II will run tomorrow.)

#5 Dominique Forrest, Linebacker

Where to even start.. .My first thank you goes out to my family. They have supported me unconditionally throughout my career here and made every year something special.

My next thank you goes to the coaches. We've spent countless hours working on schematics and techniques, but what I take away most is the life lessons they've taught me. How to pay attention to details, how to prepare, how to handle pressure, etc. I've grown up a lot in the last four years in the Catdome and these coaches have had a big role in that process.

My next thank you goes to the Catdome. Everyone I've met, older and younger, I consider as family. Guys like Bubba, Sammy and Axel come to mind for showing me the ropes in what this Catdome family is all about. I just hope our class was able to pass the torch, the right way, like they did for us. This Catdome family is something that is so special and something I'll hold close to my heart forever. If I could go back a million times, I wouldn't change it for anything.

My last thank you goes to the seniors. So many ups and a few downs, it's crazy how time flies. I'll miss the DooDoo brown Thursdays, dancing during beef period, locker room shenanigans, hearing "woooo woooo" from across the field, cowboy collars with the LBC, and most importantly putting on the same jersey every game day. Whatever our role was, together we accomplished a lot. We came here as players and are leaving as brothers. I don't believe these words do enough justice to how thankful I am for everyone and every experience I’ve had in this community the past four years, but I hope they suffice. Forever and Always, Roll 'Cats!

Dom Forrest #5

#9 Michael Link, Corner

Coming into Freshman year, I heard coach Smith and everyone say that Linfield football is a family and it is the best class you will take in college. Four years later I find myself telling recruits the exact same thing. These four years would not have been possible without the support from my family. Duane, Ann, Katie, Meghan and Karen I want to thank you guys for all the support that you have provided me over these last few years. It has meant the world to me and I could not so it without you guys.

Thank you to coach Heath for teaching me the game of football at Jesuit. You were one of my favorite coaches that I had. Thank you coach Rombach for helping me get to Linfield through the recruiting process and everything you have done for me here at Linfield. Coach Fendall, Thank you for teaching me that there is more to the game of football than x's and o's. You helped to elevate my game tremendously in the two years we were here at Linfield Together. Coach Haze, thanks for everything. We have had some deep conversations and I consider you a friend and a mentor. You have always been there for me when I needed you and told me what I needed to hear. A big thanks to Fish, Biege, Krieger, Testa, Jason and Larson for showing me the ropes. Shout out to the roommates! Thank you all of the Linfield staff and personal that makes this program what it is.  

Michael Link

#10 Kyle Wright, Safety

I want to thank everybody involved with Linfield Football for allowing me to have such a great experience while at Linfield. The support of the community, the alumni, the coaches and administration, and the players at Linfield is unmatched by any other program in college football. The coaching staff at Linfield has had a huge impact on my life and career, I want to thank all of them for their time and for molding me into the person I am today. I want to personally thank Coach Haze for all his hard work he does for this program and for all the crap he had to put up with me over 4 years. He is an incredible coach, and an even better person, Thank you Haze. Coach Fendall also gets a shout-out and a big thank you, he is an awesome coach and definitely had a positive influence on my life.

I want to thank my parents most of all for their undying support and encouragement of me in college and throughout my life. They flew to every away game and my mom is the loudest person in the stands no matter where I was playing. I am blessed to have parents like Tim and Dani and I can't thank them enough.

The life-long brothers I have made at Linfield are irreplaceable and priceless. They mean more to me than a Thank You can provide and the memories we have made together will last a lifetime. Whether on the field or off, there is never a dull moment and I know for a fact that this will never change.

Lastly, I want to thank Ryan Carlson for all his work he does for the program. Linfield Football wouldn't be Linfield Football without all the video, photo, and behind the scenes media work that this man does. Most don't realize how much time goes into creating a highlight film, let alone all the hours spent getting the film. Ryan, you are incredibly talented and I want to thank you again for all your work.

Roll Cats,

Kyle Wright #10
p.s. I better be getting invites to everyone's wedding!!!

