Sunday, May 27, 2007

Linfield Legend: Ray Lions (Safety) 1999-2003

2003 graduate and former 1st team All-American Safety Ray Lions is our final Linfield Legend for our 2007 video season. Ray was a stand out on a Linfield team that was full of all-stars. A terrible neck injury cut short his senior 2003 season during the season opener but Ray’s impact on Linfield football is undeniable.

3x All-NWC Linebacker, teammate, and good friend, Ryan Boatsman (#5) is nice enough to share his thoughts about his time playing football with Ray and why Ray is a Linfield Legend.
One of my favorite Linfield Football quotes of all time came during a film session one late fall night. “If you guys haven’t realized it yet, this defense is designed to get Ray tackles.” – Coach Joe Smith

We all nicknamed Ray “The Golden Child”, but his Linfield Football career didn’t start off with bang; it started off with a sting. That is a bee sting. Ray actually sat out most of his freshman daily doubles because his ankle was stung by a bee. Talk about a “Contract Player” from day one. In all seriousness though, we all knew that there was a fire blazing in what he would like to call, the “Heart of a Lion”. (Ray paid my 10 bucks to put that in)

When I think about Ray on the field, I think about “The Switch”. Ray is one of the most laid back dudes you will ever meet off the field, but you put that bonnet on his dome, play the national anthem and blow that whistle, the switch turns on. And that switch didn’t turn off until the final whistle blew and he was in the locker room trying to trick the freshman to see his red eye. We won’t go down that path, but I will post an uncensored Ray Lions bio later. Most players get in the zone during a game and compete with passion, but Ray was always one level above all of the others on the field. The intensity that he brought to games and even during practice sparked fires in everyone around him. He was notorious for smack talk, but most of the time he was just trying to get the juices flowing on the other side of the ball. He always wanted the opponents to give 110% each play because he loved the battle.

During the years Ray played, he was never even close to having the fastest 40 time (even though Coach Smith would always try to make it sound better than it really was), but he was always the fastest player to the ball come Saturday. I had never played with anyone that had the timing Ray possessed to hit a receiver as soon as the ball grazed their hands. The best thing about him is that his philosophy was “ALWAYS go for the hit first, the picks will come later”. He had the Ray Lewis mentality at the free safety position. When I played rover and LB, I usually had the best view of his monster hits he put on those poor receivers. Especially those Whitworth Rat receivers in that fancy no-back offense they thought might work against us. I still get chills when I think about those hits.

Our class (2003) had a ton of close games throughout our playing years including some of my favorite SOU overtime games. Ray was always the backbone of our goal line stands and my ears are still ringing from Ray yelling, “BEND BUT DON’T BREAK”, from right behind me. Even though his career was cut short due to injury, he is still a Linfield Legend (maybe even more so in his own mind).

Ryan Boatsman (Linebacker 1999-2003,) Ray Lions Linfield Legend

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Mixed Bag.

Sorry the updates have been a little slow this week. I’m in San Jose for work this week and have been going crazy. Thanks to Downtown48 for keeping us up to speed on the ‘Cats DIII Title run in Softball. Those ladies could really smash the rock.

It was a mixed bag this week for our 5 former ‘Cats during last weekend’s indoor/European action. There were some personal victories but an overall 1-3 record has left a sour taste in their mouthpieces. Let’s take a look back and look forward to this week’s action.

Two in a row and not the good “two in a row”

Our Boise Burn took one in the shorts this past week against their rival Spokane Shock 62-44. The loss dropped the Burn to 4-3 and created a bottle neck at the top of the AF2’s West division. The Burn is now tied with Tri-Cities, Spokane, Central Valley, and Bakersfield. Needless to say it’s a wide open division.

Casey Allen brought in two more TD’s for the Burn and Brandon Hazenberg racked up 3.5 tackles, one or an 18 yard loss.

Boise is back at home this week vs the 2-4 Stockton Lightning and really need to get the ship moving in the right direction in order to keep pace with the rest of the west. I’m calling it right now that we see multiple former Wildcats with multiple TD games. Phone it in.

The Butcher makes most of time

Brett Elliott might have played his best ball during this NFL Europe season but it was only during limited time. BE was inserted into the game during the 2nd quarter and on his first pass found PK Sam for a 17 yard TD during a 20-17 loss to the Cologne Centurions. No word on if PK took off his lid but I’m sure that the Butcher was happy to get off the bench and toss a 6 pointer. Brett’s second and last possession started off at the Fire’s 21 yard line and BE moved his squad to the Centurions 25 yard line where the Fire muffed a field goal attempt.

