Sunday, April 29, 2007

Back from the dead...for now....

As you know from the post below I had a long week and I really could have another for the week ahead. For my job this next week is like tax season for an accountant….it’s a busy time of the year. However I do have some time this week to smack up a post or two and cut a spring video that I’ll roll out on tomorrow morning.

Let’s cut to the chase and bring you a re-cap/preview of what is happening for our 5 former ‘Cats that are working hard in the Arena/Europe leagues.

Fire has yet to toss a TD

Brett Elliott’s Rhein fire has be a little ticked today. The Fire lost yesterday in Dusseldorf to their arch rival Cologne Centurions, 14-6. I’ve yet seen the game because the NFL Network is busy with that draft thing but they’ll be broadcasting the game tonight at 9 pm (PST).

The stats show BE was 10-22 for 81 yards but the stats also show that Cody Pickett started the 4th quarter (where the first two games Brett takes all new drives started in the 2nd and 4th quarter) and gave up an interception that was returned for touchdown for Cologne. Elliott was inserted back into the game with 4:41 left in the game but came up short.

Really, I’m not sure what’s going on there…Brett has looked very effective during the first two games and in my biased opinion he’s played better than Pickett. It should be a very interesting game next week as the Fire tangles with the Hamberg Sea Devils (1-2).

Game action clips of The Butcher will be posted up on Wednesday on

Burn lets the Dwagz out.

Our adopted Boise Burn continues to impress as they up their record to 3-1 with a tight victory over the Okalahoma City Yard Dawgz, 48-42. Right now the Burn is tied for 1st in the AF2 Western division with the Bakersfield Blitz.

Down 42-41 with :56 left in the ball game, Burn QB Bart Hendricks found former Linfield great Casey Allen from 4 yards out for the game winning TD. It’s simple…you’re in the red zone…you go the Casey. It should be made a City Ordinance in Boise.

Haze had three tackles on the day and recovered a fumble for the Burn. You can check out highlights from their previous victory over the Everett Hawks Here.

Monday nights in the Tri Cities

George Carter is off the shelf for the Tri Cities Fever (1-2) has they host the banged up and winless Everett Hawks (0-3). The Fever has played well in their previous two games so look for them to put a good hurting on the Hawks.

Wild get plundered in Louisiana

The Alaska Wild continues their 5 week roadie and it was an ugly one as the Louisiana Swashbucklers down the boys from Alaska 57-9. Former Wildcat, Thomas Ford had three receptions for 17 yards for the Wild. The Wild continue their brutal road trip next week in Texas as they play the Katy Ruff Riders.

Indoor Note: Former Linfield standout Defensive Tackle, Ricky Gaspar (’02) might pop up on an indoor roster before the season is out. Ricky started the season on the roster with the AFL’s Arizona Rattlers but is currently weighing his options for the remainder of 2007.

Rhein Fire: Das Stats
Boise Burn: Dawgz get muzzled/stats
Tri Cities: Tri Cities is ready for a party.
Alaska Wild: Hope they at least check out Burbon Street.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Work is pwning me right now.

Work (my real job) is really buzzing right now so I won't have time to post during my lunch. I'll try to get the Arena/NFLE preview and Spring Football updates up later tonight when I get home. Mrs. 11 is on an adventure this weekend so I'll be kicking it solo at the house with our two dogs.

So on my "fending for myself" menu tonight is either pizza, mac n cheese, tatter tots, or beer....I'm a mess when Mrs. 11 is gone for a few days.
(update 4/27)...still getting my hat handed to me right home late...dogs were pissed...ate a bagle and went to bed. Today doesn't look better...I'll post up tonight with my co-writer, Corona.
(update number two 4/27)...still here....I can see the a-l-m-o-s-t d-o-n-e

Monday, April 23, 2007

Just like old times

It’s a stomping in Boise

Linfield’s Boise Burn (2-1) just cracked open a case on the Everett Hawks (0-3) this past Saturday night at the Qwest Arena by a score of 70-34. In making their home debut in front of a sell out crowd (5,499) it was pretty much a wash, beatdown, stomping, Lewis & Clark'ing.

