Wednesday, December 21, 2011

...and the North End Zone goes Crazy.

In Wildcat11's mad scramble to start wrapping up all of the Football team's highlight video productions I came back across this little gem from Linfield's victory over CLU in the 1st round of this year's playoff. Our 2nd camera unit, Aaron Heston, turned the camera on the 'Catdome Faithful in the North Endzone after the 'Cats clinched the victory after blocking a potential game trying field goal. Some true excitement was capture and a nice cameo by PLU head Coach Scott Westering at the 23 second mark. Coach Westerning is a smart man who knows where the best place is to be to take in some Linfield NCAA playoff football.

You can check out the video and comments on ''s Facebook page. Be sure to like our page upon your visit.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The 2011 Wildcats wrap up their season with the annual team banquet

Last Friday (Dec 9th) your 10-1 Linfield Wildcats capped off their fantastic 2011 season by getting together at McMinnville's Covenant Church off of 2nd street to toast the accomplishments of another exciting year in the 'Catdome.  During the night the 'Cats Coach Smith reflected on the season, thanked the players, support staff, and each member of this great coaching staff and their families for everything they put into the program.  Then, the 'Cats enjoyed a robust meal while enjoying the debut of the 2011 Linfield Football Highlight DVD.  From there, the programed moved into the team awards (both "awards" handed out by the Seniors and the actual team awards) and the night wrapped up with the staff recognizing the 2011 senior class.  The banquet is always a great time and 2011 was no different.  A great way to wrap a season that will be remember for the 'Catdome faithful for a long time.

2011 Linfield Football Team Awards

Co-Best Defensive Scout Player: Jeremy Girod, Def End, Soph, Vancouver, Wa.

Co-Best Defensive Scout Player: Erik Knapp, Safety, Junior, Eugene, Or.

Best Offensive Scout Player: Bobby Nix, Soph, Center, Bonny Lake, Wa.

Rookie of the Year: Lucas Jepson, Receiver, Junior, Aloha, Or.

Most Improved: Mickey Inns, Quarterback, Junior, Gresham, Or.

Co-Best Special Teams Player: Josh Kay, Kicker, Junior, Salem, Or.

Co-Best Special Teams Player: Kyle Wright, Monster, Soph, Springfield, Or.

Best Offensive Lineman: Jordan Barnes, Guard, Senior, Lake Oswego, Or.

Best Defensive Lineman: Tyler Steele, Tackle, Junior, Salem, Or.

Best Offensive Player: Josh Hill, Running Back, Junior, Portland, Or.

Best Defensive Player: Drew Fisher, Safety, Senior, Gresham, Or.

Offensive Captain: Hayden Mace, Center, Senior, Bend, Or.

Co-Defensive Captain: Kole Krieger, Rover, Senior, Sherwood, Or.

Co-Defensive Captain: Drew Fisher, Safety, Senior, Gresham, Or.

Most Inspirational: Eric Biege, Rover, Senior, Sammamish, Wa.

John LaRosa Commitment to Excellence Award: 
Taylor Skore, Corner, Senior, Enumclaw, Wa.

Willis Baker Team Most Valuable Player: 
Drew Fisher, Safety, Senior, Gresham, Or.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Linfield Senior Class says "Thank You"

The 2011 Linfield senior class is a special group of young men. This class, along with the 2009 & 2010 seniors, have brought Linfield back to where this program should be and that is at a National Elite level. During their four years at Linfield this class compiled a 37-7 overall record, 3 consecutive Northwest Conference Championships (23-1 NWC record), 3 consecutive NCAA Playoff berths (5-3 playoff record), a 2009 West Region Championship (NCAA final four), defeated twelve top 25 teams, and finished with 3 Division III top ten rankings (#3, #8, #5).

Beyond just the pure stats and rankings is how this class went about their business. Coach Smith has a philosophy about his coaching staff that is summed up by the phrase "low ego, high output" and that approach has resonated with this group of Seniors. They have been so key in the success of Linfield football over the past 3 years but they've managed to always keep the team first and represent Linfield football to the fullest both on and off the field. It seems like I say this every year but I will truly miss this group of players. It's been an honor and pleasure to cover this group over the past four years and I'm excited to see where life takes them.

But now is the time for them to say thank you to those that have helped molded and guide them in their life and during their time at the 'Catdome.