#15 Josh Yoder, Quarterback

I'd like to start by thanking my family, especially my parents, for being the number one supporters in my life. Through everything I've done and all the decisions I've made, they've always supported and motivated me to do the best that I can. Through their hard work and sacrifices, I have been able to get to where I am today. They have raised me to be the best man that I can be, and I am truly thankful for all they have done for me.

I would also like to thank you coaches for all of the countless hours that you guys put in to prepare us and to put us into situations to be successful. I would especially like to thank Coach Boehme. I was able to watch and learn from you as a freshman, and was lucky enough to have you as my coach these last few years. You taught me so much about the game and also how to be a better player and teammate… and we were able to have lots of fun doing it. I also want to give a big thanks to Coach Smith for taking a chance on me. He was able to alter the offense to take advantage of my skill set, so I would like thank and applaud the coaching staff for that because I can’t imagine that was an easy task.

Finally, I want to thank all of the Wildcat players and supporters. I will remember these last four years forever, but this last year will always be extra special to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to play with. They were a real joy to be around. This is truly a great program and I am proud to say I was to be a part of it. I am going to miss it greatly but I can’t wait to watch games at the Catdome for years to come.

-Josh Yoder

#17 Josh Repp, Kicker/Punter

I'd like to say thank to the entire Linfield football program for having me for 5 years. The 5 years I spent in McMinnville were the best years of my life and I can't imagine having gone anywhere else. I'd like to especially thank Coach Haze for pushing me to get better each year and putting up with me. Coach Smith for guiding me through the years, and Coach Thorson for getting me to come to college up here.

Tyler Steele and Michael Carillo my fellow PE majors, thanks for getting me through my classes, couldn't have done it without you guys! Caitlin Conlon, my wonderful fiancé, which I met at Linfield has been there to support me through the past few years, from waking up early on the days we had plane flights and making my lunch to coming to just about every single game no matter how far, she is truly a great woman. And lastly, to every person that I have come into contact the past 5 years at Linfield, thank you very much for everything you did for me!

#20 Louie Colasurdo, Linebacker

More than anything I would like to thank my parents, my three older brothers (and their families) and Rebe for the amount of support they gave me through everything. I truly don’t think I would be where I am today without the support of my family. Part of my decision in deciding where to go to college, was if my family would be able to come watch me play. After four years I have realized many other things that made Linfield the top choice, yet it was always important to me to have members of my family in the Catdome watching. The work-ethic, perseverance and determination I pride myself in today is something I gained from my parents and brothers and without that I can surely say I would not be where I am now.

I would also like to thank the people who feel like family to me now – my coaches. I especially want to thank Coach Smith, Coach Rombach and Coach Vaughan. During the first three years I really only noticed the improvements in how good of a football player I became. I only noticed how much I could bench, squat, how well I could tackle and drop into coverage. Yet during my senior year and especially now, I have noticed how much of a better person I am because of my coaches. I have never heard of another group of coaches that instill such character and work ethic on their team. The amount of time and effort that Coach Vaughan and Rombach put into each game, each week, each practice and each player shows their dedication to this program and is something that has rubbed off on each player. I owe it to Coach Rombach for always giving me an opportunity to go make a play and for always expecting more out of me. Without him, I may have settled and not became the player and man I am now. He took care of every one of his linebackers on and off the field and always made us feel like one of his boys. I know these values I learned while playing football will help me be successful off the field, and I have my coaches to thank for that.

Lastly, I would like to thank all my teammates, friends and professors. There is truly nothing like the time spent in the locker room, ice bathes, during practice, workouts and watching film with your teammates. I am glad I was able to meet every one of you and enjoy these last four years. I never thought the guys I met during the Les Schwab all-star game would be the ones I would be hanging out with during my first ever game in California and preparing for every game after that with.  I also want to thank all the LBC for being some of my closest friends and all the good times we had at practice, traveling and watching film with Coach Rombach.  When I was choosing a college four years ago I would never have expected to gain all these great memories and relationships.

