Friday, July 27, 2012
Just came across this video that was posted by YouTuber user "WintechVideoLLC" and it's flipping fantastic. The video is local Portland TV station news clips of the 'Cats 1982 NAIA playoff national championship run. It's an incredible look back 30 years ago at the program's 1st National Title run. The images of the college are fascinating to see in live color. While it's remarkable to see many of the same structures on campus it's equally impressive how Linfield's grown over the years without losing the college's intimate and warm feel.
However, a personal favorite moment starts at the 3:55 mark as Portland's CBS news affiliate reports on the 'Cats 1st round victory over Cal Lutheran. The 'Catdome sod was a muddy mess as Linfield ended CLU's '82 season 20-16. Apparently the field conditions didn't sit too well with CLU then head coach Bob Shoup who complains led reporter Ed Whelan to liken Shoup's grumblings to that of a little boy forced into his first dance. Ouch. Good news for CLU is that Linfield installed field turf in 2004. The bad news is the 'Cats have ended CLU's season three consecutive years....minus the mud.
Monday, July 23, 2012
The annual Linfield Alumni vs. Junior Varsity gets the early start this year and I can't wait to take in the action. The 'Cats have been playing alumni/j.v. game since 2005 and it's been a big hit for the program to have former 'Cats squeeze into the Linfield gear one more time to face off vs the young bucks. It's the past of Linfield football vs. the future and I've yet to see both sides of the not have a great time.
This year's game will be played at 7 P.M. on Saturday, September 1st or just a little over a month away. If you're interested in playing in the game contact Coach Brandon Hazenberg and tell him that you want to buckle up one more time. You can reach Coach at at firstname.lastname@example.org
This will be a great Saturday and a fantastic way to kick off the 2012 season as the 'Cats will battle at tough Menlo Oaks squad at 1 P.M. and then the Alumni/J.V. tilt will be the night cap. It should be great weather and great times in the Valley so make sure you sign up and make it on out to the 'Catdome.
Facebook Sign-up Link: 2012 Alumni Game Facebook Page
Friday, July 20, 2012
We're up and running! Just go to the our gear buy page to purchase your Linfield jerseys, decals, and helmets! Go 'Cats!
Click here: Linfield Gear Buy Program
Friday, July 13, 2012
|Jerseys, Decals, Helmets, Oh My!|
That leads us to next Friday (July 20th) where we'll open up a new page on Catdomealumni.com. On that page you'll be able to pick up a game worn Linfield jersey, an authentic helmet decal, or a Linfield football helmet that has been de-commissoned. All of the proceeds made will go to Linfield Football with the Linfield fan/alumni base having a chance to own a unique piece of the 'Catdome. A Win/Win for everyone.
Mrs. 11 pitched in and help me get a set of home purples and road whites organized by number, size, and condition. These are being sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. We have around 130 total jerseys (purple/white) available to be sold. There are a few duplicate numbered jerseys. Need to give you a fair warning that if you're looking for a single digit number then you're going to be disappointed. Most of the low digit numbered tops have *vanished* over the years. In fact, between the two sets we only have 3 single digit jerseys total. Besides that one bit of disappointing news we have a great number of good looking jerseys to be had.
The home purple tops that will be sold are from the 2001-2003 seasons and are made by Adidas. I love these jerseys by Adidas. Linfield football has been a Nike school from 1998-2000 and 2004 onward but the players that wore these jerseys loved the cut and comfort of the Adidas brand.
The white road jerseys are from the 1998-2000 seasons and if you look at the font of the jersey above you'll noticed the "block" style font used instead of the traditional Linfield "college" font. That was an error the supplier made upon delivery in 1998. The 'Cats lived with for a few seasons but now the tops offer a rather cool twist to the traditional Linfield look.
Helmet Decals: $10 a piece (plus $3 for shipping)
The decals are on a limited basis but we'll do our best to fill the demand. These are the REAL DEAL decals that would wind up on a Linfield Wildcat helmet. These are very popular within the Linfield community and I have a feeling will get gobbled up quickly. These decals are great to throw onto a car window, house window, door, truck tailgate, etc, etc. The bookstore offers up very nice replica decals for purchase but a real Linfield Football helmet decal can't be topped.
