Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Catdomealumni.com Video of the Week: 2010 Linfield College Football Senior Salute



Today is the last video we'll have from the 2010 Linfield College Football Highlight DVD and we cap it off in style in saluting our 2010 Senior Class. Thank you to those Seniors that sacrifice and have made the past two seasons very memorable for the 'Catdome family. A great group of guys that I believe will be leaders of their communities and find much success in their adult lives. Go 'Cats!


Catdomealumni.com: 2010 Linfield Senior Salute

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cutting Room Floor: 2010 Linfield vs Whitworth



Not everything makes the Linfield College Football highlight DVD so each week the ADvantage will bring you what was left on the cutting room floor. This week we bring you those moments from the 'Cats 42-17 home win vs the Whitworth Pirates. You can watch the full game highlights on Catdomealumni.com

Oregon State Spring Practice with some old Linfield Guys

Oregon State athletics has posted up some solid video clips of their coaching staff mic'd up and in action during the Beavers 2011 Spring Practice. Those long time Wildcats fans will recognize three of the faces as former Linfield Wildcats. OSU Head Coach Mike Riley, Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach Danny Langsdorf, and Tight End Coach/Associate Head Coach Jay Locey.

Coach Riley's 1st full-time coaching job was with the 'Cats from 1977-82 where he searved as Coach Rutschman's D.C. and secondary coach. Over his 6 years with the 'Cats, Linfield had a 52-7-1 record and he lead the defense that help win the 1982 NAIA National Title.



Danny Langsdorf transfered from Boise State to Linfield in 1994 and became the 'Cats starting QB under his father and then current Linfield Head Coach, Ed Langsdorf. Danny tore up the Mt. Hood conference in leading the 'Cats to an 8-2 record in throwing from 2,055 yards and 25 TD's. He looked to have even a better Senior season but was derailed with a season ending injury early in 1995.



Coach Locey spent 23 years as a Linfield Wildcat from 1983 - 2006. Coach Locey spend the 1st 13 years at the 'Cats Defensive Coordinator and his final 10 years as the 'Cats Head Coach. During Coach Locey's 23 years, the 'Cats won 13 conference titles, numerous playoff games, and was at the helm when the 'Cats won the 2004 NCAA National Championship.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Boehme and Nishizaki continue their allied assault in Germany.



Time to check in on Former Linfield QB Aaron Boehme and DT Paul Nishizaki. As we covered earlier both Boehme and Nish are currently in Schwabisch Hall Germany playing for the Schwabish Hall Unicorns (Go 'Corns!) of the German Football League. The 'Corns have come out the gates blazing so far this season starting off at 5-0 while putting up 40 points per game and only 13 ppg. Boehme is currently 2nd in the GFL in Total Offense (280.2 yards per game), leads the GFL with 18 passing TD's, completion percentage (72.7), and 3rd in passing yards per game at 264 passing yards per game.

Nishizaki is the 5th leading tackler on the 'Corns and causing major issues for team's rushing attack. Nish has 17 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 1 QB sack, and a fumble recovery.

The above video is a highlight of the 'Corns 42-7 win over the Saarland Hurricanes from this past Saturday. I didn't understand 99% of it but picked up Boehme and Touchdown many, many times.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Catdomealumni.com Video of the Week: 2010 at University of Saint Thomas



Don't forget to check out Catdomealumni.com's video of the week: 2010  Linfield at the University of Saint Thomas in NCAA 2nd round action. It was pure heart break as both Linfield and Saint Thomas fought for control and each had opportunities to put each down during regulation. Still tough to watch this clip but the quote from Kalae Parish during the off/def transition sums up best how WC11 feels about this game.


Catdomealumni.com: 2010 Linfield at University of Saint Thomas

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Linfield Football Spring Review: Offensive Line

4 out of 5 starters return to Linfield's offensive line in 2011
Time to talk about the players that usually get talked about the least but have the biggest impact on a team: the offensive line.  Call me Captain Obvious here but we all know with poor offensive line play there is little chance of being a successful offense and being a successful team.  The guys up front have to be able to move bodies, make adjustments on the fly, keep their QB upright, have great communication skills, be both mentally and physically tough and as any defensive lineman will tell you.....hold on every single play!  Obviously joking about the holding (kind of) but even this former d-lineman will tell you that the good O-line is foundation to any great football team.

