Monday, December 14, 2009

'Cats season ends with a tough 27-17 loss at Whitewater.

Our 'Cats dropped a 27-17 heartbreaker in the NCAA Semi-Finals to #2 UW-Whitewater. Anyone that followed the game knows that Linfield held a 17-10 lead early in the 4th quarter and looked to be in prime position to pull the upset and advanced to the NCAA Championship game but you have to credit Whitewater for making enough plays to overcome the Linfield lead and pull out the victory.

It was such a bittersweet feeling for the players, coaches, and fans of the 'Cats. Linfield has NOTHING to hang their heads about but everyone in the Purple, Red, and White knows that it was there for the taking but it just wasn't to be. However, that's part of football/athletics and in some ways life. Sometimes you are of the verge of doing something great and for whatever reason it just doesn't happen. In those moments you tend to find out really who you are as a person and from what I saw after the game made me feel pretty dang good. The 'Cats, even though they were bitterly disappointed, handled themselves with class and dignity after the game. True, there were tears, but they stayed together as a team and held each other up in a very tough moment. These guys truly care about the 'Cat next to them and are very proud of what they did this season as they should be. It was an incredible season by anyone standards.

I'm not going to get into a huge recap of the game with the usual "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" because it just doesn't feel right for me to break down that game. Bottom line, it was a awesome game with two excellent teams trading blows. Yes, Whitewater made the play to win the game but everybody at Perkins Stadium knows that game was up for grabs up till the finals minutes.

What I would like to write instead is just pour out some thoughts on the season. You know that I'm a Linfield honk in the highest regards. I have blind faith in the values of the programs and the people who run it. That may not be the healthiest perspective to have but it's for a good reason. This program will always try to put their best foot forward when it comes to preparing young people for their lives after Linfield and also try their best to put out a high quality product on the field.

That is what this 2009 team did this year. They worked everyday on putting their best on the line. Not just on fall and winter Saturdays but in the early mornings during Jan term and in the springtime when the eyes of the 'Catdome family were not on them. This group of young men earned everything this season. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect at the start of 2009. Sure, we had some very talented ballplayers but we were young in spots and unproven in many others. However, what we didn't know is just how tight the bond of this team was headed into the year. That believe in the player next to them is what carried this team to the heights they reached and will carry the program forward into 2010. They need to be applauded for their effort and performance. It was truly great.

To the Senior Class of 2009. Thank you. I don't know how else the 'Catdome can express what you men did for this program this season. Myself and others can't really know the pressures and frustrations that you all felt the previous few seasons when the program was so close but see the season end at 6-3. The classes of 2006-08 each worked very hard but they all had a taste of the success of the 03-05 seasons and that is something you guys had hanging over your heads coming into the year. Instead of letting that break you down, you guys came together and moved forward, formed your own identity, and carved out your own piece and place in Linfield history. What you did this year was special and it may be one of your greatest memories of your college lives and it should be. You once again set the standard for the teams that follow you and the 'Catdome family can't thank you enough.

WC11 wants to encourage any fans, students, or parents to drop a thank you in the comment section. You can do it anonymously or you can leave your doesn't matter. Just let the 'Cats know how much you appreciate their effort this year. Go 'Cats!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Cats on an OUTSTANDING season ! We followed you to every game this season and it was worth every penny. Thanks for all the thrills and memories, we cant wait for next year.

Anonymous said...

As a former player, the program is the reason why I still give financially to the college. It was a PLEASURE keeping up on this collection of players. Congratulation on a fine season Linfield.

Anonymous said...

Amazing run. It's tough right now but you will look back with such great memories. You made us all proud.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to ALL of the 09 Cats from Gig Harbor Cat. As an Alum and Cat Backer, I am always proud of what you all represent, as a program and going forward as individuals.

Phone it in
Go Cats

Gig Harbor Cat

Anonymous said...

Coach Smith, Staff and Players,

Thanks for representing the “Wildcat Family” not only in a winning fashion, but by doing your business with class and in a professional manner. I have followed your season thru internet and even if wins are great to achieve, the manner in how you have achieved it makes me most proud that the “Wildcat Tradition” is still in tack. Please keep doing what you do, National Titles may come, but true life values will always be with the young men that finish the program. Great job.

Wes Suan

Ryan Carlson, thanks for all that you do..

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Look at all that you have accomplished this year! One for the ages!! Definitely proud to be a WILDCAT!!

doc said...

Easy for me to say this season was fun. All I did was watch and comment...well, take off my job and spend money on airfare but YOU made it all worth it.
Thank-you Seniors. Kind of did what couldn't be done, eh? Win what couldn't be won.
You only come this way once.
Let's start again.

