Sunday, February 28, 2010

Video Season Starts today

Today is the opening of Catdomealumni.com's 2010 video season. Each Monday from now till mid August the mothership will be posting up a new video clip. Leading us off is the 2009 Linfield Scoreboard Video. This clip was fired up during Linfield's regular season games before the 'Cats hit the field.

The first few months are going to be segments from the 2009 Linfield Football Highlight DVD. Next, we'll have a month solid of Linfield Legends (May or June), then finish off the '09 highlights and wrap up the video season with some special segments (football camp, Linfield film room, '10 preview).

The reason why WC11 started these video seasons is to help the Catdome family get through the slow part of the off season and try to keep your mind on what's important....Linfield football! You'll also notice a change on the banner above. We've retired the Boehme ADvantage Banner but you can find that one archived on Catdomealumni.com's Media page. This spring/summer we're going to rotate 3 ADvantage Catdome banners to just spread the love around a little. Brad Thompson was gracious enough to provide the photos for the first two banners featuring Sophomore Safety Christian Hanna and Sophomore WR Buddy Saxon (view and buy Brad's Photos here). The photo for the 3rd banner was provided by Dan Harris and features Jr. Linebacker Bubba Kukahiko and Safety Kala'e Parish (view and buy Dan's Photos here.).

WC11 is also working a new billboard for Catdomealumni.com and I should have that up over the next couple of weeks. Last, we're still going to be posting Cutting Room Floor clips but they will now be posted up on Wednesdays.



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Player Blog, Kala'e Parish: "Leaving The Rock"

For all college students and athletes being at college during the freshman year is in most cases a challenging experience. Leaving home and being on your own can be a tough adjustment especially when you compound it by playing a college sport. But this first year is even a more unique challenge for our Linfield Wildcats from Hawaii.

Linfield football has a deep and strong tradition of impact players from Hawaii. If you look back at Linfield’s most successful teams you’ll see a strong Hawaiian influence on the roster and 2009 was no different.

However, a great number of times the young men from the Islands don’t even have the opportunity to visit a mainland campus before they are pressed into making a tough decision to stay local or fly over 2,500 miles to a foreign environment to continue their education. That’s why Wildcat11 asked Sophomore Monster Back, Kala’e Parish, to share in his experience of the adjustments during that first year but how being open to new experiences can enrich the lives of our Linfield players from an ocean away.
--------------------

Since my freshman year in high school I always had it in the back of my mind to leave home for college. I always felt that I needed to leave home to get the full college experience. I had two final choices in colleges by the end of my senior year. Being pressured by my family to stay home and play ball in front of my home crowd made the choice very difficult, but I was sure I wanted to leave home. I wanted to experience something new. After all the discussion with my parents I decided to go to Linfield and leave the rock.

I believed that Linfield had a lot to offer me, and I left home with the mentality that I wasn’t going to come home no matter what the situation I was in. I was impressed with the football team and heard many good things from other students while being recruited. The highlight film really caught my attention too. I’m not going to lie, the first couple of weeks away from home wasn’t very fun at all. I didn’t expect it to be either. I only knew one person, football camp broke me down mentally, and no one other than other island boys knew what I was saying.

I didn’t like my first year as a freshman football player, but then again, I got a lot of playing time on special teams. It was fun to just run around without care but in the back of my mind I always want more. I kind of did my own thing and never followed the “no hitting the offensive starters” rule. I don’t think others realize that coming from the islands that we Hawaii boys carry ourselves with pride. We are never willing to settle for less and if you push us we push back harder. It was hard to not have family a drive away like you used to have. The only type of family I had was the rest of the local boys that I eventually made friends with. It was easy to miss home, but I didn’t want that to be an excuse. It was only when I talked to family from back home when I started to miss home a lot, but other than that I wasn’t too bad. When spring came around I didn’t miss home at all.

Anyway, other than that I am enjoying my time at Linfield College. I’m at a point where I don’t want to leave. We had a very successful season this past year in ‘09 and I was pleased that I earned a starting spot on our defense. I guess understanding our football scheme made my sophomore year as a Monster back more enjoyable. This past season I felt that I could play faster and not think as much. Socially, I’ve met so many people other than the Hawaiian clan and became friends with people from all over the states. I really didn’t care for people in the mainland at first, because usually when I met tourist in Hawaii they’re really obnoxious and don’t respect the culture. When I came to Linfield many of my opinions changed. I got to build friendships on the team with my position group (defensive backs) and others on the team as well. What makes my college experience even better is that I and few other local boys are able to perform reggae music throughout the school and community. A jam session with the boys is always a good time. Events around school make campus life a lot of fun too. I went snowboarding once and loved it. I recently bought myself a board and hope to get better, ride longer and eat less snow.