Casey Allen had his second 3 TD catch game in a row for Boise. This has to feel like old times for Casey where a 3 touchdown game was just another day in the office. I’d let you know how Haze did but the’s stats page is not up to date. We’ll assume that Haze had a good day playing center field.

Butcher effective in limited time.

The Rhein Fire (1-1) scratched their first win of the season on the road in Amsterday this past Friday night (16-10).

As I’ve stated a few times I’m not a fan of the “he get’s one quarter, you get the next” rotation that the Rhein Fire is implementing so far this season. Fire drives at the end on the 1st quarter and 3rd rolled over into the 2nd and 4th and thus limiting the time BE spend out on the turf. However, Brett played very effeicently and had a pin point would be TD strike dropped by the Fire’s best WR, PK Sam.

Brett displayed good accuracy and made solid decisions behind center and led a game clinching 4th quarter drive that allowed the Fire to extend their lead to 6 and leave Amsterdam with little time to work with.

Video highlights of week 2 will be posted on on Wednesday.

Tri-Cities break through

Minus former Wildcat speedster, George Carter (’04) the Fever notched their first win of the AF2 season (1-2) with a 49-44 win over the Central Valley Coyotes this past Saturday. I believe that Carter has one more week left on IR before he can be activated again.

Wild loses and amazingly the coach isn’t fired.

Even though the Wild dropped to 0-2 in a 27-12 loss to the CenTex Barracudas, Wild head coach Hans Deemer is still…the head coach. Congrats Hans on making it this far!
No stats are available so we don’t really know how former Wildcat Thomas Ford (’04) performed at WR. I’m sure this can’t be the greatest experience for T.Ford as his team-first personality has to be a force in keeping these guys spirits up in the face of all this drama.

It’s not a good deal when more headlines are off the field than on.

Big congratulations to the Linfield Men’s Track team as they won their first NWC title since 1996. Coach Garry Kilgore is one of my favorite Linfield people and he’s worked his ass off to get this team ready to take down 6 time defending champ Willamette. Congrats to Garry and his kids.

link me:
Boise Burn: Casey goes cover boy again.
Rhein Fire: Das Stats.
Tri-Cities: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Wild: Head for de hills!
Linfield Sports: Damn it feels good to be a winner!

Friday, April 20, 2007


Burnout in Boise

After being on the road for the first two weeks of the season the Boise Burn (1-1) finally get to play in front of the home crowd as our adopted Burn will tussle with the Everett Hawks. “We’re ready to put on a show at home” echoed former Wildcat great and starting Burn safety, Brandon Hazenberg. The Burn is expecting to be playing in front of a standing room only crowd at Qwest Arena in Boise.

In speaking with Brandon he was very respectful of the offensive skill of the Hawks and was looking forward to seeing how his offensive counterparts would handle the pressing Hawk defense. The Hawks like to play man and will try to rough you up right at the LOS. If that’s the case then this game could be tailored made for Casey Allen to go off with some big numbers.

Kickoff is at 6 pm (PST) and don’t forget that you can win a PSP at halftime.

Wild living up to their name.

Holy smokes…I don’t check in on Thomas Ford’s Alaska Wild since their franchise opener last Thursday and I’ve really missed out. The Wild are on head coach number 4 and they've only played 1 game. I’m NOT JOKING! The Wild’s head man, Keith Evans, was shown the door hours after his team lost their season debut in front of a huge home crowd on Thursday, April 12th. Evans was coach number 2 as the Wild's first coach didn't even make it up to Alaska over not being able to iron out the details of his contract.

Wild’s owner David “Trump Jr.” Weatherholt canned Evans (#2) due to not being “organized” enough and inserted VP of operations Randy Magner into the job that following Sunday. I guess Magner (#3) didn’t like the promotion very much because he stepped down within 24 hours.

So the Wild’s management as turned the team over to volunteer defensive assistant, Hans Deemer. This is Deemer’s (#4) first head coaching gig….ever, and I expect for him to get canned and tossed off the team flight before they touchdown in Texas for their next game. At this rate, I should be the head coach of the Wild (#243) by May 24th and will get canned on May 27th.

At this point does it even matter who they’re playing? Good luck T.Ford!