Decommissioned Helmet: $50 a piece (plus $13 for shipping)
When you purchase one of these helmets it will come with a Linfield decal on each side, a "CATS" nose bumper sticker, face mask, all of the internal padding, and an NCAA sticker on the back of the helmet. It's going to look freaking SWEET. This would be ab incredible gift to your favorite Wildcat. You could display it on your desk in the office, on the mantle of your fireplace, your trophy case, or wherever you want to let people know that you're a freakin' Linfield Wildcat.
I do feel bad about the shipping cost but it's expensive to find the right box and actual mailing cost make it expensive. Also, the helmet is for DISPLAY purpose only. Don't buy one for the intention of using it to play football. These are decommissioned helmets and that means these are lids deemed no longer SAFE to play the game of football with. I feel ridiculous even having to type that but I know some of you old school guys might have a flash back of a hapless UPS receiver crossing the middle and might want to drop the hammer. Please don't be that guy.
Check back next Friday as we'll open up the floodgates. Go 'Cats!
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
|#59 Tyler Steele is the man in the middle for the 'Cats 2012 defense.|
D3football.com is the source of Division III football news in the country. A total of 50 players in the division were honored over two teams (1st team, 2nd team) as preseason All-Americans.
Monday, July 9, 2012
|#29 Brad McKechnie (Linfield '05) is still slicing them up for the South Valley Vandals of the NNFL.|
When Linfield fans reminisce about the ‘Cats 2004-2005 mind-boggling offense the first images that typically race in most people’s head are Brett Elliott dropping a dime to a streaking George Cater down the sideline, Casey Allen man-handling some poor defensive back on another trip to the end zone, or Brandon Hazenberg doing just about anything and everything for the ‘Cats offense. What can get lost in that shuffle was the brilliant career of receiver Brad McKechnie.
The Puyallup, Washington native (Rogers High School) stood 5’ 11” and was about as slick as an operator that you’ll find in navigating the middle of the oppositions defense. Talk to guys that played with "Keck" and they’ll say he easily had the best hands on the team (that’s saying something), he had a running back’s vision in the open field, and owned a knack for making guys miss tackles. While Elliott, Allen, Carter, and Hazenberg received much of the acclaim (rightfully so) those Linfield offenses wouldn’t have been at the level they reached without the key contribution from Brad McKechnie. If you take a look at the numbers he piled up as a Wildcat, Keck has the numbers to claim that he’s one of the best receivers to slip on a Linfield jersey.
Career Receiving Yards: 1,899 (7th Linfield All-Time)
Career Receptions: 138 (4th Linfield All-Time)
Career Receiving TDs: 22 (Tied 4th Linfield All-Time)
Career All-Purpose Yards: 2,644 (13th Linfield All-Time)
I grabbed a few clips of Keck doing his thing for the 'Cats to refresh your memory:
While Keck and his close friends and teammates left their undeniable mark on Linfield, that didn’t mean the receiver hung up the cleats and moved on from the game of football, far from it. Four years after moving on from the ‘Catdome, Keck settled down in Springfield, Oregon teaching Health and PE at Springfield High School. Along with that, Keck assumed coaching duties with Springfield’s football and wrestling teams. That's where he found out about an Oregon Nine-Man football league in the area (The National Nineman Football League “NNFL”). With a football itch still to scratch, Keck reached out and has been scratching out championships and League MVP’s as a South Valley Vandal ever since.
The NNFL is in their 12th year in existence and currently has 5 teams dotting their fledgling roster (Teams are located in Eugene (two), Corvallis, Albany, and Salem). Keck isn’t too sure what the future holds for the NNFL but he knows there are a great group of people that will continue put out a viable product and play a competitive and fun brand of football. I think Keck’s story is a great example of still pursuing your passions. While Keck isn’t playing in front of a packed ‘Catdome crowd anymore, he still is playing a game he loves and fulfilling a competitive thirst and we should all be so lucky to pursue the things we love.