What really got me through my time here was God and the Hawaii people. Having someone you can relate to by your side helps out a lot when you’re so far from your family. Whenever I needed something they are there and the vice versa. I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed my experience as much if I didn’t have all of them around. They all made me feel comfortable and made up majority of my fun memories here at Linfield College. Other than that Shoots!

Kala'e Parish
Class of 2012

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Red and Purple Interview: New Orleans Saints Pro Scout Ryan Powell (Former Linfield Linebacker)


We were able to catch up with former Linfield Linebacker Ryan Powell (2002) who currently just wrapped up his 3rd year working for the New Orleans Saints as a pro scout (5th year overall with the Saints). Unless you’re living under a rock you all know the Saints are fresh off their first NFL Super Bowl win and Ryan has the unique honor of owning a NCAA DIII Championship ring (served as an assistant coach on Linfield’s 2004 team) and now as a member of the Saints.

But anyone that knows Ryan wouldn’t be surprised by his accomplishments as his roots run deep in athletics. Ryan’s father, Clyde Powell, has a tremendous High School football coaching resume in Central Oregon and was a vital member of Linfield’s staff from 2000-2007 (Clyde’s now back as head coach of Madras High School). Ryan’s older brother, Casey, was a standout on the Linfield baseball team in the late 90’s and went on to be the head baseball coach at Whitman College and now serves as an assistant baseball coach at Seattle University.


It’s pretty easy to see that Ryan and his family have a strong pedigree in athletics that has helped him in his current roll with the Saints. We caught up with Ryan and asked him about his time in New Orleans, how this year’s Saints team compared to that 2004 Linfield squad (in terms of characteristics), and how he was able to get his foot in the door in the NFL.

--------------------------------------
(Wildcat11) Thanks for checking in with us Ryan. First off, Congratulations on the Saints incredible Super Bowl victory. It was a great game. This was your 5th year with the Saints and 3rd as a Pro Scout. (Ryan spent my first two seasons as a college scout) First off can you tell us what your job duties are as a scout for an NFL team and how did you first land a job in the NFL?

(Ryan Powell) I got my first job in the NFL in the summer of 1998 after my first year at Linfield. I was lucky enough that the VP of Player Personnel at the time in Seattle was Randy Mueller, a Linfield alum. I wrote him a letter telling him of my aspirations to work in an NFL scouting department. He called me back and I was lucky enough to work at the Seahawks training camp for the following three summers.

I didn’t go back the 4th season because I wanted to stay and workout with the team in McMinnville and getting my foot back in the door took some time. I was finally lucky enough to get on with the Saints for one summer after I spoke with Danny Langsdorf who was working at a Linfield football camp and at the time an offensive assistant for the Saints. He mentioned that a lot of the people that I worked for in Seattle were down in New Orleans. I worked one summer there prior to being an assistant coach on Linfield’s National Championship team and was hired on full time as the Saints combine scout the next offseason and have been down here ever since.

My duties as a pro scout vary depending on what time of year it is. Starting in training camp we’re always busy evaluating our own players as well as the players on other rosters once the pre-season begins. Once the season starts I’m responsible for 5 or 6 advance reports during the regular season and hopefully a couple of more if we’re in the playoffs. I’ll write up reports on the opposing team’s players, I will travel to go watch our upcoming opponent the week before we play them, watching things at the game that the coaches can’t necessarily see on the tape. Once the season is “over” we start right away on free agency. This season we’re behind due to our long run in the playoffs but free agency, like the rest of the season is a grind. Once free agency is over we in the pro scouting department will go over and help prepare for the draft and after the draft is over we start our off season program. Really there is only about a month or so during the year where there is considerable down time and that’s in late June & July.

(WC11) You have a unique honor of being in Salem, Va. in 2004 as an assistant coach when the ‘Cats won the Division III title and now you were in Miami to be a part of the Saints World Championships. I know there is a *slight* difference the between crowd in Salem that day in 2004 and at the center of the sporting world during the Super Bowl but did you observe any similarities between Linfield’s run in 2004 and what the Saints just accomplished? There has to be intangibles that championship teams share as their season progresses?

