Friday, August 5, 2011

ADvantage Mailbag is back!

Welcome back to the ADvantage Mailbag where Wildcat11 is here to answer your questions.  We've run this segment a few times in the past and Wildcat11 thought now would be a good time to answer your questions.  This edition of the mailbag we talk 2011 quarterbacks, defensive ends, an all-decade team for the 2000's (which I agonized over), some Saint Johns University/Linfield trash talk, and we wrap it up with an awesome email from a former 'Cat that played in the 1980's.

Since Linfield is looking for a new QB, would love a breakdown of how you see the competition!
-Kevin in Portland

A great question to kick off the mailbag.  For fans of Linfield football the thought of replacing an All-American quarterback (Boehme) can make you nervous.  Boehme was a special talent that dominated the NWC over the past two seasons.  But have faith my fellow Wildcats.  The quarterback competition this past spring was strong and the ‘Cats are bringing in three very talented freshman signal callers.  The future of the position looks bright but you really want to know who’s going to be lining up in the shotgun come the season opener.  I don’t have any inside juice on this but in my observations around the program is that Micky Inns is going to have the opportunity to establish himself as the ‘Cats signal caller in 2011.  The 6’ 2” Junior from Gresham has been on the playoff roster the past two seasons and has all the tools required to be a very good starting quarterback in the NWC/DIII.  Micky has a strong arm, quick release, and can move outside of the pocket.  The biggest worry I have is his limited playing experience but that’s a concern with any new QB taking their 1st snap under center as a starter.  I’m excited to see him get his shot and I feel he’s going to run with it.

The other two returning quarterbacks that I feel are right in the mix are Sophomores Josh Yoder and Logan Krellwitz.  Both of these young men are talented QB’s with different strengths.  Yoder is big and a physical quarterback standing at 6’ 4” and 205 lbs.  Yoder has a strong arm and is a fast athlete that can take off and run.  Yoder probably still is in need of more seasoning in the spread offense after spending his entire high school career playing in a double wing T.  With Krellwitz, he only stands 5’ 10” and 180 lbs, but he’s a very accurate passer, very familiar with the spread coming out of West Linn, and in watching him during JV games he showed strong leadership ability and a knack for making plays.  I like Logan’s intangibles.

How are the Cats planning on replacing the defensive production of Eric Hedin now that he's graduated?
-Todd in Mill Creek (Wa.)

The last thing I want to do is have put the pressure of what Eric did last season on Sparky Gonzalez and whoever is in the rotation in the other DE position.  I think that’s just putting an unfair burden on those guys if you start telling them they need be approaching mid-teens in sack numbers by the end of the season.  Don’t get me wrong, because Sparky was the 2nd leading sack man in the NWC with 8.5 on the season (which is a very good total) and I’m expecting him to have a monster Senior season.  However, I don’t want him chasing a number. 

I typically don’t talk about my playing days but this is a good spot to explain why I hope the returning DE’s are not thinking too much about that 22 Hedin put up last year.  I played defense end at Linfield (94-98) and during my Junior season (1997) I had a big game against Lewis & Clark where I piled up 5 sacks.  My senior season rolls around and it’s Lewis and Clark week once again.  In my mind, I was going to once again feast on the Pios scrubby offensive line.  Guess what happened?  I sucked.  I was forcing it, pressing, taking bad gambles, trying to chase sacks instead of just doing my responsibility the best I could.   I learned a huge lesson that day.

So that brings me back to our 2011 Defensive Ends.  We don’t need them to be Eric Hedin but what we need is to just let these guys form their own identity and I think we’re all going to be pleasantly surprised in their production and play as the season moves along.

WC11, since you are the official czar of all things Wildcat, how about dazzling us with an all-decade team for the 2000s? 
-Chris in Fredericksburg, TX

First off, calling me a “czar” is funny.  I know Linfield football from 1994 to the present like the back of my hand.  However, there are so many people that have been around the football program longer than myself that know SOOOOO much more about the history of Linfield football.  They know how good the Jim Massey’s and Randy Marshall’s of Linfield football were because they watched them with their own eyes.  There are many qualified folks that you could call the “czar” of Linfield football before me.  However, if you want to call me “czar of Linfield football from 1994-2011” I’ll accept that!