Anonymous said...

Awesome season Cats!! I am a proud alum right now and really enjoyed watching Linfield get back to playoffs this year. I know from experience that losing in the playoffs is hard on the heart, but the joy of great memories you built along the way will linger longer than the hurt. For you seniors, I tip my hat to you and admire the leadership you showed this season. Best of luck to all of you in the future and for you returning players, keep the momentum!! CATDOME!!!!!

Ryan Boatsman #5 - Class of 2003

Anonymous said...

COULDN'T be more PROUD to be a WILDCAT!!! Followed you guys the whole season and the ride was a great one. You guys proved a lot of doubters wrong and were one of the BEST teams in the nation all year long. This is the squad that put the Cats back in the national spotlight and hope ya'll truly know that this was a season to be proud of. The young men of the 2009 team truly played LINFIELD FOOTBALL and represented the tradition in EVERY sense. Just like thousands of Wildcats across the globe I couldn't be more excited about the way you guys balled all season long. I've been pumpin you guys down South all day and am so proud of the Seniors of 2009. Bless all you guys and thanks for a GREAT season!!!

Former Linfield Player and Coach

-Thomas Ford Jr.
Southeastern Oklahoma St.
Running Backs/Academics Coordinator

Anonymous said...

Always have been and always will be proud to be a Catdome alum. Don't get to enjoy the games live any more but get to talk Linfield with other Cat alums Gary Walker, Tony Chiu, David Russell and Jaime Mayo up here in Alaska.
Well great job Cats on your success this season and your life long memories that you earn while at Linfield.

Kent Rilatos "Chief"

Anonymous said...

I'm also proud to be a Wildcat. Couldn't be happier to follow the this season up close and personal as a student. I think a small part of me chose the college because of its football team. I always wanted to go to a school with a good sports program because there's nothing like having someone to root on. Not that I wasn't proud of the adversity last years team overcame, but this year was fantastic. I think we forget this team wasn't 'supposed' to even win the conference. All the road games, all the injuries and 12-1, as you said, is nothing to hang heads over. Thanks for the memories. Thanks for running the blog, keeps us all on top of what's going on with our team.

Bleedpurple said...

Coach Smith, staff, players, and fans of Linfield:

Just wanted to offer my congratulations to you on a GREAT 2009 season. As a UWW backer, I have to say along with being an EXCELLENT football team, you demonstrated class and character that represented Linfield College extremely well. The Warhawks players commented after the game about the exemplary sportsmanship, attitude, and TALENT you demonstrated on the football field. You have earned the utmost respect and I wish all of you nothing but the best in the future!

wildcatmom said...

I feel better after reading these comments. I am proud of my senior son. He did his best as they all did and it was a wonderful season full of fantastic memories. Thank you Ryan!

grant said...

Great job cats. You guys brought back that swagger and attitude that had been missing for a few years. You stood up against some tough opponents in tough situations and let them know why Linfield football is one of the best programs in the nation. You have made all the old cats proud.

The Bucks said...

It is with honest respect that we congratulate the 2009 Wildcat football family for being true to the character principles that have rewarded you with greatness! SENIORS...we have watched you over the years with special interest as one of our own is among you. We cherish every photo we snapped of you when you worked on the development squad as much as this years success because even back then it was evident that there was something special about the combination of your hearts and minds. May all Cats who follow in your steps benefit from your legacy. Thank you for enriching our life! WELL DONE!!!

Jeremy said...

Thank you 09 Seniors. What a ride you guys had from 06 - 09. You showed the true heart and potential of us Cats. A bittersweet ending but regardless I am so proud to be a cat this day and all the rest.
Thank you!
Leave No Doubt!

Jeremy Scott '03 Cat

Anonymous said...

Awesome season! So much to be proud of both on and off the field. This program is a winner, the players are winners, and the coaches are winners in all respects!
We loved following the season and look forward to next year!

"Wildcat" forever!
California Mom

Anonymous said...

Coach Smith, assistant coaches and all of the players,

What a memorable season! Yes, it hurts right now. But, the good of this year far, far outweighs just one game.

I wish all of you the best in your futures. My wife and I are anxious for next fall (as always)!

George Thompson
Just a fan

Bubs1856 said...

To all current Cats-

Thank you for such an incredible ride this year. It was truly a pleasure getting to see this team mature each and every week. Despite adversity (schedule, injuries, etc.) you managed to pull together and put on an incredible run. Never underestimate the power of the CatDome!


Jeff Roberts '97

Foss said...