(RP)I do see a lot of similarities between the two teams, starting with the coaches. Coach Payton comes from a successful coaching background and learned a lot under Bill Parcells just as Coach Locey I think would probably agree that he learned a lot while working for Ad. When I listen to Coach Payton address the team he reminds me a lot of Locey in the way that he speaks to the team and stresses certain aspects of the game that I heard often while playing at Linfield. During this season I really felt that this was a special team and I remember telling my Dad after one of our early games that the team reminded me a lot of our Linfield team that won the National Championship and I really felt that we had a good chance of winning it all. Both teams had outstanding leadership on the field and on the sideline and neither team was a group that got frustrated if things weren’t going well. As for the Super Bowl game compared to the National Championship game; both are outstanding memories and I’m truly blessed to have been lucky enough to be a part of.

(WC11) Most people would think that working for an NFL team would be glamorous but I get the feeling that the scouts, coaches, and support people are putting in grueling hard hours of work that people will never really know about. Is working for an NFL team the hardest job that you’ve had and what is required to succeed as an NFL scout? Is there a typical week for an NFL scout?

(RP) Working in the NFL is a grind. Once the preseason starts, I’m working 7 days a week until the season is over and then we throttle down a bit. Working as an NFL scout is certainly the most demanding job I’ve ever had but I don’t know that it’s the hardest. Working as a line cook and as a waiter at McMenamins when I was at Linfield sucked. It was only 8 hours or so a day but it was hard work and without reward. I’m doing something that I love and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing so the time that it demands, makes it worthwhile.

As for a typical week for an NFL scout; the majority of the time I’m busy at the office evaluating players for an upcoming advance, possibly looking at players who have been released or looking at players on other team’s practice squads that we may have an interest in. Working on advance reports however does take up the majority of my time and that’s typically what I’m working on. On Saturday’s I’m typically traveling either with the team if I advanced the team we’re playing or traveling to go watch an upcoming opponent. So on Sunday I’m typically at one of our games or on the road and seldom at home.

(WC11) Of course, I want to ask you about your time at Linfield as a student and Linebacker (1997-2002). You were a part of some great Linfield squads that helped re-establish the program back on the national scene. What did you learn from your time as a Wildcat that now helps you in your professional life? What was your fondest memory as a player? Do you still follow the program?

(RP) My time at Linfield was one of the, if not the greatest experiences in my life. Playing football with great friends and coaches was truly an outstanding experience. I learned a tremendous amount about preparation while at Linfield and the importance of outworking your opponent. While I was at Linfield I always felt that we would never face a team that was more prepared than we were and I try and bring that same philosophy to scouting.

As for my fondest memory, it’s hard to signal out just one but the relationships I made over my five and half years on the team (and no I don’t have a doctorate) was certainly the most rewarding. I would also signal out our come from behind victory down at Menlo my junior year and certainly the win in the National Championship game as an assistant coach.

I try and follow the program as much as I can but it’s tough living down in New Orleans and I’m often traveling on Saturday’s but I try and listen to as many games as I can over the internet.

(WC11) I wanted to ask you about living in the New Orleans area. I’ve been down in the area once and I loved it. Great people, great food, and just a great energy. Obviously, the city is still trying to rebuild and pull themselves out of the Katrina aftermath and you’ve been observing this process since Katrina hit. What do you enjoy the most about New Orleans? What’s the biggest difference about the area vs the Pacific NW? And is the love the city has for the Saints just off the charts? If someone was going to visit the area where do they HAVE to go and visit?

(RP) The best part of New Orleans is probably the food, music and the unique culture that this city has to offer. The food is great, you can always find good music and the people down here have a culture and way of life that I don’t think you’ll find anywhere in the US. As for the biggest differences between New Orleans and the Pacific NW, where do I start? I would say the two are complete opposites. Louisiana is flat, no mountains, no hills and a climate that is unbearable in the summer due to the heat and the humidity. I couldn’t believe how hot it got down here in the summer and it’s so muggy 24/7 that you can never enjoy an evening on the deck that you can back in the NW. New Orleans is a great place to visit and if you want to make a trip down south, come in February and experience Mardi Gras.

(WC11) My last question is about what advice would you give to a current college football player that wants to get a job in the NFL as a scout (player personnel)?

(RP) The hardest part of getting a job in a player personnel department is just getting your foot in the door. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity with the Seahawks because a fellow Linfield Alum was in a position to get me on board and as with any job or business it’s not always what you know, but who you know. After I graduated I sent out letters to every team in the league and heard back from about half saying “thanks, but no thanks…” You have to be persistent and you have to be willing to work for little to nothing just in order to get your foot in the door and give the people running the teams a chance to meet you and know what kind of person/worker that you are.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cutting Room Floor: Linfield @ Southern Oregon University



Not everything the Catdomealumni.com cameras shoot can make it into the Linfield Wildcats Highlight DVD so instead of just having those clips waste away on Wildcat11's hard drives the ADvantage will be posting up some of the extras to kick start your Mondays.