From there the Cowboy took over and was put in a position he doesn’t like too much….having to make a play to get his team to win. Down 20-17 with 3:38 left in the contest the Cowboy was anti-Montana-esq in throwing two drive killing picks. The loss dropped the Fire to a basement 2-4 and are on the road this week at Frankfurt.

Since I’m on the road I wasn’t able to post up a vid of BE in action but I’ll grab the tape this weekend and post it up.

Wild gets tamed

The Alaska Wild (0-6) is finally done with their brutal 5 week roadie and last week might have been the low point of the season. Just when the Wild showed back-to-back weeks of major offensive improvement the Wild just bottomed out in a 72-13 loss to the Frisco Thunder (4-2). It was so bad that they didn’t even to post up stats from the game so I have no idea of TFJ (Thomas Ford Jr.) was able to be a lone bright spot for the Wild.

However, the Wild do get to play in front of a home crowd this week as they host the Katy Ruff Riders (4-1).

Fever win but no Carter.

The Tri-Cities Fever won this past week but I have no idea if former ‘Cat standout George Carter was hurt again but was just a DNP. Tri-Cities moved up to 4-3 on the year and play someone who I’m not bothering to even look up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


A huge effort from the team and masterful job of motivating by head coach Jackson Vaughn culminates in Linfield's 1st national softball championship. The team seemed fired up from the beginning after Vaughn reminded them that "There is no pain in this dojo!" They blitzed the bears from Washington U. with eight runs in the first three innings en route to a 10-2 victory. In a great show of class, nobody was heard shouting, "get em' a body bag...yeaaaaa!!" late in the contest. Congrats...always good to add a little bling to the wardrobe! It will definitely help with Coach Vaughn's aspirations to be a hand model in the off-season. Nice work!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007


So the lady cats hit a bit of a speed bump today and will have to win it the hard way. Three in a row for the walnut and bronze...not a problem.

Second Victim...Depauw! Next up: Washington University, That is a white light that you're seeing...

Two runs allowed. Can they make it three shutouts in a row? By the way, why is Washington University in St. Louis?

Friday, May 18, 2007

I guess you could say that he's a fan...

Being married to a die hard Wildcat fan certainly has if which is that gift giving for birthdays, Christmas, heck even anniversaries is made easier because I can always go with some Linfield gear. So when WC11's birthday rolled around last month I decided to follow my instincts and decorate the basement of our new (well- new to us) house with some of WC11's most prized possessions.
WC11 has a very strong appreciation for the job that Kelly Bird does as SID at Linfield and has been collecting the football media guides for years. Initially I wanted to frame them all, but upon closer inspection I discovered sticky tabs marking statistics and history that get used for this web site and highlight films. (Plus I suspect that WC11 secretly thumbs through them from time to time.) Framing the media guides would make 'em hard to use.
Instead, when WC11 came home from work he found the media guides displayed - along with his football plaques, trophies, and everything else Linfield. It is a basement that any Wildcat fan would love...
The 2004 National Championship ring gleams from a small shelf, and now (thanks to the generosity of Tuxguy) we've added a classic Linfield poster from the Rutschman era. We are still trying to decide where the helmets will best fit into the room, and he's going to have to wait until the next holiday to get his jersey framed, but for a work in progress it is a great representation of the Linfield Love in our household.

Moving Forward

Here is our weekly recap/preview of this week’s action for our former ‘Cat greats. Makes sure you support Casey Allen, Brandon Hazenberg, George Carter, Thomas Ford Jr., and Brett Elliott by trying to catch one of their games this year. They are always on the look out for ‘Cat gear in the crowd.

‘Yotes pass by the Burn

It was bound to happen. Our Boise Burn (4-2) finally lost their 2nd game of the year in a California shoot out to the Central Valley (Fresno, Ca) Coyotes 79-70. The ‘Yotes (3-3) scored TD’s in 12 of their 15 possessions. The Burn’s offense was no slouch either in putting up 70 points while QB Bart Hendricks tossed 9 TD’s in the game. The Beast caught 3 more TD's in bring Casey Allen’s total to 13 on the year. The Linfield product is leading the team in touchdowns.

“We feel good about practice this week” stated former ‘Cats All-American Brandon Hazenberg. Haze is looking for his d-backs to regroup in what you can consider a rival game for Boise. The Burn match up for the first time with the Spokane Shock (3-3) and due to the proximity of Boise to Spokane the players and fans are looking forward to growing quite the bitterness towards each other.

Kickoff is at 6pm (PST) at Boise’s Qwest Arena. 2003 Linfield grads Ray Lions (DB), Ryan Boatsman (LB), and Harrison Bertch (LB) will be at Qwest Arena taking in the action and cheering on their former teammates. In fact, all three could probably slip into a Burn uniform right now and crack some skulls.