In regards to an all-decade team for the 2000’s…wow…that is a terribly hard question. Honestly, I don’t want to answer that because I know so many of these the guys from the past decade and we’ve had many great players at positions it would be criminal for me to leave some of these guys off this list.  However, this is the mailbag and I have to answer the question because you asked it.  Now remember this is from 2000-2009 so this past season isn’t considered.  There might be a few controversial picks.  For guys that are reading this that may have not made the list…forgive me…I’ll buy you a beer next time I see you.

WC11’s Linfield football All-Decade Team for the 2000’s (2000-2009)

QB – Brett Elliott (2004 - 05)
RB – David Russell (2000 - 02)
RB – Thomas Ford (2001 - 04)
WR- Casey Allen (2002 - 05)
WR-George Carter (2001 - 04)
WR-John Nosler (2000)
TE – Luke Buchheit (2000 - 02)
OT – Jared Hinkle (2005 - 08)
OT – Eric Moen (2000 - 02)
OG – Daryl Agpalsa (2000 - 02)
OG – Scott Millenbach (2006 - 09)
Center – Dwight Donaldson (2002 - 05)

Corner: Chris Boock (2002 - 05)
Corner: Alex Rix (2000)
Monster: Ray Lions (2000 - 2003)
Rover: Zach Fleming (2001 - 04)
Safety: Brian Mehl (2004 - 2007)
Linebacker: Harrison Bertsch (2001 -2003)
Linebacker: Brandon Olsen (2002 -2005)
Defensive End: Kelley Bertrand (2001 - 2004)
Defensive End: Taylor Summers (2006 -2008)
Defensive Tackle: Ricky Gaspar (2000 - 2002)
Defensive Tackle: Mike Greenberg (2003 -2006)

Kicker: Scott Birkhofer (2005 - 2008)
Punter: James Wilson (2001 -2004)
Punt Returner: Brandon Hazenberg (2002 - 2005)
Kick Returner: Travis Masters (2004 - 2008)

Wow…that was fun and awful at the same time because there are guys that are well deserving of being “all-decade” that I left off the list.  I could go on for pages and pages on why I slotted some guys in and left others off and then talk about each player but I would just make myself insane. 

Need any inside info that I can spill to the idiots I hang with at the Blue Moon, your cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated. GO CATS!
-Glen in Mac

Glen, I’m more of a Deluxe guy myself when it comes to a cold adult beverages (Draft PBR) on the side of my burger (best in McMinnville) and fries but I don’t have too much inside information that most folks don’t already know that follow the blog.  How about I tease you with this: the 2012 schedule.  Don’t expect La Verne to be back on the slate.  I’m not spilling any beans on that one as anyone could see that the Leos were just a 2-year deal from the jump.  As for who replaces them and what does that mean about Menlo and CLU?  I have no stinking clue at this point.  I wouldn’t at all be surprised that the La Verne game is NOT filled with another SCIAC team (I’m not expecting Linfield’s phone calls to be returned) but the ‘Cats could be forced to go back to the Mid-West or Texas to find another D3 game.   I’d love it to be a MIAC school but I’m not holding my breath.

We have a few questions via twitter.  If you’re not on twitter then you’re missing out.  Personally, I enjoy twitter much more than Facebook.  Don’t be afraid of Twitter, its 140 charters of great fun and information.  If you sign up or if you already have a Twitter account then come give’s Twitter feed a look.

@catdomealumni dear mr 11 can you look into your crystal ball & tell me in Linfield will ever again beat a MIAC team in the playoffs? 
-From usTDT

Very funny Touchdown Tommy (usTDT).  For those that don’t know this clown “TDT” is a Saint John’s alum and writes for  One of TDT’s favorite pastimes is taking shots at Linfield football and Wildcat11 since Saint John’s does hold a 3-0 record over Linfield (all playoff games).  SJU escaped with narrow victories over the ‘Cats in 2002 and 2003 and TDT has been quick to remind WC11 of that fact just about every week since. 

