Monday, January 24, 2011

3 Linfield Wildcats named to's All-Decade Team

The source of Division III football recently announced their All-Decade team (2000's) and three Linfield Wildcats were named to this elite of the elite group of Division III players.  The All-Decade team consists of 4 teams (1st - 4th) and has a total of 100 players selected.  You man think..."100 players?  That seems like a lot of players?" but you need to keep this in perspective.  Over a 10 year period there has been over 175,000 players suit up on Division III rosters around the country.  On top of that, has named 1,000 All-Americans over the past 10 years so this All-Decade team is the top 10% of the most elite players to step on Division III fields over a ten year period.  Bottom line, it's a remarkable group of players to be associated with.

The three Linfield Wildcats selected to the All-Decade team are Quarterback Brett Elliott (2nd team, 2004-05), Wide Receiver Casey Allen (3rd team, 2002-05), and Place Kicker Scott Birkhofer (4th team, 2005-2008).  Linfield was the only team in the Northwest Conference to have multiple players selected on the team as Whitworth, Willamette, and PLU each had a player selected and the 'Cats are 1 of only 13 teams in Division III with multiple players picked and only 1 of 6 of those located in the West Region.

2nd Team - Quarterback #5 Brett Elliott (2004-2005)

Incredible career for the 'Cats as Brett holds over 31 school records and his name is pasted all over the NCAA Division III record book:  1st in most passing TDs in a season (61 TDs, 2004) and 5th in the same catagory with 49 passing TDs, 2005,  Most yards gained in a season (4,663 yards, 2004), 1st career passing yards per game (358.9 yards), 1st career total yards per game (364.6 yards), 3rd career passing efficency rating (193.7), 8th career passing TDs (110 in two seasons (04-05)).

Along with the record numbers is the massive amounts of honors.  WC11 is going to list the ones I found but I might have missed a few:  2x Team MVP, 2x NWC 1st team QB, 2x NWC Offensive Player of the Year, 2x 1st Team All-West Region, 2x West Region Offensive Player of the year (2004 Football Gazette, 2005, 2004 1st Team AP Little All-Amercian QB, 2005 3rd Team AP Little All-American QB, 2x 1st Team All-American, 2005 Offensive Player of The Year, 2x 1st Team Football Gazette All-American, 2x Football Gazette Offensive Player of the Year, 2x AFCA 1st Team All-American, 2x Ad Rutschman Oregon Small College Athlete of the Year, 2005 Melberger Award, and 2005 Gagliardi Trophy Winner.

What more can you say about Brett?  He was just a heck of a football player and more than deserving of this honor (should have been named 1st team, IMO).

3rd Team - Wide Receiver #8 Casey Allen (2002-2005)

His teammate simply called him "The Beast" and those that watch #8 run past, through, and over opposing DB's for a 4 year period know why.  Casey was a man among boys through out his playing career at Linfield and holds number of receiving records that may never be broke.  Not only did Casey have excellent size (6' 3" 220 lbs) and speed but he had great hands and was a tough nosed player. 

Here is the list of Linfield records that belong to Mr. Allen: Career Reception Yards (3,550 yds),  Career Pass Receptions (219 receptions),  Career Pass Reception TDs (59 TDs),  Career Total Points Scored (356 points), Career Touchdowns Scored (59 TDs),  Career Blocked Kicks (who knew?) (5 blocks), Single Season Reception Yards (1,410 yards), Single Season Pass Receptions (2004 -90 receptions), Single Season Pass Reception TDs (2004- 23 TDs), Single Season Receptions per game (2005 -7.09 receptions), Single Season Most TD receptions in single game - (4 TDs, three times)

Along with the jaw dropping stats Casey was named 2x 1st team All-NWC, 2x 1st Team All-West Region (2004 Football Gazette, 2005, 2x 1st Team All-American, and 2x 1st Team Football Gazette All-American.

4th Team - Place Kicker #14 Scott Birkhofer (2005-2008)

The best leg in the history of the program and I don't think anybody would argue this.  During the 2007 and 2008 season Birkhofer was a treat just about anytime the 'Cats were able to cross midfield.  Not only did Scott possess a huge leg he was also very accurate from distance too.  Let's just take a look at Scott's stats during the 2006-08 seasons.

2006: 7 FG made out 8 attempts (87.5%), 4 out of 5 from 40-49 yards with a long of 44 yards

2007: 11 FG made out of 17 attempts (64.7%), 6 out of 6 from 30-39, 3-6 from 40-49, and 2-5 from 50+ with a long of 53yards

2008: 10 FG made out of 18 attempts (55.6%), 4 out of 5 from 30-39, 2-5 from 40-49, and 3-6 from 50+ with longs of 54 & 56 yards

Scott was twice named the team's most valuable special teams player, 2x 1st Team All NWC, 2nd team All-West Region (2007), 1st team All-West Region (2008), Honorable Mention All-American (2007), 1st team All-American (2008), 1st team AFCA All-American (2008).

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