 #1 Michael Chopp, Receiver

All I have to say is what an experience. I may not have been around Linfield as long as many of the other seniors, but it has been great ride. I can remember taking a recruiting trip to Linfield back in the spring of ‘07 and even though I didn’t come here out of high school, I knew if things didn’t work out, Linfield would always be there for me. The only thing I can say now is “why didn’t I come here right away”?

Linfield Football has shown me what the real meaning of family is. It took me some time to get close with the guys, as relationships had already been established. But everyone welcomed me in with open arms and man did we have a great time. Winning always makes it easier to come out every day and play the game you love, but the guys and coaches make football at Linfield special. I may have not of been an all-conference performer, but man we had some fun on special teams baby. Whether it was flying down the field with the Hit Squad or taking blocked punts to the house, we got it done. And I don’t care what anyone else says, special teams are an adrenaline rush and we have the most fun on the field, I can guarantee that.

I want to thank my parents for being patient with me through my college career, and allowing me to finish my career at Linfield. I couldn’t have done it without your support and love. To the coaches, thanks for giving me a shot and letting me be a part of the Linfield Football Family. You guys provide guidance, passion, drive, and care towards me and have made me into a better person because of it. And to the Seniors, thanks for letting me be one of the crew. Man we worked hard and we played hard. But it was the best time of my life and I owe it to you guys. Thanks for a great ride the last 1 ½ years. Catdome for Life.

Michael Chopp

#4 Drew Fisher, Safety

The biggest thank you goes to my parents. I couldn’t ask for more support and I couldn’t ask for better parents. They have given me the opportunity to go to college and to play football. Also, to my grandparents, relatives, and other friends that come to the games. It means the world to me to hang out after the games and be the last one to leave the field because I’m catching up with everyone.

Thanks to all my teammates. To the DBs, we own swim Olympics. And it needs to stay that way until the receivers become better looking than anyone on defense. Which will be never. To the seniors, it has been the best time of my life working hard in the offseason and seeing it pay off with playoff runs. There’s something I absolutely love about spending hours and hours with you guys running, sweating, bleeding, doing army crawls, log rolls, up downs, 6am practices, working out in the snow, and watching film until I can’t think anymore. It’s “a neat deal” to be around a group of guys with the same love and passion for the game and I wouldn’t trade the past four years of growing up any other way.

Thanks to all of the coaches. The amount of discipline, responsibility, and obligation to improve and become excellent that you guys taught us will stay with us forever. To be able to put up with my sarcasm, Kalae’s pigeon jargon, Kreecher’s self proclaimed philosophy, and the absence of words from Skore and Dix is quite the accomplishment. It’s no wonder we have 56 consecutive winning seasons under our belt and you guys are the tip of the spear. Special thanks to Fendall. He’s not only a great coach, but a tremendous mentor, leader, and role model with never ending words of wisdom and jokes about life and how to make it. You had your hands full with us for the past four years, but I think we trained the young guys enough to keep you busy for a couple more.

The Catdome has had a huge impact on my life and meant a whole lot to me. I’m going to miss suiting up on Saturdays with the boys but it will be exciting to see this program continue to dominate the NWC and get back to Salem in the near future.

Send ‘Em Up,
Drew Fisher

#5 Taylor Skore, Corner

First, I want to thank my parents for their support throughout my entire career at Linfield and even through pop Warner and High School football. They have made it to almost every game including our long travels to Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Delaware. If not for them, I wouldn’t have been able to have the success I have had in this program. Their love and support allows me to keep moving forward and striving to achieve my goals in life.

I feel very privileged to have been coached by the best coaching staff in the country. Not only do they do a great job in preparing us to play every week but they also make playing the game enjoyable. I want to give a special thanks to coach Fendall and coach Hazenberg as they have influenced my life greatly and have taught me so much about the game of football and life. They have made me into a more well-rounded football player in my time here as well as a more well-rounded person.

Finally, I just want to thank all the teammates I have played with these past four years. I especially want to thank the senior class and our senior DB’s for their hard work and commitment to get better every day. We have shared so many great memories whether it be our undefeated regular seasons, the DB’s dominating in synchronized swimming, morning workouts and 6am spring ball or taking down Willamette three straight years to lock up the conference. I could go on and on. I just really appreciate the relationships I have made with all of you and I wouldn’t trade these four years of being on the field with you for anything, it has been the best decision I have made in my life.