Wild still winless but are “almost there”

Intense Football Leagues Alaska Wild (0-5) have yet to break the win column this year but with all of the off the field drama surrounding this franchise in their first year, it’s a half a miracle they are making some great strides on offense. The Wild lost last week in Texas to the Corpus Christi Hammerheads (4-1) by a score of 48-60. Former All-NWC Linfield running back, Thomas Ford Jr. (2004), lead the Wild for the second straight week in receiving yards with 5 catches for 74 yards. T.F.J. also scored his first TD’s of the year on a 10 yard catch and 1 yard run for the Wild.

The Wild are on the last leg of their brutal 5 week roadie as they pull into San Francisco Saturday night to try to avenge their week 1 loss to the Frisco Thunder (2-2).

Fever gets the chills

It probably wasn’t the return that former Linfield all-American George Carter (2004) was hoping for as his Tri-Cities Fever took a tough 29-18 loss to the Green Bay Blizzard. The AF2’s Fever had won three in a row before being dropped to .500 on the year at 3-3.

Carter had 2 catches on the night for 10 yards but look for George to start being more productive has he stats to develop a rhythm with Fever QB Brian Baker.

The Fever gets the pleasure of visiting The Bakersfield Blitz (4-2) this week. I hear there is nothing to do in Bakersfield except to Bowl at night.

The Butcher’s shop was closed

With the Rhein Fire (2-3) handing the bulk of reps over to The Cowboy, Brett Elliott could only be supportive on the sideline in the Fire’s 27-24 win over rival Frankfurt Galaxy (3-2).

Pickett did play decent going 15-20 for 179 yards and one TD toss. It had to help that PK Sam showed up for the first time this season. Sam was so excited about his 3rd quarter TD catch he ripped off his helmet to show the LTU arena crowd that it was in fact PK Sam that caught a TD and not someone who stole his uniform and was impersonating PK Sam. Most of the damage was caused by Galaxy QB, JT O'Sullivan in throwing two bad picks that would be returned to the Fire 1-yard line and one for touchdown in what would prove to be the main difference in a tight game.

At this point, unless The Cowboy really tanks it’s going to be a long rest of the season for Elliott. The Fire head over to Cologne to lock up with the 3-2 Centurions on Saturday night. Cologne pegged the Fire with a 14-6 loss in week 3 of the Europa season.


NEXT! One down three to go...

Nice work by the Linfield Softballers and Jackson Vaughn. An 11-0 beatdown is a nice way to start the tournament. Keep up the good work! I don't know what's more impressive, Jackson keeping the girls focused and winning or Jackson surviving two weeks on the road with nineteen women!! Impressive either way you look at!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

'Cats Softball looking for Walnut and Bronze

Linfield Softball Head Coach, Jackson Vaughan is taking his 40-6 squad back to the NCAA softball championships for the 2nd straight year. Jackson, also Linfield football’s defensive coordinator, has turned the softball program into a national power since he took over the program in 2002. His teams have piled up a 193-63-1 record since 2002.

Last season his squad fought off elimination 6 straight times in winning the West Regionals to move to the championship round. The ‘Cats would bring home 4th place and gain the valuable experience needed to position the ‘Cats with this years run through a pine knot tough 2006 regional.

Linfield is seated #1 in the 8 team Championship bracket and open up with #8 Emory (32-6) on Friday at 8am (PST) in Salem, Virginia.

Linfield sports is doing a spot on job in covering the team and have mountains of information on the team. Be sure to tune in and keep track as the ‘Cats look to bring home the Linfield’s 7th overall National Title.

Linfield Sports: Wall to Wall Lady ‘Cats Coverage
Google News: We've got your news clippings here

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Red & Purple Interview: Linfield's SID Kelly Bird

Welcome to the third installment of the Red & Purple Interview. Being a Sports Information Director can be a rough occupation but Linfield has been blessed over the past 18 years to have one of the best in the business in Kelly Bird. Kelly was gracious enough during his busy spring season to chat about life as an SID and how his position has changed over the years. Next time you run into Kelly at a Linfield game be sure to thank the man for his years of dedication to the 'Cats.

(Wildcat11) Thank you very much Kelly for joining us here at the ADvantage Catdome. An SID's job is never done so we'll disperse with the small talk and start to fire the questions at you.

How has the job changed for you over the years at Linfield? Has technology made the job easier for you or has it increased your workload?

(Kelly Bird) When I started at Linfield in 1989, the internet was just a pipe dream and game statistics and records were compiled with pencil and paper. Results and box scores telephoned to the newspapers after each event. That was very painstaking. Then came the advent of the fax machine, which allowed SIDs to get the news out faster and get home a little sooner. But faxing was still a lengthy process, taking up to an hour after each football game to fax 15 pages of football stats to 10 different outlets.

