Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wildcat11's Northwest Conference Stadium Rankings

Since we’ve already talked about Uniforms lets continue the rankings theme and talk Northwest Conference stadiums. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting every NWC stadium multiple times (except for Pacific) and have really enjoyed seeing how other teams run their game day experiences. In the Pacific Northwest, you’re not going to see the mega-DIII stadium like at Whitewater or what UMHB is building but there are plenty of stadiums in the NW that have some great character and charm that fit the Northwest Conference.

I don’t have a set formula for this ranking but there are a few items that I do consider: overall game day atmosphere, stadium location, seating, and some various items that stand out in my mind. Pacific is a little difficult for me to handle since I haven’t personally gone to one of their games yet (Linfield visits Pacific this year) so I reached out to a very good poster and Willamette fan who has covered the Bearcats diligently the past 4 years and asked him for feedback on Lincoln Park Stadium. I placed the Boxer’s digs based on his feedback.

Let’s just be thankful that Menlo College is no longer in the conference as they have hands down the worst small college facilities I have ever seen. Man, I feel just like adding them to rip them for their scissor lift coaching boxes, booty sod surface, "locker rooms", and frat house PA system. Good lord. So let’s get to the goods and start talking Northwest Conference football stadiums.

1. Linfield’s Maxwell Field/Memorial Stadium (aka “The ‘Catdome”)

Even the most adherent homer of other NWC schools would have a hard time claiming that the ‘Catdome isn’t at the top when it comes to Northwest Conference football facilities. The ‘Catdome always had an intimate feel but in the early 2000’s the facility was in need of a facelift and in 2004 the facility received upgrades of a value of $1.44 million that blended modern technology with the traditional feel of Memorial Stadium.

The result is just a gem of a Division III game day experience. Maxwell field has a field turf surface that is void of any of those ugly soccer/lacrosse lines that muddy up many of the synthetic surfaces around the conference. I had a chance to speak with a Field Turf rep that was at Linfield before the 2010 season and he said that Maxwell field is still one of the best installs they have done in the Pacific Northwest and the surface is still pristine 6 years after the initial installation.

Along with the surface, one of the best aspects of the ‘Catdome is fan access. Unlike most other facilities you can sit or stand at just about any spot around the field and during big games there isn’t a better site than having the entire field surrounded by fans.

Location is another awesome aspect of the ‘Catdome. A good percentage of the Linfield student body can literally walk across the street from their dorms/apartments and be at the field and in fact the front of Memorial stadium is an all-girls dorm (formerly a fraternity house) now known as Memorial Hall. There is easy/ample parking nearby the stadium. The school band has shown tremendous growth the past few years and the fan base is very vocal and knowledgeable. The ‘Catdome is just flat out a great small college game day experience.

The main negatives about the ‘Catdome are the 4 large posts that support the grandstand roof. These can cause some obstructive views for some fans and for those working in the press box. The other area that I don’t like is the banning of the North End Zone couches. I don’t know who made that call last season but it’s a ridiculously bad idea. The North End Zone has been known for years for the couches and they should always have a place in the ‘Catdome on fall Saturdays.

Plus: Great small college atmosphere, seats/standing room allowed around entire field, great field turf surface, video board, best Public Address Announcer in the conference, great location in heart of campus

Minus: Posts in grandstands, couches not being allowed anymore, locker room needs update

2. Whitworth’s The Pine Bowl

Whitworth may have blah uniforms but there is nothing blah about The Pine Bowl. It’s another 1st rate small college football experience that has its own unique touches. The Pine Bowl has a modest main grandstand that is flanked by two very nice landscaped grass slopes that Whitworth allows fans to throw down some blankets and watch the game if you chose. The effect is a very intimate and warm game day environment. The other aspect that most opponents compliment the Rats on is their pristine sod playing surface. The Rats well maintained grass field has been a point of pride of their facilities for a number of years and it should be. It’s a great surface that handles the harsh weather of Spokane beautify.