I love this program and I wish it continued success throughout the future, and I hope that all of you underclassmen enjoy the rest of your careers and don’t take it for granted. Keep the tradition alive and keep the streak going.

- Taylor Skore

#6 Nate Dixon, Corner

Most importantly, I'd like to thank my wonderful parents Nate and Yulanda Dixon for all of their love and support sent from Hawaii. I know you both wanted to make every game, but I really appreciate you guys for always being there in spirit when you weren't here. I'm truly blessed to have you both in my life.

Thank you to ALL of the coaches and staff --I don't think it can get any better than you all. Fendall and Haze, I appreciate all that you've done during my career. It's definitely been a grind every year, but you guys helped to make it worth every second. You both have helped me develop as a player and a person. I'm honored to have been coached by you two.

To ALL of my teammates in the past four years - it's been an amazing ride. I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had here (in practice, games, on/off-campus - especially those MUCHAS nights, etc.) for the world. The main reason I came to Linfield is because of the sense of family in this program. This truly is a special place, and I'm glad to have been here with all of you guys. As for my fellow Senior DB's- you guys will be my boys for life...enough said. I want to wish you all luck in wherever life takes you after Linfield. I'm very glad to have been a part of this incredibly special group.

Nate D. aka "DIXonDECK6"

#8 Eric Kozian, Receiver

Dear Cats,
It’s been an incredible four years and I can’t believe it’s all over. I have made so many great memories with the coaches and players and I wouldn’t trade these last four years for anything. I got to play the game I love with an incredible coaching staff and great group of guys. I want to thank everyone on the coaching staff for making our team better football players and better people. Coach Smith was right when he said Football is the greatest class you will take here at Linfield. I will miss things like waking up at 6am in the spring, busting it on the field and in the weight room with the guys. I want to thank the senior class for all the hard work they have put in these last four years and for all the relationships we have created. I have made a lot of great friends and I know we will continue to make more memories the rest of this year. I know football is over but we will be Wildcats forever.

-Eric Kozian

#9 Kole Krieger, Rover

It's hard to decide where to start. The past four years have been amazing. I have had the honor to be surrounded by a great group of coaches and players. I wanna say thank you most of all to my parents, my aunt Cherri and my grandmother if it weren’t for them I wouldn't have been able to go to school here at Linfield. My parents have always been by my side helping me to achieve the very best.

I want to thank Fendall for recruiting me, I've loved having you as a coach and mentor. And thanks for the words of wisdom and the jokes. I want to also thank all the defensive coaches you've taught me a lot and it’s been a great experience.

It has been an amazing time here at Linfield I can't believe its gone so fast. It seems like camp started just yesterday. I have to thank all of my cats over the years, it’s been an honor and I would want to play with anyone else. Keep working and win that National Championship!!

#11 Eric Biege, Rover

I couldn’t be happier that I made the decision to come play football at Linfield. This is a football program unlike any other. Playing here means that you are part of a winning tradition that dates back almost sixty years. If you can grind it for four years, you will leave Linfield with an unparalleled degree, a strong work ethic, and lasting friendships that run deep. I am proud to say that I played four years of football at Linfield, but God knows I couldn’t have done it alone. I want to thank the people that made it possible for me to do that.

I first want to thank my family. Pete, Joyce, Brian, Liz, and Laura for all of your love and support over my eight years of football. Thank you for coming to all my games, and being my biggest fans. Our family went through so much during my four years in McMinnville, and I wouldn’t have stayed if it weren’t for your constant prayers and words of encouragement. I love all of you. Joshua 1:9

I want to thank all my teammates. I specifically want to thank the seniors from the 2009 & 2010 teams. You guys were great leaders and friends to us when we were youngens. And to my graduating senior class, I love you guys. I wouldn’t have stuck with it if it weren’t for you guys. Thank you for so many good memories, and good times. Thank you to the eight senior DB’s. Thousands of hours on the field, and off of it, and never a dull moment. I’d do anything for you guys. Thank you Coach Fendall and Coach Haze. You guys are great coaches, and great friends of mine. It has been a pleasure. I could write down a hundred names of guys I consider great friends. But to Hayden, Drew, James, Jason, and Kole, the five guys that had to put up with more of my antics then anybody, thank you. I don’t know how you guys did it, but you managed to get me through four years of college in relatively one piece. My family also thanks you.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me during my time here at Linfield, and to everyone associated with the Linfield football program.