The 2011 Linfield Wildcats are bringing back something they haven't had in a few years now: mostly returning starters on the offensive line.  Over the past few season's Coach Hire has had put together new units to make the trenches and results have been stellar with a great senior laden O-Line in 2009 and an offensive line that was influx early but caught their stride about week 3 when Coach Hire and the offensive staff put together the starting unit of Aaron Heston, Jordan Barnes, Hayden Mace, Drew Wert, and Kaston Gleason.  This starting five helped the 'Cats pile up 41 points per game and 454 yards per game.

Jordan Barnes will be in his 3rd year starting for the 'Cats at guard and already has two 1st team All-NWC honors to his credit.  Next to Barnes will be starting Center Hayden Mace who picked up a 2nd team All-NWC honor after last season.  I'm expecting these two, as Seniors, to carry the bulk of the leadership role and set the example necessary for the continued growth of the offensive line.  A player I think to keep an eye on, besides Barnes and Mace, is Drew Wert.  I thought Wert grew each game he started last season and I believe going to make a nice leap up in 2011.  Rounding out the returners is Kaston Gleason who was solid for the 'Cats as pass blocking tackle in 2011.  I'm expecting Kaston to be a more confident player this season and that should equate to him keeping speedy ends out of the 'Cats backfield.

While it's great to have 4 starters back the 'Cats did lose to graduation: All-American left tackle Aaron Heston, starting tight end Chris Saunders  (who was a fine blocking TE), and a solid veteran guard in Cheyne Kaninau.   Replacing any all-american is a tough task but replacing productive offensive tackles in Division III might be the hardest find of all in non-scholarship football.  So even with the outlook of 4 very good starters coming back there are questions to be answered before September.

Returning Starters

Jordan Barnes Guard, 6-1 275lbs, Senior
Hayden Mace Center, 6-2 270lbs, Senior
Kaston Gleason Tackle, 6-0 250lbs, Junior
Drew Wert Guard, 6-1 280lbs, Junior

Steady Vets

Eric Anderson Guard, 6-3 287lbs, Senior
Eddie Fennimore Guard, 6-5 280lbs, Junior
Bryan Anderson Tight End, 6-3 230lbs, Senior

Up and Coming

Jacob Priester Tight End, 6-2 214lbs, sophomore
Seth Conder Tackle, 6-2 245lbs, Junior
Zach Hickman Guard, 6-2 290lbs, Sophomore
David Balfour Tackle, 6-2 280lbs, Junior
Jesse Archambault Tackle, 6-3 230lbs, Sophomore
Mike Harris Tackle, 6-5 250lbs, Sophomore
Hayden Sanders Tackle, 6-4 240lbs, Sophomore
Kyler Spears Guard, 6-3 291lbs, Sophomore
Austin James Guard, 6-4 295lbs, Junior
Jeremy Patrick Center, 6-2 265lbs, Sophmore
Kyle Jones Center, 5-11 257lbs, Sophomre

Talkin' Ball With Associate Head Coach/ Offensive Line Coach Doug Hire
Offensive Line Coach Doug Hire is leading the 'Cats O-Line for his 12th season.

(Wildcat11) Thank you for taking the time to speak with us Coach Hire. First off, how do you feel the spring went from an offensive line perspective?

(Doug Hire) Spring ball was fine as we are limited to what we can do. Worked on fundamentals and techniques both run blocking and pass protection. Also worked on schemes and assignments for both.

(WC11) Since there's no contact in spring football at the division 3 level how does that change you approach from the offensive line compare to fall camp?

(DH) Approach is very different without pads. Huge part of evaluating OL is the physical component which cannot be done without pads. Perhaps some toughness when you get hit in the face but for the most part evaluating techniques and assignments where the emphasis. The physical evaluation will come in the summer, an area we need to improve on.

(WC11) The offensive line lost two big bodies in Aaron Heston at Left Tackle and Chris Saunders at Tight End but the cupboard is stocked with 4 returning starters coming back. This is the first time in a few years where you have this many full time starters coming back on the offensive line. Can you breakdown what the strengths are of the returners and what areas of improvement have you been emphasizing with this group?