If you’re going to talk about the negatives of the Pine Bowl the first thing that jumps out at you are the press boxes and lack of a permanent restroom facilities. The Press Boxes are in pretty rough shape and only having pottapotty’s as your only options are not that great. However, in talking with folks at Whitworth there is the possibility of these issues being a thing of the past. There are tentative plans for Whitworth to resurface their track, rebuild the press box, creating restrooms on the grandstand side, and creating a welcome plaza/ticket booth/entrance. If these tentative plans come to fruition then an already fine Pine Bowl will be even better. However, there is one negative about the Pine Bowl that I don’t think that Whitworth will ever fix and that's the one-sided seating. Never like it when visiting team’s fans don’t have the option to sit behind their team’s bench.

Plus: Fantastic grass field, picnic/grass seating, good backdrop, very good atmosphere, good concessions, good parking, good campus location

Minus: one sided seating, poor press box, long walk for visiting team to field (feels like a mile)

3. Willamette’s Ted Ogdahl Field/McCulloch Stadium

Ted Ogdahl Field and McCulloch Stadium is a very good venue for football. The Bearcat’s grandstand is the best structure in the conference with ample covered seating, a cool elevated landing by the concessions for people to watch the game and enjoy their meal, and the Bearcats have very nice locker rooms for both the home and visiting teams (does get a little cramped for larger teams). The press/coaches boxes are built towards the front of the roof and offer up a great view of the action for coaches, press, and administration. Willamette recently added a video scoreboard to the facility that is larger than Linfield’s and they run CCTV’s feed through the board for replays during the game. It’s a very nice board and looks great sitting beyond the North Endzone.

The Bearcats are the 1st team in the NWC to install field turf (2003). The surface is still solid but was looking a little worn out on my last visit in 2009 so I can’t imagine it’s looking any better in 2011. Playability, the surface is still great, but it’s looking a little haggard. However, there are 3 main things that keep Ogdahl/McCulloch out of the same class of the Catdome and Pine Bowl. The facility is near campus but it’s still off campus in Salem’s Bush Park. I can’t imagine it’s that big of a walk for students but still not nearly as convenient as the Pine Bowl or Catdome. Second, the parking situation is downright terrible. If you don’t get to Bush Park early then good luck finding a spot in the parking lot. Last, I’m not a huge fan of the backdrop (if you're sitting in the main grandstand) or one-sided seating. Willamette offers some bleachers in the north end zone but there is no reason why the Bearcats couldn’t have bleachers behind the visitor’s bench and allow fans more access near the field. I think that would add a great dimension to their game day experience. Plus, it has to be a little embarrassing to have more Linfield fans in the grandstands than Willamette fans when the ‘Cats come to town.

Plus: Very good main grandstand, nice video board, good concessions, good lockers, good press box

Minus: one sided seating, bad parking, slightly off campus, not the best backdrop

4. Lewis & Clark’s Fred Wilson Field/Griswold Stadium

Hands down the best backdrop in the Northwest Conference. The tree line that surrounds Griswold Stadium is beautiful and creates a fine backdrop to play a small college football game. While L&C hasn’t had most successful teams in more recent times there is no disputing the Pios play in a cool setting. For as beautiful as the tree line is at Griswold Stadium up to 2010 the old style astroturf was just as equally ugly and dangerous. Nobody like playing on it and it was a torn ACL just waiting to happen. The Pioneers finally tore up the old astroturf and replaced the surface with the Astroturf’s answer for Field Turf. While the surface is a MAJOR upgrade there is just something off about the surface when you 1st walk on it. It sounds like your walking on a fresh snow pack with the way it crunches under your feet and the surface is beyond ugly with all the soccer, LAX lines, and the unfortunate end zone striping. I understand the Pios don’t have a choice as Fred Wilson field serves both the Pios soccer and Lacrosse teams along with football but it’s still ugly as sin and takes the facility down a peg or two.

Griswold Stadium itself is a large grandstand that is partially covered. The Pioneers haven’t had a major following in a long time so finding seats has never been an issue for visiting teams. To me that makes the one sided seating less of an issue. Lewis and Clark is getting better as a football program and as they improve I suspect the gameday experience will get ratcheted up a few notches and make an already decent facility that much more enjoyable.