This week we looked around our Southern Oregon folder and pasted together some random shots of then #13 Linfield's 37-21 road victory over NAIA Southern Oregon Raiders

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The 2009 Highlight DVD is in the can!

The 2009 Linfield football highlight DVD is officially in the can. Actually, it's been in the bag for a few months now but I don't consider it finished until the team gets the first viewing at the end-of-the-year banquet. Out of the 4 Linfield football highlights WC11 has put together this one was the most fun and stressful I've worked on yet.

The season highlights span an opening clip and Linfield's 13 contests during the 2009 season. The total run time is 1hr 14min and 59 sec and I think it goes by pretty dang fast. It wound up being an awesome production and 99% of that is because of the play of this team. They made this season easy to capture and provided a wealth of footage to chose from. There are a number of people that helped contribute to this project and I want to be able to publicly thank them for their contributions.

First I want to thank my home games camera crew. Brad Hazenberg works the visitors sideline and has been really fun to work with and has provided great shots. Aaron Haugen works the top/crow's nest shot for the scoreboard and provides ample and critical footage for the highlights and Evan Hilberg and Spencer Crepeaux work the home sideline for the scoreboard and has really captured some great moments. Also a shout to the master, Mike Rhodes, who shot the Whitewater game with me. Mike was the workhorse from the early 2000's and still is one of the best sports videographers I've seen. Thanks Mike!

We incorporated a number of still photos in the highlights this season too. I want to thank Linfield S.I.D. Kelly Bird for photos for the SOU and Whitworth game. Dan Harris for the Menlo game, Bill Olmsted (Photography Editor) of The Janesville Gazette for the photo use of the Whitewater game, and a real special thank you to Brad Thompson for use of his photos for the HSU, L&C, Willamette, UPS, PLU, CLU, UMHB, and UST games. THANK YOU BRAD!

We also had a number of radio voices on the highlight DVD. I want to thank Craig Dunkin for use of a call during the Oxy game, Bill Jacobs of his audio clips of the SOU game, the golden tones of Mike Allegre during the Willamette game, and finally the voice that guided the great majority of the season our very own Dean of Students and Linfield Play-By-Play, Dave Hanson. Dean Hanson along with his partner Ty Matthews were GIANTS in making sure we were able to get the radio calls recorded and provided that extra punch to bring these clips to life.

Need to send a special thanks to long time Linfield Public Address announcer Craig Singletary. You'll hear Craig's contribution at the start of the highlight DVD and it was an awesome bonus to have Craig agree to help. He was a total pro!

I also wanted to thank the Linfield Coaching Staff and Players for always looking out for Wildcat11. If it wasn't hooking me up with footage (Coach Yin), a ride on a bus, or the players being cool with me putting the camera in their face they always made me feel like I was part of the ride and I'm very appreciative of that.

Last, I have to thank Mrs. Wildcat 11. She is so supportive of the program and my small part in helping out. She never gives me a hard time about the time I put into these videos or the time away when I'm following the team. She's also provides great ideas and is my sounding board on what my vision is. Mrs. 11 is my rock and I can't tell her enough in how much I appreciate and love her.

The clips start up on Monday, March 1st so make sure you check in with us early and often. Go 'Cats!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cutting Room Floor: Linfield @ Occidental


Not everything the Catdomealumni.com cameras shoot can make it into the Linfield Wildcats Highlight DVD so instead of just having those clips waste away on Wildcat11's hard drives the ADvantage will be posting up some of the extras to kick start your Mondays.

This week we looked around our Occidental folder and pasted together some random shots of then #14 Linfield's 31-27 road victory over #21 Occidental Tigers.

Friday, February 12, 2010

2009 Team Banquet and Team Awards

This past Wednesday the 2009 Linfield Wildcats met one more time to celebrate their tremendous 12-1 season. The annual team banquet took place at the Michelbook Country Club facility in McMinnville where the team feasted and relived their past campaign where they won Linfield's 33rd Conference Title, secured another perfect regular season record, and advanced to the Semi-Finals of the NCAA Playoffs, where it took a 4th quarter comeback by the eventual Division III National Champions (UW-Whitewater) to end this team's journey.

Below are the team awards that were decided by player votes and handed out by the Linfield staff. Congratulations to the entire Linfield program (Staff, Players, Support) on the great season!

