Thursday, March 29, 2007

Feeling the heat.

AFL2’s season officially kicks off tonight and while 3 former Wildcat standouts are on AFL2 rosters only two will be seeing action this weekend.

Burn + Fire = Season Opener

The Boise Burn will opening up their 2007 season and their 1st game as a franchise on the road when they lock up with the Louisville Fire at 4:30 (PST) Friday. I had the chance to grab the ear of Brandon Hazenberg this morning while he was getting ready to go catch his team flight at noon.

As you would expect Brandon was pretty fired up to play tomorrow. He’ll be starting at safety for the Burn and has a huge responsibility in keeping all of the action in front of him. He’s expecting to see a number of double moves and post/post-corner routes during the season. The rules of Arena football really limit the types of coverage’s you can play so what starts as a zone will really wind up as man-to-man coverage’s most of the game. In asking him about the Fire, Brandon wasn’t so much worried about his opponents as much as he was focused on his and his teammates controlling their performance and execution on the field.

Casey Allen will be seeing all of his action at the X receiver for the Burn and should be a huge target in the Red Zone. For Wildcat fans this is no surprise as every one of us would just say “Throw up to number 8” when Linfield would creep into the Red Zone. Most times than not, that strategy would pay dividends for the ‘Cats and we should expect the same for the Burn.

We’ll check in on the Burn this weekend and hope they can put out the Fire.

Carter placed on I.R. for the Fever

Tri-Cities receiver and Linfield grad George Carter will start his 2007 season on the shelf as a high ankle sprain will keep the Wildcat on the sideline. AFL2 rules state that once you’re place on the I.R. you have to miss a minimum of 4 weeks.

This is too bad as the Fever also start on the road this Saturday as they open up play vs the Mahoning Valley Thunder (Youngstown, Ohio). George probably won’t be traveling with the team and will miss out in having a chance to meet “Animal” from WWE Legion of Doom/Road Warrior fame. What!? Couldn’t the Thunder have pony up the coin to bring in a real former WWE superstar like Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka or the Honkeytonk Man? In one word: disappointing

Wild opening camp today

The Alaska Wild of the Intense Football League will be opening up their camp today with former ‘Cat standout, Thomas Ford, on the roster. It sounds like T.Ford will be getting snaps at WR for the Wild and will be racking up the frequent flyer miles.

The Wild will be on the road for 5 straight weeks after their home opener. All of these roadies will be in the Louisiana and Texas area. I just hope T.Ford doesn’t have to go anywhere near Abliene, Tx. In two words: Hell Hole

Rhein Fire opens in two weeks.

Brett Elliott and his Rhein Fire will be opening play in two short weeks.

Training camp in Tampa is coming to a close for the Fire as they prepare for the season opener. In the most recent scrimmage vs the Hamburg Sea Devils, BE completed 4 of 5 passes for 28 yards. Still not sure if the opening day starter will be Pickett or the Butcher but my gut says that BE will be the man by the time the Fire’s season shakes out.

Mahoning Valley Thunder: Meet the Animal!
AFL2: Our Endzones comes in round and square

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Weekend Update: Indoor tracker and recruit update

Alan Moody and the News-Register ran an update on recent Linfield standouts and where they are currently playing at.

As we talk about before Brandon Hazenberg and Casey Allen were at camp with AFL2's Boise Burn and they have made the final roster (as if there was much doubt). So far the experience as been positive for the Linfield pair: "It reminds me a little of Linfield," (Casey) Allen said. "There's no troublemakers on the team. Me and Haze are trying to bring Linfield's family mentality to the team and get them to buy into it."

In speaking with Brandon earlier it sounds like Casey might be tagged as an offensive specialist (WR) and Haze wasn't sure if he was going to wind up being a defensive specialist at safety.

A specialist doesn't have to play both sides of the ball as most Arena players do.

Carter still has Fever:

2004 All-American WR George Carter is entering his second year with the AFL2's Tri-Cities Fever. Carter is listed as an offensive specialist (WR) for the Fever. I'd try to get some thoughts from George but he's a tough guy to pin down. We'll keep trying.

Ford's Wild about Alaska:

Linfield standout and fan favorite, Thomas Ford (RB, 2004) asked for his release from the Tri-Cities Fever after two years and is heading north to play with the Alaska Wild for the Intense Football League.

BE update:

Brett Elliott and his NFL Europe Rhein Fire continue to work towards the season opener April 14th at home vs the Berlin Thunder and he's in a fight for the starting job with former NFL signal caller Cody Pickett. I have no real inside info on how that's going so we'll just have to wait and see.

Linfield's incomming class gets a little stronger:

Many people around the Linfield community knew that McMinnville high standout RB/LB Josh Armstrong gave a verbal commitment to Linfield but this week word came that he was officially accepted by admissions. Great news for Josh and I'm looking forward to his development over the next four years.