(DH) I may have 4 returners coming back but also have a lack depth and missing an OT. Do I have guys that potentially could fill in and create depth?  I believe I do, but it’s on them in the off season and summer training. Strengths of the returners obviously is experience. Mace, Gleason, and Wert were new starters last season with slow starts from Wert and Gleason. The last 2 years there were a lot juggling in the starting 5. Barnes, 2 time all conference, has most experience and confidence playing up front. Look to more leadership from him. Mace is a natural leader with intelligence making the calls.

(WC11) Something that I've always appreciated about our offensive line is the groups approach in rotating a players in the name of development and continuity. We have a number of very fine young offensive linemen along with some solid vets. Can you talk about the impact of the vets and young 'Cats will have next season on the offensive line and what the competition has been like this past off-season?

(DH) I would love to have 4 OT, 4 OG and 2 OC ready for the coming season. It has been a while since I have had that kind of depth. Do we have the potential in creating this depth? I believe we do with the guys coming in and with the returners. I hope it’s very competitive! This will elevate our potential as a group. The oline is different from other positions especially at our level. A lot of work and training is on our guys where they have to retain what has been taught as a group and individually and work on these on their own. The position is unnatural, we do not play pick up oline drills, or grab some guys and say hay let’s play one and one pass pro. Physically we need to improve and I believe part of that will come from confidence in their training improving power and strength, commitment in the weight room and the other coming from me when summer camp comes.

I made it clear to the returning group this spring that I need to see the effort and results in improving both mentally and physically. We can’t take 2 steps forward and 1 back every day especially for the guys who have been in the program 2 or 3 years and for the guys who feel they will be able to fill in next year. We cannot be making the same mistakes over and over and over again. I will move forward and coach my tail off but our guys need to take ownership in retaining what has been taught mentally and physically.

(WC11) Let's talk about our Tight Ends. Jocob Preister will be returning for his Sophomore season and showed some great promise as a weapon in the 'Cats passing game and Bryan Anderson has been a steady special teams performer the past two seasons. How did the Tight Ends shape up during this past spring? Are we going to have the depth and size necessary in order to impact the running game?

(DH) Jacob is a special football player one who takes pride in perfection and execution. He has the tools to be great: speed, toughness, mentally sharp, and understands football. We saw this early in camp last season. He knows his weaknesses and has worked on them. I expect great things from him. Bryan transitioned from LB to TE late last fall. Very athletic and tough, just needs a little bit more time. Summer camp will be critical for him. No question he will again impact special team play.

(WC11) A huge question that any teams has is when a new quarterback is going to be lining up behind center. That's a question the 'Cats will have this upcoming fall. Can you talk about what additional pressure, if any, is on the offensive line to get our next quarterback in a rhythm and comfortable behind center?

(DH) Good question. We all have the responsibility of transitioning any new QB into the system- oline, QB coach, receivers, offensive coordinator, and head coach. I do know that Micky has worked very hard this spring physically and mentally as well as working as a leader by example.

I believe that it does not matter what’s behind me as an olineman. It’s what’s in front of me and who’s next to me that matters. What we do and how we do it should not change because there is a different QB or RB. The expectations are the same- do our job protecting the QB and opening holes for the RB. Preparation and execution of assignments, being physical, sustaining and finishing blocks, communicating, making good calls, all that good stuff. We control what we can control. We will not try and do more than we are capable of doing, this is a recipe for disaster. You know this. Finally, big part of my job is develop olinemen in every facet-mentally, physically, technically, schematically, and over knowledge of the game in addition teach life long skills that’s will transfer after football. I will adapt, improvise, and over come! HBR! Part of teaching is evaluating your players and placing them in a position to succeed.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Catdomealumni.com's Video of the Week: 2010 vs CLU (playoff game)


Don't forget to check out Catdomealumni.com's video of the week: 2010  Linfield vs California Lutheran in NCAA 1st round action at the 'Catdome.  Linfield would capture another playoff victory in the 42-26 win and if you hit the 6:17 mark of the video you'll witness one of the most thunderous hits WC11 has ever seen.

Catdomealumni.com: 2010 Linfield vs CLU (playoff game)

***WC11 note. The video wasn't loading last night but the issue has been resolved. View away.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Linfield Football Spring Review: Running Backs

Wildcat11 is expecting a healthy and hungry Aaron Williams back in 2011
With the departure of All-NWC running back Simon Lamson and the stead hand of Taylor Avritt it apprears that the Wildcat's running back corp, or 'Catbacks, have some major parts to replace.  But when you can replace one 2010 1st team All-NWC running back with a 2009 1st team All-NWC running back it makes the transition a little easier.  That's just the situation the 'Cats running game is in headed into 2011.