#15 James Testa, Rover

First off, I have to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to play this sport back in middle school, as well as the immense amount of support that they have for my ambitions. I want to thank my sister for always coming to my games and supporting me. To all my family and friends who have come to support me while playing football, I am truly grateful. To the coaches I have been fortunate enough to learn from, I cannot thank you all enough. Especially to Coach Fendall for showing me the way back to the field after almost leaving it forever, thanks Coach.

Now the tough part, to my fellow seniors and teammates. The amount of time we have spent together the past four years far surpasses the amount that we have had with our families back home. Having said that, I would not trade a second of that time for anything. The memories and relationships I have made with you all are my most prized possession and I thank you for that. I thank you for all the hard work we have put in collectively as a team and the great football we have played in our tenure here. For my DBs, who I have spent even more time with, I love you boys you are all like brothers to me and I will always be there for you guys. The times we had we're great, but let's not let them outshine the times we will continue to have together as life rolls on.

Thank you to the whole Wildcat family, especially Ryan Carlson for making the best piece of recruiting material I have ever seen... our highlight dvds!

One Love 'Cats,
James Testa #15

#33 Kala’e Parish, Monster

God has been good to me and allowed me to play all these years. Mahalo to my parents for all their love and support. They believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself and supported every decision I made though it was hard for them to see me leave home.

Fendall, thanks for an awesome 4 years. It’s funny how me and the boys would always tease which one of us were your son and you their dad. It definitely wasn’t me, but you were like a dad to all of us on the field. No one wanted to disappoint you and you were always there to pick us up when we needed encouragement. I couldn’t have asked for a better coach, mentor, and friend.

To the rest of my coaches thanks for the encouragement, fun times, and push that has brought me this far. Thank you for believing in me. “I won’t forget it!”

My brothers on and off the field: I’m never gonna forget stepping on the field with all of you. I cherished each and every moment. I’m going to miss all of you (the jokes, the laughs, morning workouts, playing in the snow, road trips, the people). Remember that this team plays for more than just the glory of the sport, but we play for the people around us. You have all become my second family and made leaving home easy for me. Thank you for all the memories!

I have truly fallen in love with this team over the years. The friends I’ve made and bonds we’ve created will go a lifetime. It took me awhile to completely buy in to the program and I would like to thank my brothers and coaches for being patient. I always wondered what the fuss was about when people talked about Linfield football. It isn’t until you play and experience this program, until you truly understand what we all feel and talk about. It’s more than the past rewards and accomplishments. It’s an unexplainable attitude and pride you gain over the years. I questioned my love for football my freshman year and this team/program helped me fall back in love with the sport all over again. It was a humbling experience and I’ve been able to grow from it.

I could go on forever of how thankful I am to have played in this program. I appreciate everyone who has made this experience unforgettable. I love you all and keep believing. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

-Kale’e Parish

#34 Bryan Anderson, Fullback/Tight End

I would like to thank all of the coaching staff and players for giving me a great college football experience. I will always remember the good times. It was great to be able to get out and see different parts of the country. I met most of my best friends through football and it was great being with such a tight group of guys. The coaches were always able to push us to be better but still be our friends at the end of the day. That is one of the things that I really respect about the coaching staff here. They also have a great commitment to excellence and played a huge role in our success. I think that we have a great thing going here with an awesome tradition that breeds success. I can’t wait to come back and watch some games next year.

My parents played a huge role in supporting me throughout my college career and a lot of my thanks go out to them. They were able to make it to all but one or two games and that was the California games my sophomore year. I wouldn’t have been able to make it to where I am today without their guidance and support. I wouldn’t trade any of the experiences I have made here for anything else. The Linfield football program has shaped me into a better person and I am very grateful for that.

Bryan Anderson #34

 #36 Christian Hanna, Corner


Playing football for the Linfield program was absolutely the best decision I could have made for myself. I am tremendously thankful for the coaching staff that chooses to sacrifice their time in order to maintain and improve the best team I have ever been apart of. You have taught me an uncountable number of skills and tools that I am sure will prove to be crucial in my future success. I am thankful that I am part of a program that organizes priorities to allow for excellence both on the field and in the classroom; I would not be the student I am today without that trust. What has been most impressive to me is knowing that any football player who finishes his four years in the Linfield program can go on to be a successful coach using all the football knowledge that has been passed to us and the principles this program rests on. Coaches at Linfield turn average ball players into leaders destined for success, I will always be thankful for you all.