The Butcher not looking for the Red Light

Brett Elliott and his Rhein Fire (0-1) probably have already wrapped up their Friday night tilt at the Amsterdam Admirals (0-1) by the time you read this. We’ll have the DVR set up for the 6 am (PST) Saturday rebroadcast of the game on the NFL Network. Word is that the Admirals brass likes to leave a plate of brownies in the visitor’s locker room before each game. My advice to BE is to save ‘em for the train ride home.

Carter still on shelf…I think.

The Fever (0-2) has updated their web site’s look but is still as informative as the News-Register’s Sunday edition. All I know is that the Fever is on the road and look to get off the goose egg vs the Central Valley ‘Yotes (Fresno).

Link me:
Alaska Wild: No idea where to start w/ this drama
Boise Burn: Bud Light only $3.00!
Rhein Fire: Dear name is Cody Pickett and I'm a cowboy.
Tri-Cities: That mascot on the right side of the page is creeping me out.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spring ball has sprung!

Linfield’s spring practices are about wrapped up with only one more full week and I had the chance to get out on the field and shoot some video this past Wednesday. I’m also going to shoot next Wednesday night and post up a clip the following Monday.

Have to say that I was a bit rusty behind the lens on Wednesday. At the same time, I didn't want to leave you empty handed so I put together a few training clips of the 'Cats spring ball that you can see below.

If that doesn't get you ready for football then I have no idea what will.

Ok, I promised you a breakdown of our offense so here it is from my eyes:


Unlike the 2006 season there is no question on who the starter will be. Senior Trevor Sharer will be back with almost a full year of starting experience under his belt. Trevor played some really outstanding games last season and was named second team all-NWC QB. There is little doubt that Trevor will be the top NWC QB headed into next season.

At the same time I have to say that I’m very excited about Soph Aaron Boehme. The 6’5” Boehme could really be a special QB by the time he wraps up his Linfield career. Boehme is a fantastic athlete with a great mind for the game. Keep an eye on the development of this kid.

Wide Receivers:

There is no doubt that the WR corp will be the cream of the NWC crop. The ‘Cats return 1st team All-NWC wide outs in Tyler Kaluza and Josh Vierra. These two have looked downright great during spring ball and will really put pressure on defensive backfields during their senior seasons. Adding to the mix is the game breaking Travis Masters. Travis really has incredible speed as we witnessed when he took two kickoffs to the house during the 2006 season.

Every great WR corp needs that reliable possession receiver that doesn’t get the headlines but moves chains and just produces and next year that will fall into the hands of Tyson Banker. Banker will be that slot receiver to do the dirty work and his sure hands and smarts should pay dividends next year. There’s a gaggle of young and older WR’s with skill that could get a crack next year but there are just too many to list.

Running Backs:

I’m really curious to see where this is going to go. We return all three of our primary running backs from 2006 (Pete Cruickshank, Drew Regan, Jon Montalvo) and all three have different strengths to bring to the table. Linfield fans love to say and talk about the next “David Russell” but what people forget that Linfield has almost always been a team to share the load in terms of carries and not just depend on one back.

David Russell had an incredible 2002 season but he was splitting carries early in the year with Marty Williams. It was a career ending injury to Marty during the 2002 Menlo game that pushed the great majority of carries into David’s arms and that turned into an All-American season. Even the 2004 team was a two running back team (Thomas Ford and Riley Jenkins) that turned into a mostly one back rotation when T.Ford broke his thumb early in the 2004 playoffs.

So that is what I’m curious about for 2007. Are we going to rotate 3 running backs, 2 backs, or just anoint one of these players to be man? I can’t answer these questions but I’d rather have a problem of having too many good players than not enough good players.

Tight Ends:

I talked about this in my first spring post but we have could have a very strong two tight-end option with returning starter Brett Smedley coupled with the return of Joe Seifert who missed all of 2006 with injury. Smedley is a huge target (6’5”) with soft hands and I love Seifert’s toughness.