2009 starting running back and All-NWC performer Aaron Williams had a bit of a slow start to 2010 but looked to be hitting his stride once again vs Willamette in racking up 99 total yards and showing that big play ability before suffering a season ending knee injury early in the 4th quarter.  With A-Will out for the season both Lamson and Avritt picked up the productivity and turned in a very solid year in the backfield.

From all accounts Williams rehab has been progressing well and even the better news is the running back duties don't all fall squarely on 30's shoulders.   1st year Wildcat Josh Hill made an immediate impact for the 'Cats last season in the kick return game and showed flashes of explosiveness and power when taking 40 carries at 5.7 yards per run during the 2010 season.

Multiple players have mentioned the work Hill has put in this off-season and has looked very sharp this spring.  Also, don't count out the contribution that Junior Stephen Nasca will be looking to make.  Nasca has excellent vision and some decent jets and should make a strong case to land in the regular RB rotation.  If Williams can be close to 100% at the start of next fall the 'Cats running game should be in great shape with the A-Will/Hill/Nasca combo.

Steady Vets
Aaron Williams, 6-0 200lbs, Junior
Josh Hill, 5-10 190lbs, Junior
Stephen Nasca, 5-10 180lbs, Junior

Up and Coming

Lane Sari, 5-11 195lbs, Sophomore
Monterill Anderson, 5-6 185lbs, Sophomore
Niko Alarcon, 5-9 185lbs, Sophomore
Bryan Takano, 6-0 190lbs, Sophomore
Mikkel Smythe, 5-10 180lbs, Sophomore
Cody Agee, 5-9 195lbs, Sophomore


Talkin' Ball With Head Coach/Running Back Coach Joe Smith
Coach Smith is headed into his 6th season as Head Coach and 19th overall at Linfield.
(Wildcat11) First off, thank you for taking the time to talk with us Coach Smith. I know that things are very busy between wrapping up Spring ball, recruiting, etc. The first thing that pops into my head when I think about running backs this upcoming year is where is Aaron Williams in terms of health? Aaron was a 1st team NWC running back in 2009, he was just a weapon, and he looked to be taking off again vs Willamette before going down with the knee injury. Can you give us the update on his status? If Aaron comes back a full strength next season what are your expectations of Aaron next season?

(Head Coach Joe Smith) Aaron is progressing well with his rehab, getting stronger and stronger. We are very hopeful he can come back at full strength. If he gets to that level, and I think he will at some point in the season, he will be one of the premier backs in the NWC.

(WC11) Anybody that has been following Linfield football for any amount of time knows that the program just doesn't hitch the running game on one horse as the program uses multiple RB's to get the job done. With the departure of Simon Lamson and Taylor Avritt, I would assume the job is wide open. Can you talk about the competition at running back this spring? What would you say are the strengths and weaknesses of the 'Catbacks and where would you like to see them improve on going into the fall?

(JS) Josh Hill has worked very hard in the wt. room and in his running to get his body back into great football shape. I thought he had a tremendous spring. Steve Nasca has improved as well. Those two took the all the reps with the 1’s and I thought that helped each of them develop their footwork and tracks in our zone running plays. All of our RBs need to work on their pass protection, and we were not able to really do that in spring ball.

(WC11) I want to change gears on the next couple of questions and talk about the offense and the team. I'm stating the obvious when I say we lost some very fine players this past season on the offensive side of the ball. However, I feel we're also returning a large number of players with proven experience and a number exciting of up and comers. How are you feeling about the offense now that you're at the end of spring practice? What do you think went well from an offensive perspective and did anybody surprise you with their play?

(JS) I am very pleased with what we accomplished in spring practices from an offensive standpoint. We have a strong core of players returning that have game experience. Obviously as our QB position goes, our offense will go to some degree. I thought our QBs did well throughout the spring. We will have the talent to be a very productive offense, we just need to develop that talent quickly this fall.

