Thursday, August 28, 2014

2014 Alumni vs JV game set for Oct 11 at 7pm


The annual Linfield Alumni vs. Junior Varsity will take place on same weekend as the home opener (Oct. 11th at 7pm).  This is one of the best kept secrets in terms of viewing experiences for Linfield fans. The 'Cats have been playing alumni/j.v. game since 2005 and to see the past of the Linfield program suit up once again to face the future of the program is always a thrill for all involved.

Again, this year's game will be played at 7 P.M. on Saturday, October 11th.  If you're interested in playing in the game contact Coach Aaron Boehme and tell him that you want to buckle up one more time.  You can reach Coach at at aboehme@linfield.edu

Admission to the game is free and with the modified rules (no special teams) the game is a quick and action packed affair.  So get a double dose of Linfield football at homecome.  Watch the 'Cats play the 1st year George Fox Bruins at 1 P.M. and finish it off with the Alumni vs JV at night.  It promises to be a great day in the 'Catdome!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2014 Linfield Fall Camp: Quick Look


The above video was shot last Saturday (8/23) during the 'Cats morning practice as Linfield was nearing the 1st full week of fall camp.  The video is just a quick glace at some of the work the 'Cats are putting in as the September 13th season opener at Chapman quickly approaches.

The reports coming in so far have been very positive from the Linfield contingent.  There is no sidestepping the fact that the 'Cats defense is going to be a new look group from the senior dominated team from 2013.  However, there is a great deal of optimism of the players that have been assuming larger roles headed into this season.    On the offensive side of the ball the big question is going to be who will be the Linfield quarterback.  I still don't know if that question has been fully answered but I think the picture is becoming more clear. All three quarterbacks could start for just about any DIII team in the country, so it isn't a matter of talent, but finding out who is going to be the one that can push the right buttons on what has a chance to be a high octane Wildcat offensive attack. 

Along with the video be sure to go check out the fantastic feature that The Oregonian ran on Linfield Head Coach, Joe Smith.  Coach Smith has been a Linfield lifer and has become one of the top Division III coaches in the country.  While some programs make their head coach the face of the program and are constantly pimping their HC's image, Coach Smith has purposefully made it about Linfield during his tenure as the Top 'Cat.  That alone speaks to the nature of what Linfield is all about in that desire to put others above your own personal accomplishments.

Low Ego, High Output.

The Oregonian: Joseph Smith finds his place at Linfield

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Northwest Conference Coaches have selected Linfield as the 2014 preseason favorite.

#5 Brian Balsiger and the 'Cats look to make it 6 consecutive NWC titles this fall.
(Photo courtesy of Brad Thompson: View Brad's 2013 Linfield Football Photos here)

NWCsports.com has released information that shouldn’t be surprising to anybody as the Northwest Conference coaches overwhelmingly pick Linfield as the favorite for the 2014 title. We all know the preseason honors amounts to a hill of beans once the actual games are played. It’s a nice nod of respect to the fact that Linfield has won 11 out of the last 14 NWC conference titles but has zero impact the season ahead.

However, this is the 13th time in the past 14 years that Linfield was named by the coaches as the NWC favorites. Even during the 3 consecutive seasons that Linfield didn’t win the NWC crown (2006, 2007 & 2008) the ‘Cats were still preseason favorites. It wasn’t until 2009 that the coaches finally decided that Linfield wasn’t Linfield anymore and choose Willamette as the preseason champs. I think we all remember what happened that year as Linfield went 9-0 during the regular season and reached the NCAA final four (12-1 overall).

2014 should be a very exciting year in what many, including myself, consider one of the best Division III conferences in the country. It will not be an easy road for Linfield as the ‘Cats have three tough road games to open up the year and that includes a gigantic test up at Sparks Stadium vs PLU on Oct 4th (The ‘Lutes are stacked on offense). The rest of the major NWC tests consists of a new look Whitworth team and NWC showdowns against Willamette and Pacific.

As for the rest of the NWC coaches picks….I don’t know if I agree but here are how the coaches see it:

1. Linfield -This is where Linfield belongs until proven otherwise and there’s a list of teams that are gearing up their programs to make a run at the ‘Cats. Send 'em up.