Offensive Line:

This is the biggest question entering the 2007 season. The ‘Cats have to replace four starters and their play is going to determine if this Linfield team is going to be good or great. Starting center John Kemper is the lone starter back and will have a huge responsibility in leading his young line into 2007. Linfield fans should rest easy for that the ‘Cats do have one of the best offensive line coaches in country in Doug Hire and he’s had great success in the development of outstanding linemen. This group is going to be tested very early in 2007 vs Western Oregon’s outstanding defensive front. If our offensive line can get the job done then Linfield fans should expect great things in 2007.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rough week/weekend for former ‘Cat stars:

0-4 was the combined record for the teams that feature former Linfield Wildcat stars Thomas Ford (Alaska Wild), Brandon Hazenberg & Casey Allen (Boise Burn), George Carter (Tri-Cities Fever) and Brett Elliott (Rhein Fire). However, the losses didn’t come without great performances from these former Catdome stalwarts.

Elliott has solid opener:

NFL Europe had their opening weekend and Brett Elliott saw his first action at the start of the second quarter in their loss (0-1) vs the Berlin Thunder 15-3. The Butcher is splitting time at quarterback with Cody Pickett and it’s safe to say that BE had the better performance of the two and has the greater upside. Elliott threw some great passes but had a few plays I feel he would want back (the QB sneak and the errant screen pass). However Brett can play at this level and I hope the staff will allow him more time behind center to showcase his abilities.

The Fire play next Friday evening vs the Amsterdam Admirals and the NFL Network will have the game on Tape Delay for Saturday morning with a 6 am (PST) broadcast.

Check in with on Wednesday as we’ll post up action of BE’s opening game. But until then the video below will have to do. The fire is hot!!!! (Brett needs better writers...)

Quad City flexes on Boise:

We knew that the Steamwheelers had some solid offense but it had to hurt to see Quad City put up 65 points on our adopted Burn (1-1). The 65-38 loss wasn’t helped by the Burn turning it over 5 times. You can’t do that at any level of football and expect to win. Casey Allen had a GREAT game with game tops in catches and yards (9 catches -120 yds). Mr Allen also broke into the end zone three times on Friday night. Haze tallied up 2.5 tackles and had a kick return for 21 yards.

The Burn get to play in front of the home crowd this weekend as open up with Everett Hawks. We’ll check in with Haze on Wednesday.

Wild opens in front of big crowd but gets tamed by ‘Frisco:

The Intense Football League’s Alaska Wild fell to the Thunder from the Bay. Former Wildcat Thomas Ford only had a few chances to get his hand on the rock in the 46-33 loss (0-1). The Wild now gets to rack up the frequent flier miles as they’re on the road for the next five weeks in the Southern part of the country. That kind of travel is either going to be a great time or feel like they’re entering the 5th circle of hell by end of this roadie.

Tri-Cities loses another close one:

Inactive George Carter could only watch as his Fever lose their home opener on Saturday 48-45 to drop the Fever to a low of 0-2. The Fever’s offense will be much better off once the allusive Carter makes it back to the lineup in a few weeks.

NFL Europa: Das Game Stats
Boise Burn: Steamed over
AK Wild: Thunder in the Wild
Tri-Cities Fever: Holy Crap we updated our site!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Red & Purple Interview: Linfield's Kelley Bertrand

Welcome the second edition of the “Red and Purple” Interview. In this edition we’ll be talking with stand out Linfield defensive end, Kelley Bertrand. We’ll talk to Kelley about his 2004 Senior season where he overcame a torn ACL to make one of the biggest plays in Linfield history. Before the injury, Kelley was poised to have an All-American season and he was in my opinion the best complete defense end that I’ve seen at Linfield in my 14 years associated with the program. Enough with the preamble, let’s start the interview.
(Wildcat11) You were a big part of the 2002 and 2003 teams that came up just short in the playoffs vs. Saint John’s in the west region finals. What was the mindset of you and your teammate’s going into 2004? Did the team have a different approach going into 2004?

(Kelley Bertrand) I think our team’s mindset was that we were tired of being close. We were tired of watching the Stagg Bowl on T.V. and not actually being there. I think our team came to the breaking point where we knew that one way or another we were going to make it to Salem, Va. I think the one thing that was different during the 2004 season was that we were not afraid to tell people and talk about it amongst ourselves that we belonged in Salem and that's where we planned on ending our season.

(WC11) So the season opener vs. Western Oregon goes down. The Catdome is newly remodeled with the field turf, new scoreboard; a highlight touted Wildcat team, and a major buzz in the DIII community. However, right out of the gate you injure your right knee and find out you tore your ACL. Can you recall what happened on the play and did you know right away that it was a serious injury?

