Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thank You Catdome Class of 2010

With the 2010 Season now at a close, Wildcat11 took a few minutes on the plane ride home from St. Thomas to reflect on the incredible journey of this Wildcat team over the past two years. It wasn't too long ago when folks where questioning the direction of the program and where the team just 30 minutes south was talking about a "Dynasty" after they won a NWC title in 2008. However, two season later it's all about your Linfield Wildcats again. Not just in the NWC but Linfield is back as a major player on the National Stage.

But this just didn't happen by accident or by chance. This is the direct result of the dedication and hard work of the players and coaching staff put into during the off seasons that have moved this program past what Linfield fans consider "lean" years. The past two senior classes have been special people but what this 2010 class has been excellent. They have gone 21-3 the past two seasons, captured back-to-back NWC titles (12-0 in NWC play), 4-2 in the playoffs, has won 3 NWC player of the year honors, 13 All-NWC honors (1st or 2nd team), defeated 9 top 25 teams, and help reestablish just what it takes to get back to that level.

With their careers now finished as players in the 'Catdome, we wanted to provide this class with a chance to thank those that have helped them along the way. With that in mind, on the behalf of the 'Catdome family, we want to thank them for the wonderful memories and tell you how much we appreciate your effort, hard work, and for playing football the right way....the Linfield Way.

#2 Taylor Avritt

Fendall - Thank you for always providing me with answers or the ability to answer my own questions when it came to my never-ending concern about my offseason training. Thanks for being more than a coach to me; I look forward to building onto our friendship for the rest of my life.

Hire - Thanks for the confidence and trust you put into me when it came to blocking and running assignments. As a coach you were able to balance a fun and lighthearted personality with the vicious sport of football, and often motivated me to perform to the best of my ability. It was an unbelievable 4 years.

Coaching Staff - Thanks for making my experience with football much more than just playing a game. The last 4 years could not have been a bigger learning experience for me, and I appreciate you all being there to facilitate this learning process. It's been the best 4 years of my life.

Teammates - Thanks for being my guys. The blood, sweat and now tears that I have poured into the game of football are nothing without my teammates that were there alongside me facing the best of the best and worst of the worst. This game has allowed me to develop friendships that will last the rest of my life. It's been a great ride fellas, thanks for all the support. Time to join the ranks of the many tailgating 'Cats fans, we've got something to look forward to for the rest of our lives.

Taylor Avritt

#4 Aaron Boehme


I just wanted to say thanks for all of the times when no one was watching us. All the times when we spent time throwing the ball around on a summer evening as the sun went down. When we did army crawls and barrel rolls as "reminders". Making the swim olympics so fun and competitive every year. Having a great time on every road trip just BS'ing, playing cribbage, all of the pool workouts at midnight haha. Giving each other crap in the locker room and of course playing in the Catdome on Saturday afternoons. They have been some of the best memories of my life and

I won't ever forget them. Thanks to this year's senior class as well as last year's. All of you guys put in the effort to bring this program back to where it should be and what it should look like.


#10 Cole Bixenman

It's hard to even know where to start. There have been so many people that have made my Linfield career what it is. I guess I will start with all these other Seniors. We have spent hours upon hours with one another and have grown into a Senior class together. I want to give a special callout to all the guys in "Da Sac", you know who you are. All those early morning wake ups and rides to practice together will not be forgotten. I also wanted to thank the coaches for all the hard work they put it in(they might work harder than us players). They have instilled the necessary principles in us to breed success. It was very cool to be a part of a program that made such great strides. I love each and every one of the guys in the program and feel so lucky to have been apart of it for 4 years. Any non football player cannot even understand how much time and effort we pour into the football team every year and the results we have produced have really shown that, especially in the past 2 years.

I also wanted to thank my parents for making the Linfield experience possible for me and always supporting me!! And to the guys that are coming back, Savor every single moment you have at Linfield and playing football because it will be over before you know it. This is such a special place and I Love being a Wildcat. Work as hard as you possibly can and good things will come from it. Listen to the coaches, they will lead you in the right direction. Keep doing things the Linfield Way and go get a National Championship. I Love you Guys!!


