Sunday, April 13, 2008

Player Blog: Travis Masters "A Player's Preview"

Junior Slot Back/Running Back/Kick Returner Travis Masters was nice enough to give us his personal 2008 Linfield preview right before the 'Cats kick off their spring drills. Travis was named a first team NWC slot back and kick returner this past season and Wildcat fans are expecting big things in 2008 from Number 5.

Heading into my final season at Linfield, I am very excited for the 2008 season to get under way. In my opinion, this years’ team is going to be extremely dynamic. The mindset that our squad has been showing this off-season is pure hunger to get back on top to being the national powerhouse that many of us have been accustom to. I don’t know if I’ve seen a group of guys display the kind of tenacity that I’ve seen during our morning workouts the past few months.

When talking about this team I can’t help but to start with our offensive line. These guys work so hard and often times their efforts go unrecognized. As a core offensive group, they will be the most experienced players on the field and as a skill player this is exciting to me because we all know that without them we (skill players) can’t do what we do. Seniors Jared Hinkle and Jason Bolin are just a few of the great players and leaders that have emerged for all of the big men up front. This group of guys will allow us to either pound the rock or pick teams apart with the pass game.

Our skill players on the offensive side are going to be an exciting group to watch. At the receiver position we are probably the least experienced but have more speed than we’ve seen in previous years. Senior, John Torsey is going to be a great deep threat for us and junior, Trevor Patterson catches everything that comes to him. I’ll be thrilled to have these two guys line up outside of me in the slot. At running back we have a number of guys that can carry the load. A healthy Jon Montalvo will return after sitting out the majority of last season with a hamstring injury, Dan Lever will get our tough yards, and transfer Reggie Ford is going to give teams a fit. As a whole, the running backs have been hands down the hardest working group in the weight room. It really is remarkable to see guys motivate one another the way they do. As for the guy who is going to hold the reins to our offense, I can’t say enough good things about him. Aaron Boehme has an excellent arm and he adds versatility to our offense with his legs. Having Boehme at quarterback is going to allow us to do a lot more as an offensive system than in the past.

On the other side of the ball we took a big hit with seniors Brian Mehl and Keone Tawata graduating. However, their replacements will not disappoint this year. Sophomore Bryce Comfort and hard-hitting senior Tyler McCann will man the safety positions. Comfort is an extremely savvy player for only being a sophomore and he is comparable to Brian Mehl, which is saying a lot. The strongest part of our defense is probably our linebackers.. Jaymin is a great leader for us and is one of the most electrifying defensive players that we’ve seen in the last few years. Our defensive line is also a group that will be a force to reckon with. Returning from a serious injury suffered last spring, Scott Olsen will be a beast for us on the defensive front. Also senior Taylor Summers is coming off of a great year as well as junior Ian Estrada. Junior Paul Nishizaki and Sophomore Eric Hedin will also provide great support for our defensive line. It should also be mentioned that this year we have a very strong recruiting class for the defensive front.

This year we will be playing with a chip on our shoulders. As seniors, we want our team to play with the attitude that we will not be denied another conference championship or a playoff birth. It’s important for us to have the mindset that we are never satisfied with where we are at until there is nothing more that we can do. We’ve been working hard and it will show come the 2008 season. Get ready for a good one!

Travis Masters
Class of 2008

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