(KB) I remember a WOU lineman being the dirty b#&^%*^ard and he chopped me from behind. I instantly knew that I tore my ACL. It was one of the hardest things to comprehend at first because I knew the potential that our team had and I had trained harder than ever to be apart of that. Also I had some personal expectations of myself that I knew were probably not going to be accomplished which also was a hard pill to swallow. When football is your life for so long it’s hard to come to terms that you may not get to finish your career with the team you trained with for so long.

(WC11) At that point did you think your career was over or did you push the doctor right away to release you so you could get back and play?

(KB) After I had heard that there were something like one in every one-hundred people that can play with a torn ACL I told myself that I was going to be that one person no matter what it took. I found a doctor (in Portland that I would highly recommend) that fitted me for a special brace and started on a training regimen to regain the strength in my leg and knee that I lost due to the tear. Even if I couldn't find a doctor that was going to clear me I was going to make it back out on the field.

(WC11) I find it pretty miraculous that you even attempted to continue. So for the next 6 weeks you just worked away to get back on the field. Can you give us some insight on what you did to get ready, who you worked with, and what was in your mind during this attempt at rehab?

(KB) I pretty much trained by myself, lifting weights, swimming, eventually running and then finally putting the pads back on. The best and quickest rehab for me was watching the games on the sideline and not being able to contribute to the games. There was always the threat that if I do come back to play then I could damage my knee worse so I also think that was a big factor in pushing myself to become stronger so that wouldn't happen.

(WC11) You come back on October 23th at the away game with UPS. You only took a few snaps and I thought you looked a little unsure about the knee.

(KB) The first game back was definitely a test to see how the knee would handle. I was a little timid and hesitant which looking back was probably not a good thing but everything ended up o.k. I do remember one play where my knee locked up and twisted just like when I tore my ACL originally and thought that I was done for good.

(WC11) Wow that had to be scary. But the next week at home vs. Menlo you wind up racking up 2 sacks on the day without having one of your ACL’s. You looked like a different player from just the week prior. Were you even able to wrap your head around how incredible that was? Did the week between the UPS and Menlo game really make that big of difference?

(KB) For the game against Menlo I had to get myself mentally ready and not go into the game timid. I think that’s what the big difference was from the UPS game to the Menlo game. I went out and played against Menlo as if I had both ACL's. When I got the two sacks against Menlo I felt like a freshman again playing for the first time and recording my first sacks. It was a great feeling all around.

(WC11) I’d like to turn our attention back to the team for a moment. Early in the 2004 season the defense was really having their issues. In the four games before UPS, Linfield was giving up 28 points a game. Besides you coming back into the fold, what changed for the Wildcat defense where you would only give up 14 points a game for the rest of the season?

(KB) I think towards the middle of the season was when Eric Hillison was back at 100%. It was hard for him coming off ACL surgery and then moving to a new position it took some time to get in the groove of things. When Eric and myself were in full force I believe that really helped turn things around.

(WC11) Let’s jump ahead….Linfield wraps up the season at 9-0 for the 3rd straight year and then proceed to roll over UW-Lacrosse in the 2nd round and Occidental in the West Region Finals. Then the game versus Rowan everything goes right and Linfield crushes the Profs 52-0.

(KB) That was an incredible run through the playoffs.

(WC11) However, it doesn’t go too great for you as you dislocated your right shoulder late in the Rowan game. Tell us how it happened if at any time if you thought you were done….again? Did you go against any medical advice at this point?

(KB) I remember it was a quick three step drop and I got cut by one of the Rowan lineman. I went to brace myself with my arm and my shoulder just popped out of its socket. I had played my entire sophomore season with a torn rotator so I wasn't going to let a dislocated shoulder hold me out of the National Championship Game. Nothing a little pain killers and adrenaline can't cure.

(WC11) Now let’s get into the Stagg Bowl. You make it to the big stage. Linfield and Mary Hardin-Baylor’s defenses were pretty much an after thought at that point because of the success of both team’s offenses. Did you have any notion the game would wind up being a defense struggle late in the ladder stages of the game?