To this day I am still not sure what the “Catdome” is but I know what it means to me, I love saying it and will never stop saying it.

Roll Cats,
Louie Colasurdo #20

#21 Logan Krellwitz, Safety

First off I would like to thank my parents. Words cannot describe how much they mean to me and how much they have done for me. They have been my number one supporters growing up both on and off the field. I cannot remember a single game or event growing up in which they weren’t in attendance or watching. No matter the decisions I have made in my life they are always 100% behind me helping me through it all. They have sacrificed so much just to provide me with the opportunities to succeed and be happy whether it be my dad coaching me through youth, my mom taking pictures at all my games, my parents always being there to give me rides to and from practice, or them helping me through injury and sickness. I know I would not be the man I am today without them and there is no way I can thank them enough.

Next I would like to thank my friends and the rest of my family for the love and support they have given throughout my athletic career. Often times coming to games and showing support even when I wasn’t getting on the field a lot. It means a lot to me how much my friends and family care about my success and support me through both highs and lows.

I thank my fellow teammates and friends here at Linfield for everything they have done from the seniors my freshman year to the freshman my senior year. To my fellow seniors there isn’t a better group of guys I would have rather of spent the last 4 season with.

The coaching staff here at Linfield also deserves a big thanks. I had the opportunity to play three different positions throughout my 4 years at Linfield. Because of this I got to know several coaches as my football mentors and I learned a lot from all of them. I thank the coaches here for all the time and effort they put in to making me not only a better football player but a better person off the field as well.

Lastly I realize there are many people I have missed that have had a positive impact on not only my journey to Linfield but my 4 year journey at the Catdome. To everyone that falls under this category, I thank you for the support and the positive impact you have had on my life It is bittersweet knowing that my football career is over but realizing that I have a whole life full of new things ahead of me. With my experiences gained at Linfield on and off the field, I feel I am more prepared than I ever would have been for my new journey in life, whatever that may be. I am definitely going to miss the Catdome and forever keep with me the memories that I have gained here.


#24 Tyler Robitaille, Linebacker


I'll keep this short but I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of those who have made my career at Linfield a memorable one. First are my parents, you guys pushed me to pursue my dream of playing college football and funded all of my needs. Second, my coaches, you guys all had an effect on my four years, no matter what side of the ball you were on. You guys made me love the game, appreciate the grind, and create lifelong memories. Lastly, my teammates, you guys will always have a special place in my hearts. Going through the ups and downs of the seasons for the past four years have been an amazing experiences and wouldn't have been nearly as fun with all you guys. I can’t leave without giving the LBC a shoutout, you are my brothers for life. Thanks for all the great memories.

Tyler "Robi, Rob" Robitaille #24

#26 Jordy Romick, Running Back

First off I want to thank the Linfield program for giving me the opportunity to play four years of college football. It’s not something that everyone can say they did, and for that I am thankful. Coach Vaughan, thanks for all the opportunities you gave me, on and off the football field. You always had my back and wanted to see me succeed, and I really appreciate that.

Next, and most importantly, I want to thank my family for all the love and support they’ve given me throughout my athletic career. Making the four-hour trip up north isn’t easy on the pocket, but I always appreciated having you guys there. Big thanks to my beautiful girlfriend, Jaydee Baxter, for keeping my head on straight and being my #1 fan (along with my parents).

To all my teammates, you guys are the real reason I enjoyed my time here! You made the tough times fun and the transition to college easy. Couldn’t have asked for a better class to go through college with, and the relationships I’ve built with you guys will last a long time. Mikkel, we’ve been through a lot together, and I can’t thank you enough for everything you did for me. To all my senior buddies hanging around for a 5th year (Dave, Trev, Char, and Madden), have some fun and enjoy being those creepy old guys on campus!

Thanks for the memories guys, and God bless!