(WC11) Back-to-Back NWC championships, playoff births, defeated 9 top 25 teams the past two seasons, and two top 10 final rankings. The program has been performing very well the past two seasons. Being content is never a Linfield trait so I'm sure that this group is motivated to try to take another step forward. What can you tell the fans of the 'Catdome what they should expect next season out of the 2011 Wildcats?

(JS) The graduation of so many standout players has in some ways reenergized our guys. When you lose leaders, new guys have to step up and fill the void. It is fun watching that happen. It is now the time of others to lead. Next year will be quite a challenge, however we have a great staff here and we have a strong base of personnel. We will be a very good team by the end of the year. How quickly we get to that level of performance is what is uncertain. I am excited to see the new guys come in and see if they can get up to game speed as quickly as we are all hoping. I am excited to see how this team gels under pressure. There are many unknowns, but a few things I do know about this team.

No team has worked harder, no team has committed more in the off season.

We will continue to focus on Team, and we will do our best to do the common things in an uncommon manner. We do that to the best of our ability, every day; I’ll take the chips however they fall.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Catdomealumni.com Video of the Week: Linfield at Lewis & Clark


Don't forget to check out Catdomealumni.com's video of the week: 2010 Linfield at the Lewis and Clark Pioneers. The 'Cats handled their business in a 52-0 victory that clinched the 'Cats 34th conference title.

Catdomealumni.com: 2010 Linfield at Lewis & Clark

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Linfield Football Spring Review: Wide Receivers

Buddy Saxton will loom large for the 'Cats passing attack in 2010
(Photo courtesy of Linfield Sports Information)
Welcome back to our Linfield Spring Review as Wildcat11 is getting around to start talking about the 'Cats offensive unit headed into 2011.  As you can see in the photo above we're kicking off the offensive review by talking about our wide receivers.  Wildcat11 is expecting very big things out of this group next year as the 'Cats bring back proven starting talent, program savy vets along with a group of young play makers.  This is a group that is going to have a major impact on the 2011 season as they're going to carry a lot of weight in getting a new Linfield quarterback settled into the reigns.

The 'Cats do lose two very productive multi-year starters with both Chris Slezak and Ryan Henderson graduating this spring but WC11 believes this group has the make-up to be one of the most diverse and explosive WR corps in the West Region.  The 'Cats return two starters in 6' 6" Buddy Saxon, who caught fire late in the season in racking up 6 TD receptions in the 'Cats final 4 games and Linfield also returns starter Deidre Wiersma who the team's 2nd leading WR last season with 42 receptions for 549 yards and 5 TD receptions.  Both Saxton and Wiersma are going to be key weapons in 2011 that are going to need to raise their games up another notch not only on gameday but in leading this group of 'Cats off the field as well.

Coach Yen and I will talk about the vets in a little greater detail below but Linfield likes to start 3 WR's and rotate a number of WR bodies throughout the game, the opportunity is there for these vets to rise up and fill some of these needs but they're going to be pushed by a very talented bevy of young WR's that showed last season they are capable of making plays vertically as well as in traffic.  The battle for that 3rd starting spot as well as for breaking the rotation is going to be one to watch this fall for sure as these 'Cats will need to bring their A game each and every single day.

Returning Starters
Buddy Saxon, 6-6 218lbs, Senior
Deidre Wiersma, 6-0 182lbs, Junior

Steady Vets
Erik Koczian, 5-11 195lbs, Senior
Michael Chopp, 6-0 195lbs, Senior
Joe Kloucek, 5-10 175lbs, Senior

Up and Coming
Conner Varnell, 6-3 190lbs, Sophomore
Derek Priestley, 6-0 190lbs, Sophomore
Jordy Romick, 5-10 185lbs, Sophomore
David Sigler, 6-0 175lbs, Sophomore
Michael Madden, 6-0 185lbs, Sophomore
Reid Sullivan, 6-0 175lbs, Sophomore
Charlie Poppen, 6-1 160lbs, Sophomore
Mackenzie Hyland, 5-7 155lbs, Sophomore
Nik Patterson, 5-10 170lbs, Sophomore
Riley Miles, 5-10 170lbs, Sophomore
Aaron Hire, 6-2 200lbs, Junior
Michael Carrillo, 6-0 205lbs, Sophomore

Talkin' Ball With Wide Receiver's Coach James Yin
Coach Yen is headed into his 8th year directing the 'Cats WR.
(Wildcat11) Coach Yen, 1st off tell me how spring has been for your wide receivers? The team lost two very capable starting seniors this past season in Chris Slezak and Ryan Henderson. Slezak was a big target over the past two seasons and Hendy's impact on the game was his blocking in the pass and run game. With both Buddy and Dre back as starters how have they been handing the pressure of being the two returning starters? What have these two shown you this spring and where do you thing they have made strides in their games and what do you want to see them continue to work on?