Best Defensive Scout Player- Josh Ness, Jr (Walla Walla, Wa.), CB

Best Offensive Scout Player- Stephen Nasca, Fr (Sammamish, Wa.), RB

Most Improved- Chris Buck, Sr (Medford, Or.), OT

Rookie of the Year- Tyler Steele, Fr (Salem, Or.), DT

Best Defensive Lineman- Paul Nishizaki, Jr (Portland, Or.), DT

Best Offensive Lineman- Scott Millenbach, Sr, (Olympia, Wa.), OG

Best Defensive Back- Drew Fisher, So (Gresham, Or.), Saftey

Best Pass Receiver- Trevor Patterson, Sr (Pendleton, Or.), WR

Best Special Teams Player- Bubba Kukahiko Jr (Lahaina, Ha.), LB

Most Inspirational- Eric Beige, So (Sammamish, Wa.), Rover

Best Defensive Player- Drew Fisher, So (Gresham, Or.), Saftey

Best Offensive Player- Aaron Boehme, Jr (Stanwood, Wa), QB

Co-Defensive Captain- Jaymin Jackson, Sr (Vancouver, Wa.), LB

Co-Defensive Captain- Alex Tkachuk, Sr (Beaverton, Or.), LB

Offensive Captain- Trevor Patterson, Sr (Pendleton, Or.), WR

Morgan Kocher Team 1st Award - Ian Ballantyne, Sr (Tacoma, Wa.), OT

The John LaRosa, Dedicated to Excellence Award- Russell Sells, Sr (Folsom, Ca.), TE

Willis Baker Award (Team MVP)- Aaron Boehme, Jr (Stanwood, Wa), QB

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Player Blog, Taylor Avritt: "Paying Dues"

Linfield College football is built on many pillars. The support from the administration, the incredible hard work from the coaching staff, the support from the Linfield community. However, one of the key aspects of the duration of the program's success are the many Wildcat players that grind away working hard for the opportunity to show they can contribute to the team on game day.

Wildcat11 was also a grinder. I came into the program as a quarterback and red shirted (when it was still allowed). Then spent time as a back-up before I made a move over to defensive end my 3rd year into the program when I finally had the opportunity to make a
contribution on game day. Looking back on that time, it was the best thing ever for me. I gained a work ethic, found other ways to contribute to the team's success, and kept working towards that moment when my number was called. That's why I relate to our latest player blogger, Linfield Junior Running Taylor Avritt.

Taylor is a grinder. He's had to put in some hard work into the program, discover just how bad he wanted it and the result was being a key contributor of the 2009 Linfield Wildcats. I have so much respect for 'Cats like Taylor because they have a deep understanding of sticking to something they love and making the most of when that time comes. I think Taylor's story will ring true for many of you former 'Cats and a good number of current 'Cats on the roster. Keep working hard 'Cats!

-------------------------------
As a player at Linfield, I've had to pay my dues. Whether those dues are in the form of sweat, blood, taping, film sessions or even more X's and O's than school text books, each is worth every minute of the grind.

As a freshman (2007) I came into Linfield with high hopes but a great sense of hesitancy and curiosity. I, as most freshmen do, had no idea what to expect in a College program. Although confident in my training habits and work ethic, I had no true idea how my skill matched up to my teammates. I had a lot of very very good competition in the running back position. With so much talent I ended up being moved to Weakside Linebacker. This was a huge transformation because although I played the position for 3 years in high school, my senior season was designated strictly to running the ball. I struggled with the change. I'll be completely honest, I absolutely hated it. I love football, LOVE IT, but I hated the fact that I was not thought to be good enough and compete with the rest of our RB's. I told Coach Smith this as well, because I was building a relationship with him as a coach and as my recruiter. I was lucky enough to be moved back to running back the week of Southern Oregon and remained there. I finished the year gaining no scout awards on defense and multiple scout awards as a running back, which I felt was appropriate. I was terrible at LB. But I was terribly happy to be back playing RB.
My sophomore season (2008) was just as much of a grind. I flirted with the 2nd string offense for a couple of weeks due to injuries, but was, in my eyes, demoted back to scout after performing as best as I could with the 2's. At this point I was pretty unhappy. Unhappy with my performance, unhappy with decisions that were made, and unhappy with football. But I found virtue in scout, particularly playing receivers. I took it upon myself to beat each and every corner we had and, of course, catch every ball that came my way. It was a matter of pride; I was too prideful to consider myself just a scout player my entire career, and took it out on all the starting DB’s. I finished the year with scout accolades and hungrier than every to make a name for myself as a running back my Jr. year.