#14 David Hurn

Wow, what a ride! Its been a fun time and I am going to miss the hell out of it. To all the young cats; I know it gets old to hear how fast time flies but you wont truly appreciate this fact until its gone. Cherish these times, leave no regrets, and get as much out of it as you can. Your best friends and future best man may be on this team, find them! There are no due overs and that is something I, and am sure the same with some of my classmates, would like to have back. I would like the to thank the coaches for giving me the opportunity to live out a dream! You guys have taught me more than football but also how to be a better man, it was by far the best class I took at Linfield. To my teammates: Its been a fun ride and I will miss all of you guys. We truly are one big family and I am excited to see you guys dominate now and into the future. Most importantly I would like to thank my family. You guys are my biggest fans and supporters. Without your support and dedication I would not have had the chance to do what I have done for the past 4 1/2 years. Thank you all and go cats!

David Hurn

#19 P.J. Sequeira

To be a Linfield Wildcat. It is a special privilege and one that I will always be thankful for. Linfield has truly blessed me in more ways than one. I am proud to be part of such a respected and legendary program. As a Wildcat, I have learned how to do things "the right way." While doing things the right way on the football field is important, it serves a greater purpose in the game of life. That is why I am so grateful that Linfield not only taught me to become the best football player I could be, but also more importantly how to become a better person.

There's an endless list of life principles that my experience at Linfield taught me. Of these principles, hardwork and perseverance have been the most important to me. Being undersized, there were many moments where I questioned myself as a collegiate football player. While it was difficult for me to look beyond my stature, my coaches and family members instilled in me the motivation and belief that I could do anything I put my mind to. I thank those who supported me and let me know that I had a special gift. Regardless of physical size, they let me know that I was a valued member of the football team. Through their support and a willingness to work hard and persevere, I believe I surpassed even my own expectations. What first started out as finding a way to contribute to the team, returning punts became my identify and passion. It gave me the greatest thrill, and I am thankful for my team's belief in myself and my abilities. Without them, nothing would have been possible.

Now that my Linfield career has come to an end, I hope to be remembered as a player that made the most of every opportunity that was given to him. While my actual time on the football field was sometimes limited, I'd like to think that I did everything I could to help my team succeed. For that reason, I will never forget my experience at Linfield, and I will always be thankful to be a Wildcat!

P.J. Sequeira

#21 Josh Ness

Mom and Dad: Thank you for making so many long trips out to the games. Having someone to talk about the days game with (and get free dinner) always made gameday a little more enjoyable.

And to our Returning Cats: Its easy for the daily grind to overwhelm you during your careers. Just remember how lucky you really are to be playing this game. College exists for you guys to get an education, and being able to play football is just icing on the cake. Don't take it for granted, because 4 years is not as long as it seems.

Josh Ness

#23 Chris Slezak

The thing that makes Linfield special is the tradition and sense of family here. Having been so lucky as to spend 5 years here, I've got to experience more of this than most, and it's what's made my time here so memorable. No other school in this area has the kind of tradition and atmosphere that we do, and all of us graduating will take that with us.

Another thing that has made my experience here special is the staff and players I have been surrounded with. Because so many of our coaches are alumni, many of which were playing at some point while I was here, the coach-player relationships were unique and special. So first off, I'd like to thank the coaches, all of whom make the program run like it does. In particular coach Yen and Nagel for the opportunities they gave me, in particular the last couple years. But the thing that has made this team so successful and special the last two years has been the players, in particular the seniors. Last year having leaders in the receiving corps like Gunnar and Trevor taught me a lot about how to not take this last year you have for granted, and to make the most of every opportunity you get. This year's group of seniors across the board have been the best group of guys I have played with, and the leaders within helped get this team to where we were; so thank you to all the seniors this year for the commitment to the team. And finally, to the rest of the receivers returning next year - remember what it takes to get to the level we want, and how bad this loss hurt; use that as motivation. Stay close, work hard, and shake the haters.

Chris Slezak

#26 Bryce Comfort

First of all, a huge amount of thanks goes to my parents. They have supported me and my athletic career since I was a little kid, and I will always be grateful for the opportunities they have given me. Their support allowed me to come to Linfield and play football.

Thank you to all of my teammates over the years. I would not trade any bit of our time at Linfield for anything. I have had the best time thanks to you guys. You all are a huge reason of why I am proud to have played in the Catdome.

I want to thank my position coaches, Coach Fendall and Coach Hazenberg. Thank you for your passion for the game and being excellent examples of how to punch in each day and enjoy “the grind” of life.

Finally, thank you Travis Tocher for showing us all how to rock a pea coat with any outfit you put together. And thank you to Nathaniel Dixon and his love of Muchas. 