Plus: Best backdrop in the conference, updated playing surface

Minus: One sided seating, soccer lines on field, old scoreboard, so-so lockers

5. Pacific’s Lincoln Park Stadium

This is a tough one to slot because I have yet to go to a game hosted by the Boxers but thankfully poster and Willamette Bearcat backer “Bearcat Press” attended Willamette’s victory over Pacific this past season. I reached out to B-Press and here is his rundown:

“Going off my gut, I'd probably stick Pacific in the middle of the pack, about on par with L&C - because while the Pios have the better setting, the Boxers' facilities are MUCH more modern. The press box is easily the nicest in the NWC, and the brick facade is a nice touch. There's also a nice area they've got set aside for tailgating. They really do "atmosphere" right. That being said, Pacific has two noticeable problems:

1.) No roof (aside from the press box). The day I visited Forest Grove was absolutely miserable weather-wise, and I felt really bad for the fans who had to sit out in it. I could see that as a real limiting factor in their attendance down the road.

2.) The sight-lines are kind of weird. Pacific's stadium was originally built for soccer, which typically uses a field that's a tad wider and shorter than a football field (for example, the Portland Timbers' surface at Jeld-Wen Field is 110x70 yards - compared to a 120x53.3 yard football field - and its considered narrow for soccer). What this translates to for the press box is that we can't see much of the end zones. What it means for the fans is that the field and players can both seem pretty far away.

So again, I'd put them at 4 or 5.”

Thanks B-Press for the feedback and since I’ve yet to seen it with my own eyes I’ll have to give L&C the benefit of the doubt. Not having a roof over the grandstands of a small college stadium is an unforgivable sin in in this part of the country. Whitworth can get away with it up in Spokane but that’s tough sledding for folks out here in the Portland Metro area.

Plus: Very good Press Box, good atmosphere, seating all over the field, good campus location

Minus: Small main grandstand, no roof on grandstand, weird sightlines from stadium, soccer/lax lines all over the field.

6. PLU’s Sparks Stadium

I feel conflicted about having PLU’s Spark Stadium this low but their biggest minus is just way too large to ignore and I can’t in good faith rank it higher. It all comes down to location. Sparks Stadium is located in Puyallup, Washington while PLU’s campus is located in Parkland. It’s a about a 15-20 minute drive via freeway for PLU to play their home games. That is just too big of a trek compared to the other schools in the conference.

However, when talking about Sparks Stadium and the game day experience itself, if the stadium was located on PLU’s campus I would have Sparks ranked much higher on this list. Sparks is a shared community field and PLU does a great job each home game in making the facility their own. Sparks isn’t exactly a beautiful structure but it’s a VERY comfortable facility with not only a large covered area for the home crowd but also a very nice grandstand for the visiting crowd. The visiting locker room is a great space for larger teams to get comfortably ready and the city of Puyallup installed a new Field Turf surface recently that felt great under your feet (even with the unsightly soccer lines mucking up the field). Linfield and PLU traditionally have a larger crowd on hand and the sound stays trapped on the field of play and the atmosphere can get rocking.

There is still talk and rumor about PLU building an on-campus football facility and I’m sure Frosty is working behind the scenes on trying to raise the funds needed but until then Sparks is stuck low on the list and it’s not because of the actual facility or football experience itself but because no on-campus student should have to drive 20 minutes to watch their team play a home game.

Plus: Good football atmosphere, both visitor and home grandstands covered, good parking

Minus: 20 minutes drive away from campus, not PLU’s facility, soccer lines on field

7. UPS’s Peyton Field/Baker Stadium

Anybody who’s read Advantage Catdome for any period of time knows that I’m not a very big fan of Peyton Field/Baker Stadium. Traditionally, it just has very little to offer in terms of any football atmosphere and the sod surface is the worst in the conference. Their sod being the worst just baffles my mind since just a few yards away from the stadium surface is a field turf practice field with “Puget Sound” end zone graphics. That just seems so backwards to have a field turf practice field but nasty game surface. It’s maddening.

To get back to the Logger game day atmosphere for a minute, I don’t know what it is but the students just don’t seem be into Logger football…at all. It’s strange considering that the Loggers Memorial Field House has a big reputation of being a rocking crowd for basketball games.  Yeah the attendance numbers look good on paper but that doesn't seem to be the reality. Yeah, the fact that Logger football has been in the dumps for so long and the basketball program had a great fun in the 2000’s probably plays into that. UPS’s new staff is working to reestablish the program and we’ll see if that translates into a more enthusiastic fan base but for now this is where the Loggers football facility belongs.