(Coach Yen) First off I would like to show my appreciation for what you do with Catdomealumni, it’s a real pleasure to see the work you come up with…refreshing is the word!! Keep it up!! Well other than the rainy days we had for the majority of our spring practices and some sprains and strains it’s been good. Yes we lost a good pair in Sle and Hendy, but going into the year last year we knew we were going to lose those guys, so the mindset for us as coaches was to get the inexperienced some experience, with the mentoring of Slezak and Hendy. One of the things that I think makes Linfield special is that our best coaches tend to be our veterans. Our seniors do a great job of passing the torch, it’s one of those things that gets passed down from class to class. Buddy is our smartest receiver and has been playing since his freshman year, so the weight on his shoulders shouldn’t be that heavy!

On the other hand, Deidre still has 2 years left to play, still half of his career! He played DB when he first came here, and played a little of both in HS so he learned a lot his first year starting at WR, and still has a lot to learn but the sky is the limit for this kid! I think these two Grants Pass boys will be the staple for our WR core, Buddy is stepping into the mentoring role and Deidre is a sponge right now, soaking up every bit of knowledge! Both lead by example, both are very competitive, something we see every day in spring ball! I think Buddy is close to reaching the top of his bar, he just needs to stay away from Panda Express and he’ll be fine. If Deidre keeps working on being a complete WR, understanding defenses, blocking and concept recognition, expect big things from him!

(WC11) I believe a vital key for the passing game is chemistry between the QB's and WR's and with Aaron Boehme's departure the QB job is open for the taking. How have the WR's corp been responding to Inns, Yoder, and Krellwitz so far this Spring? Do you see that chemistry developing between the QB's and WR's so far this spring and what do you envision for the passing attack next fall? Will this group have big play possibilities?

(JY) The chemistry between a QB and a WR are paramount. Yes it is crucial to know your QB as a WR, knowing how that ball travels in the air, what kind of spin the ball has, the velocity of it, all help to understand how to get that ball in your hands. Once our season ended last year I told all of our WR’s coming back that you need to start throwing with our young QBs and get that relationship formed! That’s playing catch for 20 mins a day, or getting a good 30 mins of route running in, or maybe just getting on the board and drawing up some of our plays. I think our young QB’s have taken that challenge and ran away with it! Our WR’s have been getting quality time throwing with Mickey, Josh, and Logan since our 2010 season ended. Our group knows that to be successful, you have to put in work. It’s like a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship…you have to put in time to get to know each other, and time will tell. We are only getting better every day, so yes I do see a good chemistry forming with our QB’s and WR’s.

As to what to expect from these guys, ‘balance’ I think is the word. I believe the ball will be spread around this year! I think the big play possibility is there, we have the arm strength, we have the speed, we just have to put the pieces together and good things will happen. But as previous years stated, we won’t change that much, so expect it all, the little 5 yd dumps, the 10-20 intermediate passes, and the long shots….we got the tools!

(WC11) Let's talk about your vets. I thought Koczian brought some really nice things to the WR core when he had his opportunities last fall and while Chopp and Kloucek didn't have a huge amount of catches they both have a skill set that can contribute to the offense. What do your vets need to do in order to make an impact this upcoming season?

(JY) These 3 guys are in a battle right now and I love it because it makes everybody better. Koczian is battling Buddy for playing time, and with the departure of Slezak last year that leaves an outside WR spot open with Chopp and Kloucek battling for it. All these guys had adversities at some point in their college career. Koczian came to us from West Linn as a dual Safety/WR. He played his first 2 years on defense, and then last year switched to WR last year as a junior. So he had to learn something totally new…an investment yes, but Erik is a guy that is smart enough to pick it up quickly. Chopp is a transfer from Montana State, a transition that’s not easy. Kloucek, well he came off of a broken leg prior to last year…a feat not many can make. It’s a testament to these guys and how much they want it…and they know the clock is running out. Koczian showed us that he did have a little WR in him still last year. Chopp needs to continue to get better at finishing, and Kloucek needs to be more consistent.