Q&A with Linfield's Brad McKechnie (Linfield '05)
(Wildcat11) Where are you living and where are you working?
(Brad McKecknie) I live in Springfield, OR teaching health and PE at Springfield High School. I coach football and wrestling also.
(WC11) When/how did you 1st get involved in playing after you were done at Linfield?
(Keck) My first year coaching at Springfield another coach told me about this local football league and the team he plays on and I came out for a tryout and loved it. Not too much money to play, not too much time/travel commitment compared to the 11 man league. And obviously the feeling that I could still play at a high level.
(WC11) For those that haven't seen much 9-man football what's the biggest difference between the 9 and 11 man game?
(Keck) The biggest difference for someone like me with some good 11 man experience, and a little bit of speed is just how much more open the field can get. Special teams plays are some of the best plays I've made the last four years. But for our team we just take out what you would call the tackles. So our base offensive formation is center, two gaurds, a TE which plays the tackle spot basically, 2 backs, and 2 WR's.
(WC11) Do you run into other former small college players while playing in the NNFL?
(Keck) Yes and No. Stan Fisher (Former ‘Cats All-Conference punter (Linfield ’06)) played for another team last year, so that was always fun to compete against him. That same team had a guy that played at Western Oregon. Some other teams have talented guys that could definitely play small college, but didn’t for whatever reason. Each team has there 3 or 4 guys that are fun to compete against, and who I have actually become friends with just through competition. I have tried to get some of my Linfield friends/teammates to come out and play in the league but they have no interest. Ha!
(WC11) This is your 4th year playing post-college. Why do you continue to play? Also, how much longer do you see yourself playing and how do you think you've changed as a player since your time at Linfield?
(Keck) Just finished my 4th year, and I'm looking to play until my body says okay enough, but the body still feels good, and honestly that is probably one of the biggest differences in the way I play. I know how to conserve energy a lot better. I know not to go sticking my face where it doesn't belong, like I did at Linfield. Any 'Cats know there is only one way of playing for the Wildcats and that's balls to the wall, every play!! I still play hard, but I just let the game come to me now.
(WC11) Are you still tight with the guys you played with at Linfield and as you get further away from College and reflect back what stands out to you the most about being a Linfield Wildcat football player?
(Keck) Yeah my Linfield buddies/teammates aren't going anywhere. I will be friends with that crew for a long time to come. A bunch of us just got together the other weekend for a Bachelor Party in Bend, and I swear I haven't laughed that hard in a long time! That type of stuff is exactly what sticks out at me about my experience at Linfield. Obviously the football was unbelievable, but for me, it was the interactions of the group of about 20 or so of us that hung out all the time. Beyond that, the atmosphere at Linfield around the fall is awesome!! The coaching staff I will forever be influenced by. the Linfield coaches that shaped who I am tremendously and I know I am not even close to the only one who feels that way!
(WC11) If you could give a piece of advice to an incoming Freshman Wildcat player and to a Senior, what would you tell them?
(Keck) Well for a freshman, I would just say stay patient and learn as much as you can as quickly as you can. And realize that while you may not make the travel squad now but what you do on Tues, Wed, and Thursdays matter!! With my Freshman and Sophomore years, I looked at those days on scout team like my game days. Then when I was a starter it was so easy to say "These guys cannot hang with me because I have already gone against the toughest defenses that I will ever face."
As for the current Seniors, no matter where you are on the depth chart, enjoy every single minute that you are doing Linfield football stuff!!! Play every play like your last, this season will fly by for you and if you don't stop every now and truly enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll regret it. My senior year, I loved coming to practices, meetings, and games…everything. Find a way to enjoy it all.
(WC11) For guys that have wrapped up their college playing days but are still looking to play what would be the best way to get in touch with the NNFL?