Today, every one of our press boxes has internet capability, making it possible to get the news out nearly instantly after an event concludes. Technology is great, enabling us sports information professionals to compile stats and update records faster and with greater depth than ever before. The downside is people have grown to expect information instantly, too, and when you can’t provide it right away due to technical problems, or lack of connectivity, it can appear as though you’re not getting the job done. And nowadays, I have to keep three laptops operational for those times when Linfield hosts soccer/football/volleyball or baseball/softball/track simultaneously. As I write this, I’m down at Tokatee Golf Club, compiling results at the NWC men’s golf championships, then sending them out over a wireless connection shortly after the event’s conclusion.

The addition of the Daktronics video board at Maxwell Field in 2004 also changed my job dramatically. I’m responsible for programming the board, forcing me to learn a whole new skill set.

(WC11) Are the student athletes/parents still the same when you first took the job at Linfield or have you noticed a shift in how athletes/parents interact with you since you first started at Linfield?

(KB) My first 10 years, I had very little interaction with parents, but today’s electronic world has changed that. Folks are a lot more likely to drop me an email either praising or pointing out some inaccuracy (we try not to have too many of those!). With electronic stats available on the internet immediately following every game, student-athletes today seem a lot more cognizant of their statistics, and seem to check them pretty regularly. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. I believe sports participants should just play the game and not pay attention to what the stats are. There have been times when players or parents have openly stated that their chances for all-league recognition could be harmed if the stats aren’t the way they think they should be. My opinion is that if a player is truly outstanding, that fact will bear itself out, irregardless of what the stats say. Coaches, who do the voting on a majority of all-star teams, know good players when they see them.

(WC11) That is a great point! Other coaches will scout your team, watch film, and play you on the field. They know who is a stand out and who just fills a stat line.

You go to a Division I game and those sports information departments can look like small armies but the small college SID’s are pretty much a one-person show. Do you think that being a small college SID is more difficult that being a large school SID? What are some of the major obstacles that a small college SID faces? Also, if you had an unlimited budget for your department what changes or additions would you integrate into your work?

(KB) In many ways, being a small-school SID is more challenging. But the good thing is, there is likely less political bureaucracy and greater anonymity. I cover 19 varsity sports, create publications for each sport, maintain the athletics Web site, plus handle additional duties with the college’s Hall of Fame and Integrated Marketing committees. I help coordinate advertising sales in the spring and summer months, and help coaches prepare special recognition awards, such as for senior day. I enjoy the variety of working with many different sports, but when I do have a chance to really focus on one team, such as during the football or softball playoffs, that’s been very rewarding, as well. Limited budgets have always been a concern for small-school SIDs, but I’ve been supported pretty well by our administration at Linfield. Our working facilities (press box areas) have steadily improved, and I have good equipment (computers, camera) to do a great job for the college. If funding were unlimited, I would like to add a full-time staff assistant, someone who could help balance the workload. Equipment-wise, I’d like to always be using the latest and fastest desktop and notebook computers. Desktop publishing has become such an important part of what SIDs do. And I’d always like to try to improve skills through professional development training, such as advanced classes in Photoshop, or video production.

(WC11) Linfield's athletic site ( is a great small college athletic web site. Recently the site hit the 1,000,000 visitor mark. What is the process of putting together a college athletic web site? Where do you see the site evolving over the years?

(KB) I’ve always felt that a quality Web site not only has to look good, it has to offer ample news and information. And a regularly updated site gives the impression that the programmers care about their product. Fresh content gives readers a reason to return again and again. At Linfield, students and I collaborated on the athletics site in the late ‘90s. About five years ago, one particularly brilliant computer science student helped convert our site to a full blown database (he didn’t care much for sports, but is probably a millionaire Web designer/programmer somewhere now). The conversion from static pages to dynamically generated content made the site easier to program and less daunting to track all the information. We developed the current look and layout based on what I felt were the needs of both our readers and our programmer (me).

Having grown up a Sports Illustrated subscriber, I’ve always enjoyed compelling sports photography and the Linfield athletics site reflects that interest. The Linfield site offers more action photography than just about any Division III site you’ll find, which I think helps set Linfield apart of the rest of the crowd. Taking photos at sports events is an aspect of sports information I really enjoy and helps communicate the good stories we have to tell. I think our athletes get a kick of seeing photos of themselves in action and the parents and fans love it, too. Even though we have a lot of great photos to look at, I’ve always strived to keep the news (written) content strong. The next frontier is certainly interactive content, such as live statistical feeds, or video clips or entire events broadcast as a video stream.