I’ve talked to these guys and what they need to do to see the playing field as a WR, so they’ve been really working on that in spring ball and it shows that they have. Overall, these three have to be really consistent to make an impact on our offense, a feat they are all capable of. I really expect good things from these three and am excited to watch the competition come fall.

(WC11) Of course, I want to talk about your young 'Cats. Both Varnell and Priestly saw significant time as Freshman and showed some big play possibilities and productivity. Can you tell us more about this group of Sophomores and where do you see them fitting in the rotation next fall? What are the areas they need to improve as a group and what strengths have they added to the team so far?

(JY) The majority of our WR’s are sophomores, so a good young core to develop. There are only a handful of guys that can come out of HS and play right away their first year of college, at any level. It takes somebody pretty special to handle the pressure, learn their respected position, form a good relationship with their teammates and play your first semester at college. Conner and Derek had that opportunity, and took advantage of that. But they are not the only soon to be sophomores on the WR family. I’ve already seen the improvement from this entire class since the end of fall. Like I’ve said above, I encourage competition within the team because it gets everyone better. Not only will Chopp, and Kloucek be battling for the outside spot, Conner and Charlie Poppen will be as well. On the inside there is a stable of slot WR’s that will battle for playing time in Priestly, Reid Sullivan, Michael Madden, Mo Hyland, Brody Kadow, Nik Patterson, Riley Miles and Jordy Romick. The completion for our H spot will be up for grabs as well as Aaron Hire makes the transition from QB to H, along with Michael Carrillo. These guys are still young with only a fraction of them seeing the field in any aspect, whether it be the offense or special teams last year. So for them to see the playing field, they need to stand out. They need to make the hard catches, make no mental mistakes, improve everyday and handle adversity well to be the guy here, something these guys are learning to do.

-To View Buddy Saxon's action photo and more of Linfield Football in action visit Linfield Sports' Photo Gallery

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Linfield announces 19 new recruits will be coming to the 'Catdome in the fall

Issaquah's Evan Peterson is one of 19 that will be joining the 'Cats this fall

Linfield Head Coach Joe Smith and his staff have announced 19 new commitments to the 2011 Linfield Football team. Wildcat11 has been keeping up with the staff though the recruiting season and I can tell you the staff has been working tirelessly in identifying and recruiting top level players to join the program.

With about 100 returners headed into the 2011 season the staff didn't want to bring in a huge class like last season (almost 80 players) so the program narrowed their search and efforts and the return is a group of young 'Cats that the staff feels can contribute to the program early. Now with possible transfers and few remaining players look for that 19 number to move up in the mid-20's if not 30 commitments by the time this is all said and done.

Once the class is finalized, we'll break it down by position group with highlight videos (if available). Welcome to the 'Catdome and we look forward to you joining the family! Go 'Cats!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Catdomealumni.com Video of the Week: Linfield vs Whitworth


Don't forget to check out Catdomealumni.com's video of the week: 2010 Linfield vs the Whitworth Pirates. The 'Cats started slow but once they got rolling it was lights out for the Rats.

Catdomealumni.com: 2010 Linfield vs Whitworth

Monday, May 2, 2011

Intelligence Specialist B.Z. Brown's 2010 Linfield vs Willamette pre-game speech



Considering the world events of the past 24 hours, Wildcat11 thought now would be as an appropriate as time to post up this spine tingling pre-game talk from former Intelligence Specialist/Army Ranger B.Z. Brown.

B.Z. addressed the 'Cats before this past year's game vs Willamette. Having guest speakers come and address the team is a non-typical event for the 'Cats and I was surprised when Coach Smith introduced his childhood friend to talk to our 'Cats about the similarities between being a special operator and a elite college football team/player. B.Z. didn't come in with fire and brimstone but just delivered his message with such conviction and truth that it took an already fired up Wildcat team and just sharpened their focus that much more.

I've watched this many times and it delivers chills each time listen to B.Z.'s message. Wildcat11 is thankful and indebted to people like B.Z. who are protecting us without fanfare and praise. Thank you to those that do the heavy lifting and swing the hammer when necessary.