(KB) They (both defenses) were pretty much an after thought to the general public and the media but everyone on both teams knew that whatever defense could come up big was going to be the team that won that game. Overall we felt we matched up better defensively against their offensive and felt that our offense was going to be able to put up points like always.

(WC11) Last drive of the game and UMHB is within striking distance. 4th and 4 from the Linfield 19 yard line. Linfield brings pressure and you just steamroll UMHB’s right guard, Kody Zuniga to sack UMHB quarterback Josh Welch with fellow defensive end, Brandon Tom, to seal the victory and the national title for Linfield. Do you remember what the play call was from Coach Smith and can you remember what was going on in your mind before the play?

(KB) Of course in the classic Coach Smith fashion I believe that last play was an all out blitz. I think at that point in the huddle and as I walked up to the line before the final snap my mind was the clearest and most focused it has ever been on the football field. I think there could have been gun shots in the stands and planes dropping bombs overhead but I would not have lost focus on that play. I was also envisioning the fat National Championship ring that was soon to be on my finger.

(WC11) Flat out…how in the hell did you do it? A torn ACL and separated shoulder and you wind updelivering the biggest sack in Linfield history. There has to be a movie somewhere in there right?

(KB) It is still hard for me to believe that I was able to play my senior season with a torn ACL and contribute to the team. People ask me often if I am mad that I wasn't able to play at 100% my senior year and I can honestly say that I don't look at it that way. I was forced to play with the cards that I was dealt. Now as far as the movie goes that would be sweet, maybe itcould allow me to afford that new GT500 Mustang I have been dreaming about.

(WC11) Kelley, I would be first in line to see the movie.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Slightly Chilly

One of the things a person might think to look forward to in regards to spring football is nice weather. Obviously the Pacific Northwest didn’t get the memo as this week has just been downright miserable in terms of the forecast. While it might have been cold on the outside what I was watching during spring practice was making me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. (OK, it wasn't as bad as the photo above but it felt like my battery on a camera died before I could take any photos)

I’ll give you a down and dirty version of what the ‘Cats are looking at on the defensive side of the ball and we’ll talk offense next week.


Seriously…we could be at the beginning of great three year run at the position. First we get Junior Phil Zahn back after suffering a 2006 season-ending ankle injury. Phil didn’t lose his junior year of eligibility due to the medical-redshirt and that is great news for many Wildcat fans.

Defensive Backs

A reason why I’m not as worried about the Linebackers lack of experience is this group. Led by Senior All-American candidate Keone Tawata the entire starting defensive backfield is back for the ‘Cats. Senior Safety Brian Mehl will be starting for the 3rd straight year. I’m a true believe that Mehl could be poised for an A-A type of senior year along with Tawata. He contains a great combination of smarts and physical ability. Hard hitting Senior Rover Andrew Bean had a breakout 2006 season and with him returns all three corners in Andrew Woods, Rodd Booth, and Bubba Lemon.

Both Bubba and Andrew are participating in track so Rodd is the only starter that has been able to workout during spring ball. In watching Rodd during one-on-one drills he’s been looking sharp versus Linfield’s All-NWC wideouts Tyler Kaluza and Josh Vierra.

Defensive Line

Junior defensive end Tyler Summers really started to come into his own towards the end of last season in terms of rushing the quarterback. If he continues to develop his game he could have a true breakout season in 2007. Vets Jeff Denney and Chad Foglesong are also back for the ‘Cats at d-end. Denney started the beginning of the year and really shined until a bad wrist injury vs. Willamette effectively ended his season. Chad also went down during 2006 with injury that limited his time. A youngster to keep and eye on is Sophomore Ryan Circle. He’s still a little raw but has a great base to build upon.

Senior Scott Olsen had a fine 2006 playing out of his natural position of Defensive Tackle. Due to a number of injuries at defensive end, Scott was moved to play the strong side DE where he provided solid play. I believe that Scott will be back at DT paired up with big Nate Arnold. Nate will be a great space eater for the ‘Cats this next season. Other DT’s that could make waves next year are Sophomore Ian Estrada (coming off a knee injury in 2006) and Sophomore Paul Nishizaki.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Big week for four former greats

Man, talk about a big week for former Wildcats Brandon Hazenberg (’05), Casey Allen (’05), Brett Elliott (’05), and Thomas Ford (’04). All four are going to be taking part in big games this week and we’re here to give you the skinny/update on what is what.