Currently, the ‘Cats are 2-3 vs. the MIAC in the playoffs during the past decade.  The losses have been painful (21-14, 2002 to SJU) (31-25, 2003 to SJU) and (24-17 double OT in 2010 to UST) and a sore spot for the Wildcat faithful.  I have no doubt that the ‘Cats and the MIAC are going to do battle once again in our futures and I’m looking forward to the ‘Cats correcting these close falls from years past.   Just don’t expect it to come from SJU as they have been slowly getting removed as the MIAC top power by Bethel and Saint Thomas.  

So after I exchanged a few insults with TDT, a former ‘Cats and I started tweeting about playing out at Saint John’s.

@catdomealumni always wanted to play the Johnnies! Sad I never got to play them at their place 

For as much trash talk between the Linfield fans and SJU fans in the past (trust me during the 2002 -03 years there was some hot and heavy smack between these fans) I have to give it up to SJU when it comes to their stadium/facility.  As you know, we’ve recently run a NWC stadium ranking on the Advantage, so I thought Gunnar’s tweet was great timing to give a tip of the cap to SJU when it comes to their facility: “The Natural Bowl”.  I don’t think it gets any better in Division III than it does at Saint John’s when it comes atmosphere, crowd support, and stadium set up.    SJU has led DIII in attendance for the past 10 seasons (8,651 per game in 2010) and fans get access to the whole field.  The Johnnies do it big while still maintaining great intimacy unlike a school like Whitewater who just does it big.  I had the pleasure of being out at SJU in 2003 and while the crowd was only in the 2,000’s it was still a great experience and one that every fan of DIII football should get to go check out once in their life. 

@catdomealumni What is a bearcat exactly? #mailbag

Great question Tyler as most people think it’s just a made up animal shaped like pear.  (Lifted mostly from Wikipedia) Bearcats are actually a “Binturong”. It’s neither a bear nor a cat but is a four legged fuzzy creature that lives in the forest canopy of rainforests throughout Asia. They have a tail but it’s fully prehensile, which means they use it like a fifth hand. They’re not really big and are the size of a small dog. Their ears are small and round and have beady eyes with coarse and thick black fur.

Bearcats are nocturnal and sleep on branches. It likes to eat fruit but will chow on small animals like a bird or rats (you hear that Whitworth…rats.). They also have a sent or musk that is compared to that of warm popcorn and cornbread (I always wonder why I smelled warm popcorn when watching a game at Willamette).  So there you go Tyler.  Most Linfield fans think a Bearcats is something we stomp on most every year but it’s actually a real animal.

I just wanted to send a quick note to share with you how proud I am to have played football at Linfield.  Your site has kept me in touch and excited about Wildcat football.  As a member of the 86 Championship team I refer to my time at Linfield in everyday life and my experiences during my four years at Linfield are times that I believe have shaped my life.  I often share with people that I received a great education, play and learned the game of football, and met my wife at Linfield and that is the ultimate college experience!

Thanks and keep up the great work!

#1 Aundre Pace (86 National Championship Team), Portland Or.

Wow.  When Aundre sent this into me it made my day.  Linfield football runs so deep in our blood and hearts.  It’s more than just a football team, being a Wildcat is a way of life, and it’s awesome when players from team’s past reaches out and share their love of Linfield football.  The lessons we learned as ‘Cats carry many of us today. 

I do appreciate the kind words about the blog/site.  I’m just a former player that started this in 2006 as a way for ‘Cats no longer in the area to have a way to reconnect.  I love blogging about Linfield football and creating the videos.  In fact, it’s an honor and complete pleasure for me.   I’m not a journalist (obviously), or a coach, or someone trying to do this for a living.  I just want to create a place for us to share our passion for the ‘Catdome.

Now do me a favor.  Print out that note from Aundre and post it up somewhere visible.   Let his words be a reminder on how great it is to be a Linfield Wildcat.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff yet again! I'll be a Wildcat until the day I die! I'm hoping the 'Cats can pull it together and win a national championship in 2011!

d1shima said...

Thanks again for all you do.

Great to have the updates way over here in the middle of the Pacific.

Chompin' at the bit for the season to start...