Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday Flashback: Trevor Patterson takes us back to 2009's HSU game.

#29 Trevor Patterson reached new heights in 2009.

We’re going to try to shake up our in-season Tuesdays here on Advantage ‘Catdome throughout the remainder of the season as I’ll be asking some former ‘Cats to reflect on past battles with Linfield’s upcoming opponents. Each team in this incredible winning streak is built upon the same foundation that was laid over 56 years ago, but each season is a built upon players that create their own identity and story as the seasons unfold.

If you followed our Top Ten Plays of the Past Ten Seasons (2002-2012) then you would know that 2009 was a special year in the ‘Catdome. The ‘Cats rolled to a 12-1 season that saw Linfield reestablish themselves as a national power in Division III and along the way saw some breakout seasons by a number of ‘Cats. Senior Wide Receiver Trevor Patterson was one of those ‘Cats. Trevor entered his last campaign with the ‘Cats with little fanfare. His previous three seasons where slowed by injury or by up and down play that kept his role limited early on. But Trevor rededicated himself before the 2009 season and had an opportunity to show that he was capable of being a playmaker for the ‘Cats. What transpired was one of the better seasons a Linfield receiver put together in school history. Trevor finished 2009 with 1,264 receiving yards off of 79 receptions and hauled in 17 TD passes. Those marks put Patterson’s 2009 right behind Casey Allen’s 2004 & 05 for the single best season for a Wildcat receiver.

I asked Trevor to talk about the 2009 season opener to gain his perspective about entering a senior campaign with so much on the line. Thanks to Trevor for taking part. Go ‘Cats!
The 2009 game vs Hardin Simmons game was about redemption for me. In 2008 things did not go as planned but not for the reasons you might expect. Yes, we lost the game and our starting QB, who went on to be one of the best to ever play the position at Linfield, yet for me 2009 was a chance for me to prove to myself that I could be the player I thought I could be. In the 2008 game I disappointed myself and the coaches. I played sloppy, missed assignments, and was slow to react. Getting my grade sheet and watching film after the game might have been the most humbling and embarrassing moment in my college career. I let that game set the tone for the rest of the year and ended up being a back-up until I broke my ankle half way through the season. Needless to say I knew I had to get better and work harder before my senior year. The opening game against Hardin Simmons would be the first opportunity to show everyone how hard I'd worked and prove to myself I could play with anybody!

I was nervous for the first game, for myself, my roommates, and the team. You don’t really know how good you are as a team or individually going through camp. I knew we were talented and thought we had something special, but we had to prove it. The opening drive of the game I was shaking in my stance, as I was most opening drives the rest of the year. It was the second play of the game when Aaron Boehme hit me on a streak up the sideline. I had to make a leaping catch and even though it probably would of been a TD if I had caught it in stride, I was glad I had to react and make a difficult catch. I didn't have time to think just react. After that, things just seem to slow down and fall into place. A weight was lifted off my shoulders! That first drive was a statement for me and the team, It was a glimpse at what was to come in 2009.

Watch the 2009 Linfield vs HSU game highlight here

That first game answered a lot of questions for us. We gained a lot of confidence and were going to need it heading into a four week road trip. For myself, that first game couldn't have gone better. I didn't play perfect by any means but I was able to make some big plays and score a couple of touchdowns. It was a huge boost of confidence and I like to think that HSU game squashed any doubts the coaches might of had in my ability. HSU was one of the more athletic teams we faced all season. Hardin-Simons is the type of team that scares you in the opening week because you may not be as sound on both sides of the ball as you would like to be. Often times, the first game can come down to who can make the big plays and who can win the individual match-ups. It was good to see our team be able to fly around and make those big plays against a team from Texas!

After that game I was exhausted, emotionally and physically. I remember sitting in the locker room and taking off my pads and feeling like thousands of pounds were just lifted off my shoulders. The tradition of Linfield brings along a lot of pressure but when you live up to those high expectations you get a feeling of satisfaction that is unmatched! I expect the season opener against Menlo and this 2012 Hardin-Simmons game to be no different. A lot of athletes making big plays on both sides of the ball. It should be an exciting and fun game to watch. Good luck 'cats and embrace the opportunity to welcome a team from Texas to the CATDOME!!

Trevor Patterson

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