What most Linfield fans didn’t know is that they were watching a quarterback, in Franklin, that was severely hampered most of 2009 with a bad ankle injury that limited Cole’s legs and ability to scramble. You may not believe that after watching him pick up huge chunks of yards and scrambling for TDs this season but yes…he wasn’t nearly 100% in 2008.
Looking back on this years season, yes the end result was not what we all hoped for but, from my point of view we gained experience, and because of this as a team we developed tremendous depth. This quality will help us in the upcoming 2009 season. I too have saw consistant game time as a sophmore, and in turn I believe I have matured as a person and a player. Taking over the starting job as Quaterback for the Linfield Wilcats after Aaron Bohme's shoulder injury against Hardin Simmons was an eye opener for sure. However, at the same time I was excited to take up this new challenge and opportunity. My teammates, offense and defense were more than encouraging in making sure I knew they believed in my abilities to lead the team and I love them for that. In my first collegiate start against Southern Oregon University, my left ankle was crushed resulting in a third degree high ankle sprain. Even though I was able to endure through the rest of the game, It would cause serious upheavel in my performance to come. It was only until our last game against PLU was my ankle coming around. This was and still is very difficult for me to deal with mentally.
Making weekly trips to Vancouver for electrical treatment, I was able to limp through the rest of the season only starting in six games. Following my ankle injury I incured a contusion on my right forearm against Willamete. This would haunt me the rest of the season inhibiting my throwing motion. Overall my injury record was unfortunate, preventing me from going 100 percent. However, I was not the only one who was prone to injuries throughout the season. An accumulation of injuries on both sides of the ball denied us the opportunity to play at our fullest potential. The only benefit one can garner from this is we were given the opportunity to develope depth within the team which may not have been possible had our season been injury free myself included. I matured alot this year and by the end of the season I was making much better on the field decisions. I will come into the 09 season smarter, faster and stronger, ready to lead the Wildcats to a National Title.
Class of 2011
*Photos are courtsey of Linfield S.I.D. Kelly Bird