Bryce Comfort

#28 Simon Lamson

I think I speak for most of us when I say i could write for days on end about how special this program is. But we will keep it limited for now. I guess first of all i have to thank my parents. I remember the recruiting process and my dad always reminding me about it being more than football, and that realistically it is about finding a career and earning a degree. I got the typical amount of letters and phone calls that any decent athlete in high school would get, but when I got Linfields, something just seemed to click inside of me. I only visited SOU before I came up here with my paps and some friends. I watched the game, met the guys (Coach Rombach when he was linebacker size), and the first thing we talked about was what I wanted to major in. It wasn't about scholarships for these guys, or money after school. It was a real world setting where we get to play an amazing game with amazing people, and earn a degree as well. I told my parents when i left that was where i wanted to play. I told everyone at school that was where i was going, but until i got accepted it was all just talk. Funny thing was, Linfield was the only school i applied to.

Playing football here has been an experience that outlasts any other in life. So many memories: morning workouts at 7, waking up to the darkness, running hills in the dark, pulling tires in the rain, slip n slide with the coaches, practices in the down poor after the season is over, running the gaser tests, telling everyone your combine scores and how you always ended up slipping on the shuttle run, playing in california, texas, minnesota, wisconsin, oregon, and washington, and most of all, the time spent on the field and in the locker rooms. Funny thing how when it is finally over everything begins to wash over your mind. All the memories, and games played, and practices, and film sessions. It all seems so easy to remember because it is worth so much to us in our lives.

I have to thank the coaching staff as well for being amazing individuals and respecting each and every one of us. Not only were they professional in every sense of the word, but they made practices and film and games FUN. I mean to be honest, they made it fun, and that is something rare when it comes to collegiate athletics. THere is so much business and money involved that we all tend to forget the real reason why we put on those pads. And these coaches made it amazingly simple to enjoy every day in the catdome. I love the damn catdome, my friends from home all give me crap cause they always ask why its called the catdome when its no where close to a dome. And i tell them, " You will never know, and only the lucky few that wear that name across their chest will know why its the catdome. And only they will have the chance to remember the catdome." When you think about all the football teams around the nation, the thousands of colleges that offer football, I honestly would choose linfield over and over and over again if i had 4 more years to play the game.

In the end i just want to say thank you to my fellow cats. The memories and friendships we have created will last forever, or at least as long as facebook is still runnin' lol. I have already had the alumni game past down to my fellow catback Taylor Avritt and I. All the old guys are gettin hurt and its time to bring some healthy legs in. And as for the young bucks, the new generation of cats. Let this be all that you allow it to be. Invest everything you have into this team, this program, and each other. Put everything you have, all your strength and dedication, into every workout. Don't be the one sleeping in when your teammates are busting their ass's in the gym. Don't be the one making excuses about workouts, or school, or what not. Because in the end you will have to look back on everyday you missed and realize you let them down. So do not leave room for that doubt and push each other to be national champs and bring it back here to the catdome. Leave your own footprints for others to follow.

And of course you are the man Carlson for all that you have done for us. This place is special because of guys like you.

Simon Lamson

#42 Bubba Kukahiko

Well I wanted to thank my parents Bert and Susan Kukahiko for supporting me on coming to Linfield and helping me make the hard transition of leaving home to come to a school in Oregon. Also for supporting me in playing football here and in everything I have done. It's not as easy as you think. I was having second thoughts of even staying at linfield my freshmen year just because of always being homesick and missing the hot sun. But they helped me keep strong and made sure that I finished what I started here.

I would like to also thank all the coaches for everything they have done for me, and never giving up on me. Coach Fendall with the off season workouts, always up in the morning with us and pushing me to become my best or try too. He made sure I didnt get to big. Coach Vaughan for telling me what I need to work on year in and year out to make me a better player. Coach Rombach for always being there for me. Whatever it was he was always there to talk too, like all the coaches were, but for me Rombach was the go to guy when I needed someone to talk too. He would also make sure we focused on the little things and not short cut anything because those are the things that counted and would make us better. Coach Smith for being a good leader and making sure that we always did it the Linfield way and expected to win every game. Because I believed it every game, with the team we had and how hard the coaches would prepare us throughout that week, we could beat up on any team and Linfield will continue to do so.

To all the young boys coming back next year, practice like you're playing the last game you'll ever play, because ever game counts no matter who it is your playing. It is important to be prepared for every game because when teams play us, it is there game of the year and they think they can compete with us. But on that opening kickoff, they will know that there is no hope of winning against Linfield, they will feel every hit and we will dominate them in all aspects of the game.