(WC11) Not many people realize all the work you put into in regards to helping game day come off smooth. Can you tell us the gory details of what a typical game day at Linfield is like for you and is there more or less work when Linfield hosts a football playoff game?

(KB) Most SIDs, including myself, have eight-day work weeks. That’s because nearly every day of the week has some kind of competition going in, especially in the spring. Football game days are always a lot of work. Typically, I’m one of the first people to arrive at Maxwell Field on game-day, and definitely the last to go home. I arrive 3-4 hours ahead of kickoff. There are so many things to set up, turn on, double check, and prepare for. Such as: Are there enough cold drinks for the media? Is the video display board programmed with all the graphics it needs? Does the video operator and camera people know the schedule and what spots they need to hit and when? Do the home and visiting radio crews have everything they need to do their job? Are the prizes for the promotional giveaways ready? Is the stat crew briefed and ready to go? Have the cheerleaders sent their music up to the press box to be programmed into our sound system? You see, there’s so much to remember, I pity the person who has to take over for me one day. Playoff games are even more challenging, due to countless NCAA requirements, such as a special media interview room, special PA announcements, and extra media members cramming into the press box

(WC11) In your 18 years of being the SID at Linfield do you a favorite moment or year that still stands out in your mind and why?

(KB) No question, I’ve witnessed a LOT of great team and individual performances over that time. Try these: Brett Elliott’s seven touchdown tosses vs. Occidental (twice, 2004 & ‘05); a national championship football victory (2004) and defeat (1992); the Linfield softball team staving off playoff elimination six times to reach the NCAA finals (2006), Linfield’s men’s basketball rallying from eight points down in the final 30 seconds to win a game in Phoenix in 2000; Maxwell Field’s goalposts getting torn down amidst a frenzy on the field when the ‘Cats beat Willamette to clinch winning football season No. 43; Linfield’s women’s soccer team beating nationally ranked Puget Sound when a corner kick was steered into the goal by a sudden gust of wind (2001).

Now to the more bizarre: Matt Dyment’s marriage proposal in the midst of a basketball timeout (1999); Clark Smeltzer’s infamous sideline tackle during the 1989 football game vs. Pacific; having my car stolen in Vancouver, Canada, after a football game at Simon Fraser (1990); Linfield’s men playing a soccer game in the snow (2004); Jay Locey’s departure from Linfield being revealed to all of us (including his own children) by the Portland Tribune; baseball pitcher Brett Hartlaub snapping his arm (and ending his career) on a pitch in 2000; the “Mishap in the Mud” from 2000 when Central of Iowa stole a win over a very talented Wildcats team at Maxwell Field; Coach Larry Doty angrily picking up the PA microphone and apologizing to the fans at Wilson Gym for his team’s poor play in the first half of a men’s basketball game in 2002.

(WC11) Those are some incredible moments and bring back some great memories. Now let's shift gears and talk about the football media guides. What is the process of putting together one of these guides? Can you give us the thought process in how you come up with the themes from year to year? I mean, is it that you have ideas sitting on the back burner or is it more of a feeling out process of that year’s team?

(KB) With 78 pages to fill, producing the football guide each year is akin to running a marathon rather than a sprint. It takes about four months of production time to arrive at the finished product, which we target for delivery just prior to the first game of the season. Some wonder why we can’t get the guide published sooner, but I remind them that the Linfield football guide has a full numerical roster that isn’t finalized until about seven days before the first game. The section dealing with the team personnel (roster, depth chart, player bios) is last part to finish up before the guide goes on the printing press. But the whole process starts usually in May when we begin updating the records/stats/all-stars portion. The next big hurdle involves gathering information from each of our nine opponents.

Developing the theme is something I usually start thinking about in early June. I typically write down 4-5 ideas, bounce them off a few friends as a way to test market the ideas, then select one and build around it. I then select action shots of returning senior all-stars to display on the cover. Ideally, we want the most exciting pictures to grace the covers and I always use a completely different font and color scheme from year to year. I always want to give the people paying $7 for a Linfield football guide their money’s worth. Pulling all the different pieces of the guide together on tight deadlines in August can be pretty nerve-wracking but it’s also very satisfying to see fans enjoying the finished product in the stands before kickoff.

(WC11) Have you ever tallied up how many hours it takes to put together one of the football media guides? Before you even answer I know it’s a large commitment from you but when you rake in the awards does that make the time worth it?

(KB) I’ve never tallied the hours and probably never will. The awards are nice but not the main reason for striving to be the best. Colleagues from other schools recognize the effort that goes into producing an excellent publication, as do fans, parents, coaches and players. If anything, it helps raise awareness of my position on campus. And it’s rewarding to know that my work helps attract future student-athletes to our campus.