I am incredibly happy with the year we had as a team, and naturally am happy about getting a chance to play. Throughout my first two years at Linfield I learned how to be patient; patient with football, patient with people, and patient with my own ambition. I had to be patient this year as well.

My first game I got to play in was against Occidental as the fullback for our punt team. I had to make the best of that position, blocking as well as I could and assisting in tackles in coverage. Southern Oregon was the first game I was put in as a running back, which is reminiscent of my freshman year moving back to scout offense during Southern week. I remember vividly the game down under the lights in Ashland. Coach Smith always talks about making the best of your opportunities as they are presented. I feel I made the better of that first opportunity against Southern, and was granted more and more opportunities throughout the year. I finished the regular season getting more and more time as a running back, and played every special teams position throughout the post season. This gave me a new passion for playing special teams next year, which I cannot wait for.

Every player wants to be the man. I’m just like every player. I would love to be the man at running back, carrying the team on my back as best I can. But I know we have a group of talented RB’s who will all be competing for time on the field. Just as Coach Smith says, I have to wait for the opportunity to present itself. I look forward to that opportunity my senior season, and when it comes believe I will run with it like my hairs on fire.

Taylor Avritt
Class of 2011

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cutting Room Floor: Hardin-Simmons Game


Not everything the Catdomealumni.com cameras shoot can make it into the Linfield Wildcats Highlight DVD so instead of just having those clips waste away on Wildcat11's hard drives the ADvantage will be posting up some of the extras to kick start your Mondays.

This week we looked around our Hardin Simmons folder and pasted together some random shots of Linfield's opening game 37-22 victory over then #4 Hardin-Simmons.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Catdomealumni.com's video season starts soon!

Ah yes, it's about that time of the year when we kick off Catdomealumni.com's annual video season. As usual a new video will be posted up each Monday starting on March 1st.

The very first video will be the 2009 scoreboard team introduction video (3/1/2010). WC11 has to put himself over a little bit and say that I'm pretty proud of the clip. I think it's uptempo that does a good job in avoiding the cheesy cliches that one could easily fall into. Overall, the videos have been strong over the years and each season we try to get better and I'm proud of that.

In fact, I think our vids stack up pretty well with most small college products and I know for a fact we blow Division I FCS Drake College out of the water. However, if I ever start slipping and put out a clip like the one below please take away my editing software.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ADvantage Mailbag

Wanted to say thanks to all that sent in questions for our very first mailbag segment. It was pretty dang fun to answer and while I did ramble on a bit on a few questions I couldn't stop typing. One thing I do want to make clear is that every one of my replies is soley my opinion and is not that of Linfield College or the football program. I didn't write anything outlandish but I just want to make it clear that my thoughts on may or may not happen to Menlo are just what I've pieced together over the years.

If you have a question for the next mailbag segment you can send them here: mailbag@catdomealumni.com

------------------------------------------
If someone in McMinnville was interested in getting frozen yogurt and renting a DVD at the same time, are there any options for those wanting to be efficient in McMinnville?

But the real question, with the addition of Pacific University to the NWC, how many years do you think Menlo will remain in the league? I'm curious if the conference will bite the bullet and keep them in to ensure the complete DIII schedule?

Jeff
Tualatin, Or

Wildcat11: First off Jeff, you bring up a great memory of Wildcat11’s as I loved going to Video Yogurt Express during my time at Linfield (mid/late 90’s). Where else could you have picked up a VHS copy of Caddyshack while getting a mountain of vanilla/chocolate swirl frozen yogurt bliss? But times change and I guess the video rental/frozen yogurt business model wasn’t built to last as the business closed and now a Popeye’s Chicken stands in its place. Once again an innovative business falls by the hands of fast food chicken.

But now onto what you really wanted to ask and it’s something that has been on my mind for some time. With Pacific hitting the gridiron this fall that brings the total football membership of the NWC to 8 teams and it does seem that George Fox is really considering bring back football down the road, so at this point there is a possible chance of the NWC having 9 football playing members in the foreseeable future. Wild.

But there has always been this vibe floating around the conference that the NWC’s football only relationship with Menlo has just been more out of necessity than anything else. Yeah, the NWC asked the Oaks to the NWC because the conference wanted the autobid and Menlo accepted because they wanted football to have a home. It wasn’t like Menlo was this prestigious free agent that the NWC presidents were falling over themselves to get on-board. That is really the issue with Menlo is their lower academic and admission standards. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not hating on Menlo because they don’t have Whitman type of admission standards but that was the hurdle for most of the NWC presidents to get over.

