Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fisher and Nishizaki named to D3football.com 2010 Pre-Season All-American Team

The Bible of Division III football, D3football.com, has released their annual pre-season All-American team today. Two Linfield Wildcats were named to the very selective group of division III players from around the country. Linfield Safety Drew Fisher (Jr. - Gresham, Or.) was named to the 1st team defense, while Defensive Tackle Paul Nishizaki (Sr. - Beaverton, Or.) was slotted on the 2nd team defense. This is a great honor and very well deserved by both Drew and Nish as they were both a force for the Wildcat defense in 2009 and should have a great 2010 campaign.

I think that Drew and Nish would be the first ones to deflect any attention away from themselves because they know that Linfield's success isn't built on a single person but by a collective effort. If you run into either of these two 'Cats be sure to congratulate them on the honor because they deserve it.

Drew Fisher - Safety - Junior - Gresham, Or. (Centennial High)

The hard hitting playermaker tied the Linfield lead with pics at 5 during the 2009 season (Nate Dixon) and lead the Wildcat Defense with 73 tackles (39 solo, 34 assit), 4 tackles for loss, had 9 pass break ups, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recover, a blocked kick (punt vs UST), and a number of bone jarring hits for the Wildcat defense. Drew was also named the team's defensive player of the year.

Paul Nishizaki - Defensive Tackle - Senior - Beaverton, Or. (Westview High)

Nish is the wrecking ball for the Linfield defense over the past two seasons. Nishizaki accumulated 30 tackles (18 solo, 12 asst), 8.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 3 QB hurries, and 2 forced fumbles. However, individual statistics has never reflected the true value of what Nishizaki brings to the Linfield defense. He is really one of the most hated players by OC's around the Northwest Conference for his ability to disrupt the running game by stuffing interior offensive linemen that allow the 'Cats LB's and Safety's to come flying in and clean up the mess. I think that it's great that D3football.com looked beyond stats to see the value of Nishizaki's game to one of the country's best teams.

However, with these teams there is always some controversy and debate about those on the team and those that were not listed. This pre-season team isn't exempt for that debate. For Wildcats fans there is one name that many are surprised (including WC11) that didn't make the team and that is Linfield quarterback Aaron Boehme. The Senior-to-be had a stand out 2009 campaign in throwing for 3,261 yards, having a 60.5 passing completion percentage (245-405 with 12 picks), tossing 33 touchdowns, and rushed for 551 yards and 10 rushing TDs. It was just a dream season for any quarterback.

Listed as the first team QB is Alex Tanney from Monmouth College and his numbers are really off-the-charts good and has long been a staple on these All-American teams during his career in the mid-west, however, the name that caused some head tilting as the 2nd team QB was Hardin-Simmons QB Justin Feaster. Feaster's season was pretty much ended in 2009 when he suffered an injury late in the 3rd quarter vs Linfield in a beating the 'Cats put on HSU. I have mass amounts of respect for Feaster but in having a chance to see him up close the past three season and witnessing Boehme's progression, I just think that Boehme is the more polished and better quarterback. Boehme is a more refined pocket passer and showed last year that his legs are also very dangerous.

When the question of Boehme came up on Catdomealumni.com's facebook page, D3football.com's publisher, Pat Coleman, was there to answer the question about how they selected their two quarterbacks: "We looked pretty closely at how Aaron Boehme and Alex Tanney did in their home playoff games against St. Thomas. Then we also looked closely at healthy Justin Feaster vs. Aaron Boehme and I feel very comfortable in both being ahead of Boehme.

Not sure if anyone else in the nation is, though. We just aren't going to name three or four quarterbacks on a team to try to keep everyone happy. That waters down the award."

While Wildcat11 may not agree with Feaster over Boehme, we do agree 100% with D3football.com in not watering down their award. Those that follow the blog know that I've harped on this point over and over and over again with the NWC coaches about the ALL-NWC team and their slow progression to sanity. D3 knows they are going to get some people upset but I applaud D3football.com in keeping the team short, sweet, and all it does is make the awards more elite.

13 comments:

doc said...

Nothing wrong with having to prove it all over again this season.

Bubs said...

I agree with their process and limiting guys on the two squads...but leaving Boehme off the squad is ridiculous IMO. Fortunately being pre-season All-America doesn't count for anything regarding game days.

Pat Coleman said...

Bubs: Based on what? Make your case with facts, not your heart.

Bubs said...

Pat:

466 yards rushing (10 td's)...3261 (33 td's) w/ 149 efficiency rating. Only QB prior to finals to lead team to having Whitewater on the ropes.

Feaster stays healthy last year and has comparable stats...I can live with that decision...but he didn't.

Boehme was off to a pretty decent start in the 1st Qtr. against HSU in 2008...unfortunately got hurt...based on his potential for 2009 maybe should have gotten some votes for 2009 preseason all america?

I'm not a football idiot Linfield homer...just simply think you missed this one.

Wildcat 11 said...

Another note, Linfield played 7 D3.com top 25 teams last year too. While Monmouth played againt only 1 and HSU faced 3.

Tanney and Feaster are both VERY talented QB's but Boehme did pile up his stats vs a much stiffer schedule last season.

Pat Coleman said...

You guys are missing that each played a common opponent with Linfield last year.

Check Feaster vs. Whitworth and Boehme vs. Whitworth.

Check Tanney vs. St. Thomas and Boehme vs. St. Thomas.

Those are not weak opponents. And they're common opponents at that.

Wildcat 11 said...

PC,

It's a fun debate and I understand wanting to defend your choice. Yes, the Rats are a common opponent but those games were pretty different contests with Linfield being up 24-7 at half and HSU being down 11 to the Rats at half.

As I stated on the d3 boards. We'll just have to agree to disagree. But I still love you PC!

Pat Coleman said...

If you'd like me to take Boehme's first half and double it so he could be at 50% completions for the game, I still wouldn't change my choice. :)

Wildcat 11 said...

You can keep your choice...we'll take the quarterback that actually has a victory over UMHB and playoff wins. :D

Wildcat 11 said...

Anonymous,

I love that you are backing the 'Cats and even though PC and I are in a back and forth I do have to take up for the guy. He's passionate about his choice and I think it's great he's willing to come on our Linfield blog debate it.

Granted, PC really digs in and it can be frustrating but I don't think we need to take shots at Pat about bias or questioning his knowledge. Besides he's from the mid-west so it would be "mid-west" bias! :D

Anonymous said...

Wildcat 11,

Why'd you take down my post?

-Anonymous

Wildcat 11 said...

Anonymous,

I thought you did? I didn't touch it...I can promise you that. No idea what happened? Strange...

Cris said...

Yep, Pat missed this one. The only stat that counts is the one on the scoreboard.