(Keck) Well, it’s a spring league and practices usually start around Feb/March, so the best thing is checkout the website nineman.com see what teams are near you, beyond that though the actual signing up for the league happens on the website Maximussports.com. If you’re in the Eugene area, get in touch with me! But checkout those sites around Nov/Dec, and a lot of times there are a couple of combines for guys to run through and meet some coaches.
To wrap up, I truthfully didn't know what to expect getting in to the league, but I couldn't be happier with the team I found. The Vandals have been successful the last couple years is because we have talent. But the other thing is this core group of about 10-12 guys that have been playing so long together now that we just know how to adjust and always play together and with class, very similar to what I experienced at Linfield, just on a much smaller scale.
Brad McKechnie’s NNFL Honors:
2009- Team Champions/All-league WR/ Championship game MVP.
2010-Team Champions/All-league WR/ League MVP.
2011-Team Champions/All-league WR/ League and Championship game MVP.
2012-Team Champions/All league WR/Championship Game MVP
NNFL 2011 Title Game Video
NNFL 2012 Title Game Slideshow
South Valley Vandals Facebook Page
NNFL Home Page: NINEMAN.COM
NNFL Sign Up Page: Maximussports.com
NNFL 2011 Title Game Video
NNFL 2012 Title Game Slideshow
South Valley Vandals Facebook Page
NNFL Home Page: NINEMAN.COM
NNFL Sign Up Page: Maximussports.com
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
|The 'Cats Offensive Line has the potential to be a force in 2012.|
And where this 2011 group left off was with the Wildcat offense averaging 39.9 points per game, netting 1,547 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, 3,205 passing yards, 35 passing TDs, while allowing 24 sacks on the season. The 'Cats 2011 offensive line had key new faces behind them but Line provided a major dose of confidence for Mickey Inns and Josh Hill to get established in the offense.
So now in 2012 the 'Cats offensive line is working with both an experience and highly productive starting quarterback and starting tailback in Inns and Hill. If anything the bar in terms of expectation for the offensive line and overall offense is going to be set higher than any of these returners have experience so far in their careers at Linfield. Coaches and fans of the 'Cats are going to be looking for the 'Cats offense to force their will on the opposition with a cutting balanced offense. Now is not the time for this unit to feel satisfied in anyway as they head into 2012. I'm not too worried about complacency as Coach Hire will have his linemen zeroed in on game one and moving on from there.
That doesn't mean this group's upcoming performance is a lock or written in stone. This offensive line lost Honorable Mention All-American guard Jordan Barnes and 1st team All-NWC Center Hayden Mace due to graduation. Barnes and Mace's performance, leadership, and experience is going to be sorely missed in 2012. However, that's the name of the game and Coach Hire and his players do a phenomenal job in producing one high caliber offensive line after the next. In fact, if you take a look at the past 10 years Coach Hire's offensive line has produced 20 1st team All-NWC performers and 5 of those have been named All-Americans.
In 2012, Wildcat11 is expecting those numbers to grow even further.
Returning StarterDrew Wert OG 6-1 270 Sr/Sr Grants Pass, Ore.
Kaston Gleason OT 6-0 250 Sr/Sr Mililani, Hawaii
Steven Schultz OT 6-4 288 Jr./So. Tacoma, Wash.
Jacob Priester TE 6-2 225 Jr./Jr. Patterson, Calif.
Jeremy Patrick C 6-2 265 Jr./So. Portland, Ore.
Steady VetZack Hickman OT 6-3 285 Jr/So. Hillsboro, Ore
Jesse Archambault OT 6-3 230 Jr/Jr. Roseburg, Ore.
Eddie Fennimore OG 6-5 290 Sr/Sr Salem, Ore,
Bobby Nix C 6-0 315 Sr./Jr. Bonney Lake, Wash.
Up and ComingKyle Jones OG/C 5-11 275 Jr./Jr. Everett, Wash.
Hayden Sanders TE 6-4 250 Jr/Jr. Canby, Ore
Jacob Hanke OT 6-3 255 So/So. Salem, Ore.
Kekuapono Kalua OG 5-11 270 So./So. Waianae, Hawaii
Josh Whitney OT 6-3 255 So./So. Salem, Ore.