Jordy Romick

#27 Ian Zarosinski, Corner

I want to say thanks to my teammates for an unforgettable four years. It took a lot of hard work to get where we went and I'm grateful that we had the guys who were willing to work and sacrifice for the cause. Thank you to the coaches first for giving me a shot when I didn't exactly make the best of first impressions.  Thank you for all the time they put in to film, practice, and game planning that gave us the edge in tight games. Thanks Coach Haze for keeping football fun and encouraging us to compete within our position group. Finally, thank you to my family for always being there giving their unconditional love and support.

(Come back for part II tomorrow)

Monday, January 27, 2014

In loving memory – Bruce Assily (1977 – 2014)

***(2/4/2014 at 2:09 pm) An update on the services for Bruce Assily.  Bruce's family has requested that flowers or any other items to be sent to Bruce's family home in Honolulu.  I apologize if you have made prior arrangements to send flowers to the service but I didn't receive this information until recently.

Assily Family
868 Ahukini St
Honolulu, HI 96825

Marina Florists are located within a short drive to the Assily family address:  (808) 394-5555 ‎ ·

#8 Bruce Assily left us all too soon at the age of 36. A gentle man but a fierce warrior.
This past Friday former Linfield Stand-Out Defense End, Michael Bruce Assily (1996-1999) passed away on Friday, January 24th at the age of 36 in a diving accident off Kaimana Beach in Waikiki.  Apparently Bruce was free diving for fish with a friend at 5 a.m. in preparations of last week’s Pro-Bowl and ran into trouble. Bruce’s friend was able to get him back to the beach after Bruce was in prolonged distress.  Police and medical professionals were on the scene and transported Bruce to a hospital but they were unable to revive him. 

I couldn’t believe this when I first read that one of the best people I’ve ever met was taken from this world way too soon.  This hits so hard for everyone that knows and loves Bruce.  He was a wonderful and joyful man that loved life and could always bring a smile to your face no matter how bad of a day you might be having.  I had the honor of playing side-by-side with Bruce for three seasons (1996-98) at Linfield as Bruce would man that Anchor defensive end position (tight end/heavy side) while he allowed my then skinny self to play on the non-tight end side of the formation.  Bruce was such an incredible football player.  So explosive physically and had an innate understanding for the flow of the game.  He knew when to gamble (“Oh slash, coach?”) and he had the ability to disrupt a play with brute force or could beat you with athleticism.....or do both on the same play.  He was a special football player and it was an honor to play next to him for those 3 years. 

(Do yourself a favor and watch the highlight above...Bruce was a gifted football player)

However, Bruce was more than just a football player.  Bruce Assily was a wonderful man who had a deep love of his friends and family.  He never had to try to make people like him.  His fellow teammates, classmates, coaches, and adults would gravitate to him, his huge smile, and outgoing personality.  He made making friends look like the easiest thing in the world.  

My fondest memories of Bruce was the summer of 1998 when Bruce and I worked for Coach Suan at the HHPA facilities.  Coach Suan put us to work painting, pressure washing tennis courts, handing out towels, monitoring the weight room (i.e. working out while a few profs would be on the cardio equipment), mowing, and doing all sorts of odd jobs.  Bruce and I were both flat broke that summer but it was a wonderful time hanging out with Bruce.  He would make fun of my music taste, talk about life, tell jokes (my jokes were never as good as his), he would constantly try to get me to go to church and I would avoid it at all costs (he never gave up on me), joke about who the better defensive end was (Bruce would say it was me and I would say it was him….we both knew it was him), and he would sing his 7-11 Slurpee song while we walked over the 7-11 together.  He made such a positive impact on my life during Linfield and he someone that I will always cherish.  I haven’t seen Bruce in many years but my feelings about Bruce have never changed.  Being friends with Bruce made me a better person.  He showed me how to live life better and I feel a deep sorrow for his family and friends back home that won’t have more time with him.   Rest in Peace my friend…I will never forget you.  STRONGEST LINK! –RC

Below is a letter from Coach Smith regarding Bruce.  During Bruce’s time at Linfield, Coach Smith was the program’s defensive line coach and coached Bruce directly during his time as a Linfield Wildcat.  Coach Smith dealt with some characters during that time (Mitch, Barry, Harter, Jesse Smith, Wild Bill, Dirty, Jesse Allen, Alvarez, Wigs, myself, etc.) but Bruce was the biggest character of them all.  But Bruce and Coach Smith had a close relationship.  For all the joking around, Bruce was a tough competitor and he loved playing for Coach Smith.  Coach Smith could always read our group perfectly and he knew the strength of our defensive line was built upon what #8 could do.  