So now that the NWC has Pacific on board there are some that think the NWC might get cold blooded and send Menlo back to the Indy circuit. I mean, the NWC wouldn’t lose their autobid with Pacific back. So, while I do think there might be some of the college presidents that would like to dissolve the relationship, I think the NWC coaches and AD’s do not want to see it happen at all. At the end of the day, if Menlo wants to stay I think The Oaks are going to be around the conference, however, if George Fox brings back football I think Menlo’s days in the NWC could be numbered.

Ok, since I’m a little bias being my son plays on the team I would like to know from you. What is your favorite moment from the 2009 season that you can share with all of us Catdomers ? Thanks

Rob
Gresham OR

Wildcat11: Wow, that is a great question. The season was packed full of great moments on the field and just as a fan following the team around. I had a ton of anxiety at the start of the year because I was unsure of what to expect. We had experience in some areas but really we had unproven talent all over the field and you never know what’s going to happen until the team take the field. So at the end of the day that first game vs. Hardin-Simmons was not only joyful to watch but I was just blown away with how crisp and talented the team looked.

I can remember walking out to my car after the game saying to myself “This could be one of those great years” and boy did the ‘Cats not disappoint.

Now, if you want to talk about actual 2009 “during the game moments” that stand out in my mind there are a few that just jump out at me.

1) The defense shutting down Oxy in the 3rd quarter. That was just huge because it allowed the offense to start to catch their rhythm and get Linfield back in that game. One of those early season moments that a great team builds on.

2) Boehme to Patterson TD bombs twice during the 2nd quarter of the SOU game. There was nothing fancy about that. It was just Patterson getting on his horse and Boehme putting the ball out there for Trevor to bring home. That took the SOU crowd out of the game and you could just feel the air come out of the Raiders at that point.

3) The end of the 1-month long road trip. At the end of the Whitworth game the ‘Cats knew they had control over their own destiny and while the players had fun being on the road you could sense everyone was glad to have it over with.

4) Boehme trucking a Willamette defensive back. Aaron had done a great job in getting down all year and protecting himself but when he lowered that boom on the sideline it just sent a charge up and down the Linfield sideline. It was Boehme delivering a message of “Today is not your day”.

5) Linfield’s defense undressing Mary Hardin-Baylor during the 2nd half of the 2nd round playoff game. I’ve never seen a Linfield defense play a better half of football. It was just a joy to watch.

6) All of the Saint Thomas game. The Catdome was packed, the place was electric all day long, and to wrap up the 2009 home season with a Regional playoff victory was just too sweet.

I used to like the place near Linfield, I think it's called Alf's. But I went in one time and there were live monkeys in there, along with their poop. Lost my appetite rather quickly. Is Alf's now a monkey free zone, i.e., is it safe to go back in?

Thanks,
Tim S.
Boise

Wildcat11: Ah yes, Alf’s is still there and last time I checked they still had Monkey’s kicking it in a room next to the main dining area. Alf’s is a throwback that models itself after a 50’s style burger and Milkshake joint but the added attractions are the Monkey’s contained in what looks to be an 8’x8’ room with glass windows. Every time I’ve been in the place they are wearing diapers and I didn’t see their cookies lying around the pen but I get why that ‘ooks you out. The monkeys look very well cared for and they go home with the owners each night. However, each time I did eat there I would be clamping down on one of their ½ pounders with a Monkey staring at me and the only thing running through my head was the dinner scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when they served “chilled” money brains for desert. Needless to say, I haven’t frequented Alf’s since college.


It's not a question but how about an article on 'Cats that have coached State or National Champions since graduating from Linfield. I always like to see how other 'Cats have fared.

Just an idea,
Chris
Fredericksburg, TX

Wildcat11: You know, that is a very good idea. The now defunct football media guides did list former players that have gone on to coach state or national champions. Just what I can recall the list was pretty dang long but that is something the Advantage should dip into. When you look at the football program that is one of the keys of the longevity of the programs success. Those ‘Cats that have gone onto and coached high school football have played a huge roll in identifying “Linfield” type kids and getting the program and player into touch. Thanks for the idea Chris!

take your little blog storie and your mailbag and head north ok. Or even better get a damn life. No one cares about the rich boys up north, see ya, dont let that door hit you on the way out, oh feel free to quote me in the mail bag.

Boommersmommy (SOU supporter)
via the Oregon Live Small College Board


Wildcat11: Well, I'm already North of Ashland so that is no problem. He may have a point about getting a life but I think the blog/site are just a healthy hobby. However if he thinks Linfield are "rich boys" I would hate to hear what he would say about Whitman because they could buy and sell any school in the conference x2. I am going to miss playing SOU next season.