Although the coaches lay the foundation and instill discipline in us, it is the players on the Linfield team who trust in the program and in each other that make it truly special. Over these last four years I have been humbled by my teammates and friends. I am honored to have struggled through the workouts, meetings, and practices with you and thankful you always pushed me to work harder. I am most thankful that you guys accepted an Idaho foreigner like me into the group and let me embarrass myself with dances and Ducks gear. You guys inspired me to play harder and faster, speak louder, smile more, and enjoy the ride. You are an unforgettable group of comrades and I am forever thankful to be able to call you my friends.

Thanks again,
Christian Hanna

#65 Hayden Mace, Center

Coaches, I know you hear it a lot from some of our older guys who understand it, but you truly are one of the best staffs in the nation. I always felt like we had a schematic advantage going in each week and that is solely because of all of the time and effort you put in week in and out. I wish I would’ve had a chance to get to know the defensive staff a little better on a personal level, for example, I wish I could’ve experienced a ride on that Clue Bus that Coach Vaughan was always giving away tickets for. Thanks for everything that you have all taught me!

Returners, I know you felt the pain that I did exiting the playoffs as soon as we did this year, so I hope you remember that feeling every morning when you’re out there in the rain. If you’re wondering if all of the work is worth it, the answer is simply, yes. Nothing would make me more proud than to see the 2012 Cats make another playoff run for the title. Put in the work, and go win Linfield a national championship.

Thank you to the entire Wild-Mace family, both offense and defense, and past, present and future members! It’s been a glorious three seasons, and I think it’s finally safe to say that the defense never really stood a chance. Hopefully another QB-wanna-be-dreamer will come along next year and take the reins! Not a better feeling than watching opposing coaches watch us pre-game and try to figure out what the hell we were doing.

Seniors, I’m proud of the changes that we helped make during our four years, and I hope the 2011 Cats are remembered for their hard work, brotherhood and desire. I think the characters really made this class a special one. For example, there’ll never be another kid who looks like Jane and plays like Tarzan quite like Fish did. And I guarantee there’ll be another guy who loves Panda…but not like my guy, Donald. And I’d like to thank this other guy, who flip-flopped from offense to defense a few times, who made it socially acceptable again to rock a sketchy mustache as an elementary school teacher. Mr. Anderson, you’re now the reason I will consider private school for my children. Be sure to remember my O-line brother, Barnes, and his conspiracy theories and my main man, Testa, and his special Led Zeppelin connection with Coach Smith. And who could forget one of my best friends, BG, who loved kick return more than anyone in Linfield history. To all my seniors, I love you guys!

Thanks for the memories!


#67 David Balfour, Guard

Thank you to the teammates, coaches and alumni who were a part of my experience and time here at Linfield. Coach Smith was “in reality” correct when he said, “You don’t know what you don’t know”. I know Linfield and Linfield football is directly responsible for me growing up, seeing the world, and learning the values it takes to be successful in this world. All the great and not so great experiences really helped me learn about myself and who I want to be. I am proud of what we accomplished, learned and experienced here.

By the way, Log Rolls are the worst punishment you can put on a person.

-David Balfour

#70 Jordan Barnes, Guard

First off, I would like to say thank you to my family for supporting me and coming to every game they could. They have always been supporting and encouraging me through whatever path I chose and have always pushed me to do my best. I don’t think I would have been the person and football player I have become without their help and love.

The offensive line is a family within the Linfield family. I will forever remember our bento Fridays, joke filled meetings, and hard work we put in every day. I just want to thank everyone on the oline for making my four years a tremendous experience and for being a great group of people to be around at all times. I will truly miss hitting the sled and meeting under the goal post with everyone after the games. These times and memories we share is what I will truly take away from Linfield. Thank you for staying on the grind every day and I encourage the older guys to teacher the younger guys the same.

Seniors, it has been a great ride these past four years. I truly feel blessed to be in a class of such high caliber people on and off the field. I loved playing every second on the field with you guys and for us to bring Linfield back into the national spotlight is a very fulfilling feeling. It wouldn’t have been possible without the collection of the type of men that Linfield has in the program. I am also grateful for the relationships and lifelong friends I was able to develop throughout my years at Linfield.

Last but certainly not least, a thank you to everyone that put up with my sarcastic comments as well.