2. PLU -Easy top two pick. The ‘Lutes have a chance to be a scary offensive unit with weapons on the outside, tight end, RB, and proven offensive line. They lost some key defenders but I feel PLU will be outstanding.

3. Willamette - I’m not sold on Willamette. Their offense is so quarterback-centric and I don’t know if they had a QB in waiting to replace the productivity of now departed Josh Dean. The Bearcats have some pieces but I can see them slipping this year if they don’t have a dynamic trigger man.

4. Pacific - Again, quarterback play is a big question in 2014 but could be a year away from pushing the top teams to the limit. The Boxers lost their 1st true senior class that logged a huge amount of games played and experience (especially on off & def lines). The Boxers have some good vets and a lot of young talent. They could have some bumps early but should be hitting a stride at end of year.

5. Whitworth - New Coach, New attitude, New look. Word is the offense is going to be a major departure from Tully Ball (zone left, QB draw, incomplete pass, crown moans, and punt) as the Rats should be playing a minimal substitution passing offense and switching to a 3-4 defense. The Rats brought in 50 something new players and I think that while this will be a transition year, Whitworth will be on an upswing moving forward.

6. UPS -Might be better than last year but not good enough to challenge the middle NWC teams. I see them beating Lewis & Clark to start NWC play (BREAK UP THE LOGGERS) and maybe…just maybe are able to beat George Fox (maybe) but it gets into mud stopping territory after that.

7. Lewis & Clark - The Pios could be historically bad this year. That’s saying something. Since the 2000 season, the 2013 Lewis & Clark team had the worst total defense (502.6 yards allowed per game) and allowed the most points per game (53 points per game!!!) than any NWC team over the past 14 years. (yeah, I keep track of that stuff). With the departure of their lone difference maker, Keith Welch, and a 57 man roster, I just don’t see them winning an NWC game this season. That includes George Fox.

8. George Fox - The Bruins are screaming they’re going to be better than people think and that could be the case with their weak non-conference opponents, numbers, and some transfers. They could fast track some wins before their players realize they actually are having to go to school at George Fox. 

How Wildcat11 sees 2014 playing out (reminder, I’ve been terrible at this in the past):

1. Linfield
2. PLU
3. Pacific
4. Whitworth
5. Willamette
6. UPS
7. GFU
8. L&C

Thursday, August 21, 2014

We are the hammer


I'll be getting out to camp this weekend to get my eyes for the 1st time on the 2014 Linfield Wildcats. Lots of exciting news this week on the early returns of the team but I'll dig into more of that this weekend. Go 'Cats!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2014 Linfield College Football Video Feast!

The 2014 Linfield football team reports for camp this Sunday.  We are about 30 days away from the offical kickoff of the season as the 'Cats will open up against an up-and-coming Chapman squad out of the SCIAC.  The 'Cats 2014 team has great mix of returning talent a number of new faces that are going to have to come together quickly for the year to start right.  It's exciting as heck and to get you primed for the season below is a collection of some of the best highlight videos we've produced over the past 3 years.  16 videos and nearly 58 minutes of Linfield football action to get you ready for another year in the 'Catdome!

Linfield 2013 Linfield College Football: Higher Ground

2014 Linfield Wildcats Inspirational: Beyond Limits

Linfield 2014 Spring Football: "Daring Greatly"

GoPro: 2013 Linfield College Football

Linfield 2013 Linfield College Football Highlight Opening Clip

Linfield 2013 Pre-Season Video "Going In"

2013 Linfield Football Scoreboard Intro Video

2013 Spring Football's "The Difference"


2011 Linfield Hype Video "Send 'Em Up"


2012 Highlight Video Introduction


2012 Linfield Hype Video "Fear None"

Linfield Football's "A Cut Above"


2012 Linfield Scoreboard Team Intro Video


2011 Linfield Scoreboard Team Intro Video 


BIG HITS IV


Welcome to the Shark Tank

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is this heaven? No, it's the 'Catdome.


The 2014 Field Turf replacement project is coming to an end before the 'Cats report to camp on August 17th.  The field configuration is almost identical to the previous field.  The only notable change is the Linfield "L" in the middle of the field is now purple instead of red.  The field looks fantastic with alternating shades of green, clean lettering in the end zones, and spacious and professional quality sideline boxes.  Along with the field of play, the 'Cats surface also has extra turf that extends past the North End Zone that allows much needed space during practice that allows Linfield's 100+ man roster to practice without being crowded.