Hope all is going well, here is a question for your mailbag: If George Fox were someday to bring back football, would the NWC then boot Menlo? Wouldn't the Oaks be a better fit geographically for the SCIAC?

Mike
East Lancing, Michigan

Wildcat11: Ah, see I told you what may or what may not happen with Menlo is on the mind of many NWC/Linfield fans. One rumor that popped up was that Menlo was in contact with the GNAC about membership into their Division II conference. I almost fell out of my chair from laughing so hard but the more I looked into it this actually might be legit. Menlo sports are split over NCAA Division III (Football & Baseball), NAIA Independent (Wrestling) and the bulk in NAIA’s CalPac Conference.

What’s happening is that the NAIA conference Menlo is in (CalPac) is being weakened by some of their members defecting to a Division II private school conference, the Pacific West Conference. Menlo could very well be hedging their bets that if the CalPac falls apart The Oaks may very well make a move to the DII Pacific West Conference for the bulk of their sports and seek Division II football membership into the GNAC. So while Menlo and Division II football doesn’t sound right there is a scenario where it might very well happen.

This is a legit question Wildcat11, one that recruits need the answer to. As they come to the Catdome and see Alums and fans rabid support for this program. There must be something about this program that generates that drive and pride of being a Cat Fan !! Looking back, where does the magic come from?

Larry
Tacoma Wa.

Wildcat11: Consistency and continuity I think are reasons why the older alumni base is so locked into the program. The program has changed with the times in regards to style of offenses/defenses and affiliation. Coaches and players have also changed over the years but the Linfield program is still rooted in the core values and tradition first installed by Paul Durham and then really cemented and matured under Coach Rutschman. Just look at the current staff, Coach Smith played for Coach Rutschman, Coach Hire played for Coach Rutschman, and a number of guys on staff were brought up on the same value system that was established years ago. The alumni see that in how the program continues to operate and it keeps those connections strong.

You just don’t see that very often in athletic programs very often. When a head coach leaves you have the new hires come in and change and shape the program to their belief system (and that’s understandable). With Linfield, the program hasn’t had that with Coaches Langsdorf, Locey, and now Smith all being moved up from coordinator positions to take over the head job. While each head coach put their own stamp on Linfield they always have stayed true to the ‘Cats core values.

I like what you're doing to expand the site features. That can only help generate more hits in my opinion. It will, of course, also keep us in the loop through the terrible wait until Spring Ball starts.

I'll do my part in any way that I can to support the entire Catdome Nation (sorry to steal that phrase from elsewhere) How ‘bout the "Catdomosphere"? That's probably overused and from numerous others as well....but you get my point.

That clip you showed from the cutting room floor was interesting from a perspective of the team transitioning from their "private-team-time" lives to their..."Public Game face" life. Anyway, that's the way I saw it and I appreciated it from the point of view.

Steve
McMinnville

Wildcat11: It seems that just about every single college fan base puts “Nation” at the end of it. Heck the proliferation of the “Nation” tag has even work itself into the title of a ESPN show called “Sports Nation”. I think that "Nation" is pretty well played out at this point and that is why we at Catdomealumni.com work really hard to stay away from the term.

I’ve been trying to work in the Catdome Family this past season since the Linfield fans are a pretty tight knit group of people and we are a family unto ourselves. Not saying that “Catdome Family” is now the official term of the Linfield fan base but just a suggestion. You know, we could just use a collective noun that describes a grouping of cats. How about “The Catdome Clowder”?

Also, thanks for mentioning the cutting room floor clips. There is just a large amount of footage that doesn’t make it into the highlight DVD and I feel it just kind of wastes away on my hard drive so we’ll keep on putting those out on occasion…no frills just some extra footage.

Can/should we create a title for ex-wildcat players who defect to a conference rival for what they perceive to be greener pastures? Especially if that player winds up getting trucked You-Tube style in the biggest game of the new team's season by a quarterback who looks like he could hide behind a rake?

Chris
Roseburg, Or.

Wildcat11: You know for me that moment was more about Boehme making a statement about the toughness of this 2009 Linfield team and not about getting over on a former teammate. Transfers and in-conference transfers happen. But I’d be lying if I wrote that didn’t make me smile just a little bit after the fact (it did). However, I have to say you only do college and college football once and if you’re not happy then you should do yourself the service of finding a place you enjoy. So credit to that former Wildcat for making the move, I have no issue with it. But in regards to your question I guess we can just call it “Lowering the Boehme” on someone. Does that work?