Saturday, November 22, 2008

NWC hands out honors and almost get it totaly right!

My biggest beef with the NWC all-conference team over the past years is that waaaaay too many guys get selected on the 1st teams and it’s really diluted the honor to many over the years and personally I think it has hurt the conference in terms of using this NWC team as guide for outside SIDs/Media in selecting All-Americans in the world of Division III. However, it seems that the coaches made an effort to not open the flood gates and did a much more respectful job in handing out the honors.

Linfield landed 15 members to the NWC team with 7 ‘Cats being honored as 1st team selections. Leading the pack was Linfield senior Defensive End Taylor Summers as Taylor was named Co-Defensive player of the year with Willamette linebacker Tommy Grove (Sr.). Now I do have a slight bone to pick with the ‘Co-“ honors the coaches handed out.

First, Summers was hands down the best defensive player in the conference and it wasn’t even close. Sorry but it’s the truth. Also, Whitworth’s Adam Anderson blew EVERYONE away in the conference with his total year stats at running back but he also shared the conference’s offensive player of the year honor with Willamette flanker Merben Woo.

Now, I get what the coaches are saying. Anderson and Summers were the biggest standouts on each side of the ball but Willamette was the conference champion and should get the spoils of title. You can make and argument for the approach the coaches took but if we’re going to truly determine who’s the single best player on each side of the ball, I don’t think you can say Woo and Grove were better and Whitworth’s Anderson and our Taylor Summers body of work. I know what you're thinking, "Wildcat11 you're a Linfield mark so of course you're going to take this stance". I can see why you might think that but that's really not how I feel. If the 'Cats won the conference title I would still want to coaches to give the award to the single player that deserves it. Bottom line. Anyways, congratulations to all four of those players on their great year and honor.

Other ‘Cats who made repeat visits as 1st teammers are Travis Masters (Sr, WR), Jared Hinkle (Sr, OT), and Scott Birkhofer (Sr, Kicker). Making their first appearances as 1st team performers were Aaron Heston (Jr, OL), and linebacker Alex Tkachuk (Jr, LB).

Four ‘Cats landed on the conference 2nd team and they were Reggie Ford (Sr, RB), John Torsey (Sr, WR), Paul Nishizaki (Soph, DT), and Jaymin Jackson (Jr, LB). Receiving Honorable Mentions were Brent Desmond (Sr, OT), Jason Bolin (Sr. OG), Dean Kongsile (Sr, Rover), Tyler McCann (Sr, Safety), and Scott Olsen (Sr, DT).

Besides the “Co” POY argument I really think the coaches did a fine job in bring back the prestige in the Conference award and should be commended for making hard decisions in distinguishing the best of the conference’s best.

2008 NWC ALL-Conference awards


Anonymous said...

I agree that Summers was the best defensive player in the conference. No argument there. But if we are going to use that methodology in selecting POY, how can you argue against Merben Woo? Is there a better, more dynamic offensive player in the NWC?

Wildcat 11 said...

You do have a strong point about Woo being a huge play maker this season but I'm not counting his great playoff game last week.

If you look at the conference only stats nobody touches Anderson's rush yards per game (152.0), rushing TDs (15).

Woo only had 55 rush yards per NWC game and 5 rush TDs. In terms of receiving yards Woo was 3rd in the NWC in yards per game with another 5 catching TDs, but Anderson also had 4 receiving touchdowns during NWC play.

But the clincher for me is that Anderson almost outdistance himself with 240 total yards per NWC game. That is 100 more per game that Woo and Anderson almost doubled up Woo in NWC touchdowns scored 19-10.

You can say "Yeah, but Whitworth gave Anderson the ball all the time and Woo had to share the rock." To me that's another reason why Anderson should have been the clear cut winner. EVERYBODY knew he was getting the rock and only one team could slow him down all year (Linfield). Woo had the benefit of have other weapons around him that gave him many more one-on-one opportunities to make big plays.

Both fine players but after looking at it more it's really clear that Anderson should have been the clear cut winner of the offensive POY.