Owen Fritz OG 6-3 255 So./So. Lynwood, Wash.
Talking Ball with Linfield Associate Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Doug Hire
|Associate Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Doug Hire is entering into his 13th year in leading the 'Cats O-Line.|
(Wildcat11) Coach Hire, in the little time I spent watching the offensive line this spring it looked like a nice mixture of experience and youth. What was your overall impressive of your offensive line this spring?
(Doug Hire) I believe we had a productive spring and accomplished what we had set out to get done. Emphasis was working on fundaments of course but we worked hard on foot patterns/tracking, hand placement/punch, and angles in the running game. As for pass protections we worked hard on understanding sets, set angles, and hand fighting/placement. Balance was a key component in both areas. In addition, we currently do not have the depth that I would like to have so Spring was a time for the younger players to gain some ground fundamentally and mentally as to create some depth for next fall.
(WC11) You’ve had great contributions over the past few seasons from Jordan Barnes and Hayden Mace. Losing starting players to graduation is the nature of the beast in college football. Do you have a philosophy in handling this almost-yearly transition or do you approach this from a year-to-year basis?
(D.H.) I’ll share 3 quotes that can help answer your question. “Play the hand you're dealt.” is a quote from Chuck Knox that has stuck with me when I played at Seattle. “Out work your opponent” and “Have a Plan” (Rutschman quotes). Yes, we lose great players and leaders like Jordan Barnes and Hayden Mace every year. Every year we will have a group of vets, returning players, new players, and occasionally some that have never played on the oline.
At the start of and during summer camp I will identify young/new players who will be future starters. In the past it has been 2 or 3 guys. I would love this number to be 4 or 5 but you play the hand your dealt. These guys at the start of the season will practice up with the older guys. Jordan Barnes was one of these guys. His freshman year he was not on the scout team, practiced with the 2nd offensive group through out the year and was one of the first guys in/ rotating during the season. Yes, I'm developing depth and this is an important part of the process every year, creating depth. At the same time identifying guys who are making progress during the season and moving them up as and/or when needed. Guys who practice with the older guys will have a better understanding of the game plan, practice blocking schemes and techniques that apply to the game plan, and will be able to transition to a starting role in the future. It’s like taking Calculus, the first time might be tough and you may struggle and will need to work hard at it but if you take the class the second time it should be much easier. Scout team is like taking a class that is pass or fail and you're at the service of the Defense.
Then I will have guys like Steven Schultz and Aaron Heston who have never played on the Oline but they were athletic, strong, and hand something special about them. All I had to do was show them, teach them how to be offensive linemen. I also get guys like Scott Millenbach who came from a run oriented offense using shoulder blocks. He had to learn how to pass protect and use his hands. Scott was the only player that played every position on the oline, both tackle and guard positions and center. So my other point for creating depth on the oline is being versatile, learning another position other than being just a right guard but knowing the center position or learning both right tackle and left tackle and perhaps center as well.
(WC11) You have a very good group of returning starters this season. Would you talk about the strengths of the returners and where you’ve been emphasizing areas of improvement for them?
(D.H.) Drew Wert- 3 year starter, experienced, very physical, potentially could dominate the running and passing game with his power, toughness, and athleticism. Some work on the mental aspect of the game, the little things to improve his over understanding of the game.
Kaston Gleason- Possible 3 year starter, great feet and balance, improved toughness, great pass pro technique. Need to work on mental part of the game, letting things go and not allowing the past to over take the future. I have philosophy and psychology 101 class for him.
Steven Schultz- 2nd year starter, future All-American, has all the tools of being great, one of the best I have ever coached. Improved toughness and confidence and should have another great season. As for weaknesses, he needs time to refine skills, the little things to achieve his potential.
Jacob Priester- 2nd year starter, another guy who potential could be one the great ones here at Linfield. Has all the tools despite his height as a TE. A competitor who does not like to make mistakes, a perfectionist who can block and catch the ball. He has great feet and will stick his nose into anyone on defense.