Burn looks to strain a quad on Friday.

Touched base with Brandon Hazenberg today about his Boise Burn’s away game at Quad City vs the 2-0 Steamwheelers (Friday, April 13th).

“On paper they look damn good” said Haze when talking about the ‘Wheelers QB and WR’s combo. ‘Wheeler WR Kris Peters is leading the AFL2 in scoring and is #1 in rec. yards per game. It sounds like Linfield’s former utility great has his work cut out for him at his safety position but I’m sure Brandon will make the big play when it counts.

I did forget to ask him about spiking the ball after his TD in the opening week vs Louisville. You get a wheel if you break out the spike at Linfield but I don’t think the AFL2 frowns on EZ fun. I’m looking forward to seeing what Casey Allen has planned for his first trip in the end zone this season.

The Butcher is open for business

Brett Elliott will get see his first NFL Europe action this Saturday (April 14th) as the Fire will hook up with the Berlin Thunder. The NFL network will be airing the game Saturday starting at 8pm. If your cable network doesn’t carry the NFL Network then you’re a sucker. Damn channel is the greatest network ever. Eat that Food Network! We’ll have the DVR rolling and bring you highlights of BE the following week on

Alaska Wild opens at home

Thomas Ford will be playing a big part in the Alaska Wild’s inaugural game in the intense football league tomorrow night (Thursday, April 12). The Wild take on first timers in the Frisco Thunder. I’m sure the buzz in Anchorage is big right now. Can T.Ford bring home another National Title? He already has a NCAA title (2004) and a National Indoor Football League title (Tri-Cities-2005). It wouldn’t surprise me to see T. Ford be the glue in another winner.

As far as I know George Carter is still on the IR

AFL2’s Tri-Cities Fever will look to bounce back from their opening day defeat in their home opener vs the Bakersfield Blitz. George Carter should still be on the shelf with a bad ankle and that is not good news for the fever. Not only is George a tough dude to catch off the field but he’s a hell of a deep ball threat.

Check back with us tomorrow as I bring you a report on the progress of Linfield’s spring football workouts and on Friday we’ll post up the second edition of “The Red and Purple Interview” as we talk with former Linfield standout DE Kelley Bertrand (’04).

Monday, April 9, 2007

It's going to be a busy week.

It's going to be a busy week here at Catdome. After a bye week both the Boise Burn and Tri-Cities Fever are back in action this weekend. We'll get the scoop on what former Linfield All-Americans Brandon Hazenberg, Casey Allen, and George Carter are up to. (I'll tell you now that I won't talk to Carter but I'm sure he's still on the mend from a bum ankle.)

Former All-NWC Wildcat running back Thomas Ford and his Alaska Wild have their season/franchise opener at home vs the Frisco Thunder on Thursday. I'm still trying to track down T.Ford but have no idea if DSL lines have worked their way up to Alaska.

Another biggie this weekend is that the NFL Network will be broadcasting Brett Elliott and the Rhein Fire's season opener vs the Berlin Thunder (yes I noticed that's the name of T.Ford's first opponent).

Also, we hope to bring you the second installment of the “Red and Purple Interview” this week. I’m putting the wraps on trading e-mails with 2004 starting defense end, Kelley Bertrand. We’re talking about him playing on a torn ACL during his 2004 national championship season.

Don’t forget to check in on Thursday as we’ll give you another report from Spring Football where the 2007 edition of the Linfield Wildcats are getting the building blocks in place in what looks like will be a standout squad.

….I didn’t think April would have this much football going on…..

Friday, April 6, 2007

What’s that smell?

That smell…’s spring football at Linfield College and I had that chance to hang out on Wednesday evening at the ‘Catdome and take in the spring drills and take in the action.

Practice started right at 7:15 and by a quick glance I spotted 65-70 players taking part in spring practice. So if you add the 18 other players that are running track or playing baseball and you have 80-85 returning ‘Cats coming back next fall. (Add the incoming freshmen and you have another huge team in terms of bodies).

Before practice I had a chance to check out Coach Ron August’s new 2007 Corvette. The picture below is pretty much the style/color of his Z06. It’s really an amazing car and we all know that your kicking coach should drive in style.