Not all field turf football fields are the same and Linfield's installation, look, sidelines, and size make Maxwell Field the Top 'Cat in the NWC in regards to synthetic playing surfaces.

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Daring Greatly” selected as a FootballScoop.com Non-FBS video of the year finalist!

Pretty darn sweet.
Wow.  Footballscoop.com, who is a hugely popular website in the football community for breaking news, articles, and coaching comings and goings on all-levels of football has released the finalist for their 2nd annual Video of the Year contest and we made the cut. 

Our 2014 Spring Football video “Daring Greatly” has been selected as one of five finalists in the Non-FBS video of the year category.  The three categories are FBS/Non-FBS/High School.  The Non-FBS encompasses all teams in division II, III, NAIA, and Junior/Community College football.   This is actually our second video picked as a finalist as last year our 2013 Spring Ball Video “The Difference” was a finalist in Scoop’s 1st video contest

When the call came to submit videos for this year’s contest, I was torn.  You are only allowed to submit one video from a program and I was stuck on either going to our 2013 Highlight Video Trailer “Higher Ground” or with Daring Greatly.  I talked it over with Mrs. 11 and she was on the fence too but in the end even with Higher Ground having so much energy and action packed into it, I thought that Daring Greatly has that great emotion with the front piece and spring ball clips that take you right into the action of the work the players put in.

A group of four judges outside of the Footballscoop.com family and a representative of the school of last year’s Non-FBS winner (Southern Oregon) will select the winner that will be revealed early next week.  The competition is thick.  Other Non-FBS finalists come from East Mississippi Community College, Grand Valley State (DII), Montana State (Non-FBS), and  South Dakota State (Non-FBS).

FootballScoop.com:  Announcing the FootballScoop non-FBS Video of the Year finalists

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Northwest Conference's 1st Team All-American numbers

Wow.
D3football.com has been selecting an elite All-American football team since 1999.  It's a tough team to make as the folks at D3.com are selective and try to make this team a true honor and not just name everyone and their dog to generate some page clicks.

A total of 31 Wildcats have been named to D3football.com's All-American team while PLU has had 11 All-American honors, Willamette at 9, Whitworth with 8, L&C with 1, and UPS and Pacific (only 4 seasons in) are looking for their first selection.  Having 20 more All-American honors is pretty dominating as it is, but when you look at the 1st team All-American honors, that's when Linfield really puts the pedal down on the competition.   

Since 1999, Linfield players have been selected to 1st team status a total of 18 times by D3football.com while the next closest comes in at 2 selections (tie - PLU & Whitworth).  16 more 1st team All-American honors than the next closest NWC program.  That's pretty wild considering that PLU, Whitworth, and Willamette have each had very good runs of play over the past 15 seasons.  Add up PLU, Whitworth, and L&C and they're still 15 selections short of the what the 'Cats have been doing.

Dang.


Friday, July 11, 2014

2014 Linfield's Team Camp Highlight Video


Another summer and another great group of team camps this year at the 'Catdome.  Linfield has been hosting this team camp for nearly 30 years and 2014 was the biggest yet with over 1,600 campers coming though Linfield over a 9 day period.   The players get great individual position instructions from the Linfield coaching staff, 7-on-7 competition, team time, full contact controlled scrimmages, and nightly team contests.  It's a heck of an action packed camp.

Above is our now annual team camp highlight video from the 1st session of camp.  Schools featured are: Oregon City, North Medford, Centennial, Century, Mt. View, Sherwood, Westview, Barlow, Dayton, Mark Morris, Crook County, and Sutherlin.  Already looking forward to next year's camp!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rolling along


Click on any of the photos to enlarge

The 2014 Field Turf Replacement project is moving right along as the Maxwell Field surface is currently being regraded.  In speaking to one of the crew members this morning he said they should be finished by this upcoming Saturday and said regrading is progressing perfectly. 