Roll ‘Cats,
Jordan Barnes

#75 Eric Anderson, Guard

The past four years have been an incredible ride with the wildcats. It is hard to believe that it is over. I feel an immense amount of pride just knowing that I was a part of the greatest football tradition in the country. Looking back now I realize how much work has been put in by so many Wildcats before me and just how special the tradition really is.

Linfield football gave me so much more than just memories on the field, a sense of morality, a sense of purpose and an understanding of true work ethic. I am a better man for having been under the tutelage of the coaching staff here at Linfield. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to play under the coaches here at Linfield, especially Smith, Vaughn and most of all coach Hire. They were all willing to put up with my constant joking around and were always there to offer any sort of assistance I might need. One time my freshman year my car broke down and I needed to get it fixed. I asked coach smith if he knew a good place and within half an hour he sent me an email back with the phone number and address of four different auto repair places.

Most of all I am thankful for my teammate I had the honor to play with. Whenever I felt like I could not put forth the effort in to staying with the program I would just have to see one of my teammates, just as tired and sore as myself and know that I could not quit on them, and I could not quit on myself. I found two of my best friends on this team in Tommy Patrick and Bryan Anderson. Even though they might not ever amount to anything resembling success with their lives, they sure made it fun to show up every day.

So many people sacrificed just for me to have the chance to play here at Linfield and I am eternally grateful for them. To my parents, the coaching staff and all the Wildcat football players of the past and present thank you for making my experience here so great. My last parting thought is a statement about commitment. My freshman year Coach Elliot, in his first long distance away game as quarterback coach, forgot the game balls in the stadium. With few people to turn to he called me, and without a moment’s hesitation I drove the game balls from Maxwell stadium to PDX, just before the plane took off. As Coach Elliot was running back into the airport with the balls he turned to me and said “Anderson, I owe you lunch.” I am still waiting for that lunch….

Eric Anderson #75

#82 Joe Kloucek, Receiver

As a player, I used to see all of the faithful alumnus return to give their congratulations, thoughts and wishes to us as they reminisced on how good we had it being a Linfield Football player. When you’re young, it doesn’t mean much. As your days dwindle, however, you begin to realize how important each day is and what an impact every participant on the team has—each bringing with them a piece of themselves, their family, their community and so on. Linfield Football is all about demanding the best out of yourself and your brothers, regardless of the situation, in order to produce a championship caliber team.

Coach Smith always says that Linfield Football is the best class you will take at Linfield. I believe this is true, as long as you realize that everyday brings its challenges and the only thing you can control is how you respond to these challenges. Whether you wake up before it rises or after, during the season or during the offseason, while you’re a player or long after, the sun will rise again, bringing with it a new set of challenges to conquer and overcome. And when the time comes when these challenges seem unfeasible, remember your brothers.

I want to thank all the coaches, trainers, managers, supporters, hydration committee and players (especially this year’s senior class). I would also like to thank my parents and family for all of their love and care. Lastly, I want to give a shout out to my receivers. Keep catching the rock, making the block and STH. I’m out.


#81 Buddy Saxon, Receiver

I want to thank my family for the support they have shown me over my entire football career. I can count on one hand how many football games they have missed, and to have support like that is pretty uncommon. They were always my biggest fans whether I had the best or worst game of my life. I want to say thanks to Coach Wakefield back in Grants Pass. His coaching throughout my four years of high school really developed me as an athlete, and more importantly as a man, and without it I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle the adversity that college athletics can bring.

Coach Fendall – Just want to say thanks for the “pull your head out” (nicer way of putting it) reality check you gave me freshmen year. I was on a path that was leading nowhere good, and without that talk I probably would not have made it through college and I owe you big for that. My grades were awful before that talk, and now they are the best I have ever had.

To my fellow seniors, what a wild four years that I promise you I will never forget. It got a little suspect on whether some of us were going to make it all four years, and we all pulled together and got it done. As a group we went into the toughest teams houses across the nation and battled it out, and I am proud as hell of that. So I want to say thank you for everything and can’t wait for the alumni game to suit up with you all again.