What an incredible season for all the players, coaches, and fans! Few players and coaches can say they were part of a team that truly exceeded expectations, especially at Linfield where the standards are high already. But you guys will forever be part of that special group. It is one thing to play up to your potential, but another to get everything out of yourself, plus more. You are all true Wildcats. I hope you know how proud we are of you. Seniors, you guys can go out knowing you left it all on the line during your time here. Awesome job guys. Congratulations Wildcats!!!

Foss '95

Anonymous said...

Nice work Cats! Congratulations on a fantastic season. From preseason unranked to the Final Four in the country!

Scott Semmens #77 Class of '95

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Wildcats! It was a pleasure to watch your outstanding season this year. I am so thrilled that I have at least 3 more seasons to look forward to. When my son was considering Linfield and wanting to be on this team I was so pleased to know that he would be part of a team that shared the same character that we have instilled in him all of these years. It makes us proud knowing that other teams across the US have a great respect for your class and great sportsmanship. I can hardly wait for next Fall! Go Wildcats!!

Brandon said...

Thanks for a fantastic season. From unknown expectations to a ride into the National Semis, the 2009 Linfield FB season was fun from start to finish.

ppj said...

Hey Coaches, Players and Wildcat 11

Thanks for the ride. You are a great bunch of people and there is no better. Fantastic season, good luck to all the seniors and even more luck to you remaining Cats. Lets carrying on the tradition and continue the streak. We love you all very much and thanks agian for everything.

PPJ and Mrs. PPJ

Merry Christmans and Happy New Year

Ty and Molly said...

First off, Ryan Carlson, look at what you've created! Endless thanks to you...

To the 2009 Cats,

I think if you guys read the post made by "BleedPurple", a UWW fan, you will understand the impact you made this year. I hope that after the initial pain of the loss goes away, you will be nothing but proud of what you accomplished. I am so proud to be a Wildcat, and so proud of you guys. Anyone that watched the semifinal game will know that you left everything you had on the field, and that is something no one can take from you. Cherish the memories, and congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cats,

Congratulations on an amazing season!!! It was absolutely a pleasure to watch you guys play via internet! I couldn't be more proud and honored to call myself a Wildcat. Thank you so much for representing yourselves and our school so well! God Bless and may your future endeavors all succeed!

Josh Ort
Class of 2005

Anonymous said...

Coach Smith, staff, players and all involved in the program,

It's been a truly amazing season! Your ideals and commitment have made everyone associated with Linfield proud. Heartiest congratulations to the graduating seniors for all your accomplishments. There is so much to talk about what you have achieved this season.

And a Special Thanks to Ryan for his in-depth analysis and keeping us rooted to his postings.

Anonymous said...

Again congrats fellas on a great season! I know the loss will leave a bad taste in your mouth but the memories made through the season and your career playing at the Catdome will greatly outweigh one loss on a 12 win season. To the younger guys coming back, good luck and continue to build on what an awesome senior class has done.

Zach Fleming #45 -2004

Thanks again #11 for all you do for the program.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for showing us what Ad ways said, that the field is a classroom and many things can be taught and learned on the field. Class, passion, desire are good words to describe this years team.

A Cat in Iraq, '90

Anonymous said...

Great season you made us strut like rutting bucks. We love our Cats. See ya next year

Anonymous said...

Wildcat coaches, players, and support staff-

Thank you for continuing to represent the program in a way that everyone in the Linfield Family can be proud of. I know that there are a lot of pressures associated with that and you have handled it with class and poise.

Wildcat 11 has truly enjoyed being part of this special team - and that comes from not only his deep passion for Wildcat Football, but from his admiration of YOU.

You should feel proud of all that you accomplished, for the way you stayed together, and for being part of a group that had the courage to relentlessly pursue their goals.

Congratulations to you - for everything that you accomplished this season.

Go 'Cats,
Mrs. Wildcat 11

chargercat36 said...

Congrats on a great season Cats!!! When you play at Linfield, much of the pride you feel is being a part a program built by former great players and coaches. When your playing days are done, much of your pride shifts to the great young men who carry out the tradition after you and your teammates are gone. The 2009 Wildcats have made the whole Wildcat family extremely proud. The hurt from this loss will not go away easily but after time the 2009 season will be something you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life. Go get em' next year and thanks for a great season.

Anthony Zimmer #36-Class of 2003

Anonymous said...

Wildcat coaches, players and staff,

I'm a player from the old days who rarely misses a game, and like another poster said, the football program is the reason I still donate to the college. I am always proud to be a Wildcat, but you guys this year were outstanding! You have the hearts and class of champions, and we fans will never forget the season of 2009. Thank you!