(WC11) Also, if you were going to rank your top three covers what would they be and of course, tell us why?

(KB) My personal favorites are 2003’s “Wildcats Reloaded”, 2005’s “Pedal to the Metal” and 2002’s “Leave No Doubt.” “Reloaded” spotlight great action and mirrored the look of the movie “Matrix Reloaded” just as it was being released. The 2005 team scored so many points and rolled up so many yards, the “Pedal to the Metal” theme really clicked. I didn’t dream up the “Leave No Doubt” mantra, but I jumped on it when Luke Buchheit shared it with me prior to what was a very exciting 2002 season that featured David Russell’s coming of age and the double-overtime thriller at home with Southern Oregon. The 2006 cover “Blueprint for Success” won the “Best Cover” award, so that one is pretty special, too.

(WC11) Thank you so much for all your time Kelly with us here at The fans, families, and especially the athletes really appreciate all of your hard work. You do a phenomenal job.

(KB) Thanks for the exposure on your Web site. Even us publicists need a little publicity once in a while.

Check out Kelly's football guide covers here: Media Page

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Going Back To Cali

Time for our weekly recap/preview of our Wildcat Alumni that are working hard in the Indoor/Europe leagues. If any of you ‘Cats are in the area of where these teams are playing be sure to sport your Linfield gear and get to the game. Granted it may be tough to catch a Rhein Fire game but we do have a Linfield fan in outter Mongolia.

It will be a great day in the Valley.

Our Boise Burn made a huge comeback last Saturday night vs the Bakersfield Blitz. Down 42-26 at half the Burn clamped down on the Blitz in the second half only surrendering a measly 13 points in the 69-55 comeback win. The Victory moves our Burn on top of the AF2’s American Conference West Division at 4-1.

Boise gets rewarded with a return trip back to California as they face off with the Central Valley Coyotes (2-3). The ‘Yotes had a tough one last week as they did the honor of breaking the Everett Hawks winless streak. You have to figure that CV will be antsy to make up for such a blunder.

“If we bring the intensity like we had in the 2nd half of last week’s game then we’ll be fine” stated former Linfield All-American/Boise starting Safety Brandon Hazenberg. Casey Allen continues to rack up touchdown as he caught 3 more this past week. I continue to avoid talking with Casey in fear that we speaking might evoke bad karma onto #8. I don’t want that hanging over my head.

The Burn and ‘Yotes hook up 7pm (PST) at Selland Arena in Fresno.

Devils drop the hammer on Rhein

The Rhein File just got crushed in all different ways this past week by the Hamburg Sea Devils(34-9). The Fire coaching staff has basically put the ball in Cody Pickett’s hands for the remainder of the season. The Cowboy rewarded with staff with his first TD pass of the year and has become the master of the check down.

However I can’t blame the Cowboy too much for his lack of production. The Fire has a terrible offensive line and zero playmakers at WR.

Meanwhile, Brett Elliott has been relegated to mop up duty. At this point he's getting part of the 4th quarter to try to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Here’s hoping the staff will give BE a chance to prove his worth.

The road doesn't get easier as the Fire will pair off with the 3-1 Frankfurt Galaxy this Saturday.

Alaska Wild losses…..but shows some sign of life.

The Intense Football League's Alaska Wild are still winless but they mustered up some offense in their 47-53 lost to the Katy (Tx) Ruff Riders (2-1). The Wild’s quarterback David Short was finally able to get the ball to former Linfield standout, Thomas Ford, and T. Ford reciprocated with a team leading 81-yards on six catches.

The Wild head back to Texas as they match up with the Corpus Christi Hammerheads (3-1). My advice to David Short is to get T. Ford the ball as much as possible.

Carter on the loose

It sounds like George Carter will be in action (for real) this Friday night as the Tri-Cities Fever (3-2) makes a big road trip to Wisconsin to hook horns with the Green Bay Blizzard (2-3). Carter may want to take his 2004 DIII title ring out to Green Bay so he can show it off to Blizzard WR and former UW-LAX standout Scott Burnoski. Linfield put a slapping on Burnoski’s Eagles during the second round of the 2004 DIII playoffs (52-14) so I’m sure he’s looking for any chance to beat a Wildcat.

Link up:
Rhein Fire: Yikes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Big Friday for the Mothership

I wanted to announce an exciting addition to this Friday. We’ll be rolling out our Media page. The Media page release will go hand-in-hand with the release of our 3rd installment of the Red and Purple Interview. Our subject this time around will be Linfield SID, Kelly Bird. Kelly provides incredible detail of his time at Linfield and how his job and responsibilities have grown and changed over the years. SID’s are the lifeblood in promoting college athletics and Kelly really gives you a great look into his world.