Jeremy Patrick- Projected starting center, quick study as he paid attention last year being the backup to Hayden Mace. Very sharp and has a pretty good understanding of the offense, not only his position. Future All-Conference player and potential All-American for Linfield. Improved toughness, displayed this during the Wesley game.
(WC11) There is a group of vets and young guys that are looking to earn their spots in the line-up. What contributions do you see your vets bring to the table in the 2012 season?
(D.H.) Expectation of the young guys- Compete and get better! Need to create depth as I am not sure who it will be. Hopefully these guys have made a commitment during the summer in their training.
(WC11) There seems to be a high level of competition between the open starting sports and slots in the rotation this year. How does your offensive line go about players competing their butts off to get on the field but still maintain the cohesion needed to be an effective line? It always seems the ‘Cats offensive lines are a tight group off and on the field.
(D.H.) Our guys understand the make-up of our position and what we do. They know that we are a service group and they know what our expectations are as offensive linemen. Our glory and satisfaction comes from the production of our tail back, quarterback, and receivers that we understand have a direct correlation and responsibility to the success of the offense. Pride and commitment to what we do is a must. We have no ego or stats and we must love what we do. They know that the better we get as group and we need to improve on our techniques and assignments. They all know that we need depth and I explain the situation at the start of the season during the summer that I would like to be 2 deep in every position. These position could change during the season and you may be called upon at any time. And to be honest, there are some guys who are program players and buy into their role.
(WC11) Last season we discussed the responsibility off the offensive line transitioning a new quarterback. Now, you’re in the position of having an established returning backfield. How does this change the offensive mindset from going to the unknown to now having an All-NWC QB behind center?
(D.H.) I have told them this in the past and will reiterate this again. What matters is what is in front of us and not behind us! I am referring to our job and responsibility in taking care of the defense. It could Mickey Mouse at QB or Daffy Duck at running back but it does not matter. We cannot control what the QB or RB does but we sure can make things easier and better for them. We’re not going to change our attitude or work ethic based on who is behind us. Sure will understand and know that we have Mickey Inns and Josh Hill behind us and that the reverse is true that they could make our job easier as well! We’ve had both situations in the past, new QB and/or new RB with little of no experience. We also have had the same on the oline where we were new and inexperienced. I believe every position must trust that every player will be coached and that you must trust your teammates. Of course time will develop this trust and the sooner the better.
Labels: spring review
Monday, July 2, 2012
Two weeks ago, Linfield Sports broke the news that YOUR Linfield Wildcats have entered into an agreement with Portland Based True Talk 800 KPDQ-AM to broadcast the 'Cats 2012 season. This is an outstanding deal as not only the football program but LINFIELD will expand their footprint into the Portland Metro market with football serving as the vehicle to deliver the college's message.
I don't know if I fully understand how great of a win this could be for the entire Linfield community, Linfield's current and future partners, and business-owning alumni that are looking to further support the Wildcats. The 'Cats will now have a radio presence in the 23rd largest media market in the country (2.1 million people) along with maintaining the relationship with long time radio partner KLYC in serving the estimated 100,000 Yamhill County residents.
Essentially, the 'Cats just expanded their potential listening base by 2,000,000 sets of ears. Yeah, all 2,000,000 people are not going to tuning into games on Saturday but you will have a huge number of new folks being introduced to Wildcat football and Linfield College every Saturday along with reconnecting alumni, fans, and family that may not have the chance to get down to Mac or listen on the Internet.
If you are someone who is interested in partnering up with the Wildcats this fall or in the future please check out Linfield College Sports Media page for information on rates and services. Or you just reach out to the 'Cats 3rd year play-by-play man Bill Johnson at 503-568-4550 (email Bill at email@example.com) who is also representing the 'Cats media arm. I promise you that if you meet with Bill about partnering with the 'Cats you're going to have a great experience. Bill is a total pro and a person of high character. Go 'Cats!
True Talk 800 AM KPDQ
Linfield Sports: Football games to air on KPDQ-AM in Portland