The practice was broken down as most typical Linfield practices. Individual position work to start off at the beginning of practice, then DB/LBs hook up with the offfensive skill guys for Skelly, after that, defense/offense head off on their own to work on their scheme, and then finish with some team.

Besides the X and O's of practice the one thing I noticed was the great communication between the players; you could see and hear players coaching up each other and really getting into the who, what, and why of the defense/offense. The communication was beyond the vets saying “you need to be at this spot” at a certain time but more of “the reason why you need need to be at this spot is…” That says a lot about how much the returning vets understand the philosophy of the defense/offense. It’s a little thing but it speaks volumes.

The biggest questions are going at the interior positions. The question is not the lack of ability but more of the experience factor. The ‘Cats did lose our Mikes at the defensive tackle positions and they had 8 years of starting experience/8 years of All-NWC honors between the two of them. We do have some very capable kids coming up in those DT spots but the up and comers have some shoes to fill.

The offensive line has to replace both starting guards and tackles which will be no easy feat. The good news is that center John Kemper is back and that should be huge in terms of leadership and you have a true vet making all of your adjustments at the LOS.

Tight End Joe Seifert is back for the ‘Cats after missing of 2006 with an injury and that should give the running attack a boost with the option of having Seifert and returning starting TE Brett Smedley on the field at the same time. I don’t know if we’ll ever have a TE blocking combination like Luke Buchheit and Marcus Ward (2001-2002) ever again but I think Linfield fans will enjoy watching Seifert and Smedley in 2007.

I’ll be back at the ‘Catdome next Wednesday to take in some more action.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Linfield Spring Football: I'll be there!

Check back with us on Thursday as I give you the goods on the Linfield Wildcats' Wednesday evening spring practice. I'll be lurking around the Catdome with my camera in hand to bring you the info, pictures and video (last week of April) you all crave.

Just remember this is DIII spring practice so I don’t know how exciting it will be but it’s better than watching a SAQ/SPARQ class.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Burn Video Highlights!

Thanks to a tipster we were able to find some great highlights of the Burn's victory this past weekend including Hazenberg's TD and some nice catches by Casey Allan.


Sunday, April 1, 2007

Burn Douses Fire

It was a good debut for the AFL2's Boise Burn and for two former Linfield stand-out’s Casey Allan and Brandon Hazenberg as the Burn defeated the Louisville Fire 57-52 at Freedom Hall, the home of the Louisville Cardinals.

In fact Hazenberg was named ADT’s defensive player of the game for his two picks and taking one to the house. In speaking with Brandon he said that his teammates gave him a hard time about the 12-yard interception for Touchdown because the Fire’s QB threw the ball right at Haze. According to Haze the QB did throw it right at him but that was because he jumped an out-route and his defense end was right in the QB’s line of sight and he didn’t see Brandon laying in wait.

The best part for Haze wasn’t the pick but going airborne at the goal line. He said that he could have broke against the grain and probably have walked into the EZ or go for the style points and leap over two Fire players. He went for the style points. Hazenberg was “Elway'ed” (think Green Bay/Denver Super Bowl) in what was probably a play we would expect from Haze.

Brandon was really excited for Casey’s performance. He said that Louisville was playing to protect the big play and that left plenty of space underneath for Casey to move chains and pile up the yards. (8 catches for 80 yards).

“It’s great to have the team feeling back.” said Hazenberg.

Fever drops in first game:

With former Linfield WR stand-out George Carter on the I.R. the AFL2's Tri-Cities Fever started off their 2007 season on the wrong foot as they dropped their game with the Mahoning Valley Thunder 40-48. I’m sure the game was tilted in the Thunder’s favor when Animal ran onto the field and delivered a vertical suplex to the Fever’s QB.

T.Ford enjoying AK

The Alaska Wild opened up Camp this past week and Anchorage Daily News is reporting that former Wildcat All-NWC Running Back, Thomas Ford is digging his new team, "Camp's going great," said Thomas Ford, a wide receiver/defensive back from Seattle. "We've got a lot of talent in here, and I think we can do a lot of good things. We have enough talent that if we can get it all harnessed, we can be a championship team.”