News-Register: Alumni Tracker
Tri-Cities Fever: Have you seen this man?
Boise Burn: Here's our roster!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Around the NWC Horn....

In reading the Lewis and Clark student paper (The Pioneer Log) this year, you get a sense that the college is trying to be more aggressive in getting a better brand of athlete on campus without lowering their academic bar. However there still is a gap for the Pios that many on campus are trying to bridge and this mainly has to do with their admission policies.

Most recently this article “LC recruiting strives to rank in both athletics and academics through institutional change” gave some decent information on L&C working on changing their athletic culture. Here are some of the excerpts:

---Generally, the LC athletic program needs 150 recruits each year, yet they only pulled in 57 for the 2006-2007 seasons. The football team struggled to have enough current players available to host the necessary amount of recruits. (for overnight recruiting visits)

---“We don’t have any appealing facilities that might entice those athletes to brave the weather,” said head baseball coach Justin Baughman, an LC alum and member of the LC Hall of Fame for baseball, “What’s the incentive?”

---“There seems to be a disconnect in what admissions thinks we do in regards to recruiting and what we actually do,” said swimming coach Matt Sellman. He said that the coaches get to know the recruits very well and “have a good idea of who is a good fit and how successful they can be at LC, both academically and athletically. Sometimes admissions doesn’t have that personal relationship, which makes it difficult for them to see the potential in recruited student athletes that coaches do.”

---Both Yeager and coaches agree that there has been better communication between admissions and the athletic department than in the past, but a lot of changes have just been implemented, so the gears of improvement have just begun to click


The Willamette Collegian has run a multi-part series on the de-emphasis of athletics on the Salem campus and a call to raise WU’s current athletic budge. Willamette sports writer and baseball player, Jimmy Meuel reports that Willamette currently spends 2.5% of their budge on athletics; which is the same as Lewis & Clark. (Linfield allots 3.36% and Whitworth 3.6%).

I’ll let Jimmy take it from here: “Athletics at Willamette are not in a good place right now. The school has devalued its sports and thus winning is down all across the boards. Yet while many factors might contribute to this, increasing the athletic budget for sports is the quickest and easiest way to give our student-athletes the best possible teams the highest academic standards, the best campus life, the most visibility for our school and the most diversity. Yet in order to accomplish (WU President M. Lee) Pelton's goals-in order to do what's best for the school-they must raise the athletic budget."

….In reading these articles I don’t blame WU Football Coach Mark Speckman looking for other gigs.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Life's a drag....

photo by: Bill Miller/Allegory Commercial Photography

In the name of charity is the reason why you would see one of my all-time favorite Linfield football players, Ty Matthews (left) dressed up and looking like a normal Linfield cheerleader....ok an ugly Linfield cheerleader. I think what made me feel worse is the guy on the right is who Mrs. 11 and I went through to obtain our mortgage. I will say he did get us a great rate.

Ty is posing for a calendar that will be sold to help support Habitat for Humanity's McMinnville Chapter.

I can't really give Ty too much of a hard time because he was at the helm of the Linfield offense during a great run of Linfield teams and was the pivot for critical Linfield victories.

Like the 2002 Southern Oregon Double Overtime game.

Or the 2001 Menlo game when Linfield was 1-2 and looking down the barrel of 1-3 and talk about if "The Streak" would make it through 2001. That comeback vs Menlo would start a mind bending run of 43 straight regular season victories.

Or the 2003 Wartburg Playoff Game where Ty would lead the offense down the track in the final minute to set up the game winning field goal.

So for these reasons and the fact that Tyler is one of the most respected people I know I'll give him a pass on all the jokes/shots I want to take. One thing I will say is that I think Ty would look better as a blonde.

News-Register: U-G-L-Y you ain't got no alibi
Link: Allegory Commercial Photography

'Cats color man named McMinnville Man of the Year

Linfield’s Dean of Students, Dave Hansen was just named McMinnville’s “Man of the Year” at the annual McMinnville Jaycees’ Distinguished Service Award Banquet on Monday in McMinnville.

The award was presented to Dean Hansen for his tremendous service to the college and McMinnville community. Many Linfield faithful knows that Dean Hansen has spent 30 years in the Wildcat broadcast booth calling both football and basketball action for the ‘Cats. The last five being the color man next to 12 time Oregon sports broadcaster of the year, Darrell Aune. The two have been on the call over one of the great runs of Wildcat football.

Not only is your Dean of Students in the broadcast both but he’s still teaching an economic class on top of that. Congratulations to Dean Hansen on the honor. Another in the long list of Linfield Legends.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

update: Football's two-sport stats

The Sping sports are in full swing and here we are with an update on our football playing ‘Cats during their spring gigs:


The ‘Cats have unexpectly struggled to start Coach Carnahan’s final season at the helm at 7-8. Expect the see the ‘Cats surge during the final months of the season and make a run at the top of the NWC.