Play hard young guns, always take care of the younger boys that come in because one day you'll have to pass the torch onto them and it is how well you bring them up that determines how Linfield is going to be. I know you are all gonna be great players and Linfield will be at the top once again. Hit hard young boys, put fear on to the opposing teams because they don't want to play us, they're never ready to play Linfield. Good Luck boys. Thanks for the great season

Bubba Kukahiko #42

#56 Travis Tocher

First of all, thanks to my fellow seniors who have made the transformation of immature freshman into men ready to face the real world. I have enjoyed seeing our friendships grow closer through the endless nights and early mornings of football. I look forward in continuing our friendships and making more memories as we pursue our own lives. Another big thanks goes out to my family for not only showing me tremendous support but showing it to my fellow teammates/friends as well. Without them this experience would have never happened. To the guys still in the program enjoy everyday of it; the practices, the film sessions, the early morning workouts, etc., because it could end at any given moment. Keep working hard not only for yourself but for the guys next to you giving their all. Once again thanks for all the memories and friendships gained throughout the last four years. CATDOME!

Travis Tocher #56

#68 Tom Juzeler

First I want to thank my parents for even making it possible for me to be here. Without their hard work I wouldn't have even had the opportunity to come here. They have been to every game they could make and offered support for the last 4 years. I have had such an amazing time and experienced the worst and best with this group.

Everyone on this team and in this program will always be like family and will never be forgotten. I also want to thank all the seniors who have stuck around for at least 4 years because they have made this experience so special. It's hard to think that football is now over, and I won't have the opportunity to create more memories like I have with this group. Things like conditioning at 6 in the morning with the entire team including the coaches, hearing "Mickey's having a baby!" after every practice, candy on Friday's, war stories, skits on Friday, and everything else that could be included on this lengthy list! Thanks for everything Catdome!!

Tom Juzeler

#73 Aaron Heston

My time as a Linfield College football player has been filled with so much personal growth and enjoyment, that it’s incredulous to think that it all resulted from a chance encounter on Linfield Avenue in December 2006. It was then that I, an unhappy student who was not playing football and actively pondering a transfer of schools, ran into Doug Hire. Coach Hire expressed an interest in me coming out for football as an Offensive Lineman, which I had no prior experience with. He confidently expressed to me that he could mold me into an All Conference Lineman, that he believed in me and only needed me to take the initial leap of faith.

Four years removed from that moment, I write this as a person wholly different from Aaron Heston of 2006. It’s a testament to chaos theory, the idea that one small, miniscule action can have exponential effects later on. All of the friendships that I’ve made, all of the confidence gained or the life lessons learned- they all would have been a myth had it not been for that chance encounter. So I am thankful first for the curveball that life threw my direction on that rainy, December morning. I also owe an irreparable debt to Coach Hire for taking that chance with me. Coach Hire believed in me from that moment and throughout the years that were to come. His intelligent and passionate coaching helped me become the football player that I am today.

My Linfield career was not accomplished solely in that December moment, however. Without the support network that I rely upon daily, I would not have had the tools to properly seize the opportunity given to me. My parents have always been strong sources of encouragement, and their graciousness cannot be understated. They have provided me a life that has allowed me to pursue my desires without limitation, and for that I love and thank them.

A letter of gratitude like this cannot possibly include every deserving person, but I must conclude with a giant thank you to my teammates. The cacophony of experiences that we have shared is truly what I will take from my time at Linfield. The O line is a particularly close group of people, and our countless hours spent under the stadium or in the locker room were never short of laughs. Thank you all for your hard work and for being such wonderful teammates to me. While our time on the field may be over, I know that we will continue to cross paths in the years to come.

Aaron Heston

#75 Cheyne Kaninau

First of all I would like to thank my wonderful parents for always supporting me through my football career in both HS and here at Linfield. I also want to thank my Dad for making the effort to come and watch almost every game this season and for also always pushing me to be the best that I can be. Next I would like to thank all of the great teammates I have had over the past four years here at Linfield. There were many people that I have met during my early years as a Wildcat that helped me grow into the person and player I have become. Those people and memories will never be forgotten. Last but certainly not least I would like to thank all Braddahs and Sistahs from Hawaii. With them around I know there is always someone to count on. Being a Wildcat has definitely been the greatest 4 years of my life. GO CATS!

Cheyne Kaninau

#85 Chris Saunders

I would like to thank all of my family for supporting me throughout this journey. From the beginning they supported every decision I have ever made and have gone extreme lengths just to watch me play football. I would like to thank My Grandpa and Grandma especially for making this whole process possible and for that I am forever grateful.