The Media page will consist of photo’s of the front and back of football media guides since 1994. Also included will be .pdf copies of a few special issues of the Linfield Review and some other great media pieces.

Be sure to check in with the on Friday.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Linfield Legend: Justin Taylor

We kickoff Linfield Legend Month with Justin Taylor. Justin was an incredible Linebacker (1994-1998) that was a leader with his actions and his words. Former teammate Mitch Chadwick, Defensive Tackle 1994-1998, was a multiple time 1st team tackle and paved the way for many of JT's free runs at quarterbacks and running backs. Mitch was nice enough to pen some words about his time with JT and some memories that stand out. In fact, you'll be able to see #99 in on many of the standout plays that JT piled up over the years. Take it away #99
My first meeting with JT came at a summer workout at Linfield. Everyone had met up and introduced themselves and began the routine. I noticed a very intense player from the get go. Not to mention the fact that he had a goth mullet gone totally wrong. I can't remember the exact reason why, but he had dyed his hair jet black. Sweet!!

During our playing years JT never lost that intensity. On gameday's nobody had a more serious look to them. Now, I enjoyed some "butt rock" and highlight video stuff to get myself amped up but JT would take things to a whole different level. He would rarely speak in pre-game other than the occasional "yep", if he was looking for something or if you needed to shut... you get the idea. I always took a sort of sick humor in trying to annoy JT during pre-game. Ask him questions, get other people to watch what he was doing. The fun never stopped. He never snapped at me that I can recall but he probably should have.

Where would Linfield football be today without the term "Jailbreak"? My only regret with this one is that I was not there to soak it up in all of it's glory. I had been called out with the captains just prior to the infamous speech. All I remember is people coming out of the lockeroom charged up. Someone came up to me (probably Carlson) and said, "Dude, you should have heard JT! He went off!" Numerous others shared the same sentiment. Wish I had that on video.

Senior Year- I had gone back to school a little early to hang out with teamates and such when I ran into JT. Carlson and I had wandered into the pool area because we heard JT had shown up early. He had taken a fishing job in Alaska (or something like that) and we were expecting to see him pretty ripped up. Upon entering the pool area we noticed a very hairy object swimming. He pulled his scraggly frame out of the water and showed up the body he'd been working on all summer. It looked like he hadn't eaten all summer. Wow!! Didn't make a difference on the field though.

I will say that JT was probably the toughest guy I played with in my years at Linfield. It didn't matter who we played, JT was always the same dominent player. Coaches like to loosely throw the term "ballhawk" around. JT definately a ballhawk. He knew where to be and when. If you don't believe me watch a 97 or 98 highlight tape (muted) or check his stats in the back of a program.

Did I mention that he changed his number to 69 our junior year? Classy.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, don't ever ask JT what the call is before he gets it from the Loce-dog. Feel free to ask Neil Maddox how that went.

-Mitch Chadwick (Defensive Tackle 1994-1998)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

May is Linfield Legends Month

Over the next four weeks we’ll be highlighting four former Linfield standouts. These are my favorite projects to work on. These are Linfield Wildcats that have left a lasting legacy at Linfield. Here is the line-up for the next four months:

May 7th: Justin Taylor, Linebacker (1994-1998)
May 14th: Alex Rix, Cornerback (1996, 1998-2000)
May 21st: Kent Wagner, WR (1990-1994)
May 28th: Ray Lions, Safety (2000-2003)

The nomination and selection committee in what constitutes a “legend” is one person, me. However, I don’t think any Linfield fan would disagree with the above four players or the players highlight before (Carl Haberberger, Gary McGarvie). I hope to have former teammates of each legend chime in and talk about each one of these outstanding former ‘Cats.

I know there might be a few older Wildcats wondering about guys from the 80’s, 70’s and earlier but honestly I just don’t have the footage to pull from right now. In fact, the videos of these players and 95% of the video content on wouldn’t be possible without Dan Kielty or Mike Rhodes. These two are the reason why we have the great highlights we watch week in and week out on the mothership.

So strap in and get ready to revisit some of the great ‘Cats of the past. Also, do you know what a jailbreak is?

Friday, May 4, 2007

Playing for first

Saturday is a huge for our former Wildcats as we take a peak at the upcoming action in the Indoor/Europe leagues and what roll our former ‘Cats will have in this weekend's action.

There are no off the field distractions in Bakersfield

After Saturday night "our" Boise Burn is either going to be sitting on top of the AF2’s American Conference West Division or will be looking up the skirt of the Bakersfield Blitz. The Burn (3-1) will be visiting the Blitz (3-1) Saturday night for a tussle between the division leaders.