Jordan Boustead: (WR) Infield: Batting .243 while making 13 appearances in 15 games.

Ty Stanley: (CB) 2nd/SS: Hitting .250 in limited time for the ‘Cats this spring.

Cory Ellis: (WR) 2nd: The starting 2nd baseman is hitting .306 with a .469 OB%. He’s also stolen 6 bases so far this season.

Gunner Cederberg: (WR) OF/Catcher and Blane Goodwin: (Saftey) Catcher are both sharpening their games with the JV team this season.

Track & Field:

So far here our tracksters are standing well in the NWC. Here are the “NWC best” marks through March 6th.

Gabe Haberly: (CB) Pole Vault/Hurdles: 2nd in Pole Vault (13’05”), 6th 110m Hurdles (16.31)

Jermey Lovell: (WR) Jumps/Decathlon: 2nd (Tied) in High Jump 6’02”

Josh Lovell: (WR) Jumps/Decathlon: tied with brother for 2nd at the same mark

Bubba Lemon: (CB) Sprints: 10th in 100m (11.56), 7th in 200m (23.05)

Brad Lau: (WR) Sprints: 15th in 100m (11.73), 15th in 200m (23.72)

Jake Kleffner: (OL) Throws: 2nd in Disc (132’01”), 15th in Shot (38’04”)

JT Martin: (WR) Sprints: 6th in 400m sprint (52.65)

Clint Moore: (TE) Throws: 11th in shot (40’01”), 8th Disc (127’06”)

Drew Regan: (RB) Sprints: 7th in 100m (11.47),

Josh Scheel: (DE) Throws: 18th Shot (36’)

Chris Slezak: (WR) Sprints: 13th 200m (23.55), 8th 400m (53.29)

Jon Styles: (WR) Sprints: 14th in 100m(11.72), 11 in 200m (23.48)

John Torsey: (WR) Sprints: 3rd 100m (11.21), 8th in 200m (23.06)

Andrew Woods: (CB) Jumps: 12 in Long Jump (19’07”)


Jackson Vaughan: Defensive Coordinator/Softball Head Coach:

Jackson currently has his team ranked 3rd in the NCAA DIII polls at 8-2.

Linfield Sports: Baseball
Linfield Sports: T&F
Linfield Sports: Softball Top Track Marks

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Indoor update: Buring down Boise

Had the chance to touch base with Brandon Hazenberg and Casey Allen on Monday before they headed out to practice with the AFL2’s Boise Burn.

They just stated camp this past weekend and so far so good for the former Wildcat All-Americans. Both had great things to say about the Boise coaching staff in how they teach their players the indoor game and the progress the team has made to this point.

There are 35 in camp right now with the final roster going to be trimmed down to 22 before the start of the season. Both of our ‘Cats are sounding confident that they’ll make that group of 22.

It sounds like Casey will have the opportunity to see reps with the 1’s at Wide Receiver with Haze over on defense at Safety also with the 1’s. Haze confessed that he been making time as a holder for Boise’s place kicker. Would you rather have Haze holding for you or a QB? Me too….

Tuesday was a big day as the Burn will be padding up for the first time and will get a chance to practice indoors at Qwest Arena. In asking Casey about seeing the wall for the first time he stated that he’s more curious to check out the rounded endzones at Qwest Arena. Honestly we all know Casey will be spending some time in the EZ’s so he should try to familiarize himself the best as he can.

Overall, they’re both enjoying the city of Boise where boredom isn’t an issue. I’ll try my best to keep tabs with these two as we move along the indoor season.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Linfield Legend: Carl Haberberger

Throughout's video season (March-August) there will be 5 wildcats that will be named "Linfield Legends". Our first Legend is running back Carl Haberberger (1997-2000). Below are some thoughts on Carl writen by his former teammate, Wildcat standout, and close friend Josh Harrison (WR 1997-2000). Take it away Josh:


When remembering significant Linfield Running Back's, names like Ad Rutschman, Joey Rector, Gary McGarvie and David Russell come to mind. There is another name that can be thrown into the mix that a lot of us know, and everyone who follows Linfield Football should know. That name is Carl Haberberger.
Not too many high school running backs can come into their first year of college football and play a major role in the team’s game plan. This is what Carl did. As his first season went on, he grew more and more involved in the offense and played his way into a starting role, not stopping until the game was taken away from him during the 2000 season.

With the combination of speed, vision, strength and an understanding of the game, Haberberger's talents currently have him sitting third on the school's career rushing yards list. Many of these yards were tallied up after Linfield's offense changed from a run heavy I-back set to a more pass happy spread offense. The chance of climbing higher on this list was cut short with a season ending injury during the fourth game of a potential All-American senior year.