I haven't seen a mockup of what the new surface will look like but I do know the field will thankfully be green (no gimmicks) and I suspect it will be very similar to the previous configuration.  That's a great thing as the previous field look freaking fantastic for 10 years.  No soccer lines and green turf....I'll take that any day of the week.


 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Field Turf Moves On

Multiple Linfield social media accounts have reported that over the past two days the 1st generation Field Turf surface at Maxwell Field has been completely removed in preparation of a new field install. I can still remember the grand re-opening of the 'Catdome in 2004 vs. Western Oregon after the huge remodel and over 10 years the surface looked great and played great. That old surface saw a lot of Linfield victories with a few moments of defeat. It was a hell of a ride but let's do it again!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Video: 2013 Linfield vs Hampden-Sydney (playoff)

Not too much to say here but this was a great football game. The 'Cats had to climb out an early big hole to send the Tigers from Hampden-Sydney home 31-21 in the 2nd round of the 2013 NCAA Division III playoffs. A great day for football

Linfield's Individual Camp was a hit!

Linfield's 1st individual skills camp will become one of the best on the west coast.
Last Tuesday, the Linfield College football staff concluded their 1st ever individual skill camp in the 'Catdome.  For nearly 30 years the summers in the 'Catdome were exclusively for the highly regarded and well attended team football camp (this year's two sessions saw 1,600 campers come through Linfield over a 9 day period).  This past spring the staff decided to add a more personal touch to the football opportunities available for high school players in the Northwest by offering up a smaller and more personal learning experience.

The result was nearly 50 players receiving a two day clinic in championship football as the Linfield staff put these players though technical position training that made the $150 price tag a bargain.  The players were put though two 3 1/2 hour non-padded workouts on Monday and Tuesday that the Linfield staff uses daily during the college season.  Each position group was filmed constantly by a student worker and that video was later broken down in film sessions ran by the staff. 

This camp was a hit with both the players and the staff and you're going to see this individual skills clinic continue to grow and become a major destination on the summer circuit.  The training the players received was just too good not for players in the Northwest to pass up.

Below is a link to an article on the skills camp that ran in the Oregonian and the embedded video is of Coach Tyler Robitaille discussing the indy camp.

Oregonlive.com: Linfield football clinic adds intimate atmosphere to Oregon summer football camp circuit

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Parental Perspective: Repp Family

 
Josh Repp was a clutch performer for the 'Cats

Most of the focus in the recruiting process is understandably geared towards the student-athlete.  However, the other side of the coin is that at the end of the day it’s the parent/parents/guardian that has to buy in and support sending their son to college and entrust them to a coaching staff.

We’re lucky enough to have some feedback from some parents of recent Linfield football graduates about their own Linfield experience and I feel it speaks highly of how both Linfield football and Linfield College continues to shape the lives of young people.
 

Below is a letter from the parents of Kicker/Punter Josh Repp who wrapped up an excellent career for the ‘Cats this past season.  
---------

As a high school senior, there were so many opportunities available for our kicker/punter son, Josh Repp.  We visited schools, he fielded calls from coaches all over the country, we researched; it was grueling.  After taking a trip to Linfield on his own, Josh came back, and all other options were no longer considered.  He was going to Linfield, and that decision was certain. In somewhat of a panic, we sought to research the school and talk with people living in Oregon about the program.  Everyone had the same answer; you could not find a better place.  The students from Linfield carry the reputation of people of excellent character, dedication, and those who are well prepared for the working world.  They graduate ready to give back and contribute in every way.

We were excited to find out about the history and quality of the football program, but it was the school and the concern for the student athlete that really helped us to agree with Josh's decision.  Who would know the team would be amazing?  Certainly, not us Southern Californians, but amazing it was!  We will never forget the night he called, in December of 2012, to express his sadness about his first loss at home in four years.  He was so disappointed, and yet we shared how inconceivable it was to be able to play for a team with that kind of record.  During his time, he had phenomenal coaching support, made lifelong friends, and was treated by a training staff that rivals professional football teams.  The trainers are fantastic, and it gave us comfort knowing they were looking out for our son, while we were more than 1,000 miles away.  Now, Josh is trying to find young men in Southern California in order to encourage them to attend Linfield.  He knows what an incredible opportunity it was for him and he wants to share that with other Californians.