The world is a better place because of Bruce Assilly.  We lost a remarkable man with his passing.   I have never met a bigger personality than Bruce.   Few people can literally fill a room with energy and spirit by themselves.    Bruce Assilly could.   When Bruce touched foot into a building, you knew he had arrived.   You could hear him a mile away with that infectious laugh that he would double over and bubble forth with.   His joy and lust for life infected, and affected, everyone around him.    

Bruce never shut his mouth, he was always talking; and he was flat out hilarious.     One engaged in banter with him at one’s peril, as not only was he incredibly witty, he was relentless.     Even while he was learning to play racquetball, he would lose point wise, but you would come out of the game feeling like Bruce had won.   Bruce was like that, he would talk so much trash, and do it in such a funny positive way, and he could spin anything to his advantage.   We all loved that about Bruce.   His spirit lifted you up.

Bruce was the fastest learner and the most talented football player I have ever coached.  There was nothing he could not do it seemed.   He was a true force of nature on the field, but it was off the field that I will always cherish the most about Bruce.  Before too long, he was one of the best racquetball players on campus.    Things came easy to him physically.   He walked by the wt. room one day, and asked what guys were doing with the bars.  I told him they were doing power cleans.  He asked, “are those hard?   Let me try.”   The guys were maxing and had 275 lbs on.   Bruce walked over and before I could say not too, he tried reverse curling the bar up.   He couldn’t quite do it, and while the guys chuckled around him, he quickly tried again.   With a little more oomph, he completed a 275 hang clean on his first real try.    That was Bruce.

Bruce struggled his freshman year at Linfield.   He made poor choices and really struggled focusing on his class work.   We began to meet weekly and try to get things turned around for him.   He met with Doug Hire several times and I know Doug was a strong mentor for Bruce.    Bruce decided to change his life around at Linfield when he and two close friends began to attend the Potter’s House.   Bruce did a 180 degree turn in his life and began to thrive.   As his faith grew, everything around Bruce seemed to blossom; he was like that.  People flocked to him, and he loved it.

When our daughter was born Bruce came to our house and extemporaneously made up a song about Little Josie and serenaded her on his ukulele.   I can still hear him singing that song in our hallway.   One summer Bruce was did concrete work in our backyard, and he would borrow Nick Forsey’s car, probably without asking, and drive it over.    The backyard was all uneven loose dirt, but Bruce had to have his music, so he would drive Nick’s low rider out back to get close to where he was working.   I warned him to watch where he was driving as he would get it stuck.  His answer was always “c’mon coach!”  (I am not certain Bruce even had a license)  When he inevitably got it high centered, he worked like a dog trying to dig that car out by himself.   Bruce would never ask for help, if he knew it was his deal to fix.   He was a prankster and a trickster at times, but there was one hell of man under that smiling face.   

He played right away for us.   He was so darn talented he could not be kept off the field.  The defensive front he anchored down will always be a special group to me.   Assilly and Carlson on the edge, and Chadwick, Smith, and Harter on the inside was our own version of the “fearsome foursome” and they were the rock of our program through some rough years at Linfield.    Bruce helped form a foundation that the success of the 2000’s was built upon.

Bruce could sing, Bruce could dance, and Bruce could Hit.    He was a tremendously loyal, and someone that was your friend at first meeting.   No one ever seemed to say a bad word about him, and I know even his opponents must have shared a begrudging admiration for him.   It was truly a privilege and honor to coach Bruce and consider him a close friend.  

-Coach Smith

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stat of the day