I have also met some pretty cool people along the way here at Linfield that I would also like to thank for all their help and time. The coaches here at Linfield have been amazing and pushed me to be better then I thought I could be. I would like to thank the players that mentored me when I was younger as well as the younger players I have had the chance to play with and push me to be better as well.

Lastly I would like to thank my fellow seniors. I remember showing up our first day four years ago and sitting in the stands having no clue what was in store for us. It really has been the most fun I have ever had. The hard work we shared waking up early in the off season and sweating before the sun came up all the way to practicing in a sideways hail storm. I wish everyone the best as we head our separate ways and I am very proud to call myself a Linfield Wildcat.

Chris Saunders

#94 Scotty Ray

I first off would just like to thank all of our program supporters and especially Wildcat11 for the opportunity to extend thanks to those who have made a positive impact on my life. I want to start this off by thinking my family for all of their love and support they have provided me throughout my life and especially during my sports career especially my parents Martin and Wanda. I want you to know how much you two being there for me and my friends at Linfield means to me. You two have been two of my biggest fans and I am thankful to have you as my parents. I love you both. The next people I would like thank is my coaches and teammates because through thick and thin we stuck together as a family and these four years would have not been what they were without the special bond we all have. I would like to think my D-Line coaches, Coach Vaughn, Coach Rombach (Old), Coach Trantham for all the work and time they invested into molding me over the four years into the football player and person I am today. I would also like to think all of the alumni for their support over the past four seasons. It was great to know that even if we didn’t have the student support at our games we always had our alumni fan section. Finally I just want to thank everyone that has influenced me in some way throughout my life.

I want all the returners to continue on from where we left this season and continue to improve as players and as people, never be content. Realize that their comes a time when you can’t say “Next year.” It goes by fast. To my D-Line, continue to develop as the leaders of the defense and of the team. Remember we are the strongest link and you have to earn the right to say that and that is done by continuing to do what we do every day of the off season, practice and games. DO WHAT WE DO

Scotty Ray

#97 Eric Hedin

As a senior who has been in this program for four fast years I have a lot to be thankful for. First I would Like to give a huge thank you to my parents! They have made every single home game over my time here and have only missed a handful of away games. they have always supported me and pushed me to do my best. For this Mom and Dad thank you!

Second, I would like to say thank you to current and alumni teammates you have all been a huge part of my life and i can honestly say I have had some of my best days on that field whether it was at practice or game time. Being with you guys for these four years has been a blessing, not everyone has the opportunity to become as close as we have!

Thirdly I want to thank our outstanding coaching staff most importantly coach Vaughan, the best coach i have ever had in a multiple of ways. I will never forget any of you and all the hard work, time, long hours, film sessions we put in together whether we were having fun and joking or complaining about how we were cold, wet, tired whatever. I love all you guy! Thank you for a great four years of my life!

For you guys who still have more time under your belt in the program don't think you've earned anything yet. these last two years have been amazing but before that we weren't even conference champs.... carry on the tradition of excellence, don't take the easy route and always push each other to get better! if you do this you will feel as tight as I do with my senior class. Enjoy these times they fly by way to fast! Thank you again to everyone I will never forget the days when we played at the CATDOME!

Eric Hedin

#98 Paul Nishizaki

I first want to thank my parents because their influence made me the person I am today. Coach Vaughan was a great coach and helped me become the player I ended up being. Also, Coach Thorson for helping me keep involved while I was injured. I would just want to say thank you to all my teammates and coaches that I've met along my football career. It was a great time and just remember to enjoy every moment.

Thank you

Paul Nishizaki


d1shima said...

Thanks again to you WC11.

Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

I would like to take a moument and thank all the fellow senior parents for making our time at Linfield a blast. Best of luck to all your son's, they are great young men. My Wife and I have injoyed watching them play the game that we love so much and such a high level. Good luck to all of you. And special thanks to Ryan Carlson, you are an amazing young man and you have an amazing Family. I will be seeing you around. God Bless everyone. Remember Pound the Rock Baby.


Wildcat 11 said...

I appreciate the words but no need to thank me...you guys all know that I get a ton out of helping out and the pleasure is all mine. It's all about the players and the 'Catdome.

The staff, players, alumni, admin, parents, and fans are the one who need to be thanked for their continued efforts to make the CATDOME one of the most unique and special places in the country.