“The great thing about this team is that we’re all rookies right now. Each game we’re learning more and more about the game and little tricks that help on the field” says former Linfield All-American Brandon Hazenberg (’05) as he and his teammates wait to catch a plane down the California.

A key to victory this week for the Burn might have happened two weeks ago when the Blitz number one offensive threat, DeRonn Finley, when down with a bum knee. You’re still going to score in the AF2 but having Finley out might just swing the advantage to Boise.

Look for Boise to keep feeding the beast as Casey Allen ('04 & '05 Linfield All-American) has been pretty much unstoppable around the goal line for Boise. Number 8 is leading the Burn in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Sounds familiar? Dude’s good.

"Rub some dirt on it "

That’s what my dad would tell me when I would bust open a wound or stub a toe growing up in the Wildcat11 family. Pretty sure that’s what he would tell Brett Elliott after the Rhein Fire’s (1-2) miserable loss to the Cologne Centurions (2-1) last week.

Brett didn’t start the fourth quarter of last week's game and the Fire staff was rewarded with a Cody Pickett pick for touchdown that would wind up being the death blow to the Fire in that 14-6 loss. Look, I’m a huge fan of BE but I’m sure he’d be the first to say he stunk it up. However, Brett doesn’t seem like the type of player to be down for long so I’m sure he’s chomping at the bit to bounce back.

Now, only if the staff would play the better QB but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. In reading the Rhein's offical German website, with the help of Google Translator, it looks like the Fire's head coach, Rick Lantz, is giving the Cowboy more time to stink it up:

We decided to make Cody Pickett the starter. (He) has more control and seems mentally stronger than (Brett) Elliott. Pickett will deny two thirds or three quarters of the play. We hope the fact that the decision contributes to the fact that cramping separates and Pickettdann in the play makes the correct decisions." Whatever the hell that means.

NFL Network doesn’t have the broadcast listed right now as they list the Berlin game twice this weekend….me thinks that’s an error so you’ll either see the game broadcasted Saturday morning at 10 AM (PST) or Saturday night at 10 PM (PST). My bet is the later game. Don’t SCREW WITH ME RICH EISEN!!!!!!!

Send some Karma to T.Ford

The Intense Football League’s Alaska Wild (0-3) continues their horrific 5-week southern road trip this week as the Wild will visit the Katy (Tx.) Rough Riders (1-1). Pretty much the Wild is a total disaster. Another coach quit this past week and their quarterbacks threw a combined 6 picks in last weeks dismantling by the Louisiana Swashbucklers (1,232-3) Ok, maybe the score wasn't that bad but it had to feel like it.

At this point, I just want former Linfield All-Star, Thomas Ford ('04), to stay healthy and just enjoy playing football. The Wild might be looking at a perfect season at this rate.

Carter shelved again?

The AF2’s Tri-Cities Fever (2-2) has bounced back from a 0-2 start but former Linfield All-American, George Carter, has been unable to put his mark on this team. Carter missed the first three games of the year due to injury and it looks like he could be banged up again. There’s no “official” word so I’ll not comment any further. The Fever is at home this week vs. the Stockton Lightning (1-3).

Link it up:
Boise Burn: Video Highlights of last weeks win vs the Dawgz
Rhein Fire: Translation says Pickett to get even more time
Alaska Wild: Katy get your gun
Tri-Cities: We must protect this house!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Coming up a bit short/Linfield Spring Sports are good

The 2006-07 NWC sports season is wrapped up and the Puget Sound Loggers repeated as the NWC All-Sports Trophy Winner. It’s the Logs 2nd title.

The ‘Cats started the spring sports season in a distant 3rd place but made a hard charge thanks to every spring sport finishing 3rd or better. That also includes Men’s Track and Field, Women’s Tennis, Softball all bring home NWC titles.

No doubt that Linfield is a “football” school in the sense it’s the college’s most successful program and is really what Linfield athletics is know for, however, the college’s sports programs during the spring season are flat out tremendous. How tremendous? Our spring sports programs that participate in NWC play have won 24 titles since 1999!

Spring Line-Up:
Women’s Tennis
Men’s Tennis
Women’s Golf
Men’s Golf
Women’s T&F
Men’s T&F

If you go back and look in the NWC standings since 1999 there have only been one instance where one of our spring sports teams finished 6th, only three times have one of the spring sports finished in 5th, and seven times our spring sports team finished in 4th place. The means that 88% percent of the time since 1999 our spring sports teams has finished in the top 3 of the NWC. That is ridiculously good.

Now let’s bring back that All-NWC title in 2007-08!