Plenty more could be said about Carl's days at Linfield but players and fans of Linfield Football during the 1997-2000 seasons know Carl is deserving of this acknowledgement. He has received numerous team and conference awards and was in line for a few more.

Wildcat11 has put together some clips to show off some of Carl's best moments. For those of you, who did not get to see Carl play, enjoy the show.
-Josh Harrison Linfield 1997-2000.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Google Earthing the NWC and friends

Please raise your hand if you've ever found yourself on Google Maps or Earth checking out various satellite views of the house you grew up in, famous landmarks, or the building in Vegas where Pacman Jones was "making it rain".

Well I couldn't help but make a trip around the NWC football fields to see big brother's see the bird's eye view of the Catdome and others. The links to each field is below and I added a few other fields of teams the 'Cats have battled in the present or past.

Catdome: In the middle of 2004 facelift

Willamette: Our field rhymes with "Dammit"

Lewis & Clark: Looks good from far but far from good

Whitworth: Hope I can get my lawn that green

UPS: What my lawn will probably look like

PLU: Rent-a-field with convertable goal posts "Attaway!"

Menlo: Never been there and maybe that's a good thing.


SOU: Dusty was here

WOU: Did you know this is the only D2 field in Oregon?

HSU: North open end is still weird looking

Rowan: No comment needed

SJU: Fuzzy picture makes it hard to see empty Hamms cans on sideline

Oxy: Willamette lost there

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Cats land former All-American's offspring

The Maui News is reporting that former two time Tight End All-American and member of the 1984 national championship team, Keith Machida is sending his daughter to Linfield to be a 'Cat.

Chelsea Machida is standout diver and trackster (High Jump) for Maui High School. She'll be coming to Linfield to hit the oval for Garry Kilgor next spring. Add to the mix that Chelsea carries a 4.191 GPA and is ranked 2nd in her class. The Machida's must be very proud. I know that my folks might have done a standing back flip if I brought home a 4.191...instead of the blank look I would get when I handed over a 3.whatever.

“They (Chelse'a parents) wanted to make sure that I looked at all of my options, but when I finally chose Linfield they were excited for me,’’ Chelsea Machida said. “It was kind of like a legacy for me. It is a very different school from when they went, but I think they know it is moving forward.’’

Congrats to Chelsea and her family. Now can Keith please let us know if he has any sons...

Maui News: Double Threat

Saturday, March 3, 2007

My Saturday was shot....

So as I mentioned in my post below I spent my day at Linfield’s annual Track and Field Ice Breaker meet. There are a number of teams, clubs, and individual competitors from around the region that take part in the Ice Breaker as this is the first real outdoor T&F action for a number of the athletes.

For me…I spent my day where I usually do over at the Shot Put. The shot almost runs the length of the day but I’ve always enjoyed volunteering in a field event that you can stay somewhat clean (unlike the disk, jav, and hammer) and watch athletes display some real power.

The past few years I wound up being the judge for the event..which I just dread. A) I’ve never been on a track team in my life B) I barely know the rules to the shot put C) I hate the metric system. Thankfully, I was relieved of duty when former Linfield T&F All-American Joni Claypool bailed me out and oversaw both the women and men’s shot. Would you rather have an All-American in the shot running the event or a dude who can’t remember if a participant steps over the toe board if it’s a “foul” or “scratch”?…enough said. I was happy to be out marking and raking sand between flights.

Before the shot started I ran into former Linfield football stand out’s Carl Haberberger (Linfield track coach) and Tramaine Payne (Linfield Track Coach) and saw a number of Linfield footballers either participating in events or volunteering for the Ice Breaker. It’s just a reminder that we’re really not that far off from spring ball and the countdown to fall camp.

I need to mention that Linfield head track coach Garry Kilgore is an incredible guy. It’s fun to watch Garry run a meet while he’s coaching his kids. He’s in constant motion from event to event to make sure his kids and volunteers are taken care of. Garry to me is the definition of what “Linfield” is all about…hard working, honest, embracing competition, and striving to get better each year. He’s a real kick in the ass.

Oh, for all you sicko’s out there, nobody got stuck by a javelin or maimed by a hammer throw.

Friday, March 2, 2007

38 and counting....

Just a quick note today. I ran into this article yesterday about another tree falling at Linfield due to sever weather. That is the 38th tree on Linfield’s campus to bite the dust this past winter season with at least 12 being some of our incredible old oaks. I blame Menlo’s new affiliation with the NWC.

The good news is that the College’s physical plant (which many a Linfield athlete has worked for) has planted 181 various species of tree during 2006. Granted, by the time these trees reach full maturity it will hurt for me to pee, but at least they’re staying on top it.

Tomorrow, I’ll be volunteering at Linfield’s annual Ice Breaker Track Meet. As long as a tree doesn’t fall on me it should be a nice day at the Catdome. I’ll give you the scoop tomorrow night.