-Buddy Saxon

#89 Joell Reyes, Defensive Tackle

Wow these 4 years have gone by in such a blur. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing this game with each and every one of you guys. Seniors, we have been through so much and this has been a great ride. I love all you guys and I feel so fortunate to have been standing among you. Coaches, thanks for all your time and effort putting together all the game plans and spending time away from your families. I truly appreciate all your hard work and dedication. Our program would not be successful without all of the staff. Young guys, keep up all the hard work every day at practice and make sure to get in the weight room during the off season. All those 6 am work outs will pay off and bring everyone closer together. I feel like a lot of our success this year was how well everyone on the team got along and trusted one another. All that trust sprouted from all the time we have spent with one another, trying to get better. I want to thank my parents for all the support they have given me here at Linfield especially driving down to all the home games. Special shout out to all the D-line, I know I have bounced around at a lot of positions but I found my home at the D-line. Thank you guys for all the effort each and every day.

Roll ‘Cats! Catdome!

Joell Reyes #89

#92 Brent Shimabukuro, Defensive End

I want to thank my parents first of all without them I would never have come to Linfield. I owe plenty of thanks to my brother. He really was my inspiration for playing football and to continue playing after high school.

I would like to thank all the friends I have made through football during these four year. They have become my family. I would like to thank the coaches for believing in each and every one of us. They all seemed to see the potential in every player under them. Them not giving up on us made us not want to give up ever.

Overall words cannot truly express how thankful I am to have played such a great game. Looking back on my nine year career I have learned so many things about myself and about life. I look back at the places football has taken me, places I wouldn’t even have gone if it wasn’t for this sport. I am thankful for all the emotional highs and lows that nothing else in my life will ever give me. I would not trade my football experience for ANYTHING. I thank God everyday for the opportunities that I have been given.

Brent Shimabukuro

#93 Sparky Gonzalez, Defensive End

First and foremost I’d like to thank my parents who gave me the opportunity to further my education and allow me to play football at the next level. I also want to thank my mom for trying to make it out to as many games as possible, even the freezing cold in Minnesota. My parents are my number one fans and when they can’t make a game they still tune in and listen to me play.

Seniors: I’d like to thank all the seniors of the 2012 class. I couldn’t ask for a better class of men that I became so close with. It’s been a long journey together; there were a lot of ups and a couple downs, but I don’t regret any moment or feeling left out on the field with you all. You guys mean so much to me and I’m glad I had the privilege to be your teammate and friend.

I’d like to thank a special group of people and they are the “old guys” from Hawaii. These guys have been with me since day one. There is a special bond between the small handful of guys that are left, but I’d just like to say that I probably couldn’t have made it all four years without you guys.

The coaches: Thank you all coaches that I had the privilege to play under. This is an incredible staff that has taught me many lessons on the field and off. You guys have molded me into a better person and allowed me to find out whom I really am inside. Coach Hire, you opened my eyes to the Linfield family and I don’t regret any of the choices I have made on coming to Linfield. Coach Smith, Thank you for being a great mentor to me, and believing in me to get it done. Coach Vaughan, Thank you for making me into the player that I am today, thank you for believing in me and trusting me to get the job done, I will never forget our memories with the DLine. Coach Rombach, you’ve been the closest coach since day one. Thank you for everything, you’ve been there for me every year and you always have your door open to me, I appreciate everything. I’d also like to thank Mack Farag. He is the most genuine and nicest man I’d ever met, thanks Mack.

To the young guys, thank you guys for keeping me on my feet and keep me competing every day. You guys are the future of Linfield Football, and I’d have no problem with passing the torch to you guys. You have potential for greatness, its just how you prepare and how bad you want it. My one piece of advice is to buy into the program and cherish every moment possible. Buy in and be apart of everything you can, you never know when you’ll be in and then suddenly out with a potentially season ending injury. Always work hard and have no regrets. Represent yourself and the name on the jersey everyday of your life and I guarantee you’ll be a better man at the end of the day. Good luck to you all

Send Em Up
Sparky Gonzalez #93

#95 Tommy Patrick, Defensive Tackle

I would like to take a moment to thank my parents, my teammates, my coaches and the whole Linfield community for providing me with such a great football experience. Without my parents support I never would have had the chance to come here. They made it to nearly every game and I am very thankful for them being in my life. It was a great four years and I have no regrets; I would do the same thing if I had to do it all over again. My teammates are my greatest friends and that is the main reason I value my Linfield experience. This program does a great job evaluating players not only on a physical talent level but even more on a class and integrity level. I think this program speaks for itself and I’m glad I could be a part of something with so much tradition and I look forward to seeing that tradition continue for many years to come. I also would like to thank the coaches for the countless hours of preparation that they put in to make us the players we are today. Go Catdome!

Tommy Patrick #95