Plus: Two-Sided seating, Fun to watch C130’s fly over head, good band on last visit

Minus: Worst surface in the conference, bad backdrop, bad football atmosphere

Agree with Wildcat11?  Disagree with Wildcat11 and think he's off his rocker?  Leave a comment and leave your rankings of the NWC facilities.

Thursday, July 21, 2011's Numbers series presents "22"

Offensive Coordinators around the NWC will sleep a little easier now that Hedin is graduated.

We're wrapping up our number series in style as we've rolled out Eric Hedin's record setting 22 quarterback sacks from this past season. Hedin just had a monster year as we've talked about a number of times on the blog and when you take a look back on his 2010 season it was just so much more than sacks. Eric led the team in solo tackles with 53, assists with 27, and total tackles with 80. That is just insane for a defensive end who lines up on one side of the formation to lead what was a fine defensive unit in total tackles. Just remarkable.

In the numbers video for Eric's 22 I sat down with Defensive Coordinator and D-Line Coach Jackson Vaughan to talk about when he thought Eric broke through as a dominate defender and Coach Vaughan nailed it. During the 'Cats 2009 mammoth playoff run Eric exploded on the scene. The 'Cats played big and athletic offensive lines in Cal Lu, UMHB, St. Thomas, Whitewater and Eric was just making play after play in the backfield. The momentum and confidence of that run carried into 2010 and was the springboard of a legendary season.

The previous single season sack total stood at 18 for the past 13 seasons. It was a good run for that number but it was great to watch that 18 go down to a player that was a hard worker, humble, a good teammate, and was one of the very best defenders in Division 3 this past season.

Watch Hedin's 22 Sacks

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 NWC Home Uniform Rankings

It’s been almost two years to the day that the ADvantage ranked the NWC home uniforms but over the past two years the NWC has changed in both their members and some teams have revamped their look.

Has the addition of Pacific, a Whitworth overhaul, and UPS and L&C helmet change caused a major shake-up in the NWC uniform rankings? Read on and see where Wildcat11 feels who is looking the best and worst when the NWC hits their home turf.

1. Linfield

The ‘Cats classic and clean looks continues to rule the NWC. I know…I’m a Linfield honk so you are probably shaking your head that I would put Linfield up top but seriously the ‘Cats home look is flat out fantastic. From the large and visible LINFIELD “college styled” font above the numbers and having the jersey and pants void of any of those bendy and pointy panel inserts you see so many teams have in their gear (which already looks outdated), the Linfield uniform continues to look sharp year after year. Linfield added a very slight but nice additional touch this past season by adding the NCAA patch on the home purples (the only team in the NWC that features the NCAA patch). But what I think makes the uniforms unique and tight at the same time is the red wildcat logo to add a splash of a 3rd color. You when see the uniforms you have no question who is playing.

Some might say the home uniform isn’t flashy but that is something I appreciate. You see the influence of the University of Oregon and the “Nikeization” of major college football uniforms with their “Pro Combat” lines and teams dropping tradition at each corner in an effort to keep up with the Jones. While change is good, changing just for the sake of change is foolish. Linfield’s look is almost a throwback to what’s out there now but the today’s players are able to add current football fashions on their person (arm bands, sleeves, visors, etc) to add a modern look while still staying steeped in a classic look. It works so why would you try to go and fix it?

Sidenotes: This look is one of four that Linfield breaks out. When on the road the ‘Cats will play with the All-Whites (which is an awesome look and many fans of the ‘Cats like the best) when playing on turf fields to playing with the white tops/purple pants on the road that have grass fields (Solid but falls way short of the home set and all-whites). The last look Linfield breaks out is the terrible, horrible, nightmarish All-Purples. Still hate it and always hate when Linfield breaks out the All-Purps.

2 Pacific Lutheran

Like Linfield, PLU has a 1st rate home uniform set and it’s a look they’ve had for a period of time with only some minor tweaking along the way. The PLU uniform has nice little touches such as having the cursive “Lutes” logo above their number instead of the tiny block lettering that you’ll see with many football uniforms today. (Not a huge fan of the school’s name in micro font above the numbers because it’s hard to see and most times the font style doesn’t even match the font that school uses.) In PLU’s case, this works because it’s their actual logo and like that it has a gold border. Also like the EMAL bumper above the facemask (Linfield has used a CATS bumper for years now) and PLU ties their Every Man A Lute mantra by having EMAL on their back nameplate instead of players names, so every really every Lute player is…..a Lute. Overall, it’s a great home uniform set that standouts from the crowd.

Sidenote: I believe that PLU only has 2 uniform combos that they use. If I’m wrong let me know but I think they just swap the black base/white numbers at home for white base/black numbers for the road. It’s a sharp look and I can understand why PLU doesn’t get crazy with going for a white top/white pants look

3. Willamette

For a long time the Bearcats have gone with all-reds at home and like most monochrome uniforms I wasn’t wild about but Willamette had nice touches like the embroidered numbers. Then in 2009, the Bearcats tried to get out of the Monochrome game by starting their season with white pants with a gold half pants stripe. The white pants didn’t work and Willamette had the good sense to recognize that as they went back to their all-reds the remainder of the season. But in 2010 the Bearcats rolled out a gold pants and I would say it’s an upgrade over the white pants and good news they are getting out of primarily being a monochrome team at home. I like the small red piping on the side of the pants but I’m not too sure about the little red patch at the bottom of the leg. It’s a little silly but I guess it’s better than the lame swooshy pointed stripping of years past.

Willamette’s tops are nice. Like the gold cuff on the sleeves, like the large font over the numbers, did the white stroke on the numbers and lettering, but the main issue I have is how the gold collar accent doesn’t come all the way around but instead juts out as smaller piping towards the players armpits. Maybe I’m wrong but I think it would look better if entire collar was gold. Overall, the gold pants are MUCH better and is a good look.

4. Whitworth

The best way I could sum up Whitworth’s uniform upgrade from this to the picture above is: “boring but not bad”. The Rats kept the boring monochrome black set but they changed the big block “WHITWORTH” to the micro font that I do dislike. They also when from white numbers with a scarlet stroke to scarlet numbers with a white stroke. The numbers themselves look fine but I have a beef with the placement of the numbers on the sleeves. Since they went to the microfont and have the numbers on the sleeves there are these big boring space from the numbers up. I think if they had the side numbers on top of the shoulder pads it would draw your eyes into the blank nothingness of the jersery.

My biggest complaint about the Rats uniforms are their helmets. Blah. The university spent a lot of time and money in updating their old Buccaneers logo and they came up with this flying pirate flag. It’s OK and I don’t have a problem with it but the dark red just blends into the black of the helmet and the effect is just a boring lid. I think it would be a huge improvement for the Rats if they just put a white stroke/outline on the boarder of the flag. It would pop out more and match the white stroke of their jersey numbers. Overall, it’s a middle of the road look and is perfect for the middle of our ranking

5. Lewis & Clark

In 2009, L&C found themselves coming in last of the home uniform rankings but while they haven’t changed their boring black monochrome uniform they did get rid of those hideous orange helmets that made the Pios look like a group of floating pumpkins where taking the home turf on the hill. Instead they replaced the orange with black and it’s an improvement. Again we have the tiny “PIONEERS” font above the jersey and pure orange double stripes and numbering. There is just something missing with this uniform that can’t get it past the boring Rats home gear. The double orange stripe is fine but I think they could drop white in the middle to break it up. L&C has changed their uniforms so many times over the years it’s great to see them settle on one look but I’m just not feeling this look.

Sidenote: I do really like the Pios road uniforms. The white tops are fine but what makes that road uniform go is the black and orange stripes on the shoulders. That looks sharp.

6. Pacific

The Boxers are back and you’ll never forget that after attending one of their home games and seeing these nightmare fuel all-red uniforms. Ugh. They pretty much have the same jersey top as Whitworth with the tiny PACIFIC font, numbering that has a black stroke, black collar, with the numbers and black cuffs on the side. They should have gone with their block P logo or their unique dragon logo above the front numbers. Either of those would have been better than the micro font spelling. However, the all-red look is the biggest offender. It’s just bad, bad, bad. I’d wager some good money that little kids probably thought the Kool Aid man and his family was playing O-Line for the Boxers during home games.

The other thing that I don’t know what to make is the Boxer’s pants stripe. They have what looks to be a classic NFL style strip on their pants but all of the sudden it stops right below the hip pad. I have no idea who thought that would look cool but it looks like they ran out of material and just said “screw it, looks good enough”.

However, the saving grace is for as bad as the Boxers all-red uniform is at home is that their Boxers all-whites road uniforms look freaking great. In fact, they should adopt their All-Whites as both their home and road uniforms and dump the All-Reds. It looks clean and doesn’t hurt your eyes…now only if they could get someone to finish the strips on their pants.

7. Puget Sound

The Loggers hired a new coach before 2010 and with a new coach came a shake up in the Loggers uniforms. Out with their traditional maroon lids with a white stripe and those were replaced with an all-white helmet with a “PS” logo on each side. Pretty much biting on Linfield’s style and that gains you zero points in this ranking. So fine, they went with an all-white lid with a new logo…it looks fine (for a carbon copy of the best program in the conference) but let’s be honest…those jerseys stink and are easily the worst in the conference. The font is a funky in-between the micro font of an L&C/Pacific/Whitworth and the larger font of Linfield/Willamette but the biggest offense is the use of those horribly out of style pointy stripes that have infected football uniforms since the late 1990’s early 2000’s (Thank you Denver Broncos). I might be nit-picking here but is UPS really using Adidas pants with Russell Athletic jerseys?

I just have a hard time getting over the total lack of creativity when you had the chance to do something new when it came to the all-white lids. That would be like Linfield adopting a “flying L” as their new helmet logo or Whitworth sticking EMAR on the back of their jersey. Bottom line, the Loggers uniforms come across as 2nd rate wannabes and at least L&C and Pacific are trying to make their own mark with their look so they get to avoid the basement in this year’s rankings.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011's Numbers series presents "56"

David Russell carried the ball 99 times in back-to-back games vs Whitworth and Willamette in 2002
It rains all the time in the Pacific Northwest but there is a difference between the typical PacNW rain and what came down in the hours leading up to Linfield's 2002 game vs Whitworth.  It was the equivalent of night and day.  A downpour like that only happens once every few years and in fact I can only remember the rain coming down that hard during a Linfield game two or three times in my 17 years associated with the program.

I can remember standing on the sideline right before kickoff with the rain thundering down and the wind whipping around the Catdome thinking to myself that this is going to be one of those very low scoring, slopping games, that could be determined by a slipper ball squirting free late in the 4th quarter.  However, on the 1st possession of the game Linfield left no doubt what the 'Cats formulated as their game plan.   It was going to be a steady diet of David Russell, a standout offensive line, with just a sprinkling of Ty Matthews passing to keep the Rats honest.

The game was just pure domination from the opening kickoff to the final snap as the 'Cats broke the collective will of Whitworth in a game that only spanned 2 hours and 15 minutes.  Just in the 1st half alone David Russell carried the ball 37 times for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns, while the Rats could only muster up 8 plays for 14 yards and 0 1st downs.  It wasn't like Whitworth was a patsy either.  The Rats came into the game 6-2 and looked to tie Linfield for the NWC lead while almost averaging 30 points a game, however, on that day in the 'Catdome they were helpless to the pounding of 'Cats rushing attack and a Linfield defense that swarmed the Rats on every snap.  It wasn't that D. Russ was breaking off big run after big run.  In fact, his longest gain on the day was only 13 yards but it was the physicality of the 56 carries.  Never running out of bounds, always turning his feet, and ALWAYS looking to lower a shoulder.  It was drawing a line in the mud and asking who wanted it more and the answer came back "Linfield" at just about every possession.

The finals stats of this game: Linfield-35 Whitworth-0, Totals yards: 415 to 57.  David Russell alone out gained the Rats by 177 yards.  Everyone that wasn't covered by the roof of Memorial Stadium was soaked but it didn't matter as we all knew we were watching a performance for the ages that might not ever be duplicated at the 'Catdome ever again and it was well worth the shivering.  It was one for the record books.