Academically, Linfield has been a challenge and we have reveled in watching our son grow through this.  We just kept saying, "That is why a college diploma holds so much meaning."  He found advisors, professors, and support staff on campus that helped him navigate the college experience.  As his time winds down, it is with some sadness, but we rejoice and feel confident, like other Linfield grads, our son is ready to contribute in a great way. Whether he ends up in law enforcement, as is his dream, or any other profession, we know he will take Linfield with him throughout his life.  To all you coaches, staff, trainers, fellow athletes, and students: Thank you for blessing our Wildcat!

Sincerely,
Sharon and Gary Repp

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Video: 2013 Linfield vs Puget Sound


Above are the highlights of the 'Cats 79-3 victory over the Loggers of Puget Sound. Linfield came out early and put the game to rest in an avalanche of an effort in taking a 58-3 lead into the break. Linfield didn't even attempt a pass in the 2nd half in order to keep the game from getting more out of hand than it already was. Lots of young 'Cats were able to get in large chunks of action and you can see the future of the program remains bright.

This is about as big of mismatch that you'll find.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Top 'Cats


The 2013 Linfield Wildcats led NCAA Division III in scoring in putting up 48.8 points per game.  The 2014 will return 8 offensive starters including big play receiver Evan Peterson. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

2013 Linfield game highlights: Lewis & Clark



70 was the score....at halftime.  Linfield put up a whopping 42 points alone in the 2nd quarter to hammer (hammer doesn't do it justice) the Lewis & Clark Pioneers in 2013.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Linfield is ranked #3 by Sporting News and Lindy’s 2014 preseason Top 25


College Football is right around the corner!!!!!
It’s that time of the year again when the college football season is on the horizon and the preseason and All-American teams start rolling out to get folks primed for another glorious season of college football. Both the Sporting News and Lindy Sports have slotted the Wildcats 3rd in their Division III 2014 preseason rankings (links below).

If you’ve been following division III football for any length or time you will know D3football.com’s preseason top 25 and USA Today’s Top 25 are the most well thought out preseason polls that you will find.  D3football.com is Division III football and USA Today’s Top 25 is put together by D3football.com’s Executive Editor, Pat Coleman, so you know there isn’t a better source on our division.  It’s non-debatable. Those polls won’t come out until later this summer but in the meantime both the Sporting News and Lindy Sports has published their mega college football previews where D3 is lucky enough to grace one or two pages. 

In 2010, I wrote a post on these preseason magazines that wasn’t too flattering about Sporting News and Lindy's preseason polls and I still feel that way for the most part.  However, the way I look at them now is slightly different.  Preseason polls mean nothing.  They have no bearing on the eventual outcome of the 2014 season.  Nothing.  Linfield knows this and doesn't take them seriously.  However, I’ve come to look at these preseason polls has more of a nod of recognition of what pundits think about where your program’s standing is in the world of Division III football.   These polls are saying that Linfield has proven itself to be a top 5 program over the past years and they expect that trend to continue.  

Do I expect Linfield to be in the national title hunt in 2014?  Absolutely, but making the pundits looks smart is up to the players on this team and their efforts this past winter, during this summer, and ultimately on the field this fall.

As a program we should appreciate the tip of the cap from these publications but remember that Linfield is the team that’s circled nine times on opponent’s calendars this fall.  Success doesn't come via a piece of paper printed in the month of May.

Links:
Sporting News 2014 Preseason Top 25 (pdf via hopkinssports.com)
Lindy Sports 2014 Preseason Top 25 (pdf via hopkinsports.com)



Hyland and Schultz selected as preseason All-Americans by Sporting News

This should be the first of many preseason accolades for Linfield Defensive End Brynnan Hyland and Offensive Tackle Steven Schultz.  Hyland is making his return to action after missing all of 2013 after a knee injury in fall camp last season.  Hyland was looking to continue his domination after earning All-American status in 2012 after piling up 19 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss, 43 total tackles, and 2 forced fumbles.  The 6’ 5”, 300 lbs. Schultz will look to anchor what should be a dynamic Linfield offensive line.  Schultz has developed a well-earned reputation as one of the finest offensive tackles in the country after being named a 1st team D3football.com All-American in 2013.