Watch David Russell's 56 carries

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Round Up

Can September get here already?
Ahh, this is the slow time of the year for Linfield football news.  Spring football is now a distant memory, football camp has wrapped up, and the recruits have paid their deposits and are ready to become part of the 'Catdome tradition. We're officially in the July limbo until August rolls around and the start of fall camp is within reach.  I'd talk about the various pre-season top 25 DIII polls but those that have been around the ADvanatage for any amount of time knows what I think about those publications and their knowledge of D3 football.  However, there have been some bits of Linfield news, if you haven't seen it already, that I should post back up.

-Jackson Vaughan and his staff was named top DIII softball staff in the country by the NFCA.Org.  This was pretty much a no-brainer after the 'Cats rolled to a 51-3 overall record and won their 2nd NCAA Division III title.  Coach Vaughan is not only a top flight defensive football coach but has built a juggernaut of a softball program that shouldn't be slowing down especially when talent like this is headed to Linfield.

-Linfield Sports is getting the word out on a very important event happening in August.  The annual Wildcat Open is back and open for registration.  Wildcat11 might be the worst golfer in the state of Oregon so I will not be present but if you love the links and the 'Cats then head out to Michelbook Country Club on Friday August 5th to help raise money to support Linfield Athletics.  Here is the run down by Linfield Sports. 

-A very nice story in the Gresham Outlook on former Linfield two-sport star O.J. Gully.  The write-up is a "Where are they now?" feature that turned the spotlight on O.J. who attended Reynolds High School out in the East Metro area.  O.J. was a incredible basketball player for Linfield and turned out for football during his Junior and Senior seasons after only playing one year in High School.  Gully grew into a 1st team DB selection in 2004.  A remarkable player but a better person.  O.J. is currently teaching social studies at Liberty High in Hillsboro and entering his 1st year at the Head Coach for the Boys Baseketball team.

-If you look over on the right side of the blog, you'll see various links to pages any 'Cat fan should know about.  WC11 added just today a blog being run by senior Center Hayden Mace called "Hayden's Movies".  The 'Cats starting center is a big-time movie enthusiast and his passion for flicks drove him to start up the movie review blog that he hopes will lend an assist to those wondering what movies people should drop their hard earned money on.   

-WC11 would like to bring back the ADvantage Mailbag back from the dead.  If you have any questions for WC11 regarding Linfield football, the NWC, the DIII, or anything else in general give me a shout at or get me at twitter @catdomealumni

-Linfield's football camp has wrapped up a few weeks back and has posted up two video clips you will want to check out.  The 1st is the team camp highlight video.  This is always a fan-favorite and the 2nd clip is of the camp's annual Tug O' War contest.  Always enjoy the tug contest to see the various methods team use in order to get an advantage.

Friday, July 1, 2011

2011 Incoming 'Cats: Quarterbacks

Welcome back to our 2nd post in our 2011 recruit series where we preview our Linfield incoming class of 2011. Linfield has released two posts detailing our incoming group of 36 'Cats and the ADvantage will be posting up their HS/JC highlight clips group-by-group.

Our 1st post was previewing our incoming WR so it felt natural for the next post to focus on our incoming QBs. We have 3 quarterbacks coming to the 'Catdome this fall and each are coming from a different state (Oregon, Nevada, Idaho) and all three are coming from success high school careers and teams.  I'm excited about this crop of QB's and think they will add to an already great competitive situation at the quarterback position at Linfield.

**PLEASE NOTE** Wildcat11 wants to track down every player clip (DVD or on-line) that is listed on Linfield's press release. However, I've been unable to track down every single player DVD. Some didn't have a DVD on file and others I just couldn't find. If I didn't have your video posted PLEASE don't take it personal. WC11 tried his best and if you didn't have a DVD on file then I looked for a clip on-line. I never want to short change our 'Cats.

Ben Bolton, QB, 6’4, 190, Truckee High School - Truckee,  Nevada

Matt Yarbrough, QB, 6’0, 190, Tualatin High School - Tualatin, Ore.

Unable to track down DVD or on-line video:
Levi Altringer, QB, 6’4, 200, Rocky